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Permanent Council of the UIHJ in Paris

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48 Countries attended the Permanent Council of the UIHJ in Paris on 28 and 29 November 2013

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Signature of a Cooperation agreement with Chad
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As every year, the UIHJ holds its statutory permanent council in Paris. It allows many delegations from all continents to come together to share, to be informed of the actions carried out and decide those to be undertaken by the Executive board of the UIHJ.

During the meeting, a cooperation agreement was signed with the National Judicial Training School of Chad and the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Chad.

After the calling of delegations, Leo Netten gave a particularly unifying opening speech partially reproduced below.

Opening speech by Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ (extracts)

It is already a year and a half now since the Cape Town Congress and the establishment of the new executive board of the Union. Between Cape Town and Madrid, we are midway. At the end of the 21st International Congress of judicial officers in South Africa, you made three wishes:
- 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.

Meanwhile, your executive board is committed to continue the development of its cooperation policy with the major international organizations and institutions and strengthen its communication policy.

What is the situation today?

Is this the effect of the crisis that causes people to act, to seek pragmatism and inventive solutions? I have to tell you that the Union has never been as occupied as this year.

Year after year, we are increasingly in demand. Until now, we have been able to go everywhere. Our success is the result of the work of the past decades to put in place a clear positioning policy, to establish contacts, to develop true trusting relationships with all our partners. These relationships are based solely on the desire to improve our profession so that it can fulfil its essential role in the service of justice, citizens and businesses. We can be proud of what we have accomplished together.

It is a fact that without your commitment at our side, without your continued support, we would have accomplished nothing. I never cease to say that the success of our work is related to our unity and our union.

It is therefore natural to address you, the forces of the Union. Today, more than ever, we need you, we need all the good will and all possible means to enable us to carry out the missions that you expect us to accomplish.

The year 2013 has been, I say, incredibly dense. You will measure its full extent during the activity report that will be presented. However, I would like to mention a few events that have marked us.

I'll start with Africa. In Togo, in Lomé, we held at the end of September with the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers. I want to thank the Chamber of Togo and its President André Sama Botcho for the accomplished work that stirs up our admiration.

These meetings mark a new stage in the history of the International Union for three reasons. First reason: the exceptional quality of the scientific work that has been carried out. These works have shown that African judicial officers were able to rise to equal the academic level of that of the best trained judicial officers from other continents. They also clearly showed the result of the expertise that is now theirs in terms of organization of major international events. May they be congratulated.

Second reason: for the first time outside an International Congress of judicial officers, we integrated into the work of an international seminar the main international organizations. They did not hesitate to cross the oceans to take part in our meeting. The interest generated by these organizations for our projects went far beyond our expectations and it is truly a milestone in the relationship we have with them.

This leads me directly to the third reason. During the work, Professor Natalie Fricero, who needs no introduction, unveiled in the presence of these main organizations the progress of the Global Code of Enforcement on which the Scientific Council of the UIHJ has been working on for several years now. Rather than a speech, I invite you to discover now their reactions.

(Presentation of the film on the responses of institutions to the presentation).

You see, prospects for cooperation offered by this Code are huge. And I can already invite you in Madrid in May 2015 for the 22nd International Congress of judicial officers where the final work will be presented.

The 3rd Africa Europe Meetings have also allowed us to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ohada, this great organization which in recent years has allowed sixteen African countries, now seventeen, to establish a single system to ensure economic development of the region through common rules.

Naturally, the Ohada organized on its side the celebrating ceremonies of its 20th anniversary. These ceremonies were held in the capital of Burkina Faso, in Ouagadougou from 14 to 18 October. On this occasion, I was personally invited to attend the Council of Ministers of Ohada held on 15 October. The UIHJ is the only professional organization to have had that honour. This tells you how close our relationships with Ohada are and how imprinted with trust they are.

The southern part of Africa is no exception. Thanks to the tenacity of Johan Fourie and the cooperation of the countries of the area, our Cadat project is now reactivated. An important meeting was held in April in Kampala (Uganda) to discuss an action plan.

The UIHJ participates in the South Programme for strengthening democratic reform in the Southern Neighbourhood, a three-year program launched in January 2012. This program is funded by the European Union and operated by the Council of Europe, more precisely by the CEPEJ. The CEPEJ has asked us to participate in this program for Morocco. We already went three times to Morocco to help our Moroccan colleagues to reform the service of documents and ensure that service of documents is the only mode of communication in place and that all means are given to Moroccan judicial officers to carry out this fundamental mission. The project is progressing fast. I am certain it will turn to a model for others. I welcome the presence of the President of the National order of Judicial Officers of Morocco, Redouane Benhamou and its vice president, Abdelaziz Fouganni, who will give us more details during our Permanent Council.

