The Seventh Session of the Hague Conference, comprised of 15 European countries and Japan, adopted the Statute of the Hague Conference on Private International Law in 1951. It went into effect July 15, 1955. The lofty purpose of the Hague conference “is to work for the progressive unification of the rules of private international law.” More than 50 years of diplomatic cooperation have led to 40 Conventions with subjects not only in international civil procedure, but also child adoption, family law, and legalization of documents.
One of the best known Conventions or Treaties promulgated by the Hague Conference is the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, (“Hague Service Convention”), a multilateral treaty formulated in 1964 by the Tenth Session of the Hague Conference. The Hague Service Convention establishes the procedures and methods by which litigants must effect service in a foreign country (“Destination State”). In 1988 Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the US Supreme Court held that use of the Hague Convention “is mandatory in all cases to which it applies.” Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 486 US 694, 705 (1988).