We’ve blogged about multilingual ediscovery translation services and Victor Stanley II, as well as international document translation services and another look at Kiobel. Not all international law is public. When business occurs across borders, there is little room for such international legal bodies as the United Nations or the International Criminal Court. Instead, another body of international law is developing, dealing with how to apply foreign laws in international business disputes.
The role of foreign law within the US court system is an ongoing debate. Many jurisdictions seem to ignore foreign law, such as the Hague Convention’s rules on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters and instead apply US law only. This is particularly true when a case deals with a Chinese company, the argument being that China rarely enforces US judgments, so why should we enforce Chinese judgments? In other words, the Hague Convention is simply ignored.
The problem with this attitude towards foreign law is that it hurts US companies trying to enforce a judgment outside the US. Foreign jurisdictions often refuse to enforce a US judgment because US courts fail to recognize their laws. This then requires the company to navigate the foreign jurisdiction’s legal process – which can be time consuming and will often require a foreign language translation.