Finally, I will know close this chapter on Africa with another event. In Tunisia, on 8 March a member of our Scientific Council, Professor Nadhir Ben Hammou was elected Minister of Justice of his country. After Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble, who was Minister of Justice of Ivory Coast under the Presidency of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, our Scientific Council now has two ministers of justice among its twelve members!

In America, two events marked the progress of the UIHJ in two areas where we want to develop. In the Caribbean, we participated in Barbados on 26 September in an international symposium organized by the Association of Judges of the Caribbean. We are moving slowly but surely. Sue Collins and Luis Ortega who were present will give us an account of this event.

A few days later we attended an international conference organized by CEJA, the Centro de Estudios de Justicia de las Americas in Buenos Aires, including a workshop on enforcement. We had irregular contact with the CEJA for several years. Today, close relationships have flourished. We helped CEJA gathering information on enforcement in Europe and worldwide. We are now invited to participate in its work. Sue Collins will tell us more later on.

Finally, last week, we participated in the second Global Week on Justice, Law and Development organized by the World Bank in Washington. Françoise Andrieux and Jos Uitdehaag who were in attendance will present the extraordinary opportunities offered to us by this event and the Global Forum on Justice, Law and Development.

In Asia, during the year we have been in contact with our Thai friends here present and whom I welcome. With their help, we are now able to announce that a meeting will be held in March 2014 with the ASEAN countries, that is to say ten countries of Southeast Asia. Marc Schmitz and Kraisorn Singharajwarapan will give us more details about this conference which should open new doors for us in Asia.

Finally, in Europe, we pursued contacts with the European institutions, including training and the European Justice Scoreboard where we cooperate directly with the European Commission as we saw yesterday during our Council of European Presidents.

As part of this cooperation with the European Union, I wanted to inform you of a new project on cross-border enforcement of judgments granted earlier this year to Estonia alongside Latvia and Lithuania in partnership with the UIHJ.

Still within the framework of cooperation, four training seminars for Hungarian and European judicial officers were held in Budapest in a project co-financed by the European Union and granted to our Hungarian colleagues with the Hungarian notaries and the Ministry of Justice of Hungary in cooperation with the UIHJ.

Among the highlights of the year, I want to mention our Spring Permanent Council which was held late April in Georgia, Tbilisi. It was the first time a permanent council stood in the Caucasus. It was attended by thirty delegations from Europe and America. I want to reiterate my thanks to the National Bureau of Enforcement of Georgia and its director, Miheil Sarjveladze for the perfect organization of this event. During the week, the BESTT project was completed, marking the end of a European cooperation project co-financed by the European Union, operated by the Center for International Cooperation (CILC) in cooperation with the Swedish Enforcement Authority and the National Bureau of Enforcement of Georgia, with the help of the experts of the UIHJ.

As part of the signing of cooperation agreements with universities, we signed a new agreement with the University of Valencia in Spain on 30 May.

Finally, the UIHJ participated in the reform of the profession of judicial officer of Andorra. Bernard Menut will report later on the results that were recently obtained.

Before continuing my remarks, I have now to let you know about two tragedies that have affected our profession in September. Our Portuguese colleague Dario Jesus Ferreira was murdered during an eviction, despite the presence of the police force. On 12 September, our colleague from Chad, Abaye Khause-Menwa was gunned down in broad daylight in N'Djamena also in the exercise of his functions. Such violence is a reality that some of us are facing and against which we are unfortunately not sufficiently protected. Our thoughts are with their families and their loved ones. I ask you to observe a minute of silence in memory of our colleagues.

(A minute of silence)

Our profession is not only physically attacked. It is also attacked in its structure, in its components. Using the crisis as pretence, several countries in Africa, Europe or America have faced political attacks that attempt to weaken our profession, including by questioning our fees. We are aware of this situation.

The whole Union shows solidarity with those of us who are subject to these attacks. We are on your side and at your disposal to help you fight them.

If the role of the Union is not to interfere in the domestic law of each country, models and standards that we are promoting for years are well known. They inspired the CEPEJ guidelines on enforcement. In Europe, they are there to be implemented in each country since they were adopted by each of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. In the rest of the world, they represent a model according to the precepts of the Council of Europe in terms of human rights and democracy.

