Multilateral Treaties

[Text of the Treaty] [text in Spanish]

 B-36: INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON LETTERS ROGATORY
ADOPTED AT: PANAMA, PANAMA  
DATE: 01/30/75
CONF/ASSEM/MEETING: INTER-AMERICAN SPECIALIZED CONFERENCE ON PRIVATE
INTERNATIONAL LAW
ENTRY INTO FORCE: 01/16/76   IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 22 OF THE CONVENTION. 
DEPOSITORY: GENERAL SECRETARIAT, OAS (ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT AND RATIFICATIONS).
TEXT: OAS, TREATY SERIES, NO. 43.        
UN REGISTRATION: 03/20/89  No. 24386   Vol.    
OBSERVATIONS:                                                           
GENERAL INFORMATION OF THE TREATY: B-36
===============================================================================
SIGNATORY COUNTRIES    SIGNATURE REF   RA/AC/AD REF   DEPOSIT INST  INFORMA REF
===============================================================================
Argentina ...........   05/19/86       06/15/87       07/17/87 RA     /  /     
Bolivia .............   08/02/83       04/17/06       09/26/06 RA    /  /     
Brazil ..............   01/30/75       08/31/95       11/27/95 RA   01/28/97  j
Chile ...............   01/30/75       07/09/76 D  a  08/13/76 RA   05/07/87  a
Colombia ............   01/30/75       02/17/95       04/28/95 RA     /  /    k 
Costa Rica ..........   01/30/75       01/02/78       01/20/78 RA     /  /     
Ecuador .............   01/30/75   b   08/15/75       09/10/75 RA   04/23/84  b
El Salvador .........   01/30/75       06/27/80  R c  08/11/80 RA   08/11/80  c
Guatemala ...........   01/30/75       03/04/80       05/08/80 RA   10/21/87  e
Honduras ............   01/30/75       01/08/79       03/22/79 RA     /  /     
Mexico ..............   10/27/77 D  1  02/27/78 D  f  03/27/78 RA   02/09/83  f
Nicaragua ...........   01/30/75         /  /           /  /          /  /     
Panama ..............   01/30/75       11/11/75       12/17/75 RA     /  /    l
Paraguay ............   08/26/75    2  12/02/76       12/15/76 RA     /  /     
Peru ................   01/30/75       07/05/77       08/25/77 RA     /  /     
Spain ...............     /  /         06/22/87       07/14/87 AD   04/14/88  d
United States .......   04/15/80  R    11/10/86  R i  07/28/88 RA   07/28/88  i
Uruguay .............   01/30/75       03/29/77       04/25/77 RA   08/30/85  g
Venezuela ...........   01/30/75       08/12/84  R h  10/04/84 RA   12/11/84  h
===============================================================================
REF = REFERENCE                                      INST = TYPE OF INSTRUMENT
       D = DECLARATION                                      RA = RATIFICATION
       R = RESERVATION                                      AC = ACCEPTANCE
INFORMA  = INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE TREATY               AD = ACCESSION
                                                                              

                B-36. INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON  LETTERS ROGATORY

 

1. Mexico:

Signed ad referendum.

(Interpretative declaration made at the time of signature)

It is the interpretation of the Government of Mexico that Article 9 of this Convention refers to the international validity of foreign judgments.

 

2. Paraguay:

Signed ad referendum.                                                    
                                                                              
a. Chile:

(Declaration made at the time of ratification, according to Article 16 of the Convention)

The instrument of ratification corresponding to this Convention contains the declaration "that its provisions cover the execution of letters rogatory in criminal, labor, and contentious-administrative cases, as well as in arbitrations and other matters within the jurisdiction of special courts".

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile as the Central Authority  competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory in reference to the articles provided for in the Convention. (May 5th, 1987)

 

b. Ecuador:

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Asesoría Técnico-Jurídica of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador as the Central Authority competent to carry out the functions entrusted to it in the Convention. (April 23rd, 1984)

The Government of Ecuador has designated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Technical and Legal Advisory Office, General Directorate of Legal Affairs as the central authority to receive and distribute letters rogatory, for the purposes set forth in the Convention (August 14, 1996, No. 139/96/MPE/OEA).

 

On July 13, 2012, Ecuador  informed on the designation of the "Dirección de Asuntos Jurídicos Internacionales del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio e Integración" as the Central Authority for the purpose of the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, Inter-American Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad and the Inter-American Convention on Proof of and Information on Foreign Law.

 

c. El Salvador:

(Reservation made at the time of ratification)

Reservation to application of Article 7.

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4 and 18)

Appointed the Supreme Court of Justice as the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory.

Moreover, El Salvador, made the following statement: "The requirements exacted for legalization and translation of Letters Rogatory are those prescribed in Article 261 of the Code of Civil Procedures and Articles 388, 389, 391 and 392 of the Bustamante Code",  with the original texts following in order:

"Art. 261.- In order to uphold a public or authentic instrument, eminating from a foreign country, the signature that authorizes it should be notarized by the Chief of Staff of the diplomatic mission, the Consul, Vice-Consul or the Consular Attache of the republic, or if need be, by the corresponding dignitaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs form which the document originates, and the signature that authorizes such legislation must also be notarized by the Minister or Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador who,'by executive agreement in the same branch, has been generally authorized for such acts.'"

"Validation will also be granted to foreign instruments received as photocopies, so long as the reverse of said copies provides a statement as to their originality, and as long as the proper formalities required by law in the originating country have been complied with. This statement should be signed by a competent functionary of the originating country and the signature should be notarized as prescribed above."

