An Exemplary Efficiency
Nearly two hundred participants coming from Congo but also from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo, convened to “Ponton la Belle” as is called the second city of Congo to attend the latest seminar of this true institution which is the Training Unit of African Judicial Officers (Uhohja). The delegation of the UIHJ consisted in its President, Leo Netten, its Vice-President, Honoré Aggrey, its General Secretary, Françoise Andrieux, and its 1st Secretary, Mathieu Chardon, these last two also participating in their capacity as Ufohja and National School of Procedure of Paris (ENP) experts. The ENP of Paris was represented at its highest level, by its President, Jean-Michel Rouzaud.
At the sides of our fellow-members, many high State and legal world officials, amongst whom the Prefect of Pointe-Noire and high-ranking magistrates of the jurisdictions of Pointe-Noire: the 1st President of the Court of Appeal, the General Public Prosecutor of the Court of Appeal, the Prosecuting Attorney, the Vice-President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the High Court, the Dean of the judges of the High Court, judges and chiefs clerks of the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the County Courts and the Commercial Court, members of the cabinet of the Prefect, Departmental directors of the administration, police authorities, the President of the National Chamber of the Notaries of Congo and the President of the Bar association of Pointe-Noire, as well as the General Secretary of the Mayor. Lawyers of two banks and three business firms also attended work: the International Commercial Bank, the Credit of Congo, as well as SDV, Congo télécoms and Warid Congo companies. Many media were also present to cover the event.
It is necessary to acknowledge the warms of the reception of the Congolese colleagues and their National Chamber, as well as the perfect organization of the seminar thanks to the exemplary efficiency of its president Jean Makosso Tock and his Steering Committee.
Missions Reinforced by Ohada
The opening ceremony was placed under the authority of Alexandre Honoré Paka, Prefect of Pointe-Noire. The Master of Ceremony was Jean-Fernand Makosso, judicial officer in Pointe-Noire. Our fellow-member welcomed the delegations. He presented his beautiful city. He recalled that, for the law specialists that are the judicial officers, an on-going training is essential, hence the importance of these training seminars.
In his short speech, Jean Makosso Tock, President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo, recalled that after Pointe-Noire in 2001 and Brazzaville in 2005, Congo had once again the honor of welcoming an Ufohja seminar. He greeted all the delegations in Pointe-Noire, “these fellow-members and friends from Europe and Africa showing us their friendship” and welcomed them on Congolese ground and in particular in his city. He mentioned that this seminar showed the great attachment expressed towards training of judicial officers in Congo. “We are convinced that powerful judicial officers are well trained judicial officers” he declared. President Makosso noted that the judicial officer is ignored, even by the media. At the occasion of the World Day of the judicial officer of June 2010, a Congolese journalist had even wondered whether judicial officers were sufficiently important to deserve such a day! Actually, the judicial officer is firstly a complete proximity auxiliary of justice, in constant liaison with citizens, tradesmen, craftsmen, and who appears to be a valuable partner and adviser of businesses, able to draw up private deeds, reports, and thus to preserve the rights and to recover the debts of any private individual or of all types of economic operators. The president of the Congolese National chamber then pointed out that the missions of the judicial officer were reinforced by the treaty of Ohada. He establishes the document initiating proceedings through his personal service of documents delivered in the place of the traditional requests made by lawyers. It is still him who addresses disputes on behalf of parties as regards seizures and who files claims in civil and commercial matters. “Being present since the documents initiating proceedings and enforcing court decisions, the judicial officer is at the center of legal proceedings” he stated to announce the topic of the Ufohja seminar: “The Judicial Officer, Major Actor of the Rule of Law and the Economic Life”. Jean Makosso Tock finished his speech by expressing his gratitude towards the UIHJ, the ENP of Paris and the Ufohja for the assistance which they bring for the success of demonstrations such as this seminar.
