Training of Togolese judicial officers - 21 to 25 March 2011
Two experts from the ENP went to Lome (Togo) from 21 to 25 March 2011 to deliver training for all judicial officers of Togo in a program funded by the European Union and organized with the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo, the ENP and the French Embassy in Togo
During the opening ceremony, from L. to R.: Pierrette William Gayibor, Director of the Training Centre for the professions of justice, Cyrille Le Déaut, representing the French Embassy in Togo, Yacoubou Agnin, Director of Cabinet of the Minister for Justice of Togo, Guido Carrara, representative of the European Union, André Sama Botcho, president of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Togo, Anne Kérisit, ENP expert, Mathieu Chardon, 1sr Secretary of the UIHJ, ENP expert
Training is a Necessity
A first training mission, provided by Anne Kérisit, judicial officer in Douarnenez (France), expert of the National School of Procedure of Paris (ENP) and an honorary member of the UIHJ, took place in Lomé from 23 to May 30, 2009. This training was part of the modernization of justice in Togo. She discussed the following topics: Opening and records management, status and activities of judicial officers, ethics and responsibilities, and accounting rules.
This year, training was again provided by Anne Kérisit, and by Mathieu Chardon, ENP expert and 1 secretary UIHJ. Our Togolese colleagues wanted to address three main topics: the service of documents, documents initiating proceedings and orders for payment.
We must salute the excellent organization of these five training days, thanks to the efforts of Jean-Philippe Seval, detached magistrate at the French Embassy in Togo, always present and available, and by the National Chamber of Togo, represented by its President, André Sama Botcho.
Almost all of the 160 judicial officers from throughout the territory responded to the call, showing their deep interest in training.
The event is, admittedly, exceptional, and a formal opening ceremony was organized to give it maximum media coverage. The ceremony was held under the auspices of the ministry of Justice, represented by Yacoubou Agnin, Director of Cabinet of the newly appointed Minister of Justice, Biossey Kokou Tozoun. André Sama also Botcho also participated, as well as Mathieu Chardon and Anne Kérisit, Guido Carrara, representing the European Union, Cyrille Le Déaut, representing the French Embassy in Togo, and Pierrette William Gayibor, Director of the Training Centre for the professions of justice.
In his welcoming speech, André Sama Botcho emphasized the role of the judicial officer, based on the service of documents, the enforcement of court decisions and the court service. "It's a job of authority whose discipline is entrusted to the National Chamber of Judicial officers" said our colleague. To prevent abuses, he said, "it is important to focus on training." President Sama Botcho warmly thanked the ENP and its experts, Jean-Philippe Seval and the French Embassy and the European Union for its material and financial support. Finally, he thanked the Minister for Justice for his support.
Cyril Le Déaut expressed his pleasure to continue the collaboration initiated in 2008 with the ENP and the Chamber of Togo. "The judicial officers are indispensable to the daily functioning of justice" he said. Mr Carrara said that the EU has allocated a budget of eight million euros to support the program of modernization of justice in 2005 and that this training formed part of this program. "The good functioning of justice and independence are the foundation of all progress," he observed. Finally, Yacoubou Agnin Togo congratulated the Board and its chairman for having mobilized the entire profession. "Training is a necessity. There is no power without training and we must commit to quality through training" he remarked. The Director of cabinet thanked the trainers for having travelled to Togo and insisted on the support of the minister of justice in the "professionalism of the actors in the legal world."
During five intense days, three topics were developed by the two trainers. Despite an apparent disparity in levels between the judicial officers, an extensive training could be served to the two groups which were constituted. Mathieu Chardon and Anne Kérisit were able to measure and appreciate the tenacity of our colleagues to deepen their knowledge in order to progress. The training days have also given rise to discussions on the practices of judicial officers in Togo and confront them with the requirements of the Code of Civil Procedure Togo and the uniform acts of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), particularly the Uniform Act relating to civil enforcement procedures.
The need for training is a reality. Moreover, the mission of the trainers has also been to establish, with the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Togo, a group of a dozen of motivated colleagues in order to prepare the training of trainers to allow perpetuation of Training in Togo. An informal meeting was held on March 22 to lay the foundations for a Togolese structure for the training of trainers. The ENP experts indicated that the ENP of Paris stood at their disposal to consider the training of trainers.
In the same vein, a meeting was held ON March 23 at the premises of the Training Centre of the professions of Justice, in Lome, with its director, Guillaume Gayibor Pierrette. This training centre aims to train members of the legal professions: judges, judicial officers, clerks, officers, police officers, administrative or prison officers. The meeting attended by Mr. Seval, helped raise the possibility of establishing a partnership between the Centre and the ENP of Paris.
The foundations were laid for cooperation on training of judicial officers in Togo. It remains to consolidate that base and why not set an example for the other Ohada countries.