Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Brazil Accedes to Service Convention

     Brazil has acceded to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (the “Convention”); it will go into effect in Brazil on June 1, 2019.    This is sure to simplify and expedite the process for plaintiffs outside Brazil to get defendants in Brazil served with an originating process. Up to now, a plaintiff has had to arrange for a court in his/her home country to issue letters rogatory asking Brazil’s permission to serve the papers. Obtaining such permission has been a cumbersome procedure as the letters must be transmitted, using diplomatic channels, to the President of the Federal Supreme Court in Brazil, and the Ministry of Foreign Relations is involved also.     

     To serve someone in Brazil under the Convention, one presents a request to Brazil’s Central Authority, which is the Ministry of Justice.    Brazil has given notice it will not allow service via postal channels (Convention, article 10) nor via diplomatic channels or by court officers or other competent persons (Convention, article 8).  The statement of claim must be accompanied by a translation into Portuguese.      

     If the Central Authority cannot serve the statement of claim, the certificate it will issue must be signed by that Central Authority or by a judge. 

     Brazil’s accession to the Convention is the latest in a series of modernizations of its legal system. In 2015, Brazil brought in a new Code of Civil Procedure (Law No. 13.103/2015) which also increased efficiency in the legal process. 

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