Modalities of Court-to-Court Communication

Conceived at the 2nd conference of the JIN in New York City in September 2018 as one of four new initiatives of the JIN, the Modalities of Court-to-Court Communication (the “Modalities”) are the result of intensive deliberation by the JIN principally undertaken at the 3rd conference of the JIN held in Singapore on April 2019.

While the JIN Guidelines focus on the principles of court-to-court communication, the focus of the Modalities is on the mechanics for initiating, receiving and engaging in such communication. The Modalities thus prescribe the issues that need to be addressed to facilitate communication. These include arrangements as to the time, method and language of communication, the nature of the case (with due regard to confidentiality concerns) and whether the parties before the initiating court have consented to the communication taking place.

A key feature of the Modalities is the introduction of a facilitator. The role of the facilitator is primarily to initiate or receive communications on behalf of the initiating court or the receiving court where court-to-court communication is initiated. The Modalities recommend that the facilitator be a judge or an administrative official, and details of the facilitator be published on the court’s website. The Modalities also encourage that courts prominently list the language(s) in which initial communications may be made and the technology available to facilitate court-to-court communication.

Courts which decide to implement the Modalities may do so in such manner as they deem fit, such as through the issuance of practice directions or commercial guides, and with such modifications as may be necessary to suit local conditions.

Click here to download a copy of the Modalities.