All of Estonia's laws now available in English (3)

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
1/12/2015 12:25 PM
Category: Society

A four-year Justice Ministry-coordinated project to translate Estonian legislation into English has been completed.

The head of the department responsible for Riigi Teataja or the State Gazette, where legislation is published, Jüri Heinla, said the project will help introduce the Estonian legal sphere to the outside world and will simplify international state and business cooperation.

A limited selection of legal acts were formerly available on a Justice Ministry website, now retired. Compared to that site, the new English-language State Gazette features only translations by sworn translators, who pass a state examination and have to meet certain other requirements.

Compared to the old Justice Ministry site, however, the search engine on the new site currently has less functionality. For instance, a search for the Estonian-language name of last year's most famous act did not turn up any search results. To find it, one would have to already know the legally correct English-language name, Registered Partnership Act, which is different from the one used in the media, Cohabitation Act.

However, the list is complete and the department promises that all new laws and amendments will also be accessible in English. .

The translations are considered unofficial, and do not have legal force.

The ministry recently finished translating 50 most significant laws into Russian and began to offer free legal advice online in Russia.

J.M. Laats, K. Rikken

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