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the affirmation of the authenticity of signatures of competent officials on documents. As a rule, documents drawn up abroad are accepted in another country if they are legalized by the consul of the state in which the document was drawn up. Documents to be used in a foreign country may also be legalized by that country’s consul in the state whose agencies have drawn up the document. The legalization takes the form of an attesting endorsement by the consul on the documents.
The right of Soviet consuls to legalize documents is based on Article 58 of the Consular Charter of the USSR and on corresponding articles of consular conventions concluded by the USSR with other countries. Foreign documents are accepted in the USSR if they are legalized by a consul. Documents may be accepted without legalization by judicial bodies or if acceptance was stipulated in legislation or in specific international agreements. For example, on the basis of reciprocity legalization is not required for applications by foreigners for inventions. Legalization is not required for documents drawn up in countries with which the USSR has concluded agreements on legal assistance in civil, family, and criminal cases and agreements on social security.