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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurAfricaSéparateurTogoSéparateur3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers in Lomé: The UIHJ and International Organisations Working Together
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3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers in Lomé: The UIHJ and International Organisations Working Together

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On 26 and 27 September 2013 were held in Lomé (Togo) the third Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers in the presence of the Minister of Justice of Togo and the Major International Institutions and Organizations. The highlights of the event were the celebration of the 20 years of Ohada and the presentation of the work of the Global Code of Enforcement of the UIHJ.

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Opening of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers
 
 
 
 The Major International Institutions and Organizations

After Libreville (Gabon) in 2008 and Yaoundé (Cameroon), it was the turn of Togo to meet the challenge of organizing the Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers. André Sama Botcho, President of the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Togo, recently promoted Knight in the National Order of Merit of Togo, has done more than meet this challenge. Together with the UIHJ and the organization Committee of these third Meetings, he created an unprecedented event for the profession of judicial officer in Togo, Africa and the world. Over 400 participants attended works of great density. A new step has been reached by the UIHJ in the development of its relations with major international institutions and organizations, one of the first objectives that were fixed by Leo Netten when he took over the presidency of the UIHJ in September 2009. The major following institutions and organizations were present or represented in Lomé: World Bank, Uncitral, Hague Conference on Private International Law, CEPEJ, Ohada, Ersuma and Association Henri Capitant of the Friends of French Legal Culture. The massive presence of all Togolese media gave a unique national attention to the event.

During the stay, the delegation of the UIHJ together with the President of the National Chamber of Judicial officers Togo had an appointment with Kwesi Séléagodjil Ahoomey-Zunu, Prime Minister of Togo at his residency. During a one-hour meeting, Leo Netten personally presented to the Prime Minister the work of the conference. Mr Ahoomey-Zunu was particularly receptive. On behalf of Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo, he thanked the UIHJ for choosing his country to organize an event of such magnitude. President Netten had asked Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, to accompany him for the appointment so that he could directly talk with the Prime Minister on the opportunity for Togo to become a member of The Hague Conference and its signing to certain conventions, including the 1965 Convention on service of document or the Apostille Convention. Mr Ahoomey-Zunu proved equally receptive. He assured the delegation of the UIHJ he would not fail to fully report about the exchanges to the President of the Republic.
 
The conference had a double topic: "The Judicial Officer, Actor of the Legal Governance" and "20 Years of Ohada: a Model for African and European Judicial Officers". It was opened by Koffi Esaw, Minister of Justice of Togo. No less than five other Togolese ministers were also present: Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Damehame Yark, Minister of Public Safety and Civil Protection, Hamadou Yacoubou, Minister of Human Rights and Consolidation of Democracy, Djossou Mawussi Semodji, Minister of Planning and Development, and Anate Koumealo, Minister of Communication, Culture, Arts and Civic Promotion.

High political and judicial authorities of the Togolese spheres were also in attendance: MPs, ambassadors and members of diplomatic corps, prefect, traditional chiefs, administrative and judicial authorities, heads of courts, the President of the Bar Association of Togo, the President of the Chamber of Notaries of Togo, judges as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Lomé, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representatives of employers. France was officially represented by its ambassador in Togo, Nicolas Warnery.

Judicial officers from twenty countries in Africa, Europe and America made the trip to the capital of Togo to attend the conference: Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, France, Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Niger, the Netherlands, Senegal, Scotland, South Africa and Togo.


Legal Governance

As mentioned above, the general theme of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers was: " The judicial officer, Actor of the Legal Governance - Twenty years Ohada: a Model for African and European Judicial Officers." Why this theme? For Françoise Andrieux, General Secretary of the UIHJ, who organized the program in cooperation with the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo, Economics and Law are both universal values. They are the engines of life in society. Their combination brings order, wealth, prosperity, growth and justice. But the concept is not enough. Its implementation should be added and for this a new concept has emerged: good governance, launched in the early nineties by the World Bank as a necessary condition for development policies.

Good governance is a set of measures to ensure the proper operation and control of a state, or a national or international institution or organization, whether public or private, regional, respecting the rights of citizens. It also covers the idea of good management. The integration of institutions in the definition of good governance can incorporate the profession of judicial officer as a pillar of the justice system and the proper administration of justice, thus participating in the development of good governance through justice and all state institutions aiming to implement the law. In this sense, justice is a legal institutional reality of a political nature.

Simplifying and speeding up court procedures, the use of new technologies, better access to justice, harmonization of procedures, information to individuals, the quality of justice in general are the ways of good governance in judicial matters. Three different approaches support this statement:
- The World Bank approach, based on four pillars: transparency, access to information, Rule of Law, liability, and public sector management;
- The European Union approach: The Lisbon Treaty also contains the term governance in Article 15 and Article 21. This entry in the Treaty underlines the need for openness and transparency of the EU institutions and aims to "ensure the participation of civil society".
- The African approach: harmonization of business law through Ohada is a tool for good governance. The institution was right to choose "Ohada and good governance" as a topic for its 2009 summer schools.

Opening Ceremony

In his opening speech, André Sama Botcho, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Togo, welcomed to Togo all the participants, heads of delegations of the UIHJ countries, and representatives of international organizations and institutions. Speaking to the representatives of employers and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said that the judicial officer is "a major player in the improvement and consolidation of the business climate in all countries and contributes to economic growth and strengthens the Rule of Law". To work in this direction, "we should always bear in mind the training and strengthening of our professional capabilities," he said. Addressing the Minister of Justice, André Sama Botcho thanked him for his willingness to chair the 3rd Meetings on behalf of the Head of State, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, and his material support in organizing the event. He then expressed his deep gratitude to Leo Netten, "fighting for the great cause of our profession," and his team including Honoré Aggrey, Vice-President of the UIHJ. He recalled that in 1996 the UIHJ, then chaired by Jacques Isnard, "the father of African judicial officers" visited Africa to bring together the judicial officers of the French-speaking area, with the material and logistical assistance of France, as part of its program of globalization of the profession. The President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo spoke of the development from that date: strengthening links between African judicial officers, work on a harmonized African status of judicial officer, training through the Training Unit of African Judicial Officers (Ufohja), created by the UIHJ in cooperation with the African National Chambers and the National School of Procedure of Paris (ENP), the many conferences and seminars, two international conferences and the Africa Europe Meetings of judicial officers. He praised the Ohada, "this legal gem, a model for African and European judicial" whose twentieth anniversary would be celebrated by the UIHJ on African soil during the event. He stressed the role of the judicial officer in society. In turn, he ensures the effectiveness of the rights of citizens, he has to "convince without showing power, force without requiring ", he takes into account the economic and social environments, he has to show unwavering professionalism while proving being tactful and delicate, be the legal messenger, the legal interface between the litigants and justice, hence the importance of the theme of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings. President Sama Botcho ended his speech by wishing Ohada a happy twentieth anniversary.

