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V lislepingute t lgete riigisisene iguslik staatus ja v imalik rahvusvaheline vastutus

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Abstract:

[The Legal Status of Translations of Treaties in the Estonian Legal System and Possible International Responsibility] The article considers the legal status of the hundreds of translations of international treaties that Estonia has ratified. On the one hand, the problem lies within the poor quality of the translations and on the other hand, it seems that the government has absolved itself of all possible responsibility with regard to the translations as the majority of translations are marked as unofficial. Thus, a person who reads the text cannot be sure whether the translation corresponds to the original treaty text i.e. applicable law. It is unreasonably difficult for a person to determine the content of the treaty if one cannot rely on the translation. If a person suffers harm because he or she had based one’s actions on the translation whereas the original treaty text stated something else, it is not possible for that person to claim damages from the government. The article argues that as the translations are unofficial they are intended to have no legal significance in the Estonian legal system. That raises a number of issues — among others the international responsibility of Estonia as by distancing itself from the translations, Estonia is not complying with its international obligations. This and other problems with regard to the unofficial translations are explored in more detail.

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