What You Should Know About The Hague Evidence Convention, Signatory Countries

Depending on the nature of your case, one important factor in deciding how best to organize your deposition abroad is to determine whether the country you’ll need to depose your witness in is a party to the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, more commonly known as the Hague Evidence Convention.
In simple terms, if your deposition country is included in the list below, conducting a deposition there will be much easier and (in most cases) will not require any special permissions or advance communications with government agencies in the foreign country. There are some exceptions, especially if the matter has been filed in foreign as well as U.S. courts, but in most cases you can just fly in there and depose your witness. All you have to do is get your resources lined up (court reporter, videographer, interpreter, etc.), set up your deposition at any hotel or conference center, and you won’t have to worry about running afoul of local laws.
We will get into the Hague Evidence Convention in more detail in future articles. And you can always contact me directly should you have specific questions. In the meantime, here is a list of the parties to the convention, courtesy of Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Evidence_Convention):

State Date of Ratification State Date of Ratification
Argentina 08 May 1987 Australia 23 October 1992
Barbados 05 March 1981 Belarus 07 August 2001
Bosnia and Herzegovina 16 June 2008 Bulgaria 23 November 1999
China, People’s Republic of 08 December 1997 Cyprus 13 January 1983
Czech Republic 06 February 1976 Denmark 18 April 1972
Estonia 02 February 1996 Finland 09 March 1976
France 24 August 1972 Germany 18 March 1970
Greece 18 January 2005 Hungary 13 July 2004
Iceland 10 November 2008 India 07 February 2007
Israel 11 November 1977 Italy 06 February 1975
Kuwait 08 May 2002 Latvia 28 March 1995
Liechtenstein 12 November 2008 Lithuania 02 August 2000
Luxembourg 26 July 1977 Mexico 27 July 1989
Monaco 17 January 1986 Netherlands 08 April 1981
Norway 03 August 1972 Poland 13 February 1996
Portugal 18 March 1970 Romania 21 August 2003
Russian Federation 01 May 2001 Seychelles 07 January 2004
Singapore 27 October 1978 Slovakia 12 May 1976
Slovenia 18 November 2000 South Africa 08 July 1997
Spain 08 July 1997 Sri Lanka 30 October 2000
Sweden 21 April 1975 Switzerland 02 November 1994
Turkey 13 December 2000 Ukraine 01 February 2001
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 18 March 1970 United States of America 27 July 1970
Venezuela 01 November 1993

A more detailed list, as well as the full text of the Hague Evidence Convention, can be found at the following link: Hague Evidence Convention

Ian Hardy is the President and lead Global Deposition Expert at Optima Juris, the world’s first and only reporting agency that exclusively handles depositions abroad.


Ian Hardy

Ian Hardy is an internationally-recognized Global Deposition Expert and President of Optima Juris, the world’s first and only agency specialized in deposition services for U.S. legal matters abroad. With over 20 years of experience organizing depositions throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania, Ian is a leading expert in global deposition consulting and services.