DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
Kuwait is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Complete information on the operation of the Convention, including an interactive online request form are available on the Hague Conference website. Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served, and translations, directly to Kuwait’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention. The person in the United States executing the request form should be either an attorney or clerk of court. The applicant should include the titles attorney at law or clerk of court on the identity and address of applicant and signature/stamp fields. In its Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Service Convention, Kuwait formally objected to service under Article 10, and does not permit service via postal channels. For additional information see the Hague Conference Service Convention web page and the Hague Conference Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Hague Service Convention.
Service on a Foreign State: See also our Service Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) feature and FSIA Checklist for questions about service on a foreign state, agency or instrumentality.
Service of Documents from Kuwait in the United States: See information about service in the United States on the U.S. Central Authority for the Service Convention page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Service Convention site.
Prosecution Requests: U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.
Defense Requests in Criminal Matters: Criminal defendants or their defense counsel seeking judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in connection with criminal matters may do so via the letters rogatory process.
Kuwait is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters. Kuwait’s Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention designated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of Justice. See the Hague Evidence Convention Model Letters of Request for guidance on preparation of the letter of request. Requests for the compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to the Kuwait Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels. Letters of Request and accompanying documents should be prepared in duplicate and translated into Arabic.
Requests from Kuwait to Obtain Evidence in the United States: The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L Street N.W., Room 8102, Washington, D.C. 20530.
Voluntary depositions may be conducted in Kuwait regardless of the nationality of the witness, provided no compulsion is used. No advance permission from the Kuwait Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is required. Telephone depositions and video teleconference testimony are possible in Kuwait if the deponent agrees to do so voluntarily, but generally requires that U.S. litigants work with a Kuwaiti law firm to make the arrangements. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. Embassy directly.
Kuwait is not a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. Documents issued in the United States may be authenticated for use in Kuwait by (a) contacting the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office and (b) then having the seal of the U.S. Department of State authenticated by the Embassy of Kuwait in Washington, D.C. Documents issued in U.S. states must first be authenticated by the designated state authority, generally the state Secretary of State.