Both procedures are possible. A request should clearly state which procedure the requesting court means.
Where requests are made under Articles 10 to 12 of the Regulation, the provisions of the Code of Judicial Procedure relating to the presentation of evidence apply to the hearing.
There are no such restrictions in civil or commercial law cases. Experts and parties can also be examined by video conference.
The recording of video-conference hearings is not prohibited, but the requisite equipment is not available in all courts. A separate enquiry to this effect should be made when the request is submitted.
Where requests are made under Articles 10 to 12, the hearing is conducted in Finnish or Swedish. In the case of a direct hearing under Article 17, the requesting court selects the language to be used.
Where requests are made under Articles 10 to 12, the provision and location of interpreters is a matter to be agreed between the requesting court and the receiving court. Where requests are made under Article 17, the requesting court is responsible for obtaining interpreters and deciding where they should be located.
Where requests are made under Articles 10 to 12, the receiving court sends a written summons to the person to be examined. Ideally, there should be at least two to three weeks between the service of notice and the date of the hearing. Where requests are made under Article 17, the requesting court is responsible for the service of notice and for making the necessary arrangements.
When a person is examined pursuant to Articles 10 to 12 of the Regulation in a video-equipped court, the use of video conferencing equipment does not usually generate separate costs. When a person is examined pursuant to Article 17 in a place other than a court, the requesting court takes responsibility for videoconferencing costs.
A court which has submitted a request under Article 17(2) of the Regulation must inform the person in question that evidence is taken on a voluntary basis.
Where requests are made under Articles 10 to 12, the receiving court establishes the identity of the person to be examined and checks it, if necessary, against the person’s identity card or passport. Where requests are made under Article 17, the requesting court is required to verify the identity of the person to be examined.
No particular requirements for taking oaths apply during direct taking of evidence under Article 17. An oath is sworn in accordance with the legislation governing the court that is examining the witness.
The receiving court provides the name of such a contact person.
– The requesting court should ideally provide the names of contact persons for both technical arrangements and case-specific (legal) issues.
– The request should contain contact details (email addresses and/or telephone numbers) of the contact persons that allow them to be reached also during the court hearing in case there are problems with the video link or other similar issues.
– If the states are located in different time zones, the request should specify whether the times mentioned are the times of the requesting state or the receiving state.
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