International legal processes will be simplified following this week's entry into force of the Hague Service Convention for Australia.
The Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters 1965 simplifies legal processes in civil and commercial matters between parties in different countries.
According to Attorney-General Robert McClelland, the Convention ensures more streamlined service of legal process using a network of central authorities; greater clarity, efficiency and cost effectiveness; service abroad will be easier to prove, reducing the potential for drawn-out and costly satellite litigation; and where litigation is commenced against Australians, this will be brought to their attention in sufficient time to present their best defence.
"This is an important milestone, particularly for Australian companies who need to manage the litigation risks associated with trading globally," McClelland said.
Sixty-two other countries including the United States, China and the United Kingdom, are part of the international framework.