HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in the Falkland Islands. The Hague Service Convention was established with the aim of streamlining and improving the process of serving papers overseas. In all cases, in civil or commercial matters, where there is an occasion to transmit a judicial or extrajudicial document for service abroad (i.e., from one contracting State to another), the Hague Service Convention applies. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

If a document has to be sent overseas to be served in another state, that depends on the laws of the originating and receiving state. Involving a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can ensure your papers are served according to the specifications of both these jurisdictions. This is particularly important in the Falkland Islands, a former British colony.  The Falkland Islands have a rich history and require service to be done in accordance with their local courts. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Background

Many former British colonies and dominions gained independence and joined the Commonwealth three decades after WWII. Several territories maintained ties to the UK in different ways. Some of these territories relied on UK financial help, while others were tied to the UK due to the desires of the residents. Yet others were preserved as military outposts or for their strategic worth in the long run.

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary representative democracy form the basis of Falkland Islands politics. In the absence of the monarch, the Governor assumes the role of head of state, and the Chief Executive heads the civil service. An elected Legislative Assembly is responsible for proposing laws, approving national policies and finances, and holding the executive to account. 

The Falkland Islands, or Islas Malvinas in Spanish, are inhabited by a population that the Argentine Republic claims as its own.  Argentina maintains that the Falklands are ‘illegally occupied by an occupying power’ and, hence, an inseparable and inherent component of its territory. As such, Argentina has registered declarations and objections to several Hague Service Convention provisions that refer to the Falkland Islands as a British Overseas Territory. 

In a highly fraught with international politics, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can ensure that your documents are delivered with minimal hassle. If you found this article helpful, kindly consider leaving us a review. Click the link to share your feedback, and we would greatly appreciate a five-star review.

Highest Authorities in the Falkland Islands

Although the specific arrangements vary across the many British overseas territories, most of them have a four-tiered structure for their judiciary.  Every territory has its own Court of Appeal or shares one with another below that court of final appeal. Generally, but not always, referred to as a Supreme Court, each area shares or has its own court with limitless civil and criminal authority below that. Below that, there are magistrates’ courts in every region. A structure that varies below the level of ultimate appeal to Her Majesty in Council is observed in the Sovereign Base Areas, which is the only exception to this rule. 

A Court of Appeal and a Supreme Court are established under the Constitution. Any criminal or civil case arising out of any Island statute may be heard and decided by the Supreme Court. Local law establishes subordinate courts. The Privy Council’s Judicial Committee hears final appeals. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are local to the area and are comfortable serving papers across the Falkland Islands.

Supreme Court of the Falkland Islands has jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil or criminal proceedings in respect to matters arising within the jurisdiction of the British Antarctic Territory and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from decisions of the Magistrate’s Court.  In these matters, the Supreme Court and the Magistrate’s Court have the same powers as they would have had if the proceedings had concerned matters arising under the law of the Falkland Islands.

Both these courts can ensure an accused individual appears at their trial as scheduled or to order their arrest and imprisonment. Further, as under the Hague Service Convention, the courts can compel witnesses or documents to be produced in civil or criminal proceedings involving such an offense or issues falling within the jurisdiction of the applicable Territory. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are licensed and highly knowledgeable in the local courts. We can ensure your papers are served to the right court within time.

Understanding the role of  the registrar of the Court

At their discretion, the Governor may designate a Registrar of the Court and any other officials they fit to oversee the operation of the Appeals Court. The Registrar of the Supreme Court serves as the Central Authority for the Falkland Islands.   Each Contracting State is required under the Hague Service Convention to choose a Central Authority to handle service requests from other Contracting States. 

The Registrar of the Supreme Court sends international notifications or documents through the Registrar of the specific Court, who may thereafter request their transmission.  The Registrar of the Court must sign and date any notification or document submitted to or left with them. After receiving it, They will forward it to the Registrar of the Supreme Court as soon as possible. Our Undisputed Legal process servers retain cordial relationships with officials of each court, ensuring that your papers are delivered smoothly.

