We’ve blogged about legal translation and the choice of law, as well as professional translation services and international conflicts of law. Legal translation and legal interpreting services come in handy in answering the question: In the Wrong – But Where? This question most often arises in situations where a domestic court is faced with accessing the consequences of a breach of its international obligations. Whether or not an international wrongful act occurred is not the issue. The issue is whether the wrong was committed under domestic law or international law.
For example, in the case Sanchez-Llamas, the court wrestled with deciding whether the wrong had been committed under the applicable domestic law of the Netherlands or one that incurs the responsibility of the Netherlands under international law. In summary, the question comes down to whether or not the consequences for the wrong should be determined by international law or domestic law.
The general rule of law states that a state cannot plead its domestic law as a justification for not complying with an obligation under international law. However, this general point of law has little relevance when the wrongful act is already determined. Thus, a court has a decision to make, and a lawyer an argument to bring forth.
Using a foreign language translation of both domestic and international laws, the attorney will have to evaluate which of the consequences are the most favorable for the foreign-born client. Based on this decision, an argument for or against the application of either domestic law or international law can be made.
To read our deposition translation company’s tips on witness deposition interpreters, legal interpreting, deposition interpreters, deposition translation and legal interpretation click here.