Hague Service Convention—service outside the jurisdiction
Hague Service Convention—service outside the jurisdiction

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

  • Hague Service Convention—service outside the jurisdiction
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) considerations
  • What is the Hague Service Convention and when does it apply?
  • Relationship between the Hague Service Convention and the Service Regulation
  • Service of judicial documents—central authority
  • Service of judicial documents—central authority/documents required
  • Service of judicial documents—central authority/State of Destination
  • Service of judicial documents—central authority/costs
  • Service of judicial documents—other methods
  • What if the defendant does not make an appearance in the proceedings
  • more

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day ie Friday 31 January 2020 has implications for practitioners determining whether the claim form should be served under the Hague Service Convention or Regulation (EC) 1393/2007, Service Regulation. For guidance, see: Cross border considerations—checklist—Service—Brexit specific.

This Practice Note considers service of documents between contracting states pursuant to the Convention on the service abroad of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (1965) (the Hague Service Convention). The main channel for service in the Hague Service Convention is by way of Central Authorities nominated by each contracting state, but other methods are also available. Specific considerations arising out of CPR provisions in relation to England and Wales are addressed in the final section, see below: England and Wales—serving documents out of the jurisdiction and England and Wales—serving documents into the jurisdiction from foreign courts or tribunals.

This Practice Note does not deal with issues of jurisdiction or the question of whether the court’s permission is needed before documents can be served outside the jurisdiction. Before considering how to serve outside the jurisdiction, ensure you have referred to the following Practice Notes: Service out of the jurisdiction—process flow, Serving outside the jurisdiction—without court permission and Serving outside the jurisdiction with court permission—when is permission required?

Definitions used in this Practice Note:

  1. Hague Service