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Yesterday (4 March 2020) Viet Nam acceded to the HCCH Evidence Convention and the Philippines acceded to the HCCH Service Convention.  Ukraine signed the HCCH Judgments Convention.

The HCCH Evidence Convention will enter into force for Viet Nam on 3 May 2020. Pursuant to article 39 of the Evidence Convention, the accession will have effect only as regards the relations between Viet Nam and such Contracting States as will have declared their acceptance of the accession. Accordingly, this is a semi-open Convention similar to the HCCH Child Abduction Convention.

In the absence of any objection pursuant to its article 28, the HCCH Service Convention will enter into force for the Philippines on 1 October 2020. No objection has ever been made under the Service Convention (so far).

Ukraine has signed the HCCH Judgments Convention in accordance with its article 24. In order to consent to be bound by the treaty, Ukraine needs to deposit an instrument of ratification. In the meantime, a signatory State has the obligation not to defeat the object and purpose of a treaty prior to its entry into force (article 18 of the UN Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties).

The HCCH Judgments Convention is not yet in force. In accordance with article 28: “This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of the period during which a notification may be made in accordance with Article 29(2) with respect to the second State that has deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession referred to in Article 24.”

There are currently two signatory States: Uruguay and Ukraine. The act of signing a treaty does not count towards the timeline specified in article 28 of the HCCH Judgments Convention as it is not an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

The HCCH news item is available here.