Authorities

 United Kingdom - Central Authority (Art. 2) and practical information
Address

Central Authority(ies):

Senior Master, Foreign Process Section, Royal Courts of Justice 

Contact details:

Address:

The Senior Master
For the attention of the Foreign Process Section
Room E16
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
LONDON WC2A 2LL   

Telephone:

+44 207 947 6691 / 7786 / 6488 / 6327 / 1741

Fax:

+44 870 324 0025  

E-mail:

[email protected]

General website:

www.justice.gov.uk

Contact person:

-

Languages spoken by staff:

English

Practical Information
(The following information was provided by the relevant State authorities or was obtained from the replies to the 2008 Evidence Convention Questionnaire)

Blocking statutes:

Yes, there are two European instruments of this nature:

Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (see, Article 5(1)).

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (See, Art. 25(1)).

Additionally, see:

Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975.

Protection of Trading Interests Act 1980.

Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)

Transmission of Letters of Requests:

Letters of Request are sent directly from a judicial authority in the requesting State to the Central Authority of the requested State.

Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request (Art. 7):

Central Authority

Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8):

Declaration of applicability.

Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11):

No declaration of applicability.

Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33): 

Does not accept Letters of Requests written in French.

Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26):

The United Kingdom rarely seeks reimbursement of costs under Art. 14(2). An example of such a request is in respect of experts fees, to seek a payment on account.

There is currently no policy in the United Kingdom for seeking reimbursement of fees and costs, in connection with the execution of Letters of Request, for the service of process necessary to compel the appearance of a person to give evidence, the costs of attendance of such persons, or the costs of any transcript of the evidence (Art. 26).

Time for execution:

For oral evidence, the time taken to process a request is usually up to 12 months. For documentary evidence, the time taken is usually between six and 12 months.

Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents:

Letter of Request may be executed subject to certain conditions (qualified exclusion).

Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence: 

European Judicial Network in Civil or Commercial Matters - United Kingdom.

Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975.

Witness examination under Chapter I

Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed?

Letters of Request should include specific questions.

Is it a public or private hearing?

Private hearing.

Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)?

Yes.

Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request?

Yes.

Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court?

Yes.

Is an oath generally administered to the witness?

Yes.

Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall?

Yes. First Request may be re-invoked.

Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness?

If a witness is ordered to attend, and such an order is endorsed with a penal notice, then if that witness fails to attend, they are in contempt of court, and may be fined or imprisoned as a result of their non-attendance.

Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified?

No.

How is the testimony transcribed?

Audio recording.

Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)

Article 15

Applicable, no prior permission required.

Article 16

Applicable, no prior permission required where reciprocal arrangements in place.

Otherwise, see competent authority.

Article 17

Applicable, no prior permission required where reciprocal arrangements in place.

Otherwise, see competent authority

Article 18

Applicable, provided that the Contracting State whose diplomatic officer, consular agent or commissioner makes the application has made a declaration affording reciprocal facilities under Article 18. See competent authority.

Taking of evidence by video-links
(under either chapter)
 

Chapter I

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links?

No. The United Kingdom bases the use of video-link on the functional development and medium neutral interpretation of the Convention in light of modern technologies.

Technology used:

No information available.

Level of interpretation required:

No information available.

Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation:

No information available.

Interpretation required in which jurisdiction?

No information available.

Who pays for the interpretation?

No information available.

How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing?

No information available.

Chapter II

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links?

No.

Technology used:

No information available.

Level of interpretation required:

No information available.

Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation:

No information available.

Interpretation required in which jurisdiction?

No information available.

Who pays for the interpretation?

No information available.

Bilateral or multilateral agreements

To consult bilateral and multilateral treaties to which United Kingdom is a party, click here.

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.

Useful links:

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/9820.htm (Foreign Process Section website).

(This page was last updated on 30 June 2014)

Conventions