From L. to R. : jean-Michel Rouzaud, President of the National School of Procedure of Paris – Mamadou Draga, Minister for justice of Niger – Seyni Oumarou, Prime Minister of Niger – Jacques Isnard, President of the UIHJ – Moussa Dan Koma, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Niger
A challenge of importance
The very prestigious opening ceremony was placed under the honorable chair of Seyni Oumarou, Prime Minister, chief of the government, with at his sides Mamadou Draga, Minister for justice, and high ranking authority of the legal world, the police force, the gendarmerie, the bar, the body of notaries,...
Nearly one hundred fifty judicial officers of Niger, but also Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Chad, and Togo, as well as an especially invited delegation coming from Algeria with at its head the president of the National Room of the judicial officers, Mohamed Chérif, had convened in the main room of the Congress Palace of Niamey.
The UIHJ included a strong delegation made up of its president, Jacques Isnard, of its first vice-president, Leo Netten (Netherlands), of its permanent secretary for central and Western Africa, Honoré Aggrey, as well as Rose-Marie Bruno, and Anne Kérisit, UIHJ and Ufohja experts and members of the National school of procedure (ENP) of Paris, the latter being represented besides by its president, Jean-Michel Rouzaud.
For the very new president of the National Room of the judicial officers of Niger, Moussa Dan Koma, the challenge was of importance with the organization of this international symposium. In his introductory short speech, president Dan Koma thanked for their presence the many foreign delegations. He addressed to the president of the Republic, Mamadou Tandja, the Prime Minister as well as to the Minister for justice, marks of deep gratitude for their support for the organization of the conference. He was to pay a vibrating homage to the president of the UIHJ, Jacques Isnard, for the work achieved, the time of his presence in the International Union.
As regards the work of the conference, Mr. Dan Koma, was to state its contents by the detail and to show his gratitude to the international experts and to Jean-Michel Rouzaud, president of the ENP of Paris, for their participation. He formulated the wish that the conclusions of these two days of exchanges and meetings are taken into account by retaining particularly the idea of a uniform statute and the project of code of conduct. He finished his remarks by a call near the Prime Minister: “May you be the enthusiastic defender of African economic integration”.
Speaker in his turn, president Isnard was first of all to point out the state of economic crisis to which the world is subjected “by a failure of the banking environment” which would result in maintaining another crisis, that of confidence. “But a confidence in what? if not that to avoid a possible failure of an economic partner, in other words to prevent the insolvency of contracting partners. We are thus confronted here to what can be called legal security”. The legal security “which implies from the State the aptitude to guarantee the execution of legal decisions”. So the UIHJ becomes one of the pivots in the operation of the Rule of law. In his role, the judicial officer must be at the same time vector of effectiveness in the execution of the legal decisions and of efficiency in the realization of measures. This means he must carry out the execution until its term and for the totality of the sentence mentioned in the judgment, this in the strict respect of separation of powers and without inopportune interference from unspecified personalities, being from the political, legal or economic world, or even from the medias. It is for this reason that a State will be, according to the president of the UIHJ, respectable as regards its institutions and respected by its citizens.
In his recommendations to the profession, Jacques Isnard was to invite his fellow-members to take care of the strict respect of their statute of member of the legal profession and to call for rigorous ethical and disciplinary rules in waiting of the uniform statute for which he was to solicit the full support of the Prime Minister, being a remarkable and even exceptional venture from the African judicial officers.
Returning to the studies in progress, president Jacques Isnard also insisted on the reform proposals of the profession of the uniform act of July 1st, 1998 relating to the simplified procedures of debt collecting and enforcement measures for which a grooming and a widening were essential. In his conclusions, the president of the UIHJ cordially congratulated Moussa Dan Koma for his election at the head on the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Niger and for his fast engagement with the international cause since a few weeks only after his election, the Nigerien Chamber launches out in the storm of the organization of an international symposium!
An essential link of the legal institution
In an intervention of a great density and a particularly acute moral direction, Seyni Oumarou, Prime minister, chief of the government, addressed to the audience and indicated, quoting caliph Ibn Al Kahatab, known as Omar the Just: “It is nothing to say the law if it is not followed by execution. There is no use for a State to have a body of so striking laws and court decisions, if their application are not effective and if their enforcement is not carried out”.
