Cross border evidence—foreign court request for assistance

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cross border evidence—foreign court request for assistance
  • Definitions
  • Court's power to assist—general
  • Conditions that must be satisfied
  • Issues to consider
  • International co-operation
  • Court’s discretionary power
  • Limits on the discretionary power
  • Intention behind the request
  • Relevance of the request
  • More...

Cross border evidence—foreign court request for assistance

This Practice Note considers how letters of request, received from foreign courts to obtain evidence in cross border disputes in their jurisdictions, are dealt with by the courts of England and Wales. The power of the courts to assist is set out in Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975 (E(POJ)A 1975) and the procedure to be followed is set out in Section II of CPR 34 at CPR 34.16–CPR 34.20.

The guidance in this Practice Note applies to requests made to the courts of England and Wales from courts in both contracting states to the Hague Evidence Convention as well as non-contracting states.

For guidance on the convention, see Practice Note: Cross border evidence—Hague Evidence Convention.

For guidance on obtaining evidence in a foreign country for use in proceedings in the Courts of England and Wales, see Practice Note: Cross border evidence—requests to a foreign court for assistance.

This Practice Note refers to the House of Lords decision in Rio Tinto Zinc Corporation v Westinghouse Electric. Note that in some judgments and texts this judgment is referenced as RTZ Corporation v Westinghouse Electric.

Definitions

The following definitions are used in this Practice Note:

  1. civil proceedings—in relation to the requesting court, means proceedings in any civil or commercial matter

  2. CPR—Civil Procedure Rules

  3. Hague Evidence Convention—Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of

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