How to find your way on the HCCH website
HOMEPAGE back ←
After selecting "Welcome" on the welcome page, you arrive at the English homepage of the website. The horizontal and vertical navigation menus will appear throughout the website for quick and easy access to the different sections. These menu bars will be discussed below.
Centered on the homepage is a general introduction to the Hague Conference, displaying the areas of private international law in which the HCCH operates. This part also contains hyperlinks to the Specialised Sections with regard to the Hague Apostille, Service, Evidence, Child Abduction and Intercountry Adoption Conventions.
Further down the page is a description of the latest developments within the Hague Conference.
HORIZONTAL NAVIGATION BAR back ←
The best way to submit your questions or comments to the Permanent Bureau is to press "Contact" and fill in the interactive form - in English or French, the two working languages of the Conference. This form also contains the Permanent Bureau's contact details.
(a) Overview - This page reproduces the text of the general information brochure on the Hague Conference. Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic translations of this text have been made available in PDF format.
(b) More about HCCH - Here you will find more detailed information about the Organisation, such as its background, its methods of operation, the institutional structure, etc.
(c) Vision & Mission - This is a short page with the Conference's vision, mission, strengths and values.
(d) Strategic Plan - Here you may link to different PDF documents: the Strategic Plan of 2002-2006 itself, an executive summary and updates for the following years.
(e) Annual Report - Yearly updates on the activities of the Hague Conference.
(f) Bibliography - Selection of articles and books on the Hague Conference and its Conventions in general.
(g) Centre for Judicial Studies and Technical Assistance - The International Centre for Judicial Studies and Technical Assistance was established in 2007 by the Hague Conference on Private International Law to promote and support the delivery of assistance and training on the Hague Conventions to government and legal officials around the world.
(h) Members of the Permanent Bureau - List of staff members of the Conference's Secretariat, the "Permanent Bureau".
3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A total number of 24 questions and answers are listed here, not only concerning the Hague Conference and the Hague Conventions, but also on how to find special information in the Conventions' section of this website. Additional questions and answers may be added in the future.
7. Other languages
This button provides links to translations of the Hague Conventions and of other HCCH-related documents in various languages.
Since April 2009, an essential part of the website has also been available in the Spanish language, thanks to the generosity of the Government of Spain. The link "Español" will take you, throughout the website, to the same page in Spanish.
Likewise, a German section has been set up with the help of the Governments of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The link "Deutsch" will take you, throughout the website, to the same page in German.
GENERAL NAVIGATION MENU back ←
Home back ←
Both the HCCH logo and "Home" in the vertical menu link to the English homepage, described above.
Conventions back ←
When you move your cursor to the Conventions button, a second menu will appear:
1. All Conventions
The first option will bring you to the complete list of post-World War II Conventions drawn up under the auspices of the Hague Conference. They are displayed in chronological order according to the date of their adoption by the relevant Diplomatic Session - not according to the date mentioned in the list, which is the date of their first signature. If you click on a particular Convention, the next screen that appears will show the complete treaty text. See further below, under SPECIAL NAVIGATION MENU "FOR THIS CONVENTION".
2. Status charts
This page provides links not only to the overall status tables (spreadsheets) of the Hague Conventions, but also to charts showing the status of the Hague Conventions within the Member States of various other international organisations.
3. Statute of the Hague Conference
The Statute of the Hague Conference was adopted during the Seventh Session of the Hague Conference on 31 October 1951 and entered into force on 15 July 1955. Amendments were adopted during the Twentieth Session on 30 June 2005, approved by Members on 30 September 2006 and entered into force on 1 January 2007.
For information on the right-hand navigation menu on this page, see below under SPECIAL NAVIGATION MENU "FOR THIS CONVENTION".
4. International protection of children, family and property relations
A page has been made available showing all the different areas of private international law in which the Hague Conference operates, as well as the Hague Conventions that relate thereto. The current and the following two links will bring you to the relevant bookmark on this page. A click on each of the Conventions listed will take you to the relevant treaty text.