Addressing to the judicial officers, the chief of the government indicated that the Nigerien State had made the occupation of judicial officer an essential link of the legal institution, consolidated by a statute which reinforces his independence. Being pleased with the choice of Niamey for this 28th session, the Prime Minister was to affirm that this decision was beneficial to the principle of the Rule of law and to consolidate the policy of full support of the national legal system “in which the judicial officers occupy a place of choice and play an irreplaceable part”. In his conclusions, Seyni Oumarou was to congratulate the members of the Steering Committee and to thank the president of the UIHJ as well as the participants for “the friendship shown in coming to Niamey”. Concerning judicial officers, the Prime Minister was to reserve the second part of his important intervention on the profession while underlining how much this conference “was in the right line of the policy of the government in the legal sector with the major concern to take care of the daily improvement of the public service of justice”. For the benefit of a prolongation related to a partnership with various backers, the State is busy improving working conditions and framing of each legal sector “by a reinforcement of the means and the best consideration as regards their on-going training and questions of ethics and deontology”. Before closing his remarks, the speaker was to indicate how much he remained attentive to the work of the conference, which “will be the object of a judicious exploitation in the understood interest of your profession!”.
The conference by itself was to offer five workshops treating successively:
- 1. Execution of legal decisions
(Rose-Marie Bruno - Anne Kérisit)
- 2. The statute of the judicial officer
(Jean-Michel Rouzaud, president of the ENP of Paris - Mr. Dan Dah Mahane, former minister for justice)
- 3. Seizure of property
(Jean-Michel Rouzaud, Rose-Marie Bruno, Elysée Eldjimbaye, president of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Chad)
- 4. The Hague Convention of 15 November 1965
(Leo Netten, 1st vice-president of the UIHJ)
- 5. Ethics
(Alphonse Kibakala, former president of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Congo, Jean-Michel Rouzaud)
The summary report was presented by Oumarou Maarou, vice-president of the Bankruptcy Court of Dosso. The presentation was followed by the adoption of an unanimously voted resolution of the participants, hereafter reproduced.
The participants in the 28th Ufohja session joined together at the time of the international symposium which was held on 12 and 13 March 2009 in Niamey and representing the following Ohada States: Niger, Ivory Coast, Congo, Gabon, Chad, Benign, Togo, Guinea, Cameroun, Burkina Faso,
Have unanimously adopted the following resolution:
Considering the increasing difficulties as regards execution, dependant on protectionist provisions or uses as regard certain debtors, agree that the next Ufohja session will have to comprise a first part of program reserved for immunities of execution and the rules relating to exception from seizures.
These same participants, considering the permanent backlog of the courts, the increasing workload of the judges whose function is to say the law and not to be monopolized with legal-administrative duties decide to put at the examination of the forthcoming Ufohja seminars all reflections resulting in rectifying this situation by proposing the implementation of faster, more accessible to citizens, and cheaper procedures
Lastly, and to satisfy the wishes expressed by the representatives of the various participating delegations, it is recommended to the International union of Judicial officers, to reinforce its action in favor of the implementation of the uniform statute of the judicial officer in Ohada zone.
State that the present resolution will be largely communicated to any authority, organization or qualified person likely to carry out its application and more particularly to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger.
Made in Niamey on March 13rd, 2009.
The closing ceremony was placed under the chair of Mamadou Dagra, Minister for justice. He was to affirm all the interest which he showed to work which content had been, partly, revealed to him. He was to also congratulate all the Steering Committee, especially Amadou Tanimou Dari and Hamani Soumaila, respectively secretary and treasurer of the national Chamber of the judicial officers of Niger, for the perfect course of this demonstration, by wishing a good journey back home to all the foreign delegations which had, to his regret, to soon leave the Nigerien ground.
After the traditional exchange of memories, which was exceptionally moving, president Jacques Isnard was to address, in his turn, his more cordial congratulation to the president of the National chamber of the judicial officers of Niger and to the members of its board who had invested themselves considerably during many weeks for the making of this splendid demonstrations marked by an intense emotional communication and a reception of an exceptional quality.