The emirate of Kuwait is a sovereign state. The country’s political structure is dominated by the Emir and his family, the Al Sabah. The official religion of Kuwait is Maliki Sunni Islam, which is a branch of Sunni Islam. Kuwait is a wealthy nation with the world’s sixth-largest oil reserves as a foundation for its thriving economy. As of today, the Kuwaiti dinar is worth more than any other currency on the planet. Per capita, Kuwait is the sixth wealthiest country on the planet. The official name of Kuwait is the State of Kuwait. The majority of Kuwait’s population lives in the capital city of Kuwait City. It has been said that Kuwait is ‘anocratic’ because of its semi-constitutional government. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

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Kuwait is an emirate. The Emir is the head of state and the Al Sabah is the ruling family which dominates the country’s political system. An elected legislature, an appointed administration, and an appointed judiciary make up the political system. In 1962, Kuwait issued its first constitution. Click here for information on How The Central Authority Works in Kuwait.

The government carries out executive authority. It is up to the Emir to designate the prime minister, who in turn selects the members of the cabinet.  A large number of the judges are Egyptian natives appointed by the Emir. Confirmation of legislation and decrees to the constitution is the responsibility of the Constitutional Court. With political and social institutions that resemble parties, Kuwait has a vibrant public sphere and civil society.  Members of professional organizations like the Chamber of Commerce are not subject to government control. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

The National Assembly serves as the legislative branch’s governing body, with limited monitoring powers. A new parliament must be elected within two months of parliament being dissolved, according to Kuwait’s constitution’s article 107. In Kuwait, the government changes every eight months due to the frequent resignations of cabinet members. The country’s economic progress and infrastructure have been seriously impeded by political unrest. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

The constitution was suspended twice by the Emir, first in 1976 and again in 1986, both under Sheikh Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah.  With more than 70 percent of government expenditure going toward wages and subsidies for the public sector, Kuwait has been dubbed a ‘rentier state,’ where the ruling family utilizes oil riches to purchase the support of the population.   There are many more female workers than male workers in Kuwait’s employment. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked 

The ‘civil law system’ in Kuwait is based on the legal system in France. There is a strong religious component to Kuwait’s legislative framework. For Muslims, Sharia law rules solely family law.  However, non-Muslims in Kuwait are protected under a system of secular family law. Sunni (Maliki), Shia (Shah), and non-Muslim portions of the family court are all available for the implementation of family law. It is based on a combination of English common law, French civil law, Egypt’s civil and Islamic laws according to the UN. 

The judiciary of Kuwait is agnostic. No Sharia courts exist in Kuwait, unlike in other Gulf Arab countries.  There are many courts that handle family law matters. In the Persian Gulf, Kuwait has the most liberal business legislation In 1984, Kuwait issued its Code of Personal Status. 

In Kuwait, there are six governorates: Al Asimah (or Capital Governorate), Hawalli (or Farwaniya Governorate), Mubarak Al-Kabeer (or Ahmadi Governorate), and Jahra (or Ahmadi) governorates. Areas are further split within the governorates.

According to the Hague Service Convention, which was established by member governments of the Hague Conference on Private International Law on November 15, 1965, in The Hague, Netherlands, Kuwaiti process service civil and commercial cases. In order to provide a reliable and effective method of serving the papers on parties that reside, operate, or are located outside the United States, it was created. Service of process in civil and commercial cases is covered by the convention’s rules, but criminal cases are not. Also, if the address of the person to be served is unknown, the Convention does not apply.

Either by a method prescribed by its internal law for serving documents in domestic actions on persons who are within its territory or by a method requested by the applicant, unless such a method is inconsistent with the law of the State addressed, the Central Authority of the State addressed serves the document itself or arranges for its service by an appropriate agency.

Two copies of court papers translated into Arabic are required, and the recipient may accept them if they are not translated if they so want. Service of the papers is done in under a year’s time. Within two to three months, typically, the service of papers in Kuwait can be put forward. 

Party service in other contracting states was made easier by the Hague Service Convention. Any country signing the convention must name a central body to handle service requests received from other countries. To serve process, a judicial official who is qualified to do so in the state of origin may submit a request directly to the state’s central authority. A local court or other entity designated by the recipient state’s central authority organizes for serving of process after the request has been received. A certificate of service is sent to the court official who requested it after service has been completed.


Service of legal papers can be done either by a method prescribed by its internal law for serving documents in domestic actions on persons who are within its territory or by a method requested by the applicant unless such a method is inconsistent with the law of the State addressed, the Central Authority of the State addressed serves the document itself or arranges for its service by an appropriate agency.

