Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1988

Center/Program

Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration

Abstract

With its decision in Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale v. United States District Court,1 the United States Supreme Court resolved what had been widely regarded as "one of the most difficult and important issues in international civil litigation in United States courts."2 This opportunity arose out of the divergence of views among American courts on the proper way to reconcile the need for full disclosure of evidence with respect for the sensitivities of foreign states where that evidence might be located. The case before the Supreme Court, like many lower court cases, dealt specifically with the impact of the Hague Evidence Convention3 on the resolution of this tension. As formulated at the outset of Justice Stevens' majority opinion, the question was whether and to what extent a federal court must resort to the procedures set out in the Convention when litigants seek discovery of information located abroad from a party over whom the court has personal jurisdiction.

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