You can count on our support and unwavering commitment to you to bring your values to your authorities, because your values are those of the Union.

Now I would like to give some information that will be developed during the Permanent Council. We have created a new communication tool, the Yearbook of the UIHJ. We are pleased to present the first issue that give an account of all actions carried out by the UIHJ in 2012. I want to thank our secretariat that has worked very hard so that you can discover the Yearbook today.

At the end of 2012, we launched new electronic communication tools, NewsFlashes, Newsletters and Juris-News. These tools allow you to be personally informed in near real time on our work and our actions. With these tools, we are now able to communicate directly with you but also with all institutions and international organizations. Encouragement and feedbacks are extremely positive.

Finally, a few words on our projects for 2014.

Our official publishing structure, UIHJ Publishing is now operational. We have finished writing a book that is expected to mark the history of the UIHJ. This is a book on European case law on enforcement proceedings, service of documents and the profession of judicial officer. This book will also be available as an e-Book. It was written by Natalie Fricero and Guillaume Payan. I want to congratulate and thank them here today for this unique work that will, I doubt not, be essential to all of us.

The meeting with ASEAN in March 2014 that I mentioned earlier will be one of the highlights of the year. In Europe, we will celebrate next year the five years of the CEPEJ Guidelines on enforcement. We will organize in Strasbourg in December 2014 a major international conference to celebrate this event in collaboration with the CEPEJ which already agreed in its principle.

Finally, in Cape Town, we launched the Digital Trust Project, a major project for technological interoperability within the judicial officer profession, which was the third vow of the Congress. We are now able to start this project that will bring the profession of judicial officer of the third millennium to the level of leader of electronic communication and securing electronic exchanges.

As you see, dear colleagues, year after year, the Union follows the course set out in its statutes and moves inexorably every day to its destination. Our unity is our strength. And you are the strength of the Union.

The work of our permanent council will now begin. It will be particularly dense as suggests our agenda. I wish you a pleasant stay in Paris, fruitful works and I thank you again for the trust you have placed in us in our actions and your support by your massive presence today.

Long live our Union.

Leo Netten
President of the UIHJ

125 Events

After the approval of the agenda and of the minutes of the Permanent Council of 2012, the activity report for 2013 was presented by Françoise Andrieux, general secretary of the UIHJ and Mathieu Chardon, 1st secretary of the UIHJ. This report refers to over 125 events in which the UIHJ participated or organized, a record in the history of the UIHJ.

International projects involving the UIHJ were presented by Bernard Menut, 1st vice-president of the UIHJ and Jos Uitdehaag, 1st secretary of the UIHJ. These projects include Albania, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Bernard Menut said the UIHJ is acting as an expert in these projects funded by the governments of the concerned countries as well as the major international organizations and institutions: World Bank, IMF, USAID, Uncitral, European Union, Council of Europe etc. The first vice-president of the UIHJ considered that through the expertise provided by the UIHJ, the concepts developed by the UIHJ are introduced progressively in the countries.

Jos Uitdehaag added that the UIHJ is associated with the European Commission program for five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, in particular through the Rule of Law Platform for Central Asia. The first secretary of the UIHJ also referred to the BESTT and IRI projects.

President Netten welcomed these past and coming actions. He recalled that to serve litigants anywhere in the world, it was necessary that all judicial officers of the world convene. In other words, "If justice goes global, judicial officers should go global."

Then the UIHJ signed a cooperation agreement with the National Judicial Training School of Chad, represented by its director, Ahmed Soumgui and the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Chad, represented by its President, Elysée Eldjimbaye Mbaihoudou. Mr Soumgui stated that the National Judicial Training School of Chad wanted to sign this agreement as a result of a meeting held in July 2013 in Paris with the UIHJ and the National School of Procedure of Paris. "As long as there is no professionalism there can be no security" argued Mr Soumgui.

Leo Netten referred to the Hague Conference on Private International Law. He recalled that Hans van Loon, secretary general, was today retired and had been replaced by Christophe Bernasconi, with whom the UIHJ has maintained close relations for many years. President Netten informed that the UIHJ countries would participate in the Special Commission on the functioning of two Hague Conventions (service of documents and evidence).

