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In connection with the February 2009 Hague Conference on Private International Law meeting that will consider the practical operation of a number of Hague Conventions, the US State Department has asked the International Litigation Committees of the International and Litigation sections of the ABA to survey its members in order to get practitioner input about the functioning of the Hague Evidence and the Hague Service Conventions.

The International Litigation Committees of the International and Litigation sections of the ABA has established two short surveys, one for each Convention, that invite practitioners to complete with practitioners` first hand experiences. The surveys will be open until January 15, after which date the responses will be compiled and provided to the Hague Conference.

This input is particularly valuable in the decentralized US federal system; under the Evidence Convention, for example, the State Department as the US Central Authority receives incoming Letters of Request from abroad, but does not centralize all outbound requests to foreign jurisdictions, which in the US are most often addressed directly by litigants or their counsel to the foreign Central Authority (either directly or through a vendor). As a result, the only way to bring pertinent information about the practical operation of certain aspects of these conventions is by way of informal survey, and the Section has worked closely with the State Department in recent months to identify those questions that would be most relevant to the Hague Conference meeting that is scheduled for early February 2009.

The online survey for the Hague Evidence Convention is here, and for the Hague Service Convention Survey here.

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