The UIHJ: Sixty Years of International Expertise and Actions at the Service of the Profession of Judicial Officer
The fifteen countries that responded to the call of the UIHJ met in Constanta (Romania) to engage in a very practical work that will lead the European judicial officers to take charge of their destiny through six major projects:
- Harmonizing Enforcement procedures on Immovable in Europe
- Harmonizing the Service of Documents in Civil and Commercial Matter in the European Union
- Promoting and Harmonizing the Transparency of Assets in Europe
- Harmonizing the Setting of Evidence in Europe through Statements of Facts Carried out by Judicial Officers
- Harmonizing the Training of Judicial Officers in Europe
- Harmonising and promoting e-Justice and ICT for the profession of judicial officer in Europe
Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ recalled that the choice made unanimously during the Permanent Council of the UIHJ in November 2011 by the countries of the UIHJ to institutionalize the Council of the European Presidents of the UIHJ is no coincidence. This choice expressed a desire and responded to a need. To be effective, it is necessarly to act at the right time with all possible means. With the Guidelines of the CEPEJ, new opportunities opened up for judicial officers. Through the quality and the consistency of its work the UIHJ is now a natural and inescapable partner of the European institutions. The time had come to propose concrete projects which will directly be tangible to all judicial officers in their daily lives: harmonization of procedures and statuses, new activities, elevation and strengthening of the profession. Finally, it about developing the Great profession of enforcement.
Those interested in the history of UIHJ know that its political line is unchanged since its inception. "The UIHJ, said Leo Netten, has sixty years of international expertise and actions at the service of our profession. This experience is irreplaceable. "
He urged his colleagues to reread the wishes of the Congresses of Washington, Marseille and Cape Town:
- When receiving a judicial or an extrajudicial document, every citizen must receive an objective, comprehensible and secured information in order to protect his rights;
- The Judicial Officer must be able to initiate and implement all the interim enforcement measures adapted to protect the interests of both the applicant and the defendant,;
- The Judicial Officer responsible for the enforcement of an executory title must have a total access to information relating to the assets of the debtor
- Should be adopted common standards forging the enforcement law intended to facilitate the realization, the efficiency and the effectiveness of legal decisions based on the extraterritoriality which would make of the judicial officer the relay of the titles and their accompanying measures
- The great profession of enforcement should be created, thus gathering the activities relating to the field of activity of the judicial officers, in particular through training within a structure common to all judicial officers.
Cape Town (2012):
- The UIHJ is the key actor of the legislative and regulatory process to harmonize the profession of judicial officer
- The recognized activities of judicial officers include items 33 and 34 of the Guidelines of the CEPEJ of 17 December 2009
- Technological harmonization and integration is implemented within the profession of the judicial officer
The Stobra projects exactly meet these wishes. "So, today is a historical moment, said the president of the UIHJ. All together we will write the next chapters of the profession of judicial officer. These chapters will be critical to our future. We have to focus on this aim. We need to work in unity and not to tackle too many things at once. It is your will. This is what we give you. "
He announced that working groups would be formed to lead the projects to completion.
Documentation on the topics is posted on the UIHJ Website. He urged countries to send their legislation, articles, comments, ideas and suggestions.
Will be associated closely with the work the institutions of the European Union but also the Council of Europe and its CEPEJ and international institutions such as the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the World Bank and its Forum on Law, Justice and Development, UNCITRAL, as well as all international organizations such as the American Law Institute, but also other legal professions: judges, lawyers, notaries, clerks, etc.
Objectives are concrete and practical.
"The UIHJ has always acted as a driving force. All together we will ensure that our proposals are building our future" concluded the President of the UIHJ.
Providing References to International Institutions and Organizations
Mathieu Chardon, 1st secretary of the UIHJ, presented the six projects. He showed on the UIHJ Website the pages were information is posted. He invited members to supply the site with national documentation relating to the profession and the topics.
The first secretary of the UIHJ recalled that the basis on which the Stobra projects are grounded is firstly the need for harmonization and elevation of the profession of judicial officer - the very reason that led to the creation of the UIHJ sixty years ago - and secondly the desire to harmonize civil enforcement procedures, in particular in the European judicial area. He recalled that the UIHJ participated in the development of the Recommendation Rec (2003) 17 of the Council of Europe and the CEPEJ Guidelines on the implementation of 17 December 2009, the latter incorporating the multifield program the UIHJ developed during the International Congress of judicial officers in Washington in 2006. These documents provide a roadmap to achieve this objective of harmonization and elevation. The UIHJ is now able to implement the ideas it has presented and promoted tirelessly for so many years.
After this presentation, Bernard Menut, first vice president of the UIHJ, insisted that the UIHJ works with organizations and global institutions. The UIHJ joined the European Law Institute, the World Bank, UNCITRAL, the IMF. The UIHJ is involved in the process of reforms in many countries, and therefore in justice reform in these countries. The central question is : what are the best practices ? "The Stobra projects, explained the first vice-president, will allow ourselves to provide our references to these international organizations and institutions."
The purpose of the Stobra project for judicial officers is to build together their future.
Then the first vice-president of the UIHJ proposed to start work immediately by choosing two of the six themes that correspond to the most important current European topics: the service of documents (Stobra 2) and the transparency of assets (Stobra 3).
The proposed working method having been widely approved, participants were able to discuss in depth the practical aspects that exist in their countries and establish the foundation stone of the project.
A report of the work will be prepared and sent to each participating country.
Regarding the Stobra 2 project on service of documents, the second meeting is already scheduled for 17 October 2012 in Nicosia (Cyprus), on the occasion of the international conference organized by the UIHJ, the Cyprus judicial officers and the National Chamber of the Judicial officers of Greece on the theme: "Service of documents: an essential element of the right to information for litigants."
An agenda for the other Stobra projects will soon be established to achieve as soon as possible the objectives set by the Council of the European Presidents of the UIHJ.
The results of the project will be presented in the form of recommendations or guidelines of the UIHJ to express the will of the judicial officers of the 73 member countries of the UIHJ.
A unique force. A driving force.