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The UIHJ organised on 5 and 6 October 2023 at the Ovidius University of Constanta with the Faculty of Law and Administrative Sciences of the Ovidius University of Constanta (Romania), the National Union of Judicial Officers of Romania, and the Regional Chamber of Judicial Officers  of the Court of Appeal of Constanta, an international conference on “The Making of a Simple and Effective Civil Procedure from Obtaining the Enforceable Title to its Enforcement: Legislative, Doctrinal and Jurisprudential Solutions”.

On this occasion, the Ovidius University offered Frédérique Ferrand, Professor at the University of Lyon III (France) and member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, the mark of distinction of Doctor Honoris Causa from its university.

The UIHJ was represented by its President, Marc Schmitz, its 1st Vice-President, Jos Uitdehaag, its two Vice-Presidents, Luis Ortega and Jean-Didier Bidié, Board Secretary Patrick Gielen, Board members Malone Cunha and Christine Valès, as well as Secretary General Mathieu Chardon. Leo Netten and Françoise Andrieux, Honorary Presidents of the UIHJ, also honoured the international conference with their presence. The European Union of Judicial Officers (UEHJ) was represented by its President, Marc Schmitz, its Secretary, Carlos Calvo, the three members of its Executive Committee, Karlheinz Brunner, Janek Pool and Ilias Tsipos, as well as its Secretary General, Dovile Satkauskiene.

The Scientific Council of the UIHJ was represented by Aida Kemelmajer de Carlucci (Argentina), Frédérique Ferrand, Natalie Fricero and Guillaume Payan (France), Dimitrios Tsikrikas (Greece), Adrian Stoica (Romania), and Robert Emerson (USA), as well as Ioan Les (Romania), former member.

In addition to the Romanian authorities, academics and students, the conference was attended by judicial officers and legal professionals from 16 countries of three continents (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Congo, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania Spain and the USA, as well as the National Group of Commissioner-Mediators of France, represented by its President, Chritine Valès.

The opening speeches of the conference were delivered by Adrian Stoica, Diane Vancea, President of the Senate of Ovidius University, Bogdan Maghiar, Vice-President of the National Union of Judicial Officers of Romania, Marc Schmitz, Alina Gabriela Jurubita, President of the Court of Appeal of Constanta, Gigi Valentin Stefan, Prosecutor General at the Court of Appeal of Constanta, and Corina Alina Corbun, President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania.

Then took place the official ceremony of awarding an honorary doctorate to Frédérique Ferrand, under the chair of Adrian Stoica. Ioan Les, doctor honoris causa of the Ovidius University of Constanta, and former member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, delivered the main speech of this award, praising the eminent applicant, highlighting her innumerable skills and her inexhaustible energy. Marc Schmitz then praised the merits of Professor Ferrand and in particular her involvement in the work of the Scientific Council of which she has been a member since its creation in 2008. Professor Ferrand then delivered with all the rigour and dynamism she is known for the opening speech of the conference on the theme of “European Procedures: Theory and Practice”.

The conference, which took place over two days, included three distinct parts. The first part was devoted to obtaining an enforceable title for uncontested claims and included four panels. The first panel was chaired by José Cardoso, Solicitador (Portugal) and member of the UIHJ Innovation Team. Its theme was “National Procedures: Some Examples”. Christine Valès (Situation in France), Jos Uitdehaag (Western Balkans Region), Ioan Les (Procedural approaches for speeding up enforcement), Adrian Stoica (Enforcement of the case law of the European Court of human rights and the effectiveness of its decisions in the member states of the Council of Europe) and Bogdan Dumitrache (Brief considerations on the non-public nature of the public auction held in the Romanian enforcement) took the floor in turn. The second panel, on the theme “Enforcement and Enforceability in Romania”, was chaired by Anthony M.D. Murphy (Romania), assistant to Professor Stoica. It brought together the following Romanian speakers: Ioana Varga and Gheorghe Buta (The role of decisions of the High Court of Cassation and Justice in unifying the practice in the field of enforcement proceedings), Evelina Oprina (Provisional judgments: between benefit, risk and challenges), Madalina Botina (The effects of foreign judgments: French and Romanian case law), Roxana Dan (A false enforcement in kind: enforcement by substitution at the debtor’s expense), and Cristina Ramona Duta (The enforceability of lease agreements).