5. International legal co-operation and litigation
See above, under 4.
6. International commercial and finance law
See above, under 4.
7. The "old" Conventions (1902-1905)
This button provides a list of the six Hague Conventions drawn up at the beginning of the twentieth century. These Conventions were drawn up in French only. A click on each of the titles in this list will link to the relevant page on the Convention in question, showing not only the treaty text, but also the status.
HCCH Members back ←
This button provides an alphabetical list of Hague Conference Members. For each Member a page is available giving additional, up-to-date information on the country or organisation in question, such as the date on which it joined the Hague Conference and the Hague Conventions which it has signed, ratified or acceded to.
Upon becoming a Member of the Conference, each State or Organisation designates a National or Contact Organ (Art. 7 of the Statute). The contact details of these National and Contact Organs are also given for each Member. Please note, however, that the National or Contact Organ is NOT a Central Authority designated under certain Hague Conventions. For more information on Authorities, please see below.
Specialised sections back ←
Special website sections are devoted to the Apostille (#12), Service (#14), Evidence (#20), Child Abduction (#28) and Intercountry Adoption (#33) Conventions, which gather all Convention-specific information on one web page.
Authorities back ←
This button provides two options: an alphabetical listing per country and a listing per Convention.
1. Per State
This list contains all countries, Members and non-Members of the Conference, that have designated Central or other Authorities under certain Hague Conventions to which they are a Party.
Under each State, the Conventions are mentioned for which it has designated one or more authorities. Hyperlinks are provided to the contact details of each of these authorities.
2. Per Convention
This list shows only those Hague Conventions which provide for the designation of authorities. Each Convention listed here links to an alphabetical list of Contracting States and the authorities they have designated under the Convention in question, each again providing a link to their contact details.
Publications back ←
1. Annual Reports
A PDF version of the Annual Report on the Organisation's various activities, published since 2007, can be downloaded here.
The catalogue comprises the full list of publications by the Hague Conference since the founding of the Organisation in 1893. An order form is included at the end of the catalogue for use for those volumes available from the Conference secretariat directly.
3. Collection of Conventions
This provides a link to detailed information on this book, which contains the texts of all the Hague Conventions drawn up since 1951.
4. Proceedings of the Diplomatic Sessions
This button will bring you to a chronological list of all the Proceedings (Actes et documents) of the Hague Conference's Diplomatic Sessions, each linked to detailed information, such as price, offprints, ordering information, etc.
5. Explanatory Reports
On most Hague Conventions, an Explanatory Report is available in printed form, which can be ordered from the Permanent Bureau. A few of these reports, moreover, have been posted on the website in PDF format and can be downloaded free of charge. Clicking the "Explanatory Reports" button will result in a chronological list of all Explanatory Reports available, either in printed form or as electronical documents.
6. Practical Handbooks
For the moment, only one handbook is listed: that on the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. More Handbooks will follow in the years to come.
7. Guides to Good Practice
Guides to Good Practice have been and are being drawn up for the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. These Guides are practical "how-to" guides, to help implement the Conventions. They are not binding and do not infringe upon the independence of the judiciary.
Brochures published by the Hague Conference on the Children's Conventions and on the "Apostille" Convention.
9. Judges' Newsletter
This Newsletter on international child protection has been published regularly since 1999. The button provides a link to a chronological list of these Newsletters, which can be downloaded in PDF format.
10. CD-ROM "The Children's Conventions"
The Hague Conference has published one CD-ROM, which contains the Acts and Documents / Proceedings of the Fourteenth (1980), Seventeenth (1993) and Eighteenth (1996) Sessions on child abduction, intercountry adoption and protection of children, respectively. This CD-ROM is available on order from the Permanent Bureau.