For communication between the Contracting Parties, this Convention establishes a single primary channel while also allowing for the freedom to employ alternate channels. The Convention deals largely with the transmission of documents; it does not discuss or incorporate substantive provisions pertaining to the actual serving of process.

However, the Convention specifies two modes of transmission where service of process might be sent to the final addressee throughout the transmission process: [A.] direct diplomatic or consular channels and [B.] the postal channel. For all other channels of transmission under the Convention an additional step, not controlled by the Convention, is necessary to accomplish service on the ultimate addressee.


Letters Rogatory are usually utilized to acquire evidence or serve pleadings in nations that are not parties to the Hague Service Convention. It is an international court request for help in the serving of process from the United States to another country’s foreign court. One should only use this strategy when there are no other choices available. Up to a year’s delay in the processing of requests might come from this strategy. If there is no treaty in place or if one is serving a subpoena, this technique should be employed.

It is standard practice in most nations to have papers translated into the official language of the country to which they will be sent or used. State Department recommendations for translation are not mandatory unless the formal technique of translation is employed. A demurrer may be made if the defendant is unable to comprehend the nature and significance of untranslated papers, although this is an uncommon occurrence. As long as the recipient’s name, address, and kind of document are all included, the Convention may be applied. This is especially true if the document being served is pertaining to a civil or commercial dispute and is being sent from one Contracting Party to another for service on the recipient (Art. 1). In other words, if these conditions are satisfied, one must use the transmission channels specified by the Convention. It is indeed vital to remember that the law of the forum still determines whether or not transmission to another Contracting Party is required.

Kuwait is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Service of Civil and Commercial Processes Outside of the State. Kuwait’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention shall be notified of all requests for service of process in accordance with the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Courts. It is recommended that the individual signing the document in the United States by a lawyer or a clerk of the court. Attorney at law or clerk of court should be included in the applicant’s name and address and signature/stamp areas. When it came to the Hague Service Convention, Kuwait made a formal objection to service under Article 10 and refused to provide service via the postal system as an alternative.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and its accompanying FSIA Checklist provide further information on serving a foreign state, agency, or instrumentality.

Kuwait is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Ministry of Justice has been recognized as Kuwait’s Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention and is responsible for receiving letters requesting the collecting of evidence. Requests for the compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are submitted directly from the seeking court or individual in the United States to the Kuwait Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention and do not need transmittal through diplomatic channels. Prepare two copies of each letter of request, as well as any supporting papers, and have them translated into Arabic.

Voluntary depositions may be performed in Kuwait regardless of the nationality of the witness, providing no force is employed. No prior clearance from the Kuwait Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is necessary. Telephone depositions and video teleconference testimony are feasible in Kuwait if the deponent chooses to do so willingly but normally requires that U.S. litigants cooperate with a Kuwaiti legal firm to make the arrangements. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consulate personnel. If the services of a U.S. consular official are necessary to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter, and stenographer, such arrangements must be arranged in advance with the U.S. Embassy directly.

Kuwait is not a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. Documents issued in the United States may be authenticated for use in Kuwait by [A.] contacting the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office and [B.] then having the seal of the U.S. Department of State validated by the Embassy of Kuwait in Washington, D.C. Authentication of state-issued documents is a requirement in the United States. This is usually done by the Secretary of State.

The major route of transmission under the Convention is when an authority or judicial officer competent in one Contracting Party submits a request for service to the Central Authority of the Contracting Party in which service is to be effected (Art. 5). (Art. 5). The request must comply with the Model Form appended to the Convention.

The Central Authority of the requesting Contracting Party will serve or arrange for the service of the document by a competent authority in accordance with its own legal provisions (Art. 5). However, the applicant (i.e. the forwarding authority in the requesting Contracting Party) may request that a specific technique or process be used, to the extent that it is not incompatible with the legislation of the requested Contracting Party.

If service has not been provided, then an explanation of why this was not possible should be included in an appended certificate signed by the entity responsible for fulfilling the request (Art. 6).


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1. Kuwait is on the Persian Gulf’s northern point, bordering Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south, at Eastern Arabia’s northernmost corner. Iran and Kuwait both share sea boundaries.

2. 1.45 million of the 4.67 million inhabitants in Kuwait are citizens of the country, while the remaining 3.2 million are foreign nationals from more than 100 countries.

3. Requests from Kuwait to Obtain Evidence in the United States: The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L Street N.W., Room 8102, Washington, D.C. 20530.

4. U.S. Embassy Kuwait

Bayan, Block 13,

Masjed Al-Aqsa Street,

Kuwait City, Kuwait

Telephone: +(965) 2259-1001

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(965) 2259-1001

Fax: +(965) 2259-1438



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