After a musical and dance interlude, Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, expressed his pleasure to see participants coming from all horizons to share the exceptional moments promised by the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers. He expressed his gratitude to the President of the Republic of Togo, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, for putting these meetings under his patronage, a "testimony that justice and enforcement of judgments in Togo are at the heart of concerns at the highest level." President Netten welcomed the presence of the Minister of Justice, Koffi Esaw, newly appointed to this position only a few days ago. He traced the history of the relations between UIHJ and Togo, a country the UIHJ visited several times since 2002, and where was held one of the first Ufohja seminars. He mentioned the reception of the delegation of the UIHJ in 2008 by the President of the Republic. He praised the work done by the various presidents of the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Togo for elevating the status of the Togolese judicial officer: Claude Assiongbo Klouvi the Late Duafa Ahoomey-Zunu, and Kokoé Gaba Dos Reis.
 
He similarly praised France, "without which we certainly would not be here today or at least not as organized, not as determined, not so united." In 1996, outlined President Netten, France provided logistical, but also financial support, to allow an idea then considered by many as utopian, curious, or even bizarre, that was to bring together African judicial officers who shared the use of the French language and a similar legal culture.

It is indeed during this historic event in 1996, since known as "The Call of Dakar", that the UIHJ initiated a broad movement that has enjoyed unprecedented success in the history of the profession of judicial officer. "This is why, said the President of the UIHJ, at the time of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Ohada, I want to express the deep appreciation of the UIHJ with regard to France, represented here by His Excellency, Ambassador Nicolas Warnery, that I thank for accompanying us again in the mission that is ours to propose ways for harmonization of the profession of judicial officer and enforcement measures ".

Leo Netten then addressed to all representatives of the major international institutions and organizations, starting with Ohada, represented by Alexis Ndzuenkeu, Head of Legal Affairs and Communications of the Permanent Secretariat of Ohada. He stressed that Doroté Cossi Sossa, Permanent Secretary of Ohada, could not be present but had wanted to personally mark his presence in the foreword of the scientific publication of the UIHJ "Juris - Union 7" on the developments of the UIHJ in Africa since the creation of Ohada and the twenty years of the organization, to whom he would formally handle the first copy. "There is no more powerful and more efficient means of integration than Ohada" added the President of the UIHJ.

Among the institutions of Ohada, there is one with which judges, assistants and court officials can learn and perfect the Ohada legislation. For the first time, the UIHJ was pleased to host this institution in one of its meetings. It is with great pleasure that Leo Netten welcomed Felix Onana Etoundi, General Director of Ersuma. Then he welcomed Christophe Bernasconi, in his capacity as Secretary General of The Hague Conference on International Law, a position he has held only for a few weeks. "My dear Christophe, we meet for nearly twenty years now and I am particularly pleased to welcome you in Togo," said Leo Netten.

The UIHJ is naturally inclined to approach all other major organizations and institutions. The United Nations Organization is at the forefront of these. "We are honoured to have with us Timothy Lemay, Principal Legal Officer, Head, Legislative Branch, Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (Uncitral). Welcome to Lomé. We will be very interested in your comments when law, economy and trade are so inextricably linked ". The World Bank, another of these essential organizations, was represented by Giuiliana Duham Irving, Senior Counsel and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel of the World Bank. President Netten said how happy he was of the collaboration between the two organizations, in particular through "this remarkable tool called the Justice Forum established by the World Bank and the incredible opportunities it offers to us as professionals".

The UIHJ has very strong and historic relations with the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe (CEPEJ). President Netten said its president, John Stacey, could not be present, but awarded the UIHJ with the privilege of asking the first secretary of the UIHJ, also an expert at the Council of Europe and a participant of the CEPEJ Working Group on Execution to speak on behalf of the CEPEJ. "We fully appreciate this trust and we will prove ourselves worthy of it" he promised. Finally, the President of the UIHJ recalled that Togo is one of the many African countries where strong links exist with the French legal culture. The presence of the Association Henri Capitant of the Friends of French Legal Culture was thus particularly appropriate and he welcomed his representative, Alain Ghozi, Professor at the University Panthéon Assas (France).

Leo Netten then welcomed Jacques Isnard, Honorary President of the UIHJ and Yacine Sene, former President of the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Senegal and former Vice-President of the UIHJ, the architects for the development of the profession of judicial officer in Africa. He welcomed Jean-Michel Rouzaud, President of the National School of Procedure of Paris, who regularly attends the UIHJ African meetings, as well as the professors who, once again, by their presence, give strength to the required intellectual work of the UIHJ. Finally, he welcomed all the representatives of the highest authorities of Togo, heads of delegations, and colleagues who would share the work during these two days.

At this moment, President Netten announced two very recent tragedies that had affected the judicial officer profession. Early September, Dario Jesus Ferreira, a Portuguese judicial officer, was killed during an eviction proceeding, despite the presence of security forces. A few days later, Abaye Khause - Menwa, judicial officer was murdered in turn by gunfire in broad daylight in N'Djamena (Chad) also in the exercise of his activities. "Such violence is a reality that some of us are facing and against which we are unfortunately not sufficiently protected. We think about their families and their loved ones", said the President, requiring a minute of silence in memory of those colleagues.

He then held that, by the chosen theme, Africa-Europe meetings are intended to be a bridge between Africa and Europe, to allow each continent to benefit from the progresses and developments of the other. "We tend to see world standards in the light of European standards", said Leo Netten. "But with Ohada, things should be much more balanced. The proposed Ohada model is unique, daring and based on a tangible reality: a language unity, a legal unity, a monetary unity. The twentieth anniversary of the Ohada which coincides with our work gives us an opportunity we could not pass up. The International Union had to celebrate, on African soil, the twenty years of Ohada. This will be done today. And to mark this event, we have written a book in our Juris Union collection that you will discover here".

The President of the UIHJ concluded his speech by thanking all those who have worked tirelessly for over a year for the organization of the meeting: André Sama Botcho and his board, Françoise Andrieux, General Secretary for the scientific organization of work and Luisa Lozano, Executive Secretary, for her material organization. Finally, he thanked all the speakers for the work carried out to make these meetings third Africa Europe judicial officers a unique moment of work, friendliness, brotherhood, sharing and friendship.