An Essential Step towards Harmonization
Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, did not hide his deep pleasure of being in Pointe-Noire, “natural outlet of a dominating communication axis for central Africa”, and economic lung of Congo. He evoked the phenomenon of globalization of the law which results in a weakening of the sovereignty of the States, an adjustment of legal modes applicable to economic activities, or a whole of common rights and obligations to all economic actors wherever they carry on their activities. In Africa, President Netten recalled the organizations that were created in all the sub-areas: CEDEO, Uemoa for West Africa, the CEMAC for Central Africa and the SADC for Southern Africa. Their objective is the realization of economic and legal integration at regional level, besides the advent of the African Economic community and the African Union. He explained why the Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Business Law was created in this context. “Ohada is above all an idea, even a requirement, of African economic operators who assert the improvement of the legal and judicial environment of the businesses in order to secure their investments” he indicated, with an aim of “giving confidence to investors, both national or foreign, in order to support the development of the entrepreneurial spirit and of to attract outside investments”. For the president of the UIHJ, judicial officers are totally concerned with this unification of the law and it is essential that they stay involved in this process through an harmonization of the profession. He stated that an essential step towards this harmonization was the project of the uniform statute of the judicial officers initiated by his predecessor, Jacques Isnard, as the symbol of the contribution of the judicial officers to the cause of the legal institutions of Ohada. Considering it regrettable that the project has not yet being accepted by the Ohada institutions and to quote the former president of the UIHJ: “this project, which was crowned as the most characteristic global work by the academic section of the UIHJ, and which gives a considerable dimension to the profession in Africa, deserves to be re-examined and reconsidered because it incontestably contributes to promote the treaty of Ohada and to consolidate the uniform act of 1st July 1998 on enforcement”. Then President Netten reminded the remarks of Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble, Professor at Law (Ivory Coast), member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, and currently running for the presidential election in her country, who affirms that harmonization of laws and legal harmonization are the bases of a restoration of trust and a preparation to economic integration. The key words are trust and legal security. For this reason, enforcement of legal decisions is an essential element of the functioning of a State based on the Rule of Law. Enforcement processes must thus be effective and fair. To meet these requirements, a profession specialized in enforcement and debt collecting was set, to appear as a true economic actor and pledge of security and guarantee, that of the judicial officer, central element in the functioning of the State and the economy.
Then, Alexandre Honoré Paka, Prefect of Pointe-Noire, congratulated the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo and its president for the organization of the seminar and the selected topics. He insisted on the importance of the role of this profession, in charge of enforcing legal decisions and without whom these decisions are useless. He wished with all profitable work and declared solemnly opened the 29th Ufohja seminar.
The Judicial Officer, Major Actor of the Rule of Law and the Economic Life
The Ufohja seminar was divided into three workshops. The first workshop concerned the judicial officer and the protection of rights. It was chaired by Moussa Dan Koma Issaka, President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Niger, and by Jean-Didier Bidié, Vice-President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo. The workshop was divided into two sub-topics. The first sub-topic, “the judicial officer, a liberal professional for the protection of the rights of citizens”, was presented by Mathieu Chardon and Jean-Claude Olombi, former President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo and judicial officer in Brazzaville. The second sub-topic, “the judicial officer, guarantor of the efficiency of legal decisions”, was presented by Jean-Michel Rouzaud and Alain Ngongang Simé, President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Cameroon.
The second workshop concerned enforcement proceedings. It was chaired by Alphonse Kibakala, former President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo and judicial officer in Pointe-Noire. Francoise Andrieux presented the sub-topic on the basic principles relating to enforcement of legal decisions. Then Mathieu Chardon and Moussa Dan Koma presented the second sub-topic relating to the obstacles to the enforcement of legal decisions. The third and fourth sub-topics, “Mortgage and seizure of property”, and “the sale of immovable by order of the court”, were both presented by Robert Siaka Bakary, judicial officer in Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
The third workshop dealt with ethics and the social status of the judicial officer. It was chaired by Jean-Claude Olombi. Françoise Andrieux presented the first sub-topic: “Ethics and deontology”. The social status which was the subject of the second sub-topic was presented by Jean-Michel Rouzaud. Lastly, the third sub-topic which concerned the 1965 Hague Convention on the service of documents was presented by Mathieu Chardon.
Work was completed by a dazzling summary report made by Jerome Okemba Ngabondo, judicial officer in Brazzaville. To acknowledge its great quality, which reflects on all the Congolese judicial officers, you will find hereafter the text of this report.
Work was enclosed by the representative of the Prefect. Jean Makosso Tock thanked all the speakers and participants and wished with all a safe journey home. Leo Netten cordially thanked the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo and in particular its President, its Vice-President and its Steering Committee, for the perfect organization of the seminar and the warmth of the welcome, emphasizing the high level reached by the African judicial officers.
