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The Sovereign Order No. 7.115 dated September 14th, 2018 made the European Convention on Information on Foreign Law by the Council of Europe, signed June 7th, 1968 in London, fully enforceable in Monaco as of its date of publication in the Official Journal of Monaco, on October 5th, 2018.
The purpose of this convention is to establish a system of international mutual assistance in order to facilitate the task of judicial authorities in obtaining information on foreign law.
This is a new tool for Monegasque courts to search for information on the content of foreign law.
States Parties undertake to supply one another with information on their law and procedure in civil and commercial fields as well as on their judicial organisation.
The request for information shall always emanate from the judicial authority and can only be made where proceedings have actually been initiated. This request must state:
- The judicial authority from which it emanates;
- The nature of the case;
- The points on which information concerning the law of the requested State is requested;
- The facts necessary.
Copies of documents may be attached, and the request may include questions in other fields when they relate to the principal questions specified in the request.
The request for information and annexes must be in the official language of the requested State or be accompanied by a translation into that language.
The request must be transmitted directly to the receiving agency of the requested State by a transmitting agency or, in the absence of such an agency, by the judicial authority from which it emanates.
The object of the reply is to give information in an objective and impartial manner on the law of the requested State to the judicial authority from which the request emanated, and can contain:
- Relevant legal texts and relevant judicial decisions;
- Additional documents, such as extracts from doctrinal works, and preparatory works;
- Explanatory commentaries.
The reply must be in the language of the requested State. The information given in the reply shall not bind the judicial authority from which the request emanated.
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The receiving agency to whom a request for information has been sent must act on the request, except if its interests are affected by the case giving rise to the request or if it considers that the reply might prejudice its sovereignty or security.
The reply to a request for information shall be furnished as rapidly as possible. If the reply requires a long time, the receiving agency must inform the requesting foreign authority and indicate, if possible, the date on which the reply will be communicated.