Here’s another distinction that only a lawyer could love.  Oddly enough, I only hear lawyers (and other professionals in the legal industry) use the erroneous terminology “through the Hague.”  Laypersons really have no need.

Not to be pedantic,* but our industry lives and dies by the sword of precise language, so let this hone your blades, my dear colleagues.

You don’t serve process “through the Hague.”  The documents don’t pass down a corridor in a clearinghouse somewhere between Rotterdam and the North Sea coast.  Make no mistake—the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law is staffed with some of the finest legal minds in the Solar System, but its job is to coordinate relations between member nations and to manage the execution of some three dozen agreements known as  Hague Conventions.  It is not to shuffle service of process paperwork.

We don’t need a stamp of approval from the Dutch Foreign Ministry to send a service request to China or Argentina.  The Dutch Foreign Ministry (technically, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) acts as the repository for the Hague Conventions (among other treaties), but its involvement is rather limited to accepting instruments of ratification from nations who agree to be bound by a Convention’s terms.

And you don’t serve “through” or “by way of” a particular article.  You might serve pursuant to Article 10(b), or you might submit an Article 5 RequestThrough and by way of… are simply the wrong prepositions.  Under?  Sure.  Not through.

All that said, if you ever get a chance to visit the Netherlands, don’t just go through the Hague.  Stop and spend a bit of time there, because it really is a beautiful and charming city, especially around the Hofvijver and around the Peace Palace.IMG_20161110_113500

I visited the Hague as a kid and finally got to return last November.  Don’t go through the Hague… go TO the Hague.

You’ll have to go through Rotterdam to get there.


* You can almost hear my wife saying, “um, sure, Lukken.  You’re neeeeever pedantic.”