28Aug
By: Tom On: August 28, 2019 In: Depositions, International Litigation Comments: 0
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Elsewhere, we’ve discussed why taking voluntary depositions abroad is never easy. One of the fundamental reasons for this is because of the restrictions applied to taking such depositions.

Below, for your convenience, we provide a table of the restrictions that apply to each country when taking international voluntary depositions.

A few things of note regarding the table:

  1. The first rule of thumb for restrictions applicable to voluntary depositions is that in countries where evidence is taken pursuant to Letter Rogatory, voluntary depositions are not an option. Thus, all the countries listed below are signatories to the Hague Evidence Convention (HEC).
  2. For roughly half of the Hague Countries, it is not possible to determine whether voluntaries deposition are permitted. Specifically, the rule for voluntary depositions could not be determined from a review of the Department of State’s website or from the countries declarations and restrictions to the HEC.  Accordingly, these countries are the “NSI” countries, which stands for “Not Sufficient Information.” It would be wise to obtain the opinion of local counsel in these countries prior to taking a voluntary deposition.
  3. In some countries voluntary depositions are not an option; indeed in many countries attempting to take a voluntary deposition is considered a criminal act. Hence, the rules for these countries are written in bold font.
  4. In a few countries, voluntary depositions of US citizens are permitted without formality, but voluntary depositions of all other witnesses have restrictions. This is noted by an asterisk.
  5. In only 10 of the 75 HEC countries listed below are voluntary depositions permitted without formalities. These countries have their rule in italics.

 

Country

Rules for Taking Voluntary Depositions

Albania
NSI
Andorra
NSI
Antigua and Barbuda
NSI
Argentina
NSI
Armenia
NSI
Australia
NSI
Bahamas
NSI
Barbados
NSI
Belarus
NSI
Belgium
Consulate depositions are permitted provided “the witness (1) is willing to testify; (2) is not (also) a suspect or accused involved in a related Belgian criminal case or wanted by a third country or prosecuted in a third country; and therefore (3) as long as the deposition has no influence on an ongoing Belgian criminal case.”
Belize
NSI
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Prohibits US lawyers from taking depositions in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a voluntary witness for use in US courts. Telephone depositions and video teleconference testimony are possible if the deponent agrees to be deposed voluntarily.
Botswana
NSI
Brazil
Requires the assistance of local counsel
Bulgaria
NSI
Canada
No formalities required
China
Strictly prohibited
Colombia
“Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by US consular officers or by private attorneys at the US Embassy or at another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission.”
Costa Rica
NSI
Croatia
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required*
Cyprus
Must be taken on commission, at a consulate, and subject to prior permission
Czech Republic
No formalities required
Denmark
Not permitted
Egypt
NSI
Estonia
NSI
Finland
No formalities required
France
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission and a commission are required*
Germany
Strictly prohibited
Greece
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required*
Hungary
NSI
Iceland
NSI
India
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required*
Ireland
No formalities except that videotaping equipment is subject to special custom duties
Israel
No formalities except that videotaping equipment is subject to special custom duties
Italy
Consular depositions of US citizens are permitted; all other witnesses require prior permission arranged through local counsel
Japan
Consular depositions of US citizens are permitted; all other witnesses require prior permission
Kazakhstan
NSI
Korea
Consular depositions of US citizens are permitted; all other witnesses shall be deposed pursuant to the HEC
Kuwait
No formalities are required
Latvia
No formalities are required
Lithuania
NSI
Luxembourg
Prior permission is required and the deposition must be taken at consulate
Malawi
Not permitted
Malta
NSI
Mexico
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required; the Mexican Central Authority reportedly does not have the authority to issue permission*
Monaco
NSI
Montenegro
NSI
Morocco
NSI
Netherlands
Prior permission is not required, but the venue is limited to the US consulate, before a Dutch notaris, or before a Dutch court judge
Nicaragua
NSI
Norway
Prior permission is required and the deposition must be taken at consulate
Pakistan
Must be taken at the US consulate
Poland
NSI
Portugal
Prior permission is required, but the burden for US citizens is less because permission needs to be obtained through the US embassy
Republic of Moldova
NSI
Macedonia
NSI
Romania
NSI
Russia
Not permitted
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
NSI
San Marino
NSI
Serbia
Prior permission is required and the deposition must be taken at consulate
Seychelles
NSI
Slovakia
No formalities required
Slovenia
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required*
Spain
No formalities
Sri Lanka
NSI
Sweden
Prior permission required
Switzerland
Not permitted
Tunisia
Not permitted
Turkey
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required
Ukraine
No formalities required if the witness is a US citizen; otherwise prior permission is required
United Kingdom
No formalities required
USA
N/A
Venezuela
Not permitted
Viet Nam
Not permitted

LLS Can Help

If you’re preparing to take international depositions, the professionals at Legal Language can help. With more than 35 years of experience, our globally-recognized attorneys and paralegals are familiar with the complexities and pitfalls of taking foreign depositions. We’ll handle the complications of arranging depositions so you can focus on winning your case. From transportation to personnel, LLS has you covered.

Contact us today by calling 1-800-788-0450 or by filling out our free quote form.


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