If a notice is given or lodged with the Registrar of the Supreme Court, it is considered to have been given or lodged with the Registrar at the moment of its lodging. The Registrar must immediately have any document filed with or sent to them endorsed to reflect the date and time of its deposit or receipt. A document cannot refuse acceptance by the Registrar or the Registrar of the Supreme Court because it was submitted after the deadline; instead, the document must be marked ‘Lodged out of time’, and the sender must be notified that this has been done.  However, late service may be avoided by involving a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal. We handle your documents and ensure you know exactly where your papers are.

process Service in the Falkland Islands

 If a document is required to be served on a defendant, the trial Court dictates how service is done. In most cases, it will be similar to how the Supreme Court has carried out a similar process. If no special direction is given, the person to be served or someone appointed to represent them will be personally served. 

The document can be served by facsimile, telephone, or registered air mail to the person’s last known address or anyone appointed to appear on their behalf if neither the person serving the document nor anyone in the Falkland Islands is present. If an advocate’s partner or clerk is served in the advocate’s office, it will be considered as service to the advocate.

In cases where the court requires oral evidence, an affidavit can be used to prove service. However, if the person in custody is a prisoner, a letter that appears to be signed by the guard at the prison can be used to prove service; the letter must state that the document was delivered to the prisoner on a specific date. If a person is to receive a document, it can be sent by registered mail or handed to them personally. If someone is appointed to represent them, they can also be notified of the hearing date, judgment delivery date, or decisions by telegram or telephone. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be helpful in identifying and completing different modes of service.

If the Court determines that the public interest (including the efficient and timely administration of justice) necessitates it, it may choose to conduct an appeal outside of open court for all or part of it. The President may instruct the means of public notice to announce the location and date of any appeal hearings or judgment deliveries. If all parties agree to the requested order, an informal application may be submitted by letter, and the court can decide whether or not to require the parties to attend based on its discretion.

Skeleton Arguments

An interesting feature of the Falkland Islands is that if the appeal is being heard in person or by separate representation, the appellant’s advocate must submit a quadruplicate skeleton argument to the Registrar at least seven days before the appeal hearing date (or any shorter period allowed by the Registrar) and serve a copy to the opposing party or parties, as applicable. The term ‘skeleton argument’ refers to a brief statement that outlines the points that an advocate plans to present to the court in a numbered and condensed manner at the appeal hearing. 

In a civil appeal, the respondent’s advocate who has filed a notice of cross-appeal or grounds for affirming the decision must submit a skeleton argument to the Registrar in quadruplicate at least three days prior to the appeal hearing date (or a shorter period may be allowed by the Registrar), and a copy of this must be served on the appellant or their advocate.

Specifics of the Hague Convention in the Falkland Islands

The burdensome procedures for serving process on sovereign states, as compared to private parties, are common in most countries and often necessitate the use of diplomatic channels. It is crucial to involve a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal before bringing claims against the Sovereign States since recent rulings confirming rigorous compliance with service obligations highlight the unique role of national courts having authority over sovereign states.

The Central Authority has the option to either grant or deny service upon receipt of a service request. If the Central Authority determines that serving the request would violate the sovereignty or security of the State or if it determines that the request does not meet the formal and substantive criteria of the Hague Service Convention, it may deny service. The applicant must be notified by the Central Authority as soon as possible, and the grounds for the objection to the request for service must be explained. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be helpful here since international service still has to adhere to timelines.

In the absence of an objection from the Central Authority, the papers must be served on the final recipient in accordance with either the procedures established by its legislation or the applicant’s specified manner, provided that such method does not conflict with its legislation. After that, a certificate of service has to be provided by the Central Authority. Undisputed Legal process servers are highly trained, so we ensure that your certificate of service is always provided. Specifics of service can be difficult to get right every time. So, we make sure to take the burden off our clients.

On top of the primary channel, there are four additional channels that can be used [A.] channels through diplomatic or consular channels; [B.] channels through postal channels; [C.] channels through direct communication between officials or judges; and [D.] channels through direct communication between interested parties and judges, officials, or judges. Only the first two allow process service upon the final recipient of the three available channels. It is important to ensure the State of the destination has not lodged a statement of objection to the alternative channel of service before usage. The most notable objection to the Hague Service Convention is under Article 10(a) of the Convention since many countries do not allow service by mail (through postal channels) to be done. 