If the instruments to which this Article refers were written in a foreign language, so long as they've been translated to Spanish by a court-appointed interpreter, there will be no need for a new version for use in the rest of the courts or other governmental offices, nor will there be a need for this version where the
instruments have been translated in accordance with the law of the originating country and the translation is properly authenticated."

"Whenever the judge, tribunal or the head of the governmental office where the instruments , or their translations, are to be used, feels that a new translation would be practical, he/she will be allowed to produce one or request one of an interested party, and that new version, formally authorized by a competent judge, will be the only one used."

"Art 388.- Every judicial step which a contracting State has to take in another shall be effected by means of letters requisitorial or letters rogatory, transmitted through the diplomatic channel.  Nevertheless, the contracting States may agree upon or accept as between themselves any other form of transmission           
in respect to civil or criminal matters."    

"Art. 389.- The judge issuing the letters requisitorial is to decide as to his own competence and the legality and propriety of the act or evidence, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the judge to whom said letters are addressed."

"Art. 391.- The one receiving the letters requisitorial or letters rogatory should comply, as to the object thereof, with the law  of the one  issuing the same,  and as to the manner of discharging the request he should comply with his own law."                   

"Art. 392.- The letters requisitorial will be written in the language of the State which sent them and will be accompanied by a translation in the language of the State to which they are addressed, said translation to be duly certified by a sworn public translator."

                                                                              
d. Spain:

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Technical General Secretariat (Secretaría General Técnica) of the Ministry of Justice, whose address is:  San Bernardo 47, Madrid 28015, Spain, as the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory as provided for in the convention. (April 14th, 1988)

 

e. Guatemala:

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Supreme Court of Justice as the Central Authority competent to transmit, receive and distribute letters rogatory as provided for in the convention. (October 21st, 1987)
                                                                              
f. Mexico:

(Declaration made at the time of ratification)

With the interpretative declaration made at the time of signature.

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico as the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory as provided for in the Convention. (February 7th, 1983)

                                                                              
g. Uruguay:

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Ministry of Education and Culture "Asesoría Autoridad Central de Cooperación Jurídica Internacional" as the Central Authority competent to carry out the functions entrusted to it in the Convention. (August 30th, 1985)

                                                                             
h. Venezuela:

(Reservation made at the time of ratification)

With reservation to letter b) of Article 2 of the Convention.

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Venezuela as the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory as provided for in the Convention.

(December 11th, 1984)
                                                                              
i.  United States:

(Reservations made at the time of ratification)                            
   1.  Pursuant to Article 2(b) of the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, letters rogatory that have as their purpose the taking of evidence shall be excluded from the rights, obligations and operation of this Convention between the United States and another State Party.
   2.  In ratifying the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, the United States accepts entry into force and undertakes treaty relations only with respect to States which have ratified or acceded to the Additional Protocol as well as the Inter-American Convention, and not with respect to States which have ratified or acceded to the Inter-American Convention alone."

(Provided information in accordance with Articles 4 and 18)

Pursuant to Article 4 of the Convention and Article 2 of the Additional Protocol, the Government of the United States wishes to inform the Secretary General that the Department of Justice is the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory.  The mailing address for these purposes is:         


   Office of International Judicial Assistance                                
   Civil Division                                                             
   Department of Justice                                                      
   Todd Building, Room 1234                                                   
   550 11th Street, N.W.                                                      
   Washington, D.C. 20530                                                     
                                                                              
 Pursuant to Article 18 of the Convention, the Government of the United States  wishes to inform  the Secretary General that letters rogatory to be executed in the United States must be translated into          
the English language.

 

On May 1, 2014, the General Secretariat received form the Office of International Judicial Assistance of the Department of Justice of the United States updated contact information regarding the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory.

The United States Central Authority for service of judicial documents under the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory requested to update the following information.

The mailing address of the Office of International Judicial Assistance is:
United States Department of Justice
Office of International Affair
Benjamin Franklin Station
P.O. Box 14360
Washington, D.C. 20004
USA
Telephone: 1-202-514-6700
Fax: 1-202-514-6584
Email: OIJA@usdoj.gov
Website: http://www.justice.gov/civil/common/oija/oija.html


The Office of International Judicial Assistance has elected to utilize a private contractor to execute service request under this Convention to Process Forwarding International (PFI), which is know as ABC Legal. Accordingly, Requesting Authorities should send documents directly to PFI at the following contact information.


The mailing address of PFI is:
Process Forwarding International
633 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104
USA
Telephone: 1-206-521-2979
Fax: 1-206-224-3410
Email: info@hagueservice.net
Website: http://www.hagueservice.net

Contact person: Michael Hawkins, International Service Specialist
Telephone: 1-206-521-2861; 1-800-331-3087 (direct)
Email: MHawkins@PFIServes.com

                                                                              
j. Brazil:

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Ministry of Justice of the Brazil as the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory in reference to the articles provided for in the Convention.  

 

k. Colombia:

(Provided information in accordance with Article 4)

Appointed the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores c/o Subsecretaría de Asuntos Consulares y Comunidades Colombianas en el Exterior, Carrera 6 No. 9-46 Santa Fe de Bogota, D.C. tel 57-1-2 832800 fax 57-1-2 866055, 2 861813 as the Central Authority competent to receive and distribute letters rogatory in reference to the articles provided for in the Convention. 

 

l. Panama:

On August 26, 2014, the Permanent Mission of Panama to the OAS informed on the designation of the "Dirección General de Asuntos Juridicos y Tratados del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de la Republica de Panamá" as the central authority for the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory.

[Text of the Treaty]