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The Foreign Letter Rogatory

8 August 2023 Written by Christian Sarailis Esq. LL.B

The legal world is in constant evolution, and many cases extend beyond national borders, creating complex challenges in terms of judicial cooperation. In this context, there exists a little-known legal tool: the foreign letter rogatory. It is emerging as a powerful tool to ensure fair justice in international disputes.

Indeed, in the realm of international law, collaboration between the judicial systems of each country or jurisdiction is of paramount importance. When a dispute crosses the borders of a single country or state, the parties involved can face complex challenges when it comes to obtaining evidence, hearing witnesses, or even enforcing judicial decisions abroad. This is where the foreign foreign letter rogatory comes into play.

In this article, we will explore the usefulness of using a foreign letter rogatory in Quebec and the applicable law to this crucial procedure.


The foreign letter rogatory is a legal tool used by a foreign court to seek assistance from Quebec courts in an ongoing legal proceeding. Stemming from international judicial courtesy between countries, the foreign letter rogatory facilitates international judicial cooperation and ensures procedural fairness in cross-border cases.


The foreign letter rogatory plays an essential role in three key areas:

a. Collection of Evidence Abroad

One of the main advantages of the letter rogatory lies in its ability to facilitate the collection of evidence located in Quebec that is necessary for a dispute pending before a foreign court. In many international disputes, crucial pieces of evidence are sometimes situated in multiple countries. Thanks to the foreign letter rogatory, foreign courts can ask a Quebec court to appropriately gather this evidence, ensuring its admissibility in the foreign proceeding.

b. Examination of Witnesses Abroad

The examination of witnesses is often crucial in complex international disputes. When witnesses reside in Quebec, summoning them before a foreign court can be challenging. The foreign letter rogatory offers a solution by allowing the examination of witnesses in Quebec under the authority of the foreign court. This enables the parties to benefit from their direct testimony, thereby enhancing the credibility and fairness of the judicial process.

c. Execution of Judicial Decisions Abroad

One of the most critical aspects of international law is the execution of judicial decisions abroad. Disputes are not confined to national borders, and it may be necessary for decisions from a foreign court to be enforced in Quebec. This is where the foreign letter rogatory truly comes into practical play. It offers a structured and efficient means of ensuring that foreign court rulings find resonance and execution in Quebec.

The execution of foreign judicial decisions can take various forms. This can range from the recognition and direct enforcement of a judgment to the request for a provisional measure.

Regardless of the nature of the sought execution, the foreign letter rogatory provides a legal channel to address a competent court, asking it to cooperate in the execution of the foreign decision in Quebec.


The foreign letter rogatory procedure, while guided by international conventions, also finds its basis in the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec. The latter provides the legal framework within which the foreign letter of request is situated and operates.

The Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec stipulates that the foreign letter rogatory must be presented to the Superior Court of the district where the execution is requested. This provision defines the competent court for the reception and execution of the foreign letter rogatory.

In addition to defining the competent court, the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec also outlines specific procedures to follow when dealing with the foreign letter rogatory.

However, it's important to note that even though the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec establishes procedures for the foreign letter rogatory, the effective realization of the request also depends on the laws and procedures of the foreign state, in accordance with the Hague Convention.

Moreover, the state where the application of the foreign letter rogatory is sought has the freedom to apply its own laws, regulations, and jurisprudence for the execution of the foreign letter of request, while respecting international standards.

This interaction between the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec and the Hague Convention highlights the complexity of the foreign letter rogatory as a transnational procedure. When a party seeks to obtain evidence or enforce a decision abroad, they must navigate both local provisions and the international framework, ensuring that all legal requirements are met.


The crucial role of the foreign letter rogatory in collecting evidence, examining witnesses, and enforcing judicial decisions abroad cannot be underestimated.

To successfully navigate this complex legal terrain, the assistance of a law firm specializing in international law and foreign letter rogatory becomes essential. The foreign letter rogatory transcends borders, requiring a precise understanding of local laws and international conventions to ensure a compliant and fruitful procedure.

As a law firm practicing in international law, we understand the intricacies of the foreign letter rogatory and its interaction with local and international laws. Our team not only masters the subtleties of international conventions but is also intimately familiar with the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec.

We offer:

  • Personalized Approach: Every case is unique. We take the time to understand your specific needs and develop tailored strategies for each fforeign letter rogatory application.

  • In-Depth Expertise: Our comprehensive knowledge of the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec and international standards allows us to navigate the complexities of the foreign letter rogatory procedure successfully.

  • Global Network: Through established relationships with legal professionals worldwide, including through the international lawyer network Avrio Advocati, of which Saraïlis Avocats is the Canadian member, we are well-positioned to effectively coordinate the execution of foreign letter rogatory.

  • Strategic Solutions: We anticipate potential challenges and develop tailored strategies to ensure the foreign letter rogatory procedure proceeds efficiently.

If you are facing an international dispute requiring cross-border judicial cooperation, do not hesitate to contact Christian Saraïlis Esq. LL.B. Our commitment to excellence and our passion for international law enable us to provide outstanding services to meet your needs

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