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Four years after the Christopher X Decision, US courts still give little deference to the French blocking statute

January 2012

Paris International Litigation Bulletin no. 2

In 1980, France enacted a criminal statute prohibiting individuals from cooperating with US discovery requests not made in accordance with The Hague Evidence Convention, which was ratified by both France and the US.  On 12 December 2007, the French Supreme Court upheld the first conviction ever under this statute.  Despite that decision, and with awareness of it, US courts still discount the prospects of criminal sanctions under the French blocking statute when considering whether or not to compel production of evidence from France or to limit it to the discovery available under The Hague Evidence Convention.

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