Message to the Senate Transmitting the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and a Protocol

June 25, 1984

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, adopted at Panama City, Panama, on January 30, 1975, and the Additional Protocol, adopted at Montevideo, Uruguay, on May 8, 1979, with a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification. The Convention and the Additional Protocol were signed on behalf of the United States on April 15, 1980.

When ratified, the Convention with its Additional Protocol will comprise the first multilateral agreement among the United States and other members of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the field of international judicial cooperation. The provisions of the Convention and Additional Protocol are explained in the report of the Department of State that accompanies this letter. In broad terms, the purpose of the Convention is to facilitate the service in the territory of one Contracting State of documents emanating from civil and commercial proceedings in another Contracting State.

The Convention will, in effect, establish a level of international judicial cooperation among the contracting OAS States analogous to that which now exists among the 24 Contracting States to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. Although the latter convention entered into force for the United States on February 10, 1969, following Senate advice and consent to ratification, only one other OAS member State has become a party to it. Ratification of the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and the Additional Protocol will thus constitute a significant step in filling the void that now exists in the area of judicial cooperation with other OAS countries. Henceforth, litigants before United States courts or other adjudicatory bodies will be able to avail themselves of a number of improved and simplified procedures for the service of process in OAS countries, with consequent savings of time, effort and expense.

I recommend that the Senate of the United States promptly give its advice and consent to the ratification of this Convention and Additional Protocol, subject to two reservations which are described in the accompanying report of the Department of State and which should be made at the time of the deposit by the United States of the instruments of ratification.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

June 25, 1984.