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The Draft Guide to Good Practice on the Use of Video-Link under the Evidence Convention has been submitted for the approval of the HCCH governance body (i.e. the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference on Private International Law), which will meet in March 2019.

This Guide analyses developments in relation to the use of video-link in the taking of evidence under the Evidence Convention, including references to internal law and other international agreements. It also outlines good practices to be followed and reflects additional information provided by Contracting Parties in their respective Country Profiles.

In my personal opinion, the most striking conclusion was that responding States to the Country Profiles are almost evenly divided as to whether evidence may be taken directly by video-link by means of a Letter of Request (under Chapter I of the Evidence Convention). In other words, there is no clear consensus on whether the requesting court can take evidence directly in the Requested State by video-link under Chapter I of the Evidence Convention (e.g. take testimony from a witness by videoconference). Some see legal obstacles whereas others do not. The Convention was after all negotiated in the late sixties. A question may arise as to whether an international treaty is needed to address particularly this issue and include the necessary safeguards for video-link taking of evidence.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • El roam December 27, 2018, 6:07 pm

    Thanks for that important update. The guide describes mainly the disadvantages of such video link in evidence taking. But it seems, that very important aspect or advantage has been ignored, and it is, the very fact, that when stored in digital or video format, the court can repeat the observance, and watch it over and over, backward and forward as it may find fit.So, more accurately reach conclusion or findings concerning the given testimony. That is much more difficult thing to do, while dealing with physical presence of a witness in court ( if at all ). Thanks

  • Mayela Celis January 5, 2019, 3:36 pm

    This is an excellent point. Thank you so much.
    Please note that this Guide seeks to provide, among other things, a snapshot of current views and practices of Contracting Parties to the Evidence Convention.
    It does not intend to reflect a Utopian state of affairs.
    I am sure that current challenges will be solved as time progresses.

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