Marc Schmitz, President of the UIHJ, and Mathieu Chardon, Secretary General of the UIHJ, participated on 2 March 2023 in an international seminar organised by the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria in collaboration with the UIHJ, in Tamanrasset (Algeria), under the High Patronage of His Excellency, Abderrachid Tebbi, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals of the Algerian Democratic and Popular Republic on the theme of “The Modernisation of the Profession of Judicial Officer, Pillar of Electronic Justice”.
200 Algerian judicial officers, high-magistrates, high authorities, lawyers and representatives of the National Chambers of Judicial Officers of Mali and Niger, as well as the President of the African Union of Judicial officers (UAHJ), Alain Ngongang, convened in this astonishing region of southern Algeria.
During the opening ceremony, Ahmed Ali Saleh, Director of Civil Affairs and the Seal, representing the Minister of Justice in Algeria, welcomed all the participants. He considered that the judicial officers are an important link of the judicial chain and are the interface between civil procedures and citizens. He insisted on the importance of modernising this judicial chain, and therefore the profession of judicial officer, in order to ensure its greater effectiveness while allowing the costs of justice to be reduced. He said that 2023 was “the year of digital procedures” and assured the judicial officers with the whole support of the State in this process. He thus confirmed that the services of the Ministry of Justice were available to support the profession in this transition which he qualified as a “strategic operation” in the field of justice and for the country in general.
After thanking all the participants as well as the Ministry of Justice of Algeria, Mohamed Redha Dahmri, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria, observing technological and digital development and its acceleration all over the world, wished that Algeria works with all the actors concerned to cooperate, take up challenges and combine efforts for the modernisation of the justice sector and other sectors. He added that this modernisation would make it possible to better serve the population. He confirmed that the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria was ready to strengthen its cooperation with the UIHJ and the UAHJ and marked its gratitude to these two organisations. Finally, he thanked the Ministry of Justice for his support for the profession and for his cooperation in order to meet its challenges.
In his opening speech, Marc Schmitz reported in detail the history of the thirty-year relation between the UIHJ and the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria, “one of the pillars of the UIHJ”. He stressed the importance of information technologies and communication in the development of the profession of judicial officer in the world, without which no future was possible.
Alain Ngongang expressed his gratitude to the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria for its invitation. He insisted on the place of Algeria within the UAHJ, in particular for the proper realisation of current work, in turn stressing the importance of the modernisation of the profession of judicial officer.
The Tamanrasset seminar included two panels. The theme of Panel 1, “The digitisation of the profession of judicial officer: reflection of the aspirations of users“, was chaired by Bouhadjar Salah, member of the Regional Chamber of Judicial Officers of Western Algeria.
Mathieu Chardon discussed the process of “Changing the profession of judicial officer in Europe: towards a diversification of digital services offers“.
Youssef Hamdoud, representative of the National Agency for Electronic Signature and Authentication of the Ministry of Justice, presented the theme of “Support for the profession of judicial officer in its digitisation process by the National Agency for Electronic Signature and Authentication”.
Two representatives of the Directorate of Modernisation at the Ministry of Justice of Algeria addressed the digital mutation of e-Justice in Algeria, the new mechanisms of electronic legal proceedings in the Algerian Code of civil and administrative procedure, and the contribution of the Minister of Justice of Algeria in the process of digitising the profession of judicial officer.
The theme of Panel 2, “The National Chamber of Judicial Officers and the UIHJ, vectors of the digitisation of the profession” was chaired by Mohamed Bousmaha, judicial officer (Algeria).
Marc Schmitz presented the creation of the first legal instruments in digital matters, in particular the World Code of Digital Enforcement, unveiled during the 24th International Congress of Judicial officers in Dubai in November 2021.
Lionel Decotte, judicial officer (France), expert from the National Chamber of Commissioners of Justice of France, addressed the digitisation of the procedure to search debtors and their assets as well as the digitisation of communication means with the environment of the profession.
Fouad Issani, President of the Regional Chamber of Judicial Officers of the Centre of Algeria, explained “The strategy of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria: digitisation of the profession, between generalisation and innovation“.
Tarek Benmerghid, judicial officer (Algeria), spoke of “The legal principles of the protection of digital data by the profession of judicial officer“.
Marc Schmitz then gave practical examples of the use of information and communication technologies by the judicial officer and his collaborators, by presenting the e-Service of documents and e-Enforcement in Belgium, in particular by means of two very instructive videos produced by the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Belgium, which he did not fail to thank.
These presentations were followed by a rich debate allowing fruitful exchanges between the judicial officers and the Director of Civil Affairs and the Seal, then by the recommendations of the seminar. During the closing ceremony, President Dahmri thanked the Ministry of Justice and its Director of Civil Affairs and the Seal, as well as the participants, civil and military authorities, the prosecutor, and those who worked for the success of the seminar. The President of the UIHJ joined his thanks, again emphasising the importance for the profession of judicial officer to be at the heart of digital technologies. The work was closed by Ahmed Ali Saleh, who also thanked the organisers and the participants. The evening gala dinner, offered to the participants by the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria, and perfectly well organised like the whole seminar, took the participants to the heart of the desert, in a truly magical setting.