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Legal translation requires extreme precision with the skill and knowledge of professionals committed to the highest degree of accuracy. Every nuance of the text must be respected. This includes the careful drafting and adaptation to cultural context as needed.


Joseph Blain Inc. provides legal translations across the Common law and Civil law spectrum, ranging from public to private law in Canada and around the globe.


Common legal documents requiring translation include vital civil certificates and other official records. Just a few examples of these include birth and citizenship certificates, student academic transcripts and medical reports. Frequent government submissions range from immigration and citizenship applications to school applications and more.

All legal translations done by the Joseph Blain Inc. team are sworn.

What is Legal Translation?


Legal translation consists of translating a text related to the law from one language into another. The types of documents translated in this context are varied according to whether they are in the realm of public or private law.

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Public Law: Criminal, Constitutional and Administrative


As explained by the Department of Justice Canada, public law:

sets the rules for the relationship between the individual and society… It includes:

  • criminal law, which deals with crimes and their punishments

  • constitutional law, which defines the relationship between various branches of government, as well as between federal and provincial governments; it also limits the exercise of governmental power over individuals through the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms 

  • administrative law, which deals with the actions and operations of government


Courts at the federal level are the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Tax Court of Canada, Military Courts and the Court Martial Appeal Court.


Provinces and territories have their respective appellate courts, superior trial courts and provincial courts.


In addition to assisting clients in the aforementioned court systems, the expert translators at Joseph Blain Inc. regularly provide services to navigate the documentation necessary in the numerous administrative law tribunals at both the federal and provincial levels in Canada.

Federal Administrative Tribunals

Just a few examples of federal administrative tribunals are the:

Provincial Administrative Tribunals

A brief selection of examples of administrative law tribunals in Ontario and Quebec include:


Parental adjudication


Landlord-tenant disputes:




Real estate


Labour relations, occupational health and safety, workman’s compensation

Private Law: Civil Contracts and Settlements


Whereas public law involves the government, private law is the area of law regulating agreements and disputes between individuals and institutions apart from the government.

Common areas of practice include contracts, property and torts.

Examples of documents covered under private law include:


  • Contracts, agreements or conventions signed between two parties

  • Administrative documents related to companies

  • Documents produced in a legal context

  • And much more!

Sworn Translations

In general, public institutions require that translations submitted to them be sworn. Sworn translations are also often commonly referred to as certified or notarized translations.


At Joseph Blain Inc., our translators attest to the faithful translation from original documents such as proof of identity, proof of education and estate documents. We then have a commissioner of oaths provide certification.

Proof of Identity Documents (often known as civil status certificates)

      Birth certificates

      Divorce certificates

      Criminal records

       Marriage certificates

       Government certificates

       Tribal documents

Proof of Education Documents

Estate Planning and Settlement

Translators at Joseph Blain Inc. have an appreciation for the important differences in treatment of estate law under civil and common law.




      Land titles or deeds


      Death certificates

       Power of Attorney

      Legal instruments such as Trusts

International Legal Translation

The legal field has a technical vocabulary and complex terminologies that vary between countries' legal systems. Concepts present in the law of one country may not have an equivalent in the law of the target language country. Not only does a legal translator need to have knowledge of the source and target languages, but also the legal concepts in both countries.


At the most basic level, these concepts flow from an understanding of whether the system of law practiced is civil law or common law.  


Civil law predominates around the world from Albania and Brazil to Suriname and Vietnam, with a vast assortment of nations in between such as France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.


Of the numerous Common law nations, it is worth noting that Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have the distinction of being Common law nations with the respective jurisdictions of Quebec, Scotland and Louisiana practicing Civil law.

We are here to help!

The experienced team at Joseph Blain Inc. offers you a high level of legal translation services in Montreal. For more information, please read our blog on the subject. Contact us to make an appointment now!


You can send us your documents by email, FTP, or any other electronic means that suits you. Our legal translation service in Montreal is of the highest standard; we respect the confidentiality and security of your documents. Translation costs are calculated according to the number of words in the content to be translated and the delivery deadlines.


For a free estimate, please submit the document to be translated by email to

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