Koffi Esaw, Minister of Justice of Togo, wished, on behalf of President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, a warm welcome to the foreign delegations having travelled to Lomé at the occasion of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers. He testified his gratitude to the UIHJ for choosing Togo to hold these meetings. "All branches of the law are represented here: judges, lawyers, judicial officers, notaries, corporate lawyers, professors, researchers, jurists of all professions from all backgrounds" he noted. "The choice made on Lomé shows the recognition of the success of actions taken by Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé not only to improve the public service of justice but also to ground the legal, political and social governance." The judicial officer has a role to play. He is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the judge's decision, a centrepiece in our judicial system. It is the judicial officer that completes the work of Justice through the effective enforcement of the decision he makes: "it is necessary that justice reaches its goals that is to register the complaints of citizens, to settle the dispute by applying the law and to ensure that the parties are restored in their rights". The Minister of Justice addressed a moment on modernization of judicial infrastructures in Togo and the process towards comprehensive reform legislation, with the rewriting of three codes, criminal procedure, civil procedure, judicial organization and other reforms, including those relating to legal aid. After focusing again on the role of the judicial officer, he extended his congratulations to the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo and the UIHJ for the organization of the 3rd Africa-Europe meetings of which he wished full success and officially declared open.

Overall Presentation

Akuete Santos, professor at the University of Lomé brilliantly fulfilled his mission of presenting the overall presentation of the work. Several meanings are given to the word governance. The first and oldest is that of government. Over time, it has lost its relevance, he noticed. "What we retain is the art of directing, to govern". In a second sense, it is referred to designate good governance, initiated by the World Bank. Initially, it was a question of identifying a methodological tool to understand how the power was exercised in the management of economic and social resources in the development of a country. Subsequently, the World Bank has developed quality standards of governance to assess standards and practices of governments and organizations and intended to be used to guide the objectives of these programs and determine the relevance of certain applications for the funding it received. The list of criteria is known: political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, the quality of regulation, Rule of Law, control of corruption, transparency, etc.

Corporate governance, in turn, means all organizational mechanisms that have the purpose or effect to define the power and influence management decisions. In a North American perspective, governance is addressed in two main approaches. The financial approach is intended to establish the conditions for companies to maximize value for shareholders. The stakeholder approach is to maximize the value of the company in the interest of all parties that interact within the company. If the models provided by Ohada were seen as a great relief, they require a deep investment on the part of all stakeholders. The investment of judicial officers in the implementation of the new law has been considerable since the Uniform Act on enforcement remains by far the most applied and one that generates the most disputes, said Professor Santos. “The implementation of the law is a complex phenomenon which complicates the investment of several players, including the judicial officer". The main activity of the judicial officer is to ensure that the law lives both through the enforcement of judgments and by the constitution of evidence at the request of the court or individuals.

Beyond that, through their activities, judicial officers are expected to ensure the regularity of formal enforcement proceedings. "What are the legal requirements of governance?" questioned Dr Santos. Efforts are necessary to improve training. Governance involves ensuring respects for citizens, businesses, private and public partners. We should ensure that the ways of legal governance are heard in the conduct of business. For judicial officers, these routes are twofold: the efficiency in the carrying out of professional duties and the preservation of rights. In the search for efficiency, the profession should be regarded as one or several networks focusing on the identification of best practices. This research should be active. New legal practices require new forms of reasoning. The collaboration between chambers of judicial officers should be improved to develop a capacity for optimal functional adaptation of systems to find the solutions required by a new environment.

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Ohada said Mr Santos, it would be interesting to examine the contribution of judicial reform in Uniform Acts. "It would be an important sign of the involvement of judicial officers in improving the Rule of Law." Much attention should also be given to the preservation of rights. The power given to the judicial officer should be exercised for the fulfilment of its purposes. Then it is necessary to ensure that the action was absolutely necessary for this achievement. Finally, one can wonder about the severity of damage to the interests of the recipients and about the excessiveness of the sentence that can sometimes justify abandoning the measure. This is another way of seeing things. We do not ask the judicial officer to judge the merits of the law but to enforce it. But the rule of the standard tends to disappear because a State is also considered as an actor like others. "This is the transition from a blind servant of the law to logic of governance" concluded Akuete Santos.

A Multi-Faced Professional

The topic of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings was divided into three panels:
- Panel 1: a multi-faced professional
- Panel 2: a professional at the heart of economic issues
- Panel 3: a professional at the heart of social issues.

Each panel consisted of two or more sub-panels. The first sub-panel to panel 1 was chaired by Mathieu Chardon, judicial officer (France), first secretary of the UIHJ. Its purpose was to highlight the apparent differences between the judicial officers of Europe and Africa. Four countries were chosen, each as representing a model:
- France (European liberal model);
- Germany (European state employed model);
- Togo (African liberal model);
- And South Africa (Common Law type model).

In turn each representative answered a series of questions from the Grand questionnaire of the UIHJ (a questionnaire with 350 questions completed by fifty member countries of the UIHJ) that was presented at the International Congress of judicial officers in Cape Town (South Africa) in May 2012. The speakers on the panel were for France, Rose-Marie Bruno, judicial officer (France), ENP and Ufohja expert, for Germany, Marc Schmitz, judicial officer (Belgium), board member of the UIHJ, for Togo, André Sama Botcho, President of the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Togo, and for South Africa, Johan Fourie, sheriff in Simonstown (South Africa), Permanent Delegate of the UIHJ for Southern Africa. This practical comparative law study fully demonstrated the heterogeneity of the profession through issues such as the level of initial and on-going training, status, skills and activities, control or ethics.

The second sub-panel included three sections. Deliberately on the opposite side of the first panel, it focused on the elements establishing the unity of the profession. First, Felix Onana Etoundi engaged in a plea for training and particularly that provided by the Higher Regional School of Magistrates (Ersuma), the Ohada training institution of which he is the General Director. With a contagious passion, Mr Onana Etoundi challenged the audience by asking if the judicial officers had taken the measure of the importance they have to play in the implementation of the uniform acts? "If this is the case, then training will be at the heart of their concerns." As officers of the court, he invited them to ensure their continuing education through Ersuma. When they created Ohada, the founding fathers were careful to establish a body to monitor and sanction the interpretation and application of the adopted uniform law: the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) based in Abidjan. Also was raised the issue of the training of the actors of this new business law, hence the creation of Ersuma. "Its role is not only to train judges" observed Felix Onana Etoundi, who announced that the Council of Ministers of Ohada have decided in June 2013 that as of October the name Ersuma would be modified to better fit with its mission to educate not only beyond the borders of Ohada but also its beneficiaries, paralegals, students, academics, and economic operators. He announced that since its opening in 1999, Ersuma had ensured the training of about 7,400 lawyers, including 206 judicial officers, "a relatively small number in relation to the profession," he regretted. He added that since he took office at the head of Ersuma, he worked to allow many paralegals to follow the training of Ersuma. Offshored training also exist, as well as training of trainers in order to restore the knowledge acquired in other corporations. In this regard, Ersuma receives funding from the European Union to train trainers of the Member States of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cemac) and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

About the nature of trainings, they are more and more diverse: Community law (Cemac, Waemu), cybercrime, money laundering, etc. In 2014, training for journalists will be provided as well as CEOs of companies and traders. Each year, the Council of Ministers chooses the training topics with the number of participants. In this regard, the Director General of Ersuma invited corporations to sign cooperation agreements with Ersuma. The judicial officer has the monopoly of the enforcement of judgments. "He has no right to make mistakes because he is sanctioned by the CCJA. Training is essential in this context." Ersuma is also equipped with a documentation centre that includes 8,500 books, the largest in the world on business law, ensured Mr Onana Etoundi. A digital library is online free of charge. Video-conferencing is now possible on twelve reference sites. "Whenever you ask me, the door of Ersuma will be opened, while I'm here” concluded the speaker under the applause of a captivated audience.

