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Annual InternationalAnnual International
InterdisciplinaryInterdisciplinary
ConferenceConference
TAKING DISCOVERY IN
THE EUROPEAN UNION
Gloria Esteban de la Rosa
Profesor of Private International Law
Jaén University, Spain
What is Discovery?What is Discovery?
• DiscoveryDiscovery is ais a
procedure put inprocedure put in
place to attempt toplace to attempt to
ascertain theascertain the materialmaterial
evidence andevidence and
information deemedinformation deemed
necessary to thenecessary to the
plaintiff in theplaintiff in the
preparation of apreparation of a
lawsuitlawsuit
• DiscoveryDiscovery can alsocan also
be used to obtain thebe used to obtain the
testimony of a persontestimony of a person
who will not bewho will not be
attending the trialattending the trial
What is Discovery?What is Discovery?
• Discovery occurs beforeDiscovery occurs before
the trial (the trial (pre-trialpre-trial
discoverydiscovery))
• Among its many functionsAmong its many functions
is that ofis that of avoidingavoiding
surprises during thesurprises during the
trialtrial when a lawyer fromwhen a lawyer from
either side asks the othereither side asks the other
for certain ends.for certain ends.
• It denotes the way inIt denotes the way in
which a trial develops:which a trial develops:
““one day in the courtone day in the court””
• All material evidenceAll material evidence
must be well preparedmust be well prepared
before a trial beginsbefore a trial begins
What is Discovery?What is Discovery?
• IsIs an authentic line of investigationan authentic line of investigation ,,
through which not only is proof obtainedthrough which not only is proof obtained
but also any other information necessarybut also any other information necessary
for opening up further inquiries if relevantfor opening up further inquiries if relevant
Differences betweenDifferences between
Common law and CivilCommon law and Civil
lawlaw
• DiscoveryDiscovery constitutes theconstitutes the search forsearch for
material evidencematerial evidence rather than takingrather than taking
evidence, as laid out in civil law systemsevidence, as laid out in civil law systems
• It does not imply the discovery ofIt does not imply the discovery of
evidenceevidence (understood in the procedural(understood in the procedural
sense) but rather items, documents or anysense) but rather items, documents or any
other type of support that can be used asother type of support that can be used as
evidence in the proceedings.evidence in the proceedings.
Differences betweenDifferences between
Common law and CivilCommon law and Civil
lawlaw• The main difference between theThe main difference between the
rules of procedural law in commonrules of procedural law in common
and civil law systems lies not only inand civil law systems lies not only in
the amplitude of pre-trial phase butthe amplitude of pre-trial phase but
also in thealso in the faculties whichfaculties which
correspond both to the partiescorrespond both to the parties
and to the judicial authorityand to the judicial authority inin
the application of discoverythe application of discovery in findingin finding
material evidencematerial evidence
Is DiscoveryIs Discovery
compatible with thecompatible with the
law of Europeanlaw of European
countries?countries?
• EnglandEngland andand IrelandIreland are two of theare two of the
common law countries wherecommon law countries where
discovery is better developeddiscovery is better developed
• There isThere is no real correlation betweenno real correlation between
German or French lawGerman or French law procedureprocedure
and the Anglo-Saxon discoveryand the Anglo-Saxon discovery
procedureprocedure
• Neither in Belgian lawNeither in Belgian law can we find acan we find a
process comparable to discoveryprocess comparable to discovery
EC Regulation 1206/2001EC Regulation 1206/2001
• There are certain academic writers whoThere are certain academic writers who
consider that discovery is indeed includedconsider that discovery is indeed included
in ECin EC Regulation 1206/2001,Regulation 1206/2001, althoughalthough
not expressly mentioned as it is notnot expressly mentioned as it is not
considered to be usefulconsidered to be useful
• ““Tedesco Case”Tedesco Case” which never reachedwhich never reached
the ECJthe ECJ (AUTO 27th September(AUTO 27th September
2007).2007).
Tedesco CaseTedesco Case
• The Advocate General made a statementThe Advocate General made a statement
in her conclusions presented on 18th Julyin her conclusions presented on 18th July
2007:2007: the refusalthe refusal (on the part of the(on the part of the
relevant British authorities) of the taking ofrelevant British authorities) of the taking of
evidence requested by theevidence requested by the Tribunale civileTribunale civile
di Genovadi Genova was not thought to be justified.was not thought to be justified.