Article 10(a) of the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters  (‘Hague Service Convention’) does not prevent service of process by mail, as per the United States Supreme Court in Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon.   Given that the Convention only covers the serving of papers overseas, the Court observed that it would be quite unusual for Article 10(a) to address any matter other than documents.

Although the Water Splash ruling maintains that service by mail is not prohibited by Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention, it is vital to note that the opinion does not assert that the Convention explicitly permits service by mail. Instead, it is admissible to serve the process by mail if the receiving state has not protested and if the legislation permits it. Article 13 kicks in here, with countries being able to object to service if they believe it infringes upon their sovereignty. 

The Hague Service Convention sees the Registrar as the designated central authority. As such, the Registrar becomes the authority to determine whether or not service is done without infringing upon the sovereignty of the nation. Our Undisputed Legal servers are cognizant of service upon the Registrar, and we ensure that your papers are carefully addressed.

Notary in Falkland Islands

Often, clients are in need of notarial or commissioner of oaths services to operate in the Falkland Islands. These services are usually associated with the certification or authentication of documents or taking oaths.

Among a notary public’s most typical duties would be providing official confirmation of an individual’s identity for use in immigration, emigration, marriage, employment, or other international applications (e.g., degrees, certifications of marital freedom, etc.)  This includes preparing or authenticating papers for use overseas, handling transactions involving the acquisition or sale of land and property abroad, providing paperwork to administer the estates of individuals abroad or who own property abroad, authenticating foreign wills; and Notaries can also be helpful in verifying the legitimacy of a corporation or its directors by approving official papers and transactions related to the firm or its operations.

Common responsibilities of an oath commissioner include taking affidavits, administering oaths, and receiving declarations. It is recommended that clients discuss their notarial requirements with a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal to assess whether all their documents are complete for service.

Power of attorney in the Falkland Islands

Appointing one individual (the ‘Attorney’) to handle the assets and financial matters of another (the ‘Donor’) is the purpose of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). The EPA must be registered before it may be used, or continued to be utilized, in the event that the Donor becomes unable to make financial choices. 

Parties may establish a Lasting Power of Attorney in the UK for either personal welfare or financial and property affairs.  These are now the standard form of durable power of attorney.  The Falkland Islands are an exception to this rule.  A person may only create an Enduring Power of Attorney for money or property in the Falkland Islands.

Assisting the donor with their financial decision-making is the responsibility of the EPA. This role will include assisting with the management of tasks as directed to be [A.]  funds and expenses; [B.]  accounts with banks and building societies; [C.] real estate and financial assets; [D.]  benefits, and [E.] retirement plans, 

It is necessary to fill out Form EP1 to create an Enduring Power of Attorney. This form must be sent to any solicitors appointed ‘jointly and severally’ but not seeking to register the EPA, as well as at least three qualified members of the donor’s family (must be eighteen or older and have mental capacity). 

Our goal at Undisputed Legal is to serve legal documents across international boundaries efficiently. Our staff is well-versed in understanding the complex regulations, legislation, and procedures required to transmit legal documents to other nations. When it comes to document service, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards.  The Falkland Islands can be a difficult place to serve papers, and we aim to simplify the procedure as much as possible. Our primary objective at Undisputed Legal is to ensure that all documents are prepared and distributed accurately in the local language while respecting the culture. We have extensive experience serving papers worldwide. 

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed to (800) – 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com, mailed to 590 Madison Avenue, 21 Floor, New York, New York 10022, or dropped off at any of our locations. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; Our receptionist receives all documents.

DOMESTIC COVERAGE AREAS:

Alaska | Alabama | Arkansas | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | District of Columbia | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Iowa | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Maine | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | North Carolina | North Dakota | Nebraska | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | Nevada | New York | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE AREAS:

Albania | Andorra | Anguilla | Antigua | Argentina | Armenia | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bahamas | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Bermuda | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Botswana | Brazil | British Honduras | British Virgin Islands | Bulgaria | Canada | Cayman Islands | Central and Southern Line Islands | Chile|China (Macao) | China People’s Republic | Colombia | Costa Rica | Country of Georgia | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Egypt | Estonia | Falkland Islands and Dependences| Fiji | Finland | France | Germany | Gibraltar | Gilbert and Ellice Islands | Greece | Guernsey | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Ireland | Isle of Man | Israel | Italy | Jamaica | Japan | Jersey Channel Islands | Jordan| Kazakhstan | Korea | Kuwait | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malawi | Malaysia | Malta | Mauritius | Mexico| MonacoMontenegro | Montserrat | Morocco | Namibia | Netherlands| New Zealand |Nicaragua | Norway | Pakistan | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Pitcairn |Poland | Portugal | Republic of Moldova | Republic of North Macedonia | Romania |Russian Federation | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | San Marino | Saudi Arabia | Serbia | Seychelles | Singapore| Slovakia | Slovenia | South Africa | Spain | Sri Lanka | St. Helena and Dependencies | St. Lucia | Sweden | Switzerland | Taiwan | Thailand | Tunisia | Turkey | Turks and Caicos Islands| UkraineUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland | Uruguay | US Virgin Islands | Uzbekistan | Venezuela | Vietnam

OFFICE LOCATIONS

New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN FALKLAND ISLANDS

Pick up the phone and call Toll Free (800) 774-6922, or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all your Falkland Island and Dependences process service needs; no job is too small or too large!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives” – Foster, William A

Sources

1. e-Vision.nl, The Netherlands. Declaration/Reservation/Notification.’ HCCH, www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/notifications/?csid=484&disp=resdn. 

2. The Falkland Islands Courts (Overseas Jurisdiction) Order 1989 took effect on January 30, 1990.

3. According to the Administration of Justice (Amendment) Ordinance 1970(4), ‘the Magistrate’s Court’ refers to the Falkland Islands Magistrate’s Court originally formed by the Administration of Justice Ordinance.

The Magistrate’s Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil or criminal proceedings in respect of matters arising—

(a)under the law of the British Antarctic Territory, being proceedings which, under any law in force in that Territory, are within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court of the British Antarctic Territory; and

(b)under the law of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, proceedings which, under any law in force in that Territory, are within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

4. The Supreme Court and the Magistrate’s Court shall have power—

  1. to order the arrest and detention, pending the outcome of the proceedings of a person accused of an offense under the law of the relevant Territory, or to impose conditions to secure the attendance of such a person at his trial or for any other purpose;
  2. to order the seizure and detention of any article which may be evidence of such an offense;
  3. to order persons to give evidence or produce documents in proceedings relating to such an offense or in civil proceedings in respect of matters arising under the law of the relevant Territory;
  4. to order the conveyance in the custody of any person charged with such an offense from the relevant Territory to any place in the Falkland Islands where he can be tried for that offense; and
  5. to order the conveyance of any article which may be evidence of such an offense from the relevant Territory to any place in the Falkland with that offense Islands where a person charged can be tried.

5. Any document or notification transmitted to the Registrar by telephone facsimile and lawfully received by him will be considered valid as the original for all purposes.

6. A medical officer, police officer, prison officer, or someone appointed to appear on behalf of an appellant who is alleged to be of unsound mind may sign a document in connection with a criminal appeal on the appellant’s behalf

7. If a single advocate is designated to represent more than one appellant or respondent, it is sufficient to serve one copy of any document that is required to be served on that advocate

8. Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon, 581 U.S. ___ (2017)

9. The Supreme Court compared the language used in Articles 10(b) and 10(c)—’to effect service of judicial documents’—with the language in Article 10(a), which states, ‘[p]rovided the State of destination does not object, the present Convention shall not interfere with… the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad.

10. Hague Service Convention Article 13:

Where a request for service complies with the terms of the present Convention, the State addressed may refuse to comply therewith only if it deems that compliance would infringe its sovereignty or security.

It may not refuse to comply solely on the ground that, under its internal law, it claims exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action or that its internal law would not permit the action upon which the application is based.

In case of refusal, the Central Authority shall promptly inform the applicant and state the reasons for the refusal.

11. Only the first three qualifying relatives listed below need to know. 

  1. spouse, domestic partner, or spouse of the donor
  2. offspring of the donor (including those who are adopted but not those who are stepchildren)
  3. Donor’s household

If you inform one member of a category, you are obligated to inform all members of that category. 

BLOG DISCLAIMER

The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.