Mathieu Chardon and Abdelaziz Fouganni, first vice-president of the National Association of Judicial Officers of Morocco, presented a report on the mission in Morocco funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe in the framework of the South Program to strengthen democracy in the Southern Neighbourhood. Several missions were organized in Morocco. They include a significant component on the reform of the service documents. In the project, it is planned to entrust the judicial officers Moroccan with the full service of documents.

Françoise Andrieux reported on the meetings between the UIHJ and representatives of the European Commission on the Justice Scoreboard. The European Commission is indeed closely interested in the Grand questionnaire of the UIHJ on the profession and enforcement actions carried out by judicial officers. The secretary general of the UIHJ noted that the European Commission, represented by Elsa Garcia-Maltras, took part on the previous day in the meeting of the European Presidents of the UIHJ and had praised the UIHJ involvement in European actions. Françoise Andrieux also referred to the meeting held at the European Commission in April 2013 on the training of professionals in Europe. She noted further that the UIHJ was integrated into the Steering Committee of the EU Project pertaining to the training of the judiciary on European law.

Leo Netten said that Diana Wallis, the new president of the European Law Institute (ELI), considered that the presence of legal professionals was essential to conduct projects. Jos Uitdehaag added that ELI had initiated a project of European transnational procedure rules inspired by ALI-UNIDROIT Principles of Transnational procedures.

On the World Bank, Bernard Menut gave an account of the annual Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development, which was held in Washington DC the previous week. He explained that the important tendencies on legislation are developed by the main international organizations in the USA: the World Bank, IMF, UN. These tendencies are developed from model laws established by these organizations operating together. When a country requests assistance from the IMF, for example, reforms are then expected. In this respect, the UIHJ regularly participates in missions aiming to implement these model laws. In other words, this results in finding the guidelines of the UIHJ in these model laws. Jos Uitdehaag added that these organizations need the expertise of the UIHJ to ensure that these model laws work in practice. In this context, Leo Netten stressed the relevance of the project of the UIHJ of a Global Code of Enforcement.

Bernard Menut went on to present a report on the relationships between the UIHJ and the United Nations Commission for the Development of International Trade Law (Uncitral). He recalled that contacts have been made for several years thanks to Sue Collins (USA), member of the board of the UIHJ. Since then, the UIHJ is invited to participate in the working groups established by Uncitral in various fields.

Marc Schmitz (Belgium), member of the board of the UIHJ, then informed the country on the growing relationships with the ten countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean). The UIHJ will organize in March 2014 with the Legal Execution Department of the Ministry of Justice of Thailand (LED) a high level conference in Bangkok with representatives of Asean countries on enforcement. Kraisorn Singharajwarapan, Director of the Legal Execution System Development and Appraisement of Property Division of the LED, said how honoured the LED was to welcome the participants in this conference, which will mark ten years of cooperation between the LED and the UIHJ. He added that this conference would certainly help several Asian countries to become members of the UIHJ.

With regard to Africa and Ohada, Honoré Aggrey, vice-president of the UIHJ, gave an account of the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Treaty of Ohada, which took place in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), in the presence of heads of state of the seventeen members of this great organization. The UIHJ was the only professional organization to be involved in such an important meeting as the Council of Ministers on the occasion of this historic anniversary, thanks to the excellent relations between the UIHJ and the Ohada and its secretary general, Dorothé Cossi Sossa. He also indicated that a partnership was envisaged with the High Regional School of the Judiciary (Ersuma), following the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers held in Lomé (Togo) in September 2013.

Concerning UEMOA which includes eight countries of the West African zone, the vice-president of the UIHJ announced that the UIHJ would soon finalise a draft cooperation agreement. "We should have valuable benefits both for the profession and for enforcement” he predicted, while announcing that the UIHJ would then continue its activities with "two peaks": the African Union and the African Development Bank (ADB).

Cyborg Judicial Officer

Alain Bobant (France), President of the National Federation of Trusted Third Parties (FNTC), took the floor to discuss the future of the profession through the development of information and communication technologies. He spoke about a Cyborg judicial officer or even a Drone judicial officer! “For now, the UIHJ is working on a legal interoperability”, said Alain Bobant before continuing: "We are working on a technological interoperability to have products that are inexpensive and can be used in all countries of the world. It matches perfectly. There will be services and a Code of enforcement. You need the right channels, the right tools and the rights services. The FNTC can bring you all that. I am delighted to have the UIHJ which is an important and privileged partner. We will increase our relations. This law should mix with this technology. "

In the Caribbean, Sue Collins gave a report on the recent conference held in Barbados. The symposium was organized by the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) and she met the judges of the 15 islands in the region as well as representatives of Central and South American countries. She said that Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Court of Justice of the Caribbean, was very interested in the proposals of the UIHJ. He expressed in favour of the Caribbean islands becoming members of the UIHJ.