Summary report of the Ufohja international seminar of Pointe-Noire
By Jerome Okemba Ngabondo,
judicial officer in Brazzaville (Congo)
From 2nd to 3rd September 2010 was held in Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo the 29th training session of the Training Unit of African Judicial Officers (Ufohja). This session was organized by the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo in partnership with the National School of Procedure of Paris and the UIHJ whose president pays his first visit in sub-Saharan Africa since his election in September 2009 in Marseilles.
This conference was attended by judicial officers coming from several countries, in particular Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, France, the Netherlands, Niger, and Togo. In addition to the judicial officers, Judges and company lawyers took part in this conference whose opening and closing ceremonies were placed under the aegis of Mr. Alexandre Honoré Paka, Prefect of the department of Pointe-Noire.
Several short speeches punctuated the opening ceremony. The president of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo spoke first to welcome all the participants before marking his attachment to the training of judicial officers. The humanism and the professionalism of the judicial officers have training as a corollary. He carried on pointing out the attributions of the judicial officers often ignored by the Congolese citizens. The force of the law, he said, lies in the effective capacity of the State to carry out legal decisions ensured by the judicial officer.
The judicial officer who is still considered in the collective mind as some kind of torturer is above all a proximity auxiliary of justice, both for the population and businesses. He intervenes quickly for the amicable debt collecting. Today, the Ohada treaty reinforces the missions of the judicial officer inasmuch as he is now in charge of all legal proceedings. He concluded his short speech by thanking in the name of the Government of the Republic, the National School of Procedure of Paris, the UIHJ and the Ufohja.
Speaking then, Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, first expressed his pleasure to visit Pointe-Noire for the first time, the economic capital of Congo, the Ocean door of central Africa. Then, he showed that at the era of globalization marked by the circulation of people, goods and services, there was a weakening of the States forcing them to adopt a Uniform Act to counteract the obsolescence of legal modes applicable to economic activities.
The regional regroupings (CEDEAO, CEMAC, SADC) are the embryos of an African regrouping. But legal integration must be used as a motor to economic integration. In this respect Ohada not only appears to secure investments by supporting the development of businesses but also to fight against legal and judicial insecurity due to the disparity of legislations between States. A well carried out unification facilitates exchanges, trust and economic opening.
This standardization also concerns the judicial officers through the uniform statute of the African judicial officer which aims at harmonizing the methods of exercise of the profession in each Ohada Member State. Unfortunately this statute was rejected by the States. This statute, which is the symbol of the contribution of the judicial officer to Ohada, deserves to be re-examined and reconsidered because it is the work of Jacques Isnard, former President of the UIHJ, considered by Leo Netten as “the father of the African judicial officer”.
The Council of Europe recommends that justice is rendered with equity and speed. It considers enforcement of legal decisions as an essential element of the functioning of a State based on the Rule of Law. Thus the judicial officer, a private and autonomous professional, is a central element in the functioning of the State and of economy because he is subjected to a whole of strict and disciplinary ethical rules under the supervision of the chamber and the Public Prosecutor.
In his speech, the Prefect of the Department of Pointe-Noire firstly declared satisfied by the location of Pointe-Noire to accommodate the participants of the seminar. Then he said that the Rule of Law is based on principles of justice. He finally affirmed that the judicial officers through the President of the Chamber can be certain of all his consideration. Then he solemnly declared opened the work of the conference.
The judicial officer and the protection of rights
The judicial officer, a liberal professional for the protection of the rights of the citizens: like a tango, this sub-topic was perfectly performed by the duo created by Mathieu Chardon and Jean-Claude Olombi under the chair of Moussa Dan Koma. Mathieu Chardon mentioned the three types of statutes of judicial officer in the world: liberal, civil servant and hybrid.
At the Council of Europe, the statute which prevailed before the fall of the Berlin Wall was that of civil servant. The will to join the European Union encouraged 19 of the 27 States to adopt a liberal statute. Italy and Germany which have the statute of civil servant want to go towards a liberal statute but they meet resistances. On the 12 States having joined the European Union since 2004, only Cyprus and Malta had not adopted a liberal system prior to their adhesion. According to the statistics of the UIHJ carried out in 40 countries in the world, 80% of the judicial officers are liberals. This choice is explained by several reasons:
- The economic aspect: the State does not support the cost of civil servant enforcement agents;
- Effectiveness: the judicial officer would like to develop his clientele.
- Flexibility: to immediately meet the needs of citizens.
The principal characteristic of the liberal statute is that it is in the middle of the protection of the rights of citizens.
