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"Apostille: Certification. An apostille, or postil, is properly a gloss on a scriptural text, particularly on a gospel text; however, it has come to mean an explanatory note on other writings. The word is also applied to a general commentary, and also to a homily or discourse on the gospel or epistle appointed for the day. Apostille is also a French word which means a certification. It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalisation of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarised by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.
States which have not signed the Convention must specify how foreign legal documents can be certified for its use. Sometimes two countries will have a special treaty concerning the recognition of each others documents, but usually not. When the country issuing or receiving the document does not recognise an apostille, you must usually take the document to the consulate of the foreign country you need to certify it or to an honorary consular officer appointed by that country who is qualifed to certify it. It may need to be certified by the highest government official in the country where it originated, such as the Secretary of State or Minister of Foreign Affairs, before being accepted by the consular officer of the foreign country, this process is known as chain authentication as an unbroken chain of government officials each certifies the signature (and seal in some cases) of the prior official in the first country and the consular officer then certifies that the document should be recognized as authentic in the country of destination. Usually that consular officer's signature can be authenticated in the country of destination as well."