Training, a Policy Priority for the European Union

Training, pillar of the legal culture was the second part of the sub-panel. Guillaume Payan, private law lecturer at the University of Toulon (France), UIHJ consultant, invested in the issue of training as a European concern. He noted as a preamble that European judicial training has raised increasing attention from the European institutions, in particular since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009. Indeed, for the first time, this European treaty expressly provides for the competence of the European Union to adopt measures to ensure "support for the training of judges and judicial staff". Improving European judicial training is presented as a political priority for the European Union.

On 10 April 2013, a major conference - entitled "Stimulating European Judicial Training" - was held in Brussels. The European Commission had prompted the major players in European judicial training, including the UIHJ. The interest shown by the European institutions for European judicial training reflects their willingness to recognize the central role of legal professionals in the development of a genuine European area of justice. Mr Payan said that the concept of "European judicial training" refers to the combined action of the European institutions and Member States concerning certain aspects of training - initial and on-going - for legal professionals. And that, without prejudice to methods (physical or dematerialized exchanges, meetings, conferences or exchange programs) by which it is provided.

European judicial training focuses on the law of the European Union but also on the knowledge of national legal systems of the Member States and, to some extent, getting acquainted with legal terminology used in these states. The first beneficiaries of European judicial training are judges and prosecutors. However, other legal professionals - including judicial officers - are also included. The methods used to provide this European judicial training are diverse. It can consist in direct or virtual (e- Learning - learning) contact between trainers and training beneficiaries. These two methods are highly complementary and are both used by European judicial officers. Guillaume Payan reported the organization since 2008 of an annual European Training Day for judicial officers under the auspices of the UIHJ. In the rest of his remarks, he referred to the issues of training and strategic goals he immediately qualified as ambitious. He explained that the challenges of European judicial training concern both the implementation of EU legislation and the process of development of future European legislation. On legal practitioners practicing as independent professionals - such as judicial officers (under exceptions) - "there is here the possibility of receiving additional missions and, therefore, the prospect of increased earnings" found Mr Payan.

As for the - ambitious - goals of the European institutions, they are quantitative and qualitative. With regard to quantity, it aims at letting half of the legal practitioners in the European Union (about 700,000 people) "to take part in the activities of European judicial training by 2020". Under these targets, the European Commission plans to financially support the training of 20,000 practitioners every year by 2020. There is here a real change in perspective / proportion. For comparison, in 2007-2010, some 4 000 to 9 000 did receive European funding each year. This is part of a "radical change in the organization of judicial training in the European Union in terms of concept and scale". As for the quality of training according to the analysis of Guillaume Payan, it is based first on the balance between, on the one hand, the purpose of training and, on the other hand, existing needs. This may result in the identification of priority areas (such as procedural law, for example), or some adaptation of training for the concerned professions. Then, the quality objective should be assessed in relation to the "cost / benefit" of training. This reflects the emphasis on budgetary imperatives. Finally, the strengthening of European judicial training should be an opportunity to educate practitioners to the values on which the European Union is founded. An important part of this training should concern the study of human rights and respect in their daily legal practice.

After this very specific and solid presentation, Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo, judicial officer (Congo), provided a similar speech, this time for the African continent. In the Ohada area where judicial officers have a Uniform Act on enforcement procedures, training should be "the seeds for the development of the profession through informed and trained professionals" felt the speaker. For him, even if there is a contrast in the training of actors and legal practitioners, it still remains that national chambers or orders are the major players in the training of their members. Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo explained that this contrast in training is reflected in the lack of initial and on-going training structure for judicial officers in the Ohada States, even if Ersuma is an institution for the training actors and auxiliary of justice on harmonized business law. He illustrated his point with the striking contrast in the training of judicial officers and other justice stakeholders. In most of the laws of the states in the area of West Africa Economic and Monetary Union of (Waemu) and Cemac, judicial officers are recruited through a contest subject they possess a law diploma and a training course of a set time in the office of a judicial officer.
 
In most countries, there are no specific schools dedicated to the initial or continuing training of judicial officers. Some states have yet made the effort to develop training schools for judicial staff, as is the case in Togo. North Africa, Algeria and Tunisia are equipped with autonomous training units provided by the profession. For the countries failing this, the speaker noted that the National chambers or orders of judicial officers are endeavouring to on-going training with regard to their members. These courses are organized by national chambers or orders of judicial officers on their own or in partnership with other organizations. When they are organized by the profession, they are possible with the fees collected from judicial officers on specific themes chosen from the need they express or identify. "However, these courses organized by national chambers or orders are not regular" regretted Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo. According to him, the rarity of these training can be explained by:
- The high cost of their organization;
- The low rate of recovery of fees;
- The disinterest of some judicial officers towards training, when not compulsory.
To circumvent these difficulties, national chambers or orders are partnering with other organizations to promote training of judicial officers. Among the partnerships, the one with the UIHJ, the ENP and the Training Unit of African judicial Officer (Ufohja), appears in focus. He added that other partnerships are tied specifically by national chambers or orders of judicial officers with programs financed by the European Union to support justice.

Alain Ghozi, Professor at the University Panthéon Assas Paris (France), presented the Association Henry Capitant of the Friends of French Legal Culture to which he belongs. The Association Henri Capitant was established in 1935 under the authority of Henry Capitant, a professor at the Faculty of Law of Paris, by a group of lawyers from different French-speaking countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, Quebec, Switzerland, etc. Professor Ghozi stressed that, while promoting the use of the French language, the Association is open to lawyers from non-French-speaking countries, is animated by no spirit of propaganda and is corresponding with groups in more than 55 countries, an international network of civil law tradition. Moreover, he said, a French and English bilingual magazine is available on the association website. The concepts of civil law - and not the concepts of French law - are presented in both languages. Among these concepts, the transversality can lead awareness to action groups, punitive damages, or mediation, "which do not have only positive aspects as evidenced by the groups of the Association in Quebec or Japan" said Professor Ghozi. Regarding training, he stressed that the Association Henri Capitant delivers courses for students, conferences for judges, lawyers, and supervises thesis. He completed a very remarkable presentation announcing that the Association would sponsor the launch of Ohada training in Paris. High-level courses will be accessible to students enrolled in Master II level, and open for permanent training, including initial. These courses will rely on professionals who will illustrate their training with real situations.