Sue Collins also said she participated in the second annual conference organized by the Centre for Justice Studies of the Americas (CEJA) in Buenos Aires (Argentina). A workshop was devoted to enforcement and the discussions were very interesting.

Marc Schmitz said the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International European and Regulatory Procedural Law (MPIL) was inaugurated on 8 May 2013 in the presence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker. He recalled that the Director of MPIL was Professor Burckhard Hess, a member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ.

During 2013, the UIHJ also made contact with the prestigious Association Henri Capitant of the Friends of the French Legal Culture. A first appointment was held in January 2013 with its President, Professor Denis Mazeaud and Professor Claude Brenner (France). Following this meeting, the Association Henri Capitant, represented by Professor Alain Gozzi, participated in the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers in Lomé (Togo) in September 2013.

Stobra and Cadat

David Walker (Scotland), member of the board of the UIHJ, and Bernard Menut gave an account of the activities relating to the UIHJ Stobra projects. The Stobra projects were initiated by the UIHJ to harmonize and raise the level of the profession of judicial officer and of enforcement procedures in Europe. David Walker spoke about the Stobra 3 project concerning transparency of assets in Europe. He considered it necessary to be consistent with human rights in enforcement. The creditor is entitled to be paid. In this context, the debtor should accept that some of his rights are being eroded. Tools should exist to locate debtors. David Walker thanked those who had responded to the questionnaire that was sent to them and declared the project would go ahead.
 
Bernard Menut went on to find that things are very different from one country to another. The comparative analysis initiated by the UIHJ will end with proposals, guidelines to suggest what has to do with the transparency of assets, and what does not work in a given country. He recalled that Stobra 6 focuses on e-Justice. Five sub-topics were identified on which the UIHJ will work:
- e-Access to information by electronic means;
- e-Service of documents;
- e-Judgment;
- e-Enforcement, including:
o    e-Attachment of bank accounts;
o    e-Attachment of vehicles,
o    e-Attachment of tangible goods;
- e-Auctions.

The first vice-president of the UIHJ announced that at the end of work, guidelines, recommendations would be proposed by the UIHJ to be spread around the world, including to all international organizations.

Then Bernard Menut mentioned another UIHJ project initiated in Cyprus called "Aphrodite", based on the Grand questionnaire of the UIHJ and the CEPEJ Guidelines on enforcement. The aim is to link the work of the UIHJ to those of the CEPEJ on the evaluation of European Judicial systems.

For Africa, Honoré Aggrey and Jos Uitdehaag presented the Cadat project whose purpose is identical to the Stobra project for the African continent. Finding a great imbalance between the different parts of Africa, Honoré Aggrey announced that the UIHJ had deployed new programs in Southern Africa, thanks to the intervention of Johan Fourie (South Africa) and Jos Uitdehaag.

Historic Meetings in Lomé

André Sama Botcho, president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo, reported on the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers that took place in his country end of September 2013 on the theme of "The Judicial Officer Actor of Good Economic Governance". He thanked the board of the UIHJ for its assistance in the practical organization of the meeting and expressed the gratitude of the Togolese government for the choice of Togo to host the event. "The third Africa Europe Meeting of Judicial Officers is now historical”, declared President Sama Botcho. He explained that the Global Code of Enforcement was presented there by Professor Natalie Fricero (France) to the institutions and international organizations that had made the trip to attend the meeting. "Many thanks to all the presidents and heads of delegations. We have a clearer visibility in Togo after this event. We were trusted. We are associated to the projects. The impact has been very positive. Our hope is that this kind of meeting perpetuates. The President of the Supreme Court, the Justice Minister and the Prime Minister received us and heard us", continued André Sama Botcho. Leo Netten congratulated the work done by the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo and the results obtained.

Françoise Andrieux then addressed the recent cooperation agreements signed with the universities of Mendoza (Argentina) and Valencia (Spain). A third cooperation agreement is being prepared with the University of Montreal (Canada, Province of Quebec) and its Laboratory of Cyber Justice which handles On-Line mediation. A fourth agreement concerns the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg. Luis Ortega Alcubierre (Spain), vice-secretary of the board of the UIHJ, added that the agreement with the University of Valencia would be beneficial in the context of the Stobra projects, including the Stobra 2 project on Service of documents.