Work in Progress back ←
The Work in Progress button will provide you with a calendar of scheduled meetings, as well as the current projects undertaken by the Conference:
The calendar provides a list of meetings scheduled to take place in the coming years. These meetings are open ONLY to delegates or experts designated by the Members of the Hague Conference, invited non-Member States and International Organisations that have been granted an observer status.
2. General Affairs
Clicking this button will result in a long, chronological list of Preliminary Documents drawn up for the attention of the Council on general affairs and policy of the Conference, which meets regularly at The Hague to discuss, among others, the future work to be undertaken by the Organisation. The list also contains, in bold characters, the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Council.
3. Maintenance Obligations
This Special Commission has been convened to work on the implementation of the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance and the Hague Protocol of 23 November 2007 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations. The agenda and preliminary documents are available through this link.
4. Intercountry Adoption
This represents the current work carried out in view of the implementation of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
5. Child Abduction
This represents the current work carried out in view of the implementation of the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
6. International Contracts
The 2009 Council on General Affairs invited the Permanent Bureau to continue its work on promoting party autonomy in the field of international commercial contracts. In particular, the Permanent Bureau was invited to form a Working Group consisting of experts in the fields of private international law, international commercial law and international arbitration law and to facilitate the development of a draft non-binding instrument within this Working Group.
A conference on e-commerce was organised by the HCCH in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Unlike other meetings organised by the HCCH, this conference was open to the public and was held at The Hague on 26 and 27 October 2004.
Under this heading you will find the documentation published by the Conference in relation to e-commerce; these documents can be downloaded in PDF format.
8. Co-operation with UNCITRAL
In its preparation of a Draft Legislative Guide on Insolvency, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has sought the co-operation of the Hague Conference with a view to assisting it in preparing commentaries and recommended legislative principles in relation to the law applicable to insolvency proceedings. The questionnaire in relation to the law applicable to insolvency proceedings, as well as the responses thereto, can be downloaded in PDF format.
9. Jud & Adm Co-operation
In February 2009, a Special Commission was held on the practical operation of four Hague Conventions: 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters and of 25 October 1980 on International Access to Justice.
News & Events back ←
This section provides information on important events that have taken place, as well as some press releases.
Vacancies & Internships back ←
Here, the current vacancies at the Permanent Bureau of the Conference can be found, as well as information on internships and secondments at the Permanent Bureau.
SPECIAL NAVIGATION MENU "FOR THIS CONVENTION" back ←
1. Full text
After having selected a Convention from the list as explained above, you will see the full text of the Convention in question. On the same page, you will also have the possibility to download and print the treaty text in PDF format.
On practically all Convention-related pages, a special navigation menu has been added to provide quick and easy access to all the information published with regard to each Convention: it appears at the right-hand side of your screen and is entitled "For this Convention:".
The first three options of this menu - Full text, Status table and Authorities - are available for all Conventions, the other options only for those Conventions for which such documents exist.
For some Conventions, additional documentation is available, for example, for the Child Abduction Convention (#28), there is a link to the overview of acceptances of accessions - a spreadsheet from which you can quickly find out between which States the 1980 Convention is in force.
For various Conventions, there is a special document entitled "Outline of the Convention", which provides general information on the purpose, the effects and the operation of the Convention in question.
2. Status table
This button will take you to an overview of States having signed, ratified or acceded to the Convention in question.
In this alphabetical overview, a distinction has been made between Hague Conference Member States and non-Member States - each group providing a link to the other.
Eight columns are displayed, for which the legenda (on both top and bottom of the page) explains their meaning:
- States : the name of the State having signed, ratified or acceded
- S : the date of signature
- R/A/Su : the date of ratification, accession or succession
- Type : ratification, accession, succession, continuation or denunciation
- EIF : the date of entry into force
- Ext : extension of the Convention's application to territories for the international relations of which the State in question is responsible
- Auth : authorities designated
- Res/D/N : reservations, declarations and notifications made under the Convention
The column "Type" may - for some Conventions only - show an "A*". This means that under these Conventions, accessions give rise to a procedure of acceptance by the other Contracting States. Clicking on the A* will bring you to an overview of Contracting States that have accepted the accession in question.
