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Important COVID-19 information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Attorney-General’s Department: Find out how our services are being delivered and how you can access them. For the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from the Australian Government, visit Australia.gov.au

Serving a legal document across international borders

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, service of legal documents across international borders will likely be subject to delays or restrictions. The length of the delay will depend on the state or territory in which you are seeking service.

Serving a foreign civil legal document in Australia

Requests for service will still be processed in all Australian jurisdictions. All Australian jurisdictions anticipate delays in executing requests for service.

To help minimise delays, the Requesting Authority should provide the following information when sending a new service request to the Australian Central Authority:

  • contact name
  • phone number
  • email address.

For specific information on individual jurisdictions, contact the relevant Australian authority directly:

Australian Capital Territory

Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Northern Territory

Supreme Court of the Northern Territory

Queensland

Queensland Courts

South Australia

Supreme Court of South Australia

Tasmania

Supreme Court of Tasmania

Victoria

Supreme Court of Victoria

Western Australia

Supreme Court of Western Australia

Serving an Australian civil legal document overseas

For service of Australian civil legal documents overseas, the length of the delay will depend on the country in which you are seeking to have documents served.

For more information, contact the relevant overseas authority.

Serve a legal document in Australia

This fact sheet outlines how to serve a foreign civil legal document in Australia:

The Requesting Authority must comply with any reservations or declarations made by the Australian Central Authority.

Serve a legal document overseas

This fact sheet outlines how to serve an Australian civil legal document overseas:

The Requesting Authority in Australia must comply with any reservations or declarations made by the overseas Central Authority.

Download a Model Form

Visit the Hague Conference website to download the Request for service of documents model form.

Outgoing requests

For requests to serve civil legal documents overseas, Australian litigants should refer to the relevant Australian Court rules for any form requirements.

If the relevant Australian Court does not provide a form for making a request, we recommend that litigants use the Model Form.

Incoming requests

For requests to serve foreign civil legal documents in Australia, foreign litigants should refer to the relevant court rules in their jurisdiction for any form requirements.

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