The third panel, chaired by Claudia Ana Moarcas, focused on examples of enforceable titles, thanks to contributions from the following Romanian speakers: Mircea Dan Bob-Bocsan, Anthony M.D. Murphy, Mihail Udroiu, Verginia Vedinas, Flavia Lucia Ghencea, Isabela Deelia Popa and Gabriel Marcel Mihai. Finally, the fourth panel focused on the triangular relationship between the trial, forced enforcement and judicial officers. It was chaired by Madalina Botina, and brought together the following Romanian speakers: Mariana Mitra-Nita, Marilena Marin, Vasile Draghici, Mihail Udroiu, Gabriel Grigore, and Mircea Ursuta.

The second part of the conference was devoted to “Communication and Transparency in Enforcement”. It began with a very lively and particularly visual keynote address on “Statement of facts: a key activity for the Judicil Officer”, delivered by Professor Robert Emerson. The fifth workshop which followed this presentation was chaired by Malone Cunha, and focused on “The Use of Debtor Registers: Theory and Practice”, in Belgium (Marc Schmitz), France (Mathieu Chardon), and Spain ( Luis Ortega). The sixth workshop, moderated by Adrian Stoica, focused on “Distribution of Funds: Theory and Practice”, in Congo (Jean-Didier Bidié), Belgium (Marc Schmitz), and Greece (Dimitrios Tsikrikas).

The third part of the conference was devoted to: “Enforcement in the Digital Age: Effectiveness and Efficiency”. The seventh workshop focused on “Effective Enforcement” and was chaired by Patrick Gielen. Guillaume Payan (European case Law review), Paulo Duarte Pinto, President of the Professional Council of the College of Enforcement Agents of Portugal (General Regulation on Data Protection and Enforcement), Aida Kemelmajer de Carlucci (Effective enforcement in the field of child support payment), Adrian Stoica and Anca Jeanina Nita (Enforcement carried out against public authorities and institutions, European and Romanian practices), Nicolae-Horia Tit (The effectiveness of enforcing the obligations to perform that involve the personal action of the debtor), and Nicolae Cristea (Practical and jurisprudential aspects concerning the seizure of immovable entered into in the Land Registry), respectively took the floor.

The theme of the eighth workshop was “The Future is Efficiency”. It was chaired by Marc Schmitz and brought together Françoise Andrieux (The future of training: e-Modules, e-Learning, multi-disciplinary training), Natalie Fricero (Between automatisation and human needs), and Claudia Ana Morcas (The efficiency’s future or the training relationship between law faculties and training institutes for magistrates and lawyers: complementarity and overlapping?). Finally, the ninth and final workshop, moderated by Malgorzata Pedziszczak, judicial officer (Poland), member of the UIHJ Innovation Team, concerned electronic auctions. Dovile Satkauskiene spoke about the CEPEJ Guidelines on electronic auctions, Oxana Novicov, Secretary General of the National Union of Judicial Officers of Moldova, and Paulo Teixeira, President of the National Chamber of Solicitadores of Portugal, respectively presented the auction systems in their countries.

The conclusive report was brilliantly delivered by Patrick Gielen. At the end of the work, Marc Schmitz presented the UIHJ trophy to the Ovidius University of Constanta and awarded the Jacque Isnard Silver Medal of the UIHJ to Adrian Stoica for his 25-year investment in the profession of judicial officer.

The participants of the conference were able to continue their discussions during a superb relaxing day in the magnificent city of Constanta. The UIHJ extends its warmest congratulations to the organisers of the conference, and in particular to Dean Stoica and all the members of the Organising Committee for the excellence of the organisation and the high scientific quality of the Constanta conference. The proceedings of the conference will be published by Larcier publishing company.