Service of Documents Outside of the Jurisdiction (Hague Convention)
“An Authority” means an authority competent by law to forward documents to the Central Authority of another State and includes those declared to be so by Rule 2(3).
“Central Authority” means the Master of the High Court and in relation to another State means the authority or authorities designated to receive requests for service of documents under the Convention.
“The Convention” means the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters done at the Hague on the 15th November 1965.
“A Convention Country” means a country which is party to the Convention, but excludes a country which is a Member State of the European Union in which Regulation No 1393/2007 (within the meaning of Order 11D, rule 1) is in force.
“Document” includes any extrajudicial document.
“Judicial Officer” means a Judicial Officer competent by law to forward documents to the Central Authority of another State.
“Request” includes a request to authorise the transmission of a request.
Application of Order
2. (1) This Order applies to the service of any summons, notice, document, citation, petition, affidavit, pleading, order or any form either:
(a) Issued pursuant to these Rules, or
(b) Lodged for service under this Order, and where such service requires to be effected out of the jurisdiction and in a Convention country, and where for such service, leave has been granted or is unnecessary and where a request for service has been made to the Central Authority in the form prescribed.
(2) This Order is without prejudice to any other method of service prescribed by these Rules or permitted under the Convention or by a State a party to the Convention or which is otherwise compatible with the law of the State in which service is to be effected.
(3) For the purposes of this Order, the following are declared to be competent authorities or competent judicial officers for the purposes of article 3 of the Convention.
(a) The Central Authority.
(b) A practising Solicitor.
(c) A County Registrar.
(d) A District Court Clerk.
3. (1) Any party to any proceedings of a civil or commercial nature instituted under or pursuant to these Rules and any competent authority or judicial officer who wishes to have a document served pursuant to the Convention may lodge with the Central Authority:
(a) A request for service of the document in the form specified in the Annex to the Convention and a copy thereof.
(b) Two copies of the document to be served with an additional copy thereof for each person to be served.
(c) A translation of each document into the official language or one of the official languages of the State addressed unless the said document is already in the official language or one of the official languages of the State addressed.
(d) An undertaking to pay the costs of service, payment or reimbursement of which is or may be sought by the Central Authority of the State addressed under Article 12 of the Convention.
(2) In any case in which the request is lodged with the Central Authority by a person who is not a competent authority or a competent judicial officer, the Central Authority shall, on being satisfied that the request complies with the requirements of rule 3, forward the said request and all accompanying documentation to the Central Authority of the State in which service is to be effected.
(3) In any case in which a request is lodged with the Central Authority by a competent authority or by a competent judicial officer the Central Authority may certify that:
(a) The person who has submitted the request to the Central Authority is under the law of the State an authority or a judicial officer, competent to forward a request under the Convention as the case may be.
(b) The document sought to be served is one which requires to be served in the State addressed.
(c) The request otherwise complies with the requirements of the Convention.
(d) The Central Authority has authorised the transmission of the request,
and having so certified the Central Authority shall return the request to such competent authority or competent judicial officer with such certificate for transmission by him directly to the Central Authority of the State addressed.
(4) If any request does not comply with the provisions of rule 3 the Central Authority shall inform the applicant and specify the objections to the request.
(5) The Central Authority shall maintain a list of all countries which are Convention countries and the official languages thereof and shall maintain therewith a list of the Central Authority or Authorities in each such country with the address thereof. Such list shall be available for inspection during Central Office hours and copies thereof available on request.
(6) On receipt of any certificate of service under Article 6 of the Convention from the Central Authority of the State addressed the same shall be transmitted forthwith to the party who lodged the request and any such certificate purporting to have been issued by such Central Authority in the form prescribed shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
4. (1) Where any proceedings have been issued for service under Order 11A, rule 2 and transmitted abroad for service under this Order, judgement shall not be given unless the party seeking judgement complies with the requirements of Order 13A in addition to the requirements of this rule.
(2) Judgement shall not be given or entered in default of appearance in any proceedings which have been served pursuant to this Order until it is established that:
(a) The document was served by a method prescribed by the internal law of the State addressed for the service of documents in domestic actions upon persons who are within its territory, or
(b) The document was actually delivered to the defendant or to his residence by another method provided for by the Convention,
and that in either case the service or delivery was effected in sufficient time to enable the defendant to defend.
(3) Judgement in default of appearance shall only be entered with leave of the Court.
(4) An application for leave to enter judgement in default shall be made by motion on notice and shall be supported by an affidavit verifying the plaintiff’s claim for relief and verifying the steps taken in the proceedings and supported by adequate proof thereof.
(5) Notwithstanding rule 4(1) the Court may give leave to enter judgement if no certificate of service or delivery has been received from the Central Authority of the State addressed, provided that:
(a) The document was transmitted by one of the methods provided for in the Convention.
(b) A period of time (of not less than six months) considered adequate by the Court has elapsed since the transmission of the document.
(c) No certificate of any kind has been received and that every reasonable effort has been made to obtain it through the competent authorities of the State addressed.
(6) An application to set aside any judgement obtained in default or to extend the time for appealing same shall be made by motion on notice and shall be grounded upon the affidavit of the moving party and the Court may, if satisfied that:
(a) the application was made within a reasonable time after the defendant had knowledge of the judgement and
(b) the defendant, without any fault on his part, did not have knowledge of the document in sufficient time to defend or knowledge of the judgement in sufficient time to appeal, as the case may be and
(c) the defendant has disclosed a prima facie defence to the action on the merits,
set aside the judgement or extend the time for appealing same, as the case may be, on such terms and conditions as appear just.
5. The Central Authority shall issue a certificate when requested to do so certifying the fact of and the date of transmission of any request or of the authorisation of such transmission or of the receipt of any request or of the receipt of any certificate from any other Central Authority.
 Order 11E rule 1 amended by SI 280 of 2009, which substituted the definition of “A Convention Country”, effective 20 August 2009. It was originally defined as “a country which is party to the Convention.”
 This is corrected. Order 11E rule 3(5) states “…countries whch…”.