ConclusionConclusion
• an order to produce documents is inadmissiblean order to produce documents is inadmissible if theif the
documents whose discovery is sought lead only to thedocuments whose discovery is sought lead only to the
identification of items which are capable of serving asidentification of items which are capable of serving as
evidence but which do not in themselves serve anevidence but which do not in themselves serve an
evidential function in the proceedingsevidential function in the proceedings
• an order to produce documents which are discoveredan order to produce documents which are discovered
only upon execution of the order is admissibleonly upon execution of the order is admissible, if such, if such
documents are specified or described with sufficientdocuments are specified or described with sufficient
precision and are directly linked to the subject-matter ofprecision and are directly linked to the subject-matter of
the disputethe dispute

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Discovery in the European Union

  • 1. Annual InternationalAnnual International InterdisciplinaryInterdisciplinary ConferenceConference TAKING DISCOVERY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION Gloria Esteban de la Rosa Profesor of Private International Law Jaén University, Spain
  • 2. What is Discovery?What is Discovery? • DiscoveryDiscovery is ais a procedure put inprocedure put in place to attempt toplace to attempt to ascertain theascertain the materialmaterial evidence andevidence and information deemedinformation deemed necessary to thenecessary to the plaintiff in theplaintiff in the preparation of apreparation of a lawsuitlawsuit • DiscoveryDiscovery can alsocan also be used to obtain thebe used to obtain the testimony of a persontestimony of a person who will not bewho will not be attending the trialattending the trial
  • 3. What is Discovery?What is Discovery? • Discovery occurs beforeDiscovery occurs before the trial (the trial (pre-trialpre-trial discoverydiscovery)) • Among its many functionsAmong its many functions is that ofis that of avoidingavoiding surprises during thesurprises during the trialtrial when a lawyer fromwhen a lawyer from either side asks the othereither side asks the other for certain ends.for certain ends. • It denotes the way inIt denotes the way in which a trial develops:which a trial develops: ““one day in the courtone day in the court”” • All material evidenceAll material evidence must be well preparedmust be well prepared before a trial beginsbefore a trial begins
  • 4. What is Discovery?What is Discovery? • IsIs an authentic line of investigationan authentic line of investigation ,, through which not only is proof obtainedthrough which not only is proof obtained but also any other information necessarybut also any other information necessary for opening up further inquiries if relevantfor opening up further inquiries if relevant
  • 5. Differences betweenDifferences between Common law and CivilCommon law and Civil lawlaw • DiscoveryDiscovery constitutes theconstitutes the search forsearch for material evidencematerial evidence rather than takingrather than taking evidence, as laid out in civil law systemsevidence, as laid out in civil law systems • It does not imply the discovery ofIt does not imply the discovery of evidenceevidence (understood in the procedural(understood in the procedural sense) but rather items, documents or anysense) but rather items, documents or any other type of support that can be used asother type of support that can be used as evidence in the proceedings.evidence in the proceedings.
  • 6. Differences betweenDifferences between Common law and CivilCommon law and Civil lawlaw• The main difference between theThe main difference between the rules of procedural law in commonrules of procedural law in common and civil law systems lies not only inand civil law systems lies not only in the amplitude of pre-trial phase butthe amplitude of pre-trial phase but also in thealso in the faculties whichfaculties which correspond both to the partiescorrespond both to the parties and to the judicial authorityand to the judicial authority inin the application of discoverythe application of discovery in findingin finding material evidencematerial evidence
  • 7. Is DiscoveryIs Discovery compatible with thecompatible with the law of Europeanlaw of European countries?countries? • EnglandEngland andand IrelandIreland are two of theare two of the common law countries wherecommon law countries where discovery is better developeddiscovery is better developed • There isThere is no real correlation betweenno real correlation between German or French lawGerman or French law procedureprocedure and the Anglo-Saxon discoveryand the Anglo-Saxon discovery procedureprocedure • Neither in Belgian lawNeither in Belgian law can we find acan we find a process comparable to discoveryprocess comparable to discovery
  • 8. EC Regulation 1206/2001EC Regulation 1206/2001 • There are certain academic writers whoThere are certain academic writers who consider that discovery is indeed includedconsider that discovery is indeed included in ECin EC Regulation 1206/2001,Regulation 1206/2001, althoughalthough not expressly mentioned as it is notnot expressly mentioned as it is not considered to be usefulconsidered to be useful • ““Tedesco Case”Tedesco Case” which never reachedwhich never reached the ECJthe ECJ (AUTO 27th September(AUTO 27th September 2007).2007).
  • 9. Tedesco CaseTedesco Case • The Advocate General made a statementThe Advocate General made a statement in her conclusions presented on 18th Julyin her conclusions presented on 18th July 2007:2007: the refusalthe refusal (on the part of the(on the part of the relevant British authorities) of the taking ofrelevant British authorities) of the taking of evidence requested by theevidence requested by the Tribunale civileTribunale civile di Genovadi Genova was not thought to be justified.was not thought to be justified.
  • 10. ConclusionConclusion • an order to produce documents is inadmissiblean order to produce documents is inadmissible if theif the documents whose discovery is sought lead only to thedocuments whose discovery is sought lead only to the identification of items which are capable of serving asidentification of items which are capable of serving as evidence but which do not in themselves serve anevidence but which do not in themselves serve an evidential function in the proceedingsevidential function in the proceedings • an order to produce documents which are discoveredan order to produce documents which are discovered only upon execution of the order is admissibleonly upon execution of the order is admissible, if such, if such documents are specified or described with sufficientdocuments are specified or described with sufficient precision and are directly linked to the subject-matter ofprecision and are directly linked to the subject-matter of the disputethe dispute