Legal Translation of Foreign Statutes
Legal Translation and Interpreting Services for International Disputes
Accurate legal translations of foreign laws and statutes and accurate legal interpreting services play an important role in international disputes. International litigation law firms often encounter the need for legal translation services from Turkish to English and from other foreign language to English, as well as the need for Turkish deposition interpreter services for Zoom depositions and arbitration and for in-person depositions and in-person arbitration hearings. Today’s case brings us to the landlocked nation of Kyrgyzstan. The name of the case is Entes Industrial Plants Construction & Erection Contracting Co Inc v Kyrgyz Republic, and it was heard by the District Court of the District of Columbia.
In 1999 the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic entered into a contract with a Turkish corporation by the name of “Entes”. Under the terms of the contract, the corporation was obligated to renovate over 600 kilometers of road connecting Kyrgyzstan’s two largest cities. The roadway also passed through mountain ranges. The contract was in excess of 50 billion dollars, and the target completion date of the project was set for December 2002. However, the project was not completed by the target date. Problems arose, such as design changes, material shortages, inclement weather, and even political unrest, which delayed the project. The project was finally completed in October 2005. As a result of the delays, the Turkish corporation claimed that it was owed an additional twenty plus million dollars.
U.S. Proceedings to Confirm Foreign Arbitral Award
In order to recover this additional amount, the Turkish corporation initiated an arbitration proceeding in Kyrgyzstan against the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic. Eventually, after going through the arbitration, the Turkish corporation was awarded about 17 million dollars.
In 2018, the Turkish corporation filed a petition in the United States District Court, District of Columbia to enforce and confirm the arbitral award. Both the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Kyrgyz Republic were named in the petition.
The Court held that it had jurisdiction to hear this matter under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) which allows district courts to exercise jurisdiction over any non-jury civil action against a foreign state. The Court also stated that it had jurisdiction “to confirm an award made pursuant to an arbitration agreement governed by an international treaty.”
Two Versions of the English Translation of the Kyrgyz Law
The respondents made multiple arguments against the petition, including arguing that the petition should only be confirmed against the Ministry and not against the Kyrgyz Republic because the Kyrgyz Republic was not a party to the arbitration proceeding. Therefore, the question in front of the Court was whether the Ministry and the Kyrgyz Republic were separate entities. In order to resolve this issue, the Court looked at the Kyrgyz law which had created the Ministry.
Both sides presented their English translations of the Kyrgyz law. Notably, both English translations had some differences. The Court noted that the differences were very minor and did not interfere with reaching the decision. Both parties had presented definitions of what the Ministry was, with some differences. The Court noted that even with the differences it was clear that the Kyrgyz Ministry was defined, within the statutes, to be a part of the Republic. Hence, the Court concluded that the Ministry and the Republic were one and the same.
English Translation of Foreign Statutes from Any Foreign Language
Although the differences in the English translations of the Kyrgyz statutes were said to be minor, the certified translations presented by each party could have been incorrect to the point where they could have adversely affected the outcome of the case. This, once again, underscores the importance of using professional legal translation services. Legal translation of foreign statutes and laws involves special skills and familiarity with legal terms of art, which only a professional legal translator is likely to have. Get in touch with All Language Alliance, Inc. to obtain certified English translation of Turkish, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Mongolian, Hebrew, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Albanian, Portuguese statutes and laws and to inquire about hiring a court-certified interpreter for a deposition or arbitration hearing via Zoom in any foreign language.
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