International Law in Practice

International Law in Practice—Tools of the Trade

28 U.S.C. § 1782--“Assistance to foreign and international tribunals and to litigants before such tribunals”

The procedures under Section 1782 of Title 28 of the United States Code allow a party to a legal proceeding outside the U.S. to apply to a federal court in the U.S. in order to obtain evidence for use in the non-U.S. proceeding. Section 1782(a) reads as follows:

The district court of the district in which a person resides or is found may order him to give his testimony or statement or to produce a document or other thing for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal, including criminal investigations conducted before formal accusation. The order may be made pursuant to a letter rogatory issued, or request made, by a foreign or international tribunal or upon the application of any interested person and may direct that the testimony or statement be given, or the document or other thing be produced, before a person appointed by the court. By virtue of his appointment, the person appointed has power to administer any necessary oath and take the testimony or statement. The order may prescribe the practice and procedure, which may be in whole or part the practice and procedure of the foreign country or the international tribunal, for taking the testimony or statement or producing the document or other thing. To the extent that the order does not prescribe otherwise, the testimony or statement shall be taken, and the document or other thing produced, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

A person may not be compelled to give his testimony or statement or to produce a document or other thing in violation of any legally applicable privilege.

If you’ve had an experience using the procedures under Section 1782 in your practice and would like to share your experience, we’d love to hear about it and feature it in Global Perspectives!  Or if there is another area of international law you would like to feature, please consider a submission to Global Perspectives!

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