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The HCCH Service Convention in the Era of Electronic and Information Technology

In December 2019 the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) convened experts and stakeholders from around the world to discuss technology developments in cross-border litigation in an a|Bidged event dedicated to the 1965 Service Convention.

The contributions by the various speakers to The HCCH Service Convention in the Era of Electronic and Information Technology are now available in video format online.

Additionally, the discussions of the event resulted in a dedicated publication – a|Bridged – Edition 2019: The HCCH Service Convention in the Era of Electronic and Information Technology. The ebook released on 24 November 2020 can be downloaded from the HCCH website.

The a|Bridged – Edition 2019 focuses on the use of modern technology in the context of the Service Convention. Although the text of the convention itself does not contain specific references to technology in the service of documents, contributors show that the provisions’ neutrality allow them to adjust to new developments and technologies of the present time.

The book is structured in four parts.

The first part – The Prism: The Tech Battle for e-Service – examines all kind of technology supported developments from secured e-mail, electronic submission and transmission platforms to distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence. These options are discussed from the perspective of appropriate solutions for end-to-end digitisation of transmission and execution procedures to be used under the HCCH Service Convention.

In the second part – The Lab: All Across the World – judicial representatives from different regions (i.e. England and Wales, South Korea, Brazil) discuss how their own national service procedures currently make use of information and communication technology, or are taking steps to develop in this direction in the near future. Solutions already in place or projects that are currently been developed are presented.

The third part – The Open Lab: The Text of Tomorrow – focuses on how the Service Convention could be operating in the future based on technology developments facilitating judicial cooperation, relying on blockchain technology, and options to ‘update’ the applicable provisions.

The fourth part – HCCH Unplugged – addresses specific topics that can arise from the use of information technology in the operation of the HCCH Service Convention such as security of transmissions and data protection, guarantees in the e-service of process, use of electronic email, social media, blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for transmitting and handling legal records, the transmission of scanned documents via cloud computing to be served abroad, and localising the defendant via his email address for direct service purposes.