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English translation of all Estonian laws available online

Estonia: All Estonian laws will soon be available in English online

All Estonian laws will soon be available in English online

As of 31 October 2013, Estonian legal texts can be accessed via the website www.riigiteataja.ee/en in English. In 2011 the Estonian Ministry of Justice began translation of legal texts into English by certified translators. The whole translation process is coordinated by a division of the Ministry of Justice.

At the present time about 250 Estonian laws have already been translated into English and are available online. By the end of 2014 almost all the approximately 400 Estonian legal texts should be translated into English and published. However, the project is not finished with that, as in the future all new Estonian laws entering into force will soon also be available in an English version.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice promises an interesting and useful search option, which should also be available for foreign website users in the future. Thus, different versions of consolidated legal texts can be placed comparatively side by side so that the new and valid text of the law can be compared to the previous version. Differences will be highlighted in different colours, so that legal changes can be tracked at a glance. Already the legal texts translated so far and the original Estonian texts can be placed comparatively side by side.

The purpose of the project is on the one hand to provide an insight into the Estonian legal system for Estonia’s partner countries in the EU and worldwide. Another purpose is to enable foreign investors to understand Estonian law. On the other hand, Estonian law should be made more understandable to foreign investors.

However, it should be noted that only the original texts in Estonian language have legal force. The English versions have no legal force. Therefore, one cannot rely on them in an Estonian court or in other official proceedings.

Source: State Gazette (Riigi Teataja), www.riigiteataja.ee/en

Evert Alba
 
Contact in Tallinn
Evert Alba
Phone: +372 667 62 40