Service of Documents Carried out by Judicial Officers, the Spare Wheel of the Failing Notification

Bernard Menut, first Vice-President of the UIHJ, chaired the third part of the second sub-panel on communication through the activities of judicial officers. The purpose was to show how common elements relating to enforcement of court decisions in different countries can guarantee full trust in the implementation of obligations and therefore the development of economic relations.

First, Françoise Andrieux, judicial officer (France), General Secretary of the UIHJ, presented the service of legal proceedings in Europe. This service carried out by judicial officers exists, but at different levels. Beforehand, she mentioned the difference between service of documents by a judicial officer (signification) and by post (notification). To have legal effects, authentic and court documents must be brought to the attention of their recipients. Two ways exist: notification by post and service by judicial officer. Sometimes there is a choice between the two modes, as in England, Italy and Estonia. Sometimes the process is hierarchical. In case of failure of notification, a service by judicial officer will be provided. The judicial officer has to comply with strict professional obligations, including those relating to the handing of the document. The date of service cannot be questioned. The judicial officer can act very quickly, immediately if necessary. He can call out the parties in some cases. He can also inform the parties at the time of service, pillar of the adversarial principle recognized by the courts and the EU institutions. "The service of documents by a judicial officer ensures safe protection that does not provide notification", said Françoise Andrieux.

Then the general secretary of the UIHJ gave the audience an overview of the situation in Europe based around two poles: the intrinsic (content of the document) and extrinsic (formalities) qualities of service. Regarding content, certain information that can be found in several countries have real probative values that establish the information of the defendant. Among this information are the date, details on the judicial officer, his signature, details on the parties (plaintiff and defendant), number of pages, etc. Regarding the content of the information, according to the Grand questionnaire of the UIHJ in 47 % of cases in Europe judicial officers can provide information on the content of the documents they serve. In 28 % of cases they can do it in some cases. In 23 % of cases, they cannot do it. Electronic service made its debut in the landscape of service. It currently exists in 25 % of European countries. Other formalities attached to the documents, such as when the document cannot be handed directly to the recipient, depending on the country, include sending a letter, a display at the door of the recipient's address or at court, an insertion in the press or on the Internet, a notice in the mailbox, a phone call, sending a fax or e-mail, registration of the document at the town hall of the addressee or at the judicial officer, etc.

When notification is ineffective said Françoise Andrieux, as is the case in Sweden, service by judicial officer, the "spare wheel of the failing notification" is always possible. Information of the defendant is a principle of good governance related to the establishment of the Rule of Law and the adversarial principle, one of the foundations of Community law. Before, during and after trial, communication plays a predominant role and may have a decisive impact on the course of the trial. "When we, judicial officers, serve a document, we know that we have an influence on the course of the trial. This is one of the strengths of service. This shows that the right information to individuals is important and that service is important as well", she said in conclusion of hers remarks.

Luc Sowah Ako, judicial officer (Togo), addressed the same topic on the African continent. In French-Speaking Africa, all provisions provide that service of documents is carried out by judicial officers. Provisions include information about the applicant and the addressee, the judicial officer involved, or the cost of service. The proceedings must be served by judicial officers or for most documents by their sworn assistants. When it comes to service, each country defines the time to serve. When it comes to enforcement, Ohada law applies. Enforcement has to be carried out between 08:00 and 18:00. Luc Sowah Ako also told that the documents could be handed to others than the recipient, distinguishing between different types of recipients, individuals and public or private entities. For example, depending on the country, service can be made to the village chief, the head of the group or the district leader. As regards formalities, there are also differences: notice of passage, handing of the document to the town hall, prefect or sub-prefect, in the office of the judicial officer (a novelty in Mali), sending of a simple or registered letter, etc. He then discussed the specifics of the service of documents in criminal matters. Finally, he referred to the regime of nullity proceedings.

Road Signs of the Rules of Private International Law

Christophe Bernasconi then intervened to introduce the cross-border instruments of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, of which he is the Secretary General since July 2013. He said this was his first official visit since his appointment and he was very honoured that it was during an event organized by the UIHJ. Mr Bernasconi said The Hague Conference is the only legal organization with a legislative mandate. Most of the times this mandate appears under the form of conventions that all States can join, whether they are or not members of the Hague Conference. He recalled that the rules of private international law are rules of law that apply in an international situation that involves individuals and businesses to address four key questions:
- What is the court competent to hear the case?
- What law applies?
- What can we do to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment in another country?
- How can States cooperate to overcome the difficulties that may arise in connection with international summons?
The purpose of The Hague Conference is therefore to develop rules of private international law, "road signs" that address these issues. He said there are 38 conventions to date. They can be classified into three categories: child protection, legal cooperation, commercial and financial law. The Hague Conference has 74 members (73 States and the European Union), but 142 countries in the world are party to at least one Hague Convention.

Then, as each time he participate in a meeting organized by the UIHJ in Africa, Christophe Bernasconi took his pilgrim's staff to present once again the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the service abroad of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters. This convention facilitates the transmission from a State to another State as regards service of documents in the State of destination. The convention provides several modes of transmission. The interest for African countries to join this Convention, said the Secretary General of the Hague Conference, lies in its Article 10b allowing judicial officers to directly send the documents to be served. This is a direct communication between the professionals of the service of documents. "It is in this context that times of service are the shortest", he found, indicating that all the steps are sometimes carried out in 48 hours. "I challenge you to have an international notification as fast and as efficient in the context of diplomatic channels" added Mr Bernasconi. Moreover, the 1965 Convention authorizes the continuation of bilateral or regional schemes. Another advantage of joining this convention is the follow up of its practical operation provided by the Secretariat of The Hague Conference. To this end, special committees are regularly organized to measure the practical implementation of the Convention and adopt conclusions and recommendations to ensure their proper functioning. Finally, a practical manual on the functioning of the 1965 Convention was published in 1996 and a new version is being drafted. Christophe Bernasconi invited all the authorities of the Ohada member countries to join the convention. He announced that The Hague Conference is about to enter into a cooperation agreement with Ohada. This agreement would have for effect to submit to all countries the 1965 Convention or the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, better known as the "Apostille Convention".