According to Jean-Claude Olombi, the judicial officer is a “three hats character”. He is initially a member of a legal profession. This is not a hierarchical rank but a function conferred on a person who will be able to present his successor to the approval of the Minister of Justice and be remunerated for this. The function concerns a monopoly. The judicial officer is then a public officer, i.e. he receives a delegation of the prerogatives of public power.
In the end, he is a private individual auxiliary of justice, at the service of citizens and justice.
Mathieu Chardon mentioned the strict statutory rules which are ensuring the protection of the rights of the citizens:
- high level of legal training which allows the judicial officer to advise citizens, and fulfill his duties with a full knowledge of the facts;
- regulation of the control of the profession: access to the profession is regulated and subjected to the control of the authorities;
- disciplinary rules, ethical rules: enforcement can be initiated either by the representative bodies of the profession, or by the jurisdictions;
- Submission to a tariff: which gives citizens the same service for the same price wherever he is;
- Professional insurance: a professional guarantee and a guarantee through a professional solidarity.
In addition he showed how the judicial officer is a neutral and independent lawyer, a “field worker” able to find a solution in each individual case. The liberal judicial officer is a bulwark against corruption: he will face alone his responsibility in the event of difficulty. If he acts wrongly he will be liable to all the different levels of sanctions.
As regards the activities of the judicial officer, there is a distinction between monopolistic and non-monopolistic activities. Among the monopolistic activities, there is the service of documents, enforcement, court service and statement of facts (the latter not being monopolistic in some countries).
Service of documents
Mr. Olombi established the difference between physical personal service of documents by a judicial officer and postal service, before indicating that with the physical service, the judicial officer personally informs the recipient of a fact, a right or an obligation which concerns him/her. The physical service is an information instrument at the service of the fairness of legal proceedings. It is an essential component of the protection of the rights both of defendants and applicants. He gave a clear illustration of this through the document initiating proceedings which is emblematic amongst all documents which are the monopoly of judicial officers.
Enforcement of legal decisions
Mr. Chardon reminded the various principles relating to enforcement measures contained in the eponym Ohada Uniform Act:
- The principle of a secured enforcement: one cannot carry out anything anyhow (the debt has to be unquestionable, liquid and payable (article 31));
- The principle of a proportioned enforcement except in case of mortgage claims: initially on movable goods then on immovable (article 28);
- The principle of an enforcement under the liability of the creditor in case of damage when the title which is not final is then set aside or modified (article 32);
- The principle of the protection of occupied premises (articles 41,44,46);
- The principle of proportionality of expenses: they must be paid by the debtor unless they appear to have not been necessary (article 47);
- The principle of challenging enforcement proceedings (article 49);
- The possibility by the judicial officer in the event of difficulty in carrying out a legal decision to address the competent Judge (article 48);
- The principle of exemption from seizure of certain goods (articles 50-53);
- The principle of impossibility of seizing several times the same good (article 36);
- As regards third parties, they are protected by the obligation of publicity which enables them to require the production of the certificate of non-appeal (Article 34).
Obligation of co-operation of third parties
These are protective obligations because the third party who has to co-operate is framed legally.
Statements of facts
Statement of facts is a monopoly of the judicial officer as regards Congolese law. He plays a major role in the establishment of evidence. A judicial officer writes a report about the traceability of facts. It is a need for both defendant and applicant.
There are two types of statements of facts: the statement of facts established at the request of private individuals or at the request of a judge. The statement of fact is an official document drawn up by a public officer. The report does not bind the judge. The intervention of the judicial officer is reassuring for the public and makes it possible to fix things.
These are auctions of movable and immovable, voluntary sales or sales by order of the court, legal advice and real estate management. There are also the multi-field activities of judicial officers which were launched by the congress of Washington in 2006.
The judicial officer guarantor of the effectiveness of legal decisions
This topic was presented by Jean-Michel Rouzaud and Alain Ngongang. The workshop was chaired by Jean-Didier Bidié, Vice-President of the National Chamber of judicial officers of Congo. According to Jean Michel Rouzaud, to recognize the effectiveness of legal decisions is to admit that the judgment, the first stage of the jurisdictional procedure, is an intellectual stage. But to become a social reality, it is necessary that the judgment is carried out.
The modern judicial officer evolved from a statute of “sub-auxiliary” of justice to that of a respected civil procedure specialist. In other words, this is a about the transformation of a transcendental legal analysis made by the judge by an immanent translation.
