How do you obtain evidence from a UK witness for use in proceedings abroad?
We assist law firms operating outside the UK in circumstances where parties to proceedings wish to obtain evidence from potential witnesses located in the UK, including where informal requests for assistance have been refused and further to applications in domestic courts for International Judicial Assistance (“Letters Rogatory”).
This is achieved either through efforts to engage with and co-operate with potential witnesses or via applications to the High Court.
Typically, and before it becomes necessary to have recourse to the Courts, we are able to contact potential witnesses and engage in persuasive correspondence, designed to expedite matters through co-operative arrangements.
However, the UK’s obligations as a signatory of the Hauge Convention affords the UK courts powers in relation to Letters Rogatory from judicial authorities in other jurisdictions and the general position of the UK courts has been that although it is only a discretionary power, it is a “pleasure” to give “all such assistance as it can to the requesting court”.
Consequently, where co-operation has not been provided, perhaps by a reluctant witness, we can apply to the High Court for a relevant order.
Orders sought should be granted in circumstances where, together with the assistance of our clients, we are able to demonstrate that Orders are required to obtain relevant evidence, for trial purposes, from witnesses capable of providing it.
Orders available include for the examination of witnesses, orally or in writing, the production of documents, the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody or detention of any property, the taking of samples of any property, the carrying out of any experiments on or with any property, the medical examination of any person and the taking and testing of blood from any person.
Please contact us here for further information or assistance.