Mathieu Chardon took the floor to present the advances in cross-border instruments in Europe and Africa, including the UIHJ proposal to establish an African Enforceable Title. In international law, said the first secretary of the UIHJ "States seek to strike the difficult balance between the need for citizens to exercise their rights in any place and the rule of national sovereignty." To resolve conflicts, it is necessary to establish supranational rules that will offer solutions, provided that each country agrees to give up part of its sovereignty. This is the subject of cross-border instruments. There are of various natures: bilateral or multilateral treaties, conventions, agreements, regulations, guidelines, protocols, declarations, recommendations, guidelines, principles, resolutions, or uniform acts. The particularity of cross-border instruments is that they bind the States in which they are proposed, subjected or imposed in different ways,

Concerning Europe, Mathieu Chardon listed the instruments in force in the European Union resulting from the Tampere European Council of 1999. He also referred to the guidelines of the CEPEJ of 17 December 2009 on enforcement. At European Union level, he recalled that these instruments were created to meet the provisions of Article 65 of the Treaty of Amsterdam of 2 October 1997. "For the legal professionals that we, judicial officers, are, for almost fifteen years these regulations have resulted in a complete reshaping of our vision of the law" assessed the first secretary of the UIHJ. This vision has also led the UIHJ to conduct a study in 2009 on the service of cross-border documents in the European Union. Based on this study, the UIHJ drafted the same year a proposal for a European harmonized document initiating proceedings. Concerning the status of the judicial officer himself, he said that the CEPEJ has made a response through its guidelines of 17 December 2009. For him, it appears that "harmonization of the profession of judicial officer at European level or at global level will happen through the CEPEJ guidelines or will not happen".

Regarding Africa, Mathieu Chardon presented the UIHJ Cadat project of an African Enforceable Title, unveiled for the first time during the 21st International Congress of Judicial Officers in Cape Town, in May 2012. He recalled that the work had been presented there by Guillaume Payan. He stressed beforehand that Cadat, a contraction of CApe Town - DAkar - Tunis, is a north-south African axis symbolizing the actions that should be taken at continental level to harmonize the profession of judicial officer and enforcement in Africa. This harmonization regards its status, training or activities. The African Enforceable Title would concern firstly Ohada member countries, since they are already subject to a number of common supranational rules. Under the project, the concept of "African Enforceable Title" should be understood here in the sense of an enforceable title, delivered in an Ohada Member State, which can be enforced in one or more other Member States, without any formality in country of enforcement. Under this generic qualification of "African Enforceable Title" three separate legal acts are covered:
- The African Enforcement Order for uncontested claims;
- The African Enforceable Title on the establishment of an African Transnational Order for Payment Procedure;
-  And the African Enforceable Title on an African Transnational Order for delivery or Restitution Procedure.

Echoing on the developments presented by Guillaume Payan, he felt that in the Ohada space, the establishment of an African Enforceable Title would reduce or eliminate the formalities for the recipient of an enforceable title in one Ohada Member State to embark in proceedings in order to have it enforced in another Ohada Member State. Moreover, no obstacle to internal law seems to oppose the establishment of an enforceable title which aims to foster and streamline trade between countries, since, on the one hand, it concerns members of a legal community and on the other hand the member countries where the implementing measures are to be carried out are already harmonized by the play of Uniform Acts. The African Enforceable Title contributes to further progress towards African unity and to establish a current of trust in the economies of the Ohada to create a new development centre in Africa, called for by all countries signatories to the Ohada treaty. "The harmonizing of the profession of judicial officer that we all call for, a harmonization that will raise us while giving us an identity at international level, can be achieved by exchanging from our experiences but also our ideas and our proposals", concluded the first secretary of the UIHJ.

Revolutionizing the Practice of Attachments and Enforcement Procedures

After service of documents and international instruments, enforcement was considered in turn as a vehicle for communication. For Europe, Jos Uitdehaag, judicial officer (the Netherlands), first secretary of the UIHJ, presented the specificities in force in his country. Dutch judicial officers enforce judgments and serve documents. This represents approximately 50% of their activities. Meanwhile they carry out many other tasks, such as debt collection. The 2001 law has significantly changed the landscape of the profession in the Netherlands. Judicial officers may represent parties before courts for any dispute to an amount up to EUR 25 000. Legal advice is also an activity widely carried out by Dutch judicial officers. The size of judicial officer offices has increased significantly since this 2001 law that established national jurisdiction. Jos Uitdehaag then explained the steps of court settlement by judicial officer. If the debtor does not respond to letters that are sent to him, the judicial officer starts proceedings to obtain an enforceable title. Then he will enforce it. "The judicial officer is the only professional to be able to handle the entire process from the notice to the debtor up to the enforcement of the decision." The first secretary of the UIHJ continued his speech by indicating the controls which judicial officers were submitted to as part of their activities. For example, they must report regularly on the issue of the monies they hold for the creditors as a result of payments from debtors. The same offices are subject to regular inspections. Data protection on the debtor is also an important aspect, as well as quality standards.

Rosine Bogore Zongo, President of the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Burkina Faso unveiled aspects of enforcement of court decisions in her country. She indicated that Burkina Faso is subject to the rules of Ohada Uniform Acts. After describing the objectives of the Ohada Treaty, she said that judicial officers of her country have benefited from the training material provided by Ufohja and Ersuma. "The Uniform Act on enforcement, she acknowledged, aroused great hopes, in that it has revolutionized the practice of attachment and enforcement procedures." Then the president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Burkina Faso detailed the technical aspects of this Uniform Act, including provisional and enforcement measures. Among the most used measures in the country are protective measures on tangible personal property, attachment on intangible goods, attachment on bank accounts, attachment on tangible goods, and attachment on immovable. The implementation of these procedures is not exempt from problems. "Specific barriers exist in Burkina Faso", she regretted. Many decisions are made to sanction enforcement documents on the grounds that the judicial officer includes his fees in these procedures. Indeed, some judges believe that the judicial officer should systematically tax their fees to obtain their payment. "It is an endless spiral of taxation" wondered Rosine Bogore Zongo.

The authorities were questioned on this issue. Unfortunately, political instability has failed so far to reach a solution. The same problem occurred throughout the years with attachment on immovable, where fees are not paid to judicial officers after the sale of the good. A consultation was held and a new text has been prepared but the process has been stalled for two years. "It is not possible to continue working without being paid" she warned. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in January with the new Minister of Justice. But the social climate in Burkina Faso is such that it has become very difficult for judicial officers to enforce court decisions, on the ground that they are exposed to physical violence against their person. Rosine Bogore Zongo analysed that "enforcement is taken as a hostage and is trapped in this process”. Finally, she criticised the interference of prosecutors in enforcement proceedings. "The right to enforcement cannot be a reality when enforcement proceedings are blocked, preventing a necessary speed" she concluded.