European institutions regard today the judicial officer as a main actor of the enforcement of legal decisions. On 21st July 2010, the General Secretary of the United Nations exhorted the Nepalese authorities to carry out the decisions returned by the jurisdictions.
In what way the judicial officer is a guarantor?
There cannot be effectiveness in enforcement without efficiency. The judicial officer is the protector of the creditor's right of enforcement and is responsible for what he must do. He must always remember that the judge gave the decision in the name of the people and that the judicial officer carries it out in the name of the people.
He must enforce whenever it is possible, i.e. except in cases of exemption. He is protected, as the judge is. The judicial officer is irremovable. It is thanks to his territorial independence that the judicial officer can make the enforcement of court decisions effective and efficient. The judicial officer should never receive pressures or instructions of the hierarchy within the framework of enforcement of court decisions.
In what way is the judicial officer effective and efficient?
The judicial officer must have powers, as well as the public authorities. Enforcement must be equitable. When he receives a mandate from his client, the judicial officer must be balanced and moderate. He should elevate through initial and on-going training. He should be adequately trained, effectively and proportionally.
The public authorities should help the judicial officers. They must provide the judicial officer with all necessary means to carry out his mission. If there is no disturbance to law and order, the State must provide the police force. If not, it is necessary to engage its responsibility in the event of a refusal of the police force.
Judicial officers are the guarantors of enforcement because they do everything in their power to accomplish their mission. They are the guardians of the temple of formalism, procedure, and thus freedom.
Alain Ngongang said that the various internal and Community texts are the instruments of the efficiency of enforcement of legal decisions. However there is a friction point which limits this efficiency. Among the raised points are those relating to training, with the awakening of the place which the judicial officer occupies in the State and the legal family, as well as to the ambient environment, tariff, or the insufficiencies of the Ohada Uniform Acts.
He declared in his conclusion that the efficiency of enforcement of legal decisions is above all a political option, a permanent search for the judicial officer. The State remains the protector and the judicial officer the architect.
Basic enforcement principles
Presented by Françoise Andrieux, this topic clarifies the actors of enforcement, the time when to enforce and the object of enforcement.
The actors are considered both in consideration of creditors and debtors. Concerning the question of the creditor, he can force the debtor to carry out his obligations towards him. He has the choice of the proceedings, under the condition of having the capacity of administration. The creditor is free to choose from the range of enforcement measures the appropriate one by taking proportionality as a goal. As for the debtor, only natural or legal persons mentioned in the court decision can undergo enforcement measures. But there are cases where the debtor benefits from personal enforcement immunity, or where the debtor will wrongly resist enforcement. The judicial officer must respect these principles with regard to matrimonial regimes or how the good is subjected to a joint mode of possession.
The third party: he is the one who did not take part in the court proceedings but is involved in enforcement because of his relationship with the debtor.
The judicial officer: he only acts on mandate given by his client. He cannot be independent without being responsible.
Judges: the French exception consists in speaking about the enforcement judge, bulwark against waste of time and scattering.
The public prosecutor oversees the enforcement of legal decisions. But he must not interfere in enforcement.
The State: it controls the police force.
Time when to enforce
One cannot carry out a judgment which has not been served. The debt must be certain, liquid and payable. The decision must be final, apart for the public authorities which can issue enforceable titles.
Obstacles to enforcement of legal decisions
This topic was presented by Mathieu Chardon and Moussa Dan Koma, and was chaired by Alphonse Kibakala.
Mathieu Chardon declared that the judicial officer is confronted daily to these obstacles. He must be vigilant not to fall into the traps laid out by certain third parties or debtors to escape their obligations and enforcement, and not to engage his liablity.
One distinguishes objective obstacles from subjective ones. Objective obstacles result from provisions. Among those are exemptions from seizures of certain goods or certain debts, enforcement immunities relating to certain state related entities, embassy...
Obstacles relating to the times of procedures
Mr. Chardon noticed that Ohada was not harnessed in the principal task to attenuate, or to even remove, the procedure of exequatur which tends to suspend enforcement.
Moussa Dan Koma, as for him, stated that the subjective obstacles are inherent on the one hand with political, administrative and legal structures and on the other hand with the influence of financial stakeholders.
