Venezuela: Finding Foreign Law in Venezuela. General Overview
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In Venezuela, foreign law is determined and applied ex officio. This is the rule contained in international treaties in force (i.e., Bustamante Code and in Inter American treaties) and in domestic law. In practice, however, parties do much of the work. Courts and litigants research foreign law on the Internet, but courts are not bound by their findings or the parties’ submissions on foreign law. Affidavits on foreign law are also common practice. The incorrect application of foreign law is subject to appeal even before the Supreme Court of Justice. There is no reported experience of courts or parties requesting international cooperation for obtaining information on foreign law. Costs incurred in finding foreign law are to be borne by the interested party, with the expectation of recovery of judicial costs if successful in litigation. Costs incurred by the courts in such a process are not borne by the litigants. Venezuelan courts are now more aware of their duties when applying foreign law and this is likely to lead to a more effective ways of finding foreign law.