Then Natalie Fricero, professor at law at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France), member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, presented with her usual skills the work on the Global Code of Enforcement that she chairs. "This code is an instrument of economic development, emphasized Professor Fricero. All international organizations, all States and federal organizations are convinced that common rules of enforcement will help to develop international relations between companies, between states, but at the same time will help to develop the economic attractiveness of the States". The aim is to establish common principles that can serve as models for all states.

Françoise Andrieux then turned to the 6th European Training Day of Judicial Officers held in March 2013 in Brussels. She recalled the recurring themes: yearly European legislation and jurisprudence on the profession of judicial officer, presented by Guillaume Payan, lecturer and UIHJ consultant. Two workshops were held on mediation and the recast of Brussels I Regulation. Then the secretary-general informed the countries of the creation of a thesis prize to replace the Contest of the UIHJ which had not been satisfactory in terms of participation and quality of work.

Mathieu Chardon then gave an account of communications and publications of the UIHJ. On the website, he informed that following the setting of electronic newsletters, its attendance had increased sharply to average now about 1,000 visits per day, which is very encouraging and reflects all the interest in the world by the actions of the UIHJ.

Ylva Gram, Credit Manager within the GGN Company (The Netherlands) presented the role of the judicial officer in the Netherlands in credit management, as part of a workshop. She explained how the control of unpaid debts allowed companies optimize their cash flow and ensure their proper development and how judicial officers could help in this area. In the Netherlands, for almost fifteen years, judicial officers have played a key role in Credit Management, from invoicing to the enforcement of judgments.

Each Permanent Delegate of the UIHJ then presented a report for the region he/she represents. For the United States, Sue Collins discussed the developments in service of documents. She noted that the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) was now a member of the FNTC and was currently working to develop a secure portal of transmission of documents and electronic filing (e-Filing), a very complex task given the variety of existing computer systems. Sue Collins said the UIHJ had participated in the Annual Conference of the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) attended by over 5000 people. At this conference, Craig Webre, former president of the NSA, was elected Permanent Delegate of the NSA at the UIHJ.

Olof Dahnell (Sweden), Permanent Delegate for the Scandinavian countries, discussed the Nordic seminar held in September 2013 in Turku (Finland). In Finland, structural reforms are underway concerning the Enforcement Service. In Denmark, it is now possible in some cases to summon the defendants to court by telephone. Denmark is currently faced with excesses “Quick Loans”, those loans from financial institutions without any prior verification and with very high interest rates. It is often difficult to precisely identify the creditor and the Supreme Court recognized the difficulties when it comes to recover the amounts due. In Norway, the future role of Police in enforcement is at stakes as enforcement activities could be separated. In Sweden, focus is on a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which involved the auction of an immovable, the sale of which was considered disproportionate to the low amount of the remaining debt. Olof Dahnell announced that the next Nordic seminar will be held in Sweden in May 2015 and will focus on three themes:
- The benefits of scientific research on over indebtedness;
- EU law, EU case law and their impact in our legislation;
- Training and the use of modern technologies.

David Walker focused on UK and Ireland. In Ireland, contacts with the new president of Sheriffs have so far not succeeded. In England and Wales, a tariff reform of the judicial officers is ongoing. In Scotland, the socialization of enforcement is important. Judicial officers today are interested in the multidisciplinary enforcement, Credit Management and amicable recovery.

Mohamed Chérif, vice-treasurer of the UIHJ, discussed the current situation in the Maghreb countries. In Morocco, he recalled the intervention of the CEPEJ mentioned by Mathieu Chardon and Abdelaziz Fouganni. Algeria plans to give judicial officers the ability to enforce criminal decisions (recovery of fines). This requires amending the Code of Criminal Procedure and the status of judicial officers. In the European Union, there has been a meeting in Algiers. The EU will finance training of judicial officers and law professionals. There will be another meeting in January to determine the terms of this training in Algiers or abroad and training of trainers. Fifty judicial officers should go to Paris at the National School of Procedure and the UIHJ.

