Objectives of the Hague Convention and exceptions
The role of the Central Authorities in each contracting State is to receive and act on requests for service or notification of documents originating from other contracting States.
The documents may be judicial or court documents (such as an originating process, a defence, reply, rejoinder, petition, motion, or subpoena) or extrajudicial documents (such as a notarial deed, demand letter, or notice to debtor).
Since every State is sovereign within its territory and court proceedings are an integral part of State sovereignty, processes issuing from a court in one State cannot, in theory, be served in another State.
The purpose of the Hague Convention of 1965 is to remedy that situation. The objectives of the Convention are
- to give the addressee of a document actual notice of the document in sufficient time;
- to simplify the method of transmitting the document (alternative to diplomatic and consular courier); and
- to facilitate proof of the delivery.
The Convention applies exclusively to civil or commercial matters whenever judicial or extrajudicial documents must be transmitted for service or notification abroad in a contracting State.
The Convention does not apply to documents in penal, fiscal or administrative matters. Nor does the Convention apply where the address of the intended recipient of the document is unknown.
Home page of the Service abroad of judicial and extrajudicial