- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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applying to Notaries Public in Russia, the identity of persons
participating in the drawing up or witnessing of a document is generally
to be proved by the production of their passports, certificates of
employment, or police certificates. If, for some reason or other, such
documentary proof cannot be produced, and the parties are not
personally known to the Notary, their identity must be established by
the evidence of two trustworthy persons, who must be personally
known to the Notary or be able to supply the required proof of their
identity. The method of identification must be stated in the text
of the document or of the legalisation.1 If it is impossible to identify
the parties in the manner here specified, the Consul must mention in
the document, or in the legalisation, what proofs or circumstances
have led him to acknowledge their identity.2 Some Russian Consular
Officers refuse to legalise documents signed by Russian subjects who
have left Russia clandestinely, and who are not provided with Russian
foreign passports. Although such a course is dictated by the
laudable desire to inflict some kind of punishment on runaways for their
illegal departure from Russia, it is hardly in conformity with the
above-mentioned regulations applying to Notaries Public in Russia,
which should also be observed by Russian State Consuls.

In order to convince himself of the legal capacity of the parties
concerned, the Consul must consult their foreign passports.3 He
may also require from them a written declaration to the desired effect.4
Other evidence of the legal capacity of the parties may consist in the
declaration of trustworthy persons. Besides certificates of birth,
written statements signed by the minister of religion by whom the
parties were baptised, or to whom they are accustomed to confess,
may be accepted as proof that the persons are not minors. The legal
capacity of a person is regulated by the laws of the State and the
province to which he belongs, and not by the laws of the country where
the deed or contract is executed. The Consul must also satisfy
himself of the legal capacity of the persons who witness the execution of
the document.5 Ignorance of the Russian language is regarded as
a cause of incapacity to witness an act legalised by a Russian Consul.
If a person who is ignorant of the Russian language takes part in the
execution of an act before a Russian Consul in any other capacity than
as a witness to the act, it is necessary to secure the services of an

All such acts, deeds, contracts, &c., must be written in the Russian
language, and all sums of money, weights, and measures must be
expressed in Russian terms. Sums of foreign money and foreign
weights and measures in the text of such acts must also be shown

1 Regulations relating to Notaries Public, Ed. 1892, Art. 73, Svod Zakonov,
Vol. XVI.

2 Ibid,., Art. 74.

3 Passports for going abroad cannot always be considered as a guarantee
that the holder thereof has legal capacity, as such passports are also given to
undischarged bankrupts who have lost their legal capacity.

4 Temporary rules as to the application of the Regulations relating to Notaries
Public, Art. 20.

5 Regulations relating to Notaries Public, Art. 147.

6 Regulations relating to Notaries Public, Art. 91.

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