Alain Ngongang, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Cameroon, then discussed the situation in his country with regard to enforcement of judgments. Eviction is not part of the measures covered for by the Uniform Act on enforcement. It is therefore necessary in Cameroon, as elsewhere to refer to domestic but inadequate provisions. "Daily practice defines what we can do" he stated. "We have proposed that evictions are discussed by the Ohada legislator." The main problem in Cameroon, like in Burkina Faso, is the recurrent attempted interference by the authorities in the enforcement process. It is observed in parallel that attachment of tangible movable assets falls into disuse in favour of attachment of bank accounts, which is becoming the "mother of enforcement proceedings". "In the African context, explained President Ngongang, Africa's relationship with property is not a legal, fictional relationship." According to his analysis, this relationship emphasizes on the use (usus), to the detriment of fructus and abusus. This socio-cultural dimension has not been sufficiently taken into account by the legislator. Currently, the debtor is the guardian of the seized goods. So he can keep using them. In order to ensure the efficiency of attachment on tangible movable goods, the dispossession of property of the seized goods should be considered with the appointment of a sequester.

As regards seizure of bank accounts, judicial officers from Cameroon are facing a difficulty resulting from a Cemac Regulation of November 2012 which decided that bank accounts of assets of Credit companies would no longer be attachable at the Central Bank. This provision represents a real setback. Then Alain Ngongang outlined what he called "the mysterious face of the enforcement judge". In Cameroon, the judge of disputes referred to in Article 49 of the Uniform Act on enforcement can be found in each jurisdiction. When a matter is to be raised, it is necessary to address it to the right jurisdiction. He also mentioned cases where enforcement is suspended by the judge as well as the difficulties resulting from legal hours where court decisions can be enforced.

Celebration Ceremony of the 20th Anniversary of the Ohada
 
After this first panel, the celebration ceremony of the 20th Anniversary of the Ohada was held. For the occasion, Alexis Ndzuenkeu, Head of Legal Affairs and Communication of Ohada was in company of Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, Jacques Isnard, former President of the UIHJ, Honoré Aggrey, Vice-President of the UIHJ and Yacine Sene, former Vice-President of the UIHJ. Jacques Isnard, master of ceremony, expressed his enthusiasm to return regularly to Africa since he left his position at the head of the UIHJ in 2009. He thanked all Africans for their contribution to the UIHJ and to himself from a personal point of view. He then traced the history of the relations between the UIHJ, African judicial officers, and Ohada.

On Ohada, he said that "when the Ohada treaty was signed, no one could guess the importance this organization would have a few years later. If we are here together today it is probably due to two things. The first is the French Embassy who helped us organize the meeting in Dakar in 1996. The second is the release in 1996 of the Ohada Uniform Act on enforcement procedures." It is at this point, continued President Isnard that African colleagues realized they could no longer remain isolated within their borders and that with Ohada, it was necessary to replace local action with international action. "It is easy to understand this today but not at that time" he commented. "The commitment of the elders who engaged in the work will always be remembered. The result of this commitment is our presence here today. The Ohada Treaty and its various texts have to be acclaimed. The best treaty in the world can be drafted, but if no one is inclined to use it with faith and determination what is to become of it? If there had been no judicial officers and their willingness to overcome the divisions that might exist between countries, if the judicial officers had not applied before much fervour and faith the 1998 text, I'm not convinced that everyone would praise it today ", concluded the honorary president of the UIHJ.

Honoré Aggrey went on to say that the 1996 Call of Dakar felt as a real adventure for the judicial officers. All heads of delegation had received an invitation from the UIHJ they knew very little of. "I think we have to thank Ohada from the bottom of our hearts for this. Coincidentally, when we met in Dakar, the Minister of Justice did mention that we had to be alert and that our profession was at a turning point" recalled the Vice-President of the UIHJ. The Uniform Act that followed led to the realization of the necessity of training. Training methods were the key issue. "If today we are proud of this training tool that is Ufohja, we owe it to Ohada. We understood that Ersuma was not originally made for us. It is because we realized that we would be left behind judges that we decided to organize training ourselves, in partnership with the ENP." Speaking to the representative of Ohada, the Vice-President of the UIHJ told him he hoped the adventure initiated by the Call of Dakar would continue for a long time.

Yacine Sene shared her pride in the light of all that had been accomplished: "I want to say that those who have done the most to promote Ohada are the judicial officers. They fought to master the Uniform Acts of Ohada. They got there. Today, it is the case in Senegal, where all judges and lawyers were extremely surprised by the quality of the documents of judicial officers. They were surprised to see that judicial officers could come together and that they could learn from us. We can be proud of the progress and once again should thank the UIHJ for all the work that has been accomplished, all the seminars in all countries only around the Uniform Acts. We can be proud of Ohada. It has a bright future. Long live Africa. Long live Ohada and thank you International Union!"

Speaking in turn, Alexis Ndzuenkeu wanted to apologize on behalf of Professor Doroté Cossi Sossa, Permanent Secretary of Ohada, who would have responded favourably and with pleasure to the invitation of the UIHJ, as he had done in the past in Cape Town, if a particularly demanding agenda prevented him from being present. "If Ohada brought something to judicial officers, Ohada is extremely grateful to judicial officers and to the UIHJ who brought so much to it. Among legal professions, I do not see any other one that managed to get structured so well, from the release of the first Uniform Acts, to appropriate Ohada law, to promote the Ohada law. The UIHJ took the opportunity of the enactment of the Uniform Acts of Ohada to revolutionize the profession of judicial officer in Africa and Ohada is extremely grateful to you to have walked with it from the beginning, even though many doubted the credit of Ohada."

"How can Ohada address the need for legal certainty?" then asked Mr Ndzuenkeu. Since the accession of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012, Ohada now has 17 Member States. The quest for legal and judicial security is the heart of Ohada. This organization was first allowed to modernize the rules for economic activities. Article 2 of the Treaty lists the areas of business law, while leaving the possibility for the Council of Ministers to include any other matter, the decision having to be unanimous. Regarding technical reform, legal integration through legislative unification prevails in the form of Uniform Acts. Ohada then improved settlement systems of business litigation. "This improvement is possible by a better supervision of judicial settlement of disputes, promotion of arbitration, or taking into account the requirements of specific training in business law" said the speaker. In concluding his remarks, Alexis Ndzuenkeu noted the widely positive results with nine Uniform Acts deployed and implemented in a satisfactory manner, not to mention a prominent place of the judicial officer in the implementation of Ohada law through the Uniform Act on enforcement and the Uniform Act on security, seen as "as transparency and control expectancies linked to the concept of governance."

After these remarks, Leo Netten officially presented to Mr Ndzuenkeu the first copy of Juris-Union devoted to the twenty years of Ohada, specially written for the occasion and signed by the presidents of UIHJ. Before closing the session, Leo Netten announced that he had been invited by Doroté Cossi Sossa to take part in the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Ohada, to take place on 17 October 2013 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

A Professional in the Heart of Economic Issues

The theme of Panel 2 was: a professional at the heart of economic issues. It was chaired by Leo Netten. Giuliana H. Dunham Irving, Senior Counsel and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel of the World Bank presented the Global Forum on Justice, Law and Development (GFLJD), which has the UIHJ as one of its partners. She explained that the importance of law in the field of development is recognized worldwide. However, this recognition has not been accompanied by a sustained international cooperation of the nature and extent necessary to fully exploit the enormous potential contribution of legal knowledge related to development.