Juraj Podkonicky (Czech Republic), treasurer of the UIHJ, presented a report of the UIHJ-EuroDanube meeting held on 27 November 2013 in Paris. He explained that problems in countries are very high. The profession is often attacked by governments, parliaments and media. The situation in Poland is difficult where there has been a doubling of judicial officers (600 to 1200). The same goes for Slovakia and Czech Republic. A strategy should be prepared with the UIHJ not only for one country but for several. Teams should be organized in each country and may learn from the Spanish experience which launched a vast campaign of communication and lobbying. Leo Netten responded by saying that countries are generally reactive but not proactive. Armenia and Georgia are doing things differently and go to the media to explain what they do, which helps avoiding possible attacks.
 
Louis-Raymond Maranda (Canada, Province of Quebec), secretary of the board of the UIHJ, mentioned the project of the Global Week of Legal Professions initiated by the UIHJ. He said a report will be presented during the next Permanent Council. On the World Day of the judicial officer, he cited the example of Togo where it was held in a town centre. He urged countries to actively participate in the next World Day to be held on 12 June 2014 on the theme of the judicial officer and human rights.


Interventions of Delegations


Traditionally the permanent council ends with the intervention of the delegations wishing to take the floor.

Alain Ngongang Sime, president of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Cameroon spoke first to present the report on the activities of his profession in Cameroon. He described the actions carried out to modernize the profession internally and at bilateral and multilateral levels. Then he regretted a decision by the Department of Justice to reduce 1/6th of the income of the judicial officers in criminal and social matters. President Ngongang hoped that the crisis would be only temporary, and was grateful to always be able to count on the support of the UIHJ.

Costas Xatzicosteas, president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Cyprus, spoke to regret that, despite the presence of the UIHJ in Cyprus in 2012, no change had been recorded in Cyprus as regards service of documents.

Eftimios Preketes, president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Greece, took the floor to discuss the countries of the European Union faced with serious financial problems, which are the cause of the crisis in the profession of judicial officer and in the judicial area. "The crisis has led political systems, institutions and citizens to think of nothing but money and not worry about others" regretted President Preketes. Wanting to close his remarks with an optimistic note, he wished to the overcome the "small steps" policy of Jean Monnet by improving not only institutions but changing the existing mentality against European unification: "We should wake up and all work together for this ".

Moldova, represented by Oxana Novicov, informed the participants that the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Moldova organized several seminars over the past two years, including training seminars. Progress has been made in terms of access to information. Judicial officers now have the opportunity to check the information on the entries and exits of the national territory of debtors, their place of work, etc., the National Chamber is working with the National Land Registry on a program that will allow judicial officers to record and register the attachment of immovable directly on the Registry in real time. "After three years of existence, we can already speak of a well-established tradition, whose foundations were laid in the first year after the reform, to organize or participate in charitable activities" said Oxana Novicov. National media announced such initiatives of judicial officers under the slogan: "Judicial officers deemed generally to take your assets have this time come to give...”.
 
In Morocco, Abdelaziz Fouganni expressed the willingness of the judicial officers of the country to implement compulsory training. "We are going to change the rules of civil proceedings and of service of documents in accordance with European standards. This implies the CEPEJ Guidelines. We work to achieve the project in Morocco. Training is at the centre of our concerns with the universities" said President Fouganni.

Dragana Stoijkov, Board Member of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Serbia, said that the new law on enforcement is in force since 17 September 2011 while the Law on liberal judicial officers dates back to 17 May 2012. There are currently 130 judicial officers in Serbia. The first assessment is largely positive. Liberal judicial officers are more motivated than were civil servant judicial officers and show greater efficiency in the enforcement of court decisions.

For Armenia, Mirhan Pogoshyan, Director of the Enforcement Service, referred to the "friendly and working relations" with the UIHJ and the improvements in the enforcement of court decisions. For example, in Armenia, auctions are now conducted only electronically. He then returned to the visit of the president of the UIHJ on the occasion of 15th anniversary of the Enforcement Service. During his visit, Leo Netten was received by Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia. Mr Pogoshyan thanked again the President of the UIHJ to have participated in this event. "The cooperation between the UIHJJ and the Enforcement Service will continue and will grow," concluded the Director of the Enforcement Service of Armenia.
 
In response, Leo Netten thanked Mr Pogoshyan. "I remember my interview with the President of the Republic and his interest in the Enforcement Service. Here's how to do it. In many countries, politicians attack judicial officers. They do this because enforcement is not popular. But enforcement is necessary and it is necessary to convince the authorities that without enforcement, there is no Rule of Law ", concluded the President of the UIHJ.
 
