Legal status of Foreigners in International Civil Process: Experience of International Unification

It’s known that foreigners enjoy legal protection comprising free access to courts in the same extent as the nationals of a certain state, and this right doesn’t depend on reciprocity. An indispensable role in the unification of the matters relating to the access of foreigners to courts plays the Hague Conference on Private International Law that elaborates for each type of relations (service of judicial documents, taking of evidence, etc.) a particular convention. In this light, the adoption of the Hague Convention of 1980 on International Access to Justice that replaced some of the provisions of the Hague Convention of 1954 on Civil Procedure was an important event. The Convention of 1954 that is a universal convention provides for some rules: reciprocity, national treatment, and nationality principle, the procedures for obtaining the certificates of need that give a right to free legal aid, etc. The Convention of 1980 made certain amendments: firstly, the principle of domicile was introduced in addition to nationality principal; secondly, the central authorities were designated as the main channel of transmitting requests on legal aid; thirdly, the personal scope of the ban of application of cautio judicatum solvi was expanded. The Convention of 1980 marked the transition to the next unification step: from the establishment of the non-discrimination regime by way of granting to foreigners the national treatment to the elaboration of uniform unification rules that create an integrated legal area icpdf.