Governments of the Member States of the Organization
of American States, desirous of concluding a convention
on letters rogatory, have agreed as follows:
USE OF TERMS
1- For the purposes of this Convention the terms
"exhortos" and "cartas rogatorias"
are synonymous in the Spanish text. The terms "letters
rogatory", '"commissions rogatoires",
and "cartas rogatórias" used in the English,
French and Portuguese texts, respectively, cover both
"exhortos" and "cartas rogatorias".
SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION
2- This Convention
shall apply to letters rogatory, issued in conjunction
with proceedings in civil and commercial matters held
before the appropriate authority of one of the States
Parties to this Convention, that have as their purpose:
The performance of procedural acts of a merely formal
nature, such as service of process, summonses or subpoenas
The taking of evidence and the obtaining of information
abroad, unless a reservation is made in this respect.
3- This Convention shall not apply to letters rogatory
relating to procedural acts other than those specified
in the preceding article; and in particular it shall
not l apply to acts involving measures of compulsion.
TRANSMISSION OF LETTERS ROGATORY
Letters rogatory may be transmitted to the authority
to which they are addressed by the interested parties,
through judicial channels, diplomatic or consular agents,
or the Central Authority of the State of origin or of
the State of destination, as the case may be.
State Party shall inform the General Secretariat of
the Organization of American States of the Central Authority
competent to receive and distribute letters.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EXECUTION
rogatory shall be executed in the States Parties provided
they meet the following requirements:
The letter rogatory is legalized, except as provided
for in Articles 6 and 7 of this Convention. The letter
rogatory shall be presumed to be duly legalized in the
State of origin when legalized by the competent consular
or diplomatic agent;
The letter rogatory and the appended documentation are
duly translated into the official language of the State
6- Whenever letters rogatory are transmitted through
consular or diplomatic channels or through the Central
Authority, legalization shall not be required.
border areas of the States Parties may directly execute
the letters rogatory contemplated in this Convention
and such letters shall not require legalization.
8- Letters rogatory shall be accompanied by the
following documents to be delivered to the person on
whom process, summons or subpoena is being served:
An authenticated copy of the complaint with its supporting
documents, and of other exhibits or rulings that serve
as the basis for the measure requested;
Written information identifying the authority issuing
the letter, indicating the time-limits allowed the person
affected to act upon the request, and warning of the
consequences of failure to do so;
Where appropriate, information on the existence and
address of the court-appointed defense counsel or of
competent legal-aid societies in the State of origin.
9- Execution of letters rogatory shall not imply
ultimate recognition of the jurisdiction of the authority
issuing the letter rogatory or a commitment to recognize
the validity of the judgment it may render or to execute
Letters rogatory shall be executed in accordance
with the laws and procedural rules of the State of destination.
the request of the authority issuing the letter rogatory.
the authority of the State of destination may execute
the letter through a special procedure, or accept the
observance of additional formalities in performing the
act requested, provided this procedure or the observance
of those formalities is not contrary to the law of the
State of destination.
The authority of the State of destination shall
have jurisdiction to determine any issue arising as
a result of the execution of the measure requested in
the letter rogatory. Should such authority find that
it lacks jurisdiction to execute the letter rogatory,
it shall ex officio forward the documents and antecedents
of the case to the authority of the State which has
12- The costs and other expenses involved in the
processing and execution of letters rogatory shall be
borne by the interested parties.
State of destination may, in its discretion, execute
a letter rogatory that does not indicate the person
to be held responsible for costs and other expenses
when incurred. The identity of the person empowered
to represent the applicant for legal purposes may be
indicated in the letter rogatory or in the documents
relating to its execution.
effects of a declaration in forma pauperis shall be
regulated by the law of the State of destination.
13- Consular or diplomatic agents of the States
Parties to this Convention may perform the acts referred
to in Article 2 in the State in which they are accredited,
provided the performance of such acts is not contrary
to the laws of that State. In so doing, they shall not
perform any acts involving measures of compulsion.
States Parties belonging to economic integration
systems may agree directly between themselves upon special
methods and procedures more expeditious than those provided
for in this Convention. These agreements may be extended
to include other States in the manner in which the parties
15- This Convention
shall not limit any provisions regarding letters rogatory
in bilateral or multilateral agreements that may have
been signed or may be signed in the future by the States
Parties or preclude the continuation of more favorable
practices in this regard that may be followed by these
16- The States Parties to this Convention may declare
that its provisions cover the execution of letter r
s rogatory in criminal, labor, and "contentious
-administrative" cases, as well as in arbitrations
and other matters within the jurisdiction of special
courts. Such declarations shall be transmitted to the
General Secretariat of the Organization of American
17- The State of destination may refuse to execute
a letter rogatory that is manifestly contrary to its
public policy ("ordre public").
18- The States
Parties shall inform the General Secretariat of the
Organization of American States of the requirements
stipulated in their laws for the legalization and the
translation of letters rogatory.
This Convention shall be open for signature
by the Member of the Organization of American States.
20- This Convention is subject to ratification.
The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the General Secretariat of the Organization of American
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.
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 or accession.
23- 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 all 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 . This Convention shall
remain in force indefinitely, but any of the States
Parties may denounce it. The instrument of denunciation
shall be deposited with l 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 Parties.
24- The present Convention will be valid indefinitely,
but any of the states party to it may withdraw.
The Instrument by which a state withdraws must be deposited
with the General Secretariat of the Organization of
American States. After one year from the date
of deposit of the instrument of withdrawal, the Convention
will cease its effects for the states that has withdrawn,
remaining in place for the remaining states parties
to the Convention.
25- 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. The Secretariat shall
notify the Member States of the Organization of American
States 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 the second paragraph of Article 4 and in Article
18 and the declarations referred to in Articles 16 and
23 of this Convention.
the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being
duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments,
have signed this Convention.
AT PANAMA CITY,
Republic of Panama, this thirtieth day of January one
thousand nine hundred and seventy-five.