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International Judicial Cooperation

Taking evidence in civil or commercial matters

The gathering of evidence in civil proceedings is not confined to the borders of a State. Sometimes it may be necessary to collect evidence in a different state from the one where you live. 

The Directorate-General for the Administration of Justice, through its Division for International Judicial Cooperation, is the Portuguese central authority designated in connection with the provision of information to the courts and seeking solutions to the difficulties that may arise in relation to an application.

The transmission channels, language, costs and forms necessary for the service of documents vary according to the applicable international judicial cooperation instrument.

 

Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters

The Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 lays down the methods of cooperation between States for the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters by means of rogatory letters and diplomatic or consular agents and of Commissioners. It applies only between the States Parties and provides for effective means to overcome the differences between civil law and the common law system. 

  • List of Contracting States
  • Communications made by Portugal: click here for more information 
  • Before submitting your request, check that all requirements are met in accordance with the communications made by Portugal.
  • Requests shall be referred to the Central Authority: Direcção-Geral da Administração da Justiça, (Directorate-General of Justice Administration - Ministry of Justice), Divisão de Cooperação Judiciária Internacional, Av. D. João II, 1.08.01 Edifício H, Piso 14, 1990-097 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33): accepts Letters of Requests written in or translated into Portuguese.
  • Costs: there are no constitutional limitations.
  • Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Letter of Request will not be executed (full exclusion).
  • Recommended Model for Letters of Request (Portuguese/English/French). Guidelines for completing the Model Form


Council Regulation (EC) 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.

The aim of the Regulation is to improve and simplify judicial cooperation among EU countries and to speed up the taking of evidence in legal proceedings in civil and commercial matters.

  • Communications made by Portugal: click here for more information 
  • Before submitting your request, check that all requirements are met in accordance with the communications made by Portugal
  • Requested courts: click here to view all competent authorities related to his Article. 
  • Language: the languages that should be used to complete standard forms are Portuguese or Spanish.