This overview also shows the date on which the acceptance has taken place (i.e. has been received by the depositary of the Hague Conventions) and the date of entry into force of the Convention between the acceding State and the accepting State.
If the column "Ext" in the status table shows a figure, it means that the Convention has been extended by that State to some or all of the territories for the international relations of which it is responsible. Clicking on this figure will take you to an overview of the territories to which the Convention has been extended by the State in question.
This overview also contains the dates on which the extensions have been made, the dates of entry into force of the Convention for the territory concerned, authorities designated in those territories and any declarations, reservations and notifications that have been made for those territories. For some Conventions, even extensions give rise to an acceptance procedure, in which case the current overview will show an extra column, "Acceptances". Again, the figure in this column will refer you to an overview of Contracting States that have accepted the extension in question.
If the column "Auth" in the status table shows a figure, one or more authorities have been designated by that State. Clicking on this figure will take you, after yet a further click, to the contact details of the authority or authorities designated under the Convention by the State in question.
Finally, the column "Res/D/N" provides links to declarations, reservations and/or notifications made by the Contracting State in question. When you move your cursor to the text displayed in this column, a small yellow box appears with the numbers of the articles under which these reservations or declarations have been made. These article numbers will also be visible on paper if you decide to print the status table.
This button will link to an alphabetical list per State that has designated authorities under the Convention (see also above, under GENERAL NAVIGATION MENU, Authorities).
4. Country Profiles
For the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention (#33), country profiles of receiving States and States of origin have been made available.
5. Acceptances of accessions
This link, available for the Evidence (#20) and Child Abduction (#28) Conventions only, will take you to the overview of acceptances of accessions - a spreadsheet from which you can quickly find out between which States the Convention in question is in force.
6. Latest updates
For the Apostille (#12), Child Abduction (#28) and Intercountry Adoption (#33) Conventions, a list has been established with the latest website updates with regard to these Conventions. Latest updates with regard to other HCCH website information are available through a hyperlink on the homepage.
7. Judicial Seminars
A chronological list displays all the Judges' Seminars (co-)organised by the Hague Conference since 1998. The reports of these meetings can be downloaded in PDF format.
8. Practical operation documents
The Permanent Bureau regularly organises Special Commission meetings on the operation of certain existing Hague Conventions. This button provides a link to Preliminary Documents and Special Commission reports with regard to these Special Commission meetings.
9. Preliminary Documents
For Conventions adopted since 2002, all the preparatory work, which was previously available under Work in Progress, has been grouped under this button.
10. Questionnaires and Responses
This button links to a list of questionnaires and (summaries of) the responses thereto in relation to the Convention in question.
11. HCCH Publications
This button links to a short list of Hague Conference publications related to the Convention in question, such as the Acts and Documents (Proceedings) of the Diplomatic Session that adopted the relevant Convention, the Explanatory Report on the Convention, etc. These publications can also be found in the general navigation menu, under Publications (see also above, under GENERAL NAVIGATION MENU, Publications).
Here, references to various translations of the treaty text are given; in some cases the translations themselves have been posted on the website and can be downloaded through the button "Other languages".
This link will take you to statistical information in relation to the Child Abduction (#28) and Intercountry Adoption (#33) Conventions.
For the moment, the only references indicated are to the publications "Les nouvelles Conventions de La Haye - leur application par les juges nationaux" (1976-1996), "Die deutsche Rechtsprechung auf dem Gebiete des Internationalen Privatrechts", and to the 1980 Child Abduction Convention, which also provides a link to the "International Child Abduction Database (INCADAT)" at http://www.incadat.com/. Other references may follow in the near future.
For each Hague Convention, a list of books and articles published on the subject is available through this button.
"Miscellaneous" provides links to all Convention-related documents not already covered by the previous buttons.