International service of documents
The Hague Convention on the service of documents was presented by Mathieu Chardon. This convention, initiated by the UIHJ, was adopted on 15th November 1965. It aims at accelerating and simplifying the transmission of legal documents from one state to another. Its principle inspired the European Union within the framework of the transmission of documents within the European Union. This convention functions when a judicial or extra-judicial document in civil matter or commercial travel from a Member State towards another. This convention is adopted in Africa only by two countries: Botswana and Malawi. Hence the exhortation made to the heads of the delegations present in Pointe-Noire to meet their respective governments in order to explain the advantages of the aforesaid convention.
Mortgage registrations, seizure of property and sale of immovable by order of the court
Robert Siaka Bakary brilliantly presented this topic by capturing the attention of the public. It is preferable not to carry out a seizure of property as long as it is not backed up with a privilege. There are two preliminary guarantees that the creditor can use: conventional and judicial mortgages.
The conventional mortgage is often used by banks to secure the debt. The documents produced by the debtor are handed to a Notary who provides a credit line with a relevant mortgage. In all cases, it is necessary to make a proper enquiry to check if the Notary published the mortgage in the Land Registry. The Notary has all the documents to take a conventional mortgage. Generally, the value of the immovable building is higher than the value of the loan. When there is an authentic deed, the debt is not liquid. When the procedure of seizure of property starts, if the opposing party disputes the amount, the proceedings can be cancelled. To avoid this effect in the presence of an authentic deed, it is always necessary to liquidate the debt by means of a court hearing.
A legal mortgage is often carried out by the tax authorities. They can, through a simple letter, profit from such a procedure on the immovable of a debtor of land taxes. If the immovable is sold before the public auction is carried out, the tax authorities are paid in priority.
The forced judicial mortgage: example of the judicial officer who has a final court judgment and has failed to seize movable goods. He must take a provisional mortgage by requesting a court order, which must be served to the debtor and the tax authorities.
To allow the mortgage to be final, a relevant certificate of inscription of final mortgage is delivered to the judicial officer having the same value as the authentic deed relating to the mortgage.
When there is litigation on an immovable between several parties, while waiting for the final result of the procedure, a party can seize the court to get a pre-notation order which causes to prevent the one whose name is registered on the building to alienate it. In addition Siaka Bakary pointed out certain points which should hold the attention of the judicial officers. It should be known for example that as regards immovable, the requisitions of the public ministry are written and not oral. Any reference of a selling court hearing must be sanctioned by a new publicity. All decisions are suspensive when it comes to immovable.
If a debtor requests a period of grace, he must be able to prove that he can pay his debt within two years. In order to bid, it is necessary to consign the price to the clerk's office. The judicial officers often forget to tax their emoluments on the setting of price. The clerk automatically does not deliver a judgment of adjudication because there is still time for an over-bid. To prevent the debtor from remaining in possession of the immovable for lack of bidder, the creditor generally makes a bid. However it is still possible to appeal against the judgment to set it aside.
Ethics and the social status of the judicial officer
Ethics and deontology
This topic was presented by Françoise Andrieux who defined deontology as the body of codes of conduct written or not, constitutive of obligations. Deontology rests on a mechanism of self-regulation where the bodies of the profession fix the rules which should be followed by all. Judicial officers will have to be sanctioned in the event of transgression of the aforesaid rules. Discipline, probity and honor are the attributes of the judicial officer. He has legal and moral duties both before debtors and creditors. The occupation of judicial officer is a trade of communication before being a trade of expertise. The interest of clients is always more important than the interest of the judicial officer. The judicial officer must know how to oblige without inevitably requiring. He has a duty of advice and an obligation of diligence. The judicial officer has an arbitration function between the creditor and the debtor. He must at all time keep the professional secrecy.
The social status
Jean Michel Rouzaud presented the social status as a whole of rights and socially given obligations under the terms of certain values. For the judicial officer, it is almost a moral statute. It also has a formal social status. The professional statute is prolonged in the social status. The judicial officer must be irreproachable in his behavior.
There are two types of obligations, in particular in France:
- Obligations suitable for the profession such as the contribution to the guarantee fund, and contributions to the chambers;
- Obligations related to all liberal professions: an accountancy, all legal documents are subjected to a tax collected by the judicial officers for the tax authorities, the payment of the contributions to Social security bodies, a contribution to other funds, such as the Pension fund. With these contributions, the judicial officers may live with dignity and keep their social status. The judicial officers must have a social coverage and a social welfare.
These two topics were chaired by Jean-Claude Olombi.