Governments of the Member States of the Organization of
American States, desirous of concluding a Convention on
proof of and information on foreign law, have agreed as
1: The purpose of this Convention is to establish
rules governing international cooperation between the
States Parties for obtaining elements of proof of and
information on the laws of each of them.
2: Subject to the provisions of this Convention, the
authorities of each of the States Parties shall provide
the authorities of the other States Parties that so request,
with elements of proof of and reports on the text, validity,
meaning, and legal scope of their law.
3: International cooperation in the matter to which
this Convention applies shall be provided through any
of the suitable means of proof contemplated in both the
law of the State of origin and the law of the State of
the purposes of this Convention, suitable means shall
include the following:
Documentary proof consisting of certified copies of legal
texts together with an indication of their validity, or
Expert testimony, consisting of opinions of attorneys
or experts on the matter;
The reports of the State of destination on the text, validity,
meaning and scope of its law on specific points.
4: The judges or courts of the States Parties to this
Convention may request the reports referred to in Article
States Parties may extend the application of this Convention
to requests for information from other authorities.
prejudice to the foregoing, requests from other authorities
concerning the elements of proof specified in items a.
and b. of Article 3 may also be answered.
5: The requests to which this Convention relates shall
contain the following:
The name of the authority from which the request comes
and the nature of the matter;
Precise statement of the elements of proof being requested,
Specification of each of the points to which the request
relates, together with an indication of its meaning and
scope, and a statement of the pertinent facts for a proper
authority addressed shall answer each of the points contained
in the request and as completely as possible.
requests shall be prepared in the official language of
the State of destination or shall be accompanied by a
translation into that language. The reply shall be prepared
in the language of the State of destination.
6: In accordance with this Convention, each State
Party shall reply to the requests from the other States
Parties through its Central Authority, which may transmit
such requests to other authorities of the same State.
State that provides the reports referred to in Article
3.c. shall not be held responsible for the opinion expressed
nor shall it be required to apply the law, or cause it
to be applied, in accordance with the content of the reply
State that receives the reports referred to in Article
3.c. shall not be required to apply the law, or cause
it to be applied, in accordance with the content of the
7: The requests to which this Convention refers may
be forwarded directly through the judges or courts or
through the Central Authority of the State of origin,
to the corresponding Central Authority of the State of
destination, and legalization shall not be required.
Central Authority of each State Party shall receive the
requests made by the authorities of its State and forward
them to the Central Authority of the State of destination.
8: This Convention shall not limit any provisions
regarding proof of and information on foreign law in bilateral
or multilateral conventions that may have been signed
or may be signed in the future by the States Parties or
preclude the continuation of more favorable practices
that may be followed by those States.
9: For the purpose of this Convention, each State
Party shall designate a central authority.
General Secretariat of the Organization of American States
shall be informed of the designation at the time of deposit
of the instrument of ratification or accession, so that
it may inform the other States Parties of such designation.
State Party may change the designation of its Central
Authority at any time.
10: A State Party shall not be required to reply to a
request from another State Party when its interests would
be impaired by the question that gave rise to the request
for information or when the reply could impair its security
11: This Convention shall be open for signature by
the Member States of the Organization of American States.
12: This Convention is subject to ratification. The
instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
13: This Convention shall remain open for accession
by any other State. The instrument of accession shall
be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization
of American States.
14: Each State may, at the time of signature, ratification
or accession, make reservations to this Convention, provided
that each reservation concerns one or more specific provisions
and is not incompatible with the object and purpose of
15: This Convention shall enter into force on the
thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the second
instrument of ratification.
each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after
the deposit of the second instrument of ratification,
the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth
day after deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification
16: If a State Party has two or more territorial units
in which different systems of law apply in relation to
the matters dealt with in this Convention, it may, at
the time of signature, ratification or accession, declare
that this Convention shall extend to a11 its territorial
units or only to one or more of them.
declaration may be modified by subsequent declarations,
which shall expressly indicate the territorial unit or
units to which the Convention applies. Such subsequent
declarations shall be transmitted to the General Secretariat
of the Organization of American States, and shall become
effective thirty days after the date of their receipt.
17: This Convention shall remain in force indefinitely,
but any of the States Parties may denounce it. The instrument
of denunciation shall be deposited with the General Secretariat
of the Organization of American States. After one year
from the date of deposit of the instrument of denunciation,
the Convention shall no longer be in effect for the denouncing
State, but shall remain in effect for the other States
18: The original instrument of this Convention, the
English, French, Portuguese and Spanish texts of which
are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the General
Secretariat of the Organization of American States, which
will forward an authenticated copy of its text to the
Secretariat of the United Nations for registration and
publication in accordance with Article 102 of its Charter.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of American
States shall notify the Member States of that Organization
and the States that have acceded to the Convention, of
the signatures, deposits of instruments of ratification,
accession, and denunciation, as well as of reservations,
if any. It shall also transmit the information mentioned
in Article 9 and the declarations referred to in Article
16 of this Convention.
WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being
duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments,
have signed this Convention.
AT MONTEVIDEO, Republic of Uruguay, this eighth day of
May, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-nine.