Luis Ortega Alcubierre then explained how, in Spain, Procuradores acted to defend the interests of the profession. The profession has decided to fight against an unfavourable bill. A common position was adopted. Supports were sought from the Brussels Bar, university professors and members of the State Council who are members of bar associations. 200 000 motions were sent to the Ministry of Justice. A firm was commissioned to do a study on the economic impact of the effects of the law. A communications firm was also mandated. Procuradores are mentioned daily in newspapers. The presidents of Courts of Appeal in Spain have written in favour of Procuradores. "We talked with all departments, all political parties. We have support from associations of judges, magistrates and clerks, as well as lawyers", said Luis Ortega Alcubierre.

Leo Netten admitted that everyone cannot do the same thing but everyone can invest in this type of actions. "To this end we should remain united. Unity is the most important. The internal unit of our organization is the same. If we stay united, we remain strong. The example of Spain is great. The effort of Armenia is great. You have to go on television to explain what we do. Nobody can do it for you. We will try to prepare a manual to explain how we can possibly do lobbying ourselves. If you do not have the money for lobbying you have to do it yourselves. This is what we do", said President Netten.

After the approval of the accountancy of the UIHJ, Jos Uitdehaag presented the work of the Congress of Madrid (Spain) to be held from 3 to 6 June 2015 and of which he is the general rapporteur. The working title of the congress is "The Importance of Enforcement in the Context of Economic Development". The work will include three round tables on the following topics:
- An equitable global economic development: a right for every citizen;
- The role of the global enforcement agent: a key to economic development;
- The Global Code of Enforcement: equitable principles of enforcement.
The main international organizations and institutions will be invited to participate. Meanwhile Luis Ortega Alcubierre presented the material organization of the congress. Leo Netten stressed the very promising aspect of the scientific work and of the conference venue.

Then Eftimios Preketes proposed the city of Heraklion (Crete) to host the UIHJ Spring Permanent Council on 5 and 6 June 2014. "The island has contributed to the history of the world and Europe. This is the island of the Minotaur, of Ariadne's clew. It is a tourist attraction for all: sea, gastronomy, Mediterranean cuisine. We will do our utmost to make the permanent council a success", promised President Preketes. Hearing the thunderous applause that immediately followed and in the absence of another proposal, Leo Netten concluded that a vote was unnecessary and that the application was accepted. "We know the Greek hospitality. We will have a great time" anticipated the president of the UIHJ, before closing the Permanent Council by thanking all participants and speakers, wishing them a very pleasant holiday season.
 
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Signature of a Cooperation agreement with Chad
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Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ
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Some of the participants
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The Delegation from Chad
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From L. to R.: Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, Natalie Fricero, professor at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France), member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, Françoise Andrieux, secretary general of the UIHJ, Bernard Menut, 1st vice-president of the UIHJ
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Honoré Aggrey, vice-president of the UIHJ
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Jos Uitdehaag, 1st secretary of the UIHJ
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Marc Schmitz (Belgium), member of the board of the UIHJ
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Kraisorn Singharajwarapan, Director of the Legal Execution System Development and Appraisement of Property Division of the Legal Execution Department of the Ministry of Justice of Thailand
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Some of the participants
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Alain Bobant, President of the FNTC
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Sue Collins (USA), member of the board of the UIHJ
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David Walker (Scotland), member of the board of the UIHJ
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Ylva Gram, Credit Manager
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André Sama Botcho, president of the National chamber of judicial officers of Togo
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Mohamed Chérif (Algeria), Vice-Treasurer of the board of the UIHJ
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Olof Dahnell (Sweden), permanent delegate of the UIHJ for the Scandinavian countries
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Louis-Raymond Maranda (Canada, province of Quebec), secretary of the board of the UIHJ
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Alain Ngongang Sime, president of the National chamber of judicial officers of Cameroon
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Costas Xatzicosteas, president of the National chamber of judicial officers of Cyprus
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Oxana Novicov, National chamber of the judicial officers of Moldova
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Abdelaziz Fouganni, 1st vice-president of the National order of judicial officers of Morocco
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Dragana Stoijkov, board member of the National chamber of judicial officers of Serbia
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Mirhan Pogoshyan, Director of the Enforcement service of the Republic of Armenia
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From L. to R.: Bernard Menut, Luis Ortega Alcubierre, vice-secretary of the board of the UIHJ
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Eftimios Preketes, President of the National chamber of judicial officers of Greece
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