Literalism while translating documents in the international legal proceedings.
General process of the international integration has begun in Russia and Kazakhstan right after disintegration of the USSR. To globalization of national economies has led to that the goods, services, technologies and the capital have started to cross borders in great volumes. It, in turn, has generated an indispensability of the conclusion of contracts between participants of international trade, as well as has entailed an increase of number of economic disputes.
The widespread problem with which the lawyers collide, engaged the external economic deals and participating in the international litigations, is translation of documents from foreign language on Russian and on the contrary. Quite often competent translation requires not only foreign court or the counterpart, but also your own top – management, who is not understanding in Russian language.
Some companies solve a problem, enlisting translators; however translators not always have skills of precise transfer of sense of legal texts. Especial complexity is represented with translation of the documents intended for the USA because each of fifty staffs, District of Columbia, and 16 territories of the USA are a separate jurisdiction, with the laws and sometimes non-standard legal terms.
Let’s consider as an example state New York. New York has developed a unique legal language and original legal colleges. For example, what in all America refers to paternity proceedings, New York names filiation proceedings. Alimony in New York name simply maintenance, which can appear not at once clear to the lawyer from other staff. Battery in New York’s the criminal code name assault, which in other staffs means an attack, i.e. a quite different crime. Even criminal code in New York name Penal law.
It is known, that in the USA judicial systems of staffs are proclaimed by the Supreme courts. The judicial system and litigation in New York are so distinct from America’s, that lawyers from other staffs spend tens hours, studying 15 languid handbook only to seize the basic essence of legal proceedings. If English-Russian translator will try to translate judicial documents of New York literally, such translation will cause a lot of questions or incorrect understanding of the document.
In Russian-speaking press it is possible to read through news that, for example, the Supreme Court of state New York has passed the decision in favor of Vladimir Gusinsky or that Supreme Court of New York has recognized lawful dispersal of camp Occupy Wall Street. This news will stump any lawyer: why the Supreme Court considered business of an oligarch in the first instance and how the Supreme Court has had time to recognize dispersal of demonstration which the police has started to make sixteen hours earlier.
The immense breadth jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the first instance and blazing speed of disposals legal proceeding in the Supreme Court will amaze imagination of any to that has had the luck to run a business in the Supreme Court of the country. However early to envy, the Supreme Court in New York is only court of first instance. The maximum court is in city Albany, capital of staff, and it refers to Court of Appeals. As you can see, the literal translation of legal terms leads to incorrect understanding of the facts. Lawyers (and journalists too) should to aspire pass properly sense of the document, using terms which will be understood a Russian-speaking audience.
The name of courts in New York is contained also with other words which literal translation makes no sense for the Russian-speaking lawyer. For example, New York Supreme Court, Kings County, I would translate as “the Brooklyn regional court, state New York” because Russian tracing-paper – “the Supreme court of New York, Kings County”- causes a perplexity. In state New York is such 62″counties”, but there is no column. Actually county is usual for America administrative – territorial unit similar with habitual for us by area. In everyone county there is the “district center” with “a district committee”, “chairman of a district executive committee” and regional court.
The note. “County Kings” is a freakish name of Brooklyn. The city New York is divided on 5 administrative areas or 5 historical settlements which have entered at various times in a city boundaries. (Compare for example, Khimki, Medvedkovo, Yasenevo in Moscow; Prishachtinsk, Fedorovka, Mikhailovka in Karaganda.) Borders of administrative areas and historical settlements coincide, and names – not always. So, Brooklyn has named area Kings, Staten Island – area Richmond, and Manhattan – area New York.
Very precisely terms of the English – American rights are translated on Russian in the handbook of professor F.M.Reshetnikov (1930 – 1998) “Legal systems of the countries of the world” – anyway, in the chapter about the USA. However “Legal systems” give only the general review of the right of the different states whereas in practice participants of the international litigation meet difficulties translation of specific numerous terms of jurisprudence.
Not so long ago has appeared “the English-Russian explanatory legal dictionary. Civil law” professors I.I.Chirnovoy (2009). However, the dictionary is created, mainly, for translation of terms of the conventional law, the property right and the corporate right. The dictionary gives not simply translation of English legal terms, and their interpretation. The author warns readers against false friends to the translator, as, for example, words liquidation which values do not coincide. Professor I.I.Chernova explains that if it is a question of the termination of activity of the company, it is necessary to use a word termination, if about the decision of liquidation of the legal person – dissolution, if about process of liquidation – winding up.
Any translation text should be verified on a coordination of sense of translation from plans of the author of the original. If the court of first instance in Manhattan collects 32 million dollars in favor of Gusinsky’s oligarch to translate the name of this court as supreme, means, to complicate the text of the document.
The note. V.Gusinskiy’s business subsequently was considered in appeal court and became New York’s precedent. The name of business: New York media Holding Co., LLC v. Kagalovsky, 118 A.D. 3d 68, 985 N.Y.S. 2d 216 (2014).
By the way, as has left, that firm of oligarch New York media Holding Co. could initiate in court of New York civil process against Russian K.Kagalovsky and its Cyprian corporations Aspida Venchurs and Seragil Holdings. And how corrected jurisdiction? The matter is that the American lawyers have the strategic receptions, allowing to judge foreign subjects in the American courts. These receptions have allowed the Panama companies Atlantic Holdings and Baltic Investment Holding. Bought bonds BTA Bank in Kazakhstan to judge Investment fund Samruk – Kazina in New York’s court, as though the respondent did not beat off.
However, about all this – next time.