Isolated spheres of legal excellence are advancing civic, economic, and social development outcomes. Their advances, however, are not sufficiently translated or available for replication. In particular, development practitioners are not currently able to directly and easily access and assess international research, policy, and practice. Consequently, a global exchange knowledge forum that generates innovative legal solutions to development challenges is needed.

The purpose of the GFLJD is to address such constraints - by providing a mechanism for continual and efficient knowledge exchange and co-generation among stakeholders all over the world, supported by an advanced technological platform.

The GFLJD aims at facilitating the identification, discussion, production and/or sharing of innovative and customized legal and institutional tools to address global, regional or national development challenges. It seeks to: (1) promote a better understanding of the role of law and justice in the development process, through structured South-South and North-South dialogues amongst relevant stakeholders and a research agenda that will facilitate and support the co-generation of knowledge; (2) strengthen and better integrate legal and judicial institutions in the development process, by carrying out relevant capacity building initiatives; and (3) provide access to an open repository of knowledge. The GFLJD will set measurable, sustainable goals for itself in these areas, and evaluate its progress.

The GFLJD will fill a gap by providing an innovative and dynamic international system of exchange and knowledge translation to connect World Bank Regions & Networks, partner countries, think-tanks, regional and international organizations, International Financial Institutions, and civil society organizations with relevant research and practice to improve development outcome. The project provides targeted audiences a coherent, sustained program of collaborative research and technical assistance to accelerate knowledge translation and use. Through the construction of an interactive web-based platform, the GFLJD will leverage production and dissemination of development-related legal knowledge, helping to identify, discuss and produce innovative and customized legal solutions to development issues. The technology enhanced collaboration connecting different countries from different regions will be equipped to discuss policy responses and to exchange first-hand experiences.

The exchange of knowledge and information has been transformed by information and communication technology (ICT), particularly the emergence of interactive online technologies. The backbone of this initiative will be a robust and interactive ICT platform to allow knowledge sharing and distribution, as well as the flexibility to adapt to diverse users.

Ms Dunham Irving added that the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University and its campus partners have partnered with the World Bank in creating and maintaining the ICT sharing platform for this initiative. The BBI has provided the web site and excellent qualified technical support for all the meetings of the GFLJD Steering Committee, Thematic Working Groups and Communities of Practice. She said that so far the GFLJD has 143 partners, including the UIHJ, a figure constantly changing.

Introduction to the Global Code of Enforcement

Following this speech, a roundtable discussion with the institutions and organizations in attendance was organized on the presentation of the work on the Global Code of Enforcement. Participants in this roundtable included Timothy Lemay (Uncitral), Giuliana Dunham Irving (the World Bank), Christophe Bernasconi (The Hague Conference on Private International Law), Alexis Ndzuenkeu (Ohada) and Alain Ghozi (Association Henri Capitant). The work was presented by Natalie Fricero, professor at the University of Nice (France), member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ.

Natalie Fricero recalled that, under the impulse of judicial officers and the UIHJ the right to enforcement had become a human right, a fundamental right recognized in all countries of the world. Globally shared rules concerning enforcement remain to be set. These rules have been at the centre of the reflections of the UIHJ. A number of these principles were presented at the Cape Town international congress of judicial officers in 2012. The financial, economic and social crisis makes this reflection even more acute, even more necessary. The right to an effective enforcement of contracts and writs of execution is an element of social peace, legal security and economic development. "In the same way that judicial officers had dreamed twenty years of a right to enforcement, they now dream of a globally shared enforcement law and they are right to do so because this right is becoming reality", said Professor Fricero. All international organizations are concerned about the effectiveness of enforcement. She quoted Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, who said on 27 March 2013, during her presentation of the Justice Scoreboard of the European Union: "That is why predictable, timely and enforceable legal decisions are important and why national judicial reforms became an important structural component of the EU's economic strategy".
 
At the Council of Europe member States have positive obligations. They should establish enforcement agents and protect them, empower them so they can carry out their mission. Natalie Fricero then referred to the 10th Doing Business Report of the World Bank. A paragraph indicates that Croatia has established a private judicial officers' justice system to make enforcement procedures more effective. "The presence of judicial officers and effective enforcement became the World Bank criterion of economic development of a State" she remarked.

On the strategy of the Global Code, she mentioned three levels. The first level is to consider the possibility of establishing a partnership between the UIHJ and international organizations generating international instruments. But law of enforcement is subject to the principle of territoriality, of sovereignty. However, in international instruments, universal principles can be integrated without violating the sovereignty of states, by setting principles. The second level of strategy is to integrate forums in which international organizations such as the World Bank, encourage States in their national legislation to implement universally shared standards because they are factors of development and international economic secure exchanges. The third level of participation concerns in each State. Each judicial officer should be a relay to these essential principles.

Regarding methodology, continents are represented within the Scientific Council of the UIHJ which worked on the Global Code of Enforcement. A number of principles have been developed. The articles that have been developed will be sent to delegations for comments. Then Natalie Fricero presented several articles: principle of right to enforcement, definition of enforceable titles, enforcement costs, timeframe to enforce, search for information, enforcement agents, protective measures, enforcement measures, use of new technologies, etc. "We should therefore work hand in hand to have universally shared, efficient and human standards", concluded Professor Fricero in front of an enthralled audience.

Leo Netten then asked representatives of international institutions their feedback on the presentation they had just heard and the draft Global Code of Enforcement. Alain Ghozi (Association Henri Capitant) welcomed the principle of common standards while recognizing that, for him, the term code was inappropriate. Alexis Ndzuenkeu (Ohada) praised the work on a difficult subject, "consubstantially attached to the character of state sovereignty." From the point of view of Ohada, it is a discipline that falls under the rules of procedure. So far, most of the Ohada Uniform Acts deal with substantive law rather than procedural rules. But there is no obstacle to standardizing the principles in the context of enforcement. For example, the principles relating to enforcement would give the opportunity to update the law relating to immunities or goods exempted from seizures.

For Timothy Lemay (Uncitral) any draft code that elevates common standards in this area is welcome. This would promote a greater respect for the Rule of Law. He added that judicial officers are observers within Uncitral and are invited to all events. The development of common standards would be a desirable contribution. He proposed to the UIHJ to present soon the work of the Global Code to Uncitral. Giuliana Dunham Irving (the World Bank) considered that the creation of a code or common standards on enforcement would be a pledge to promote development and reassure private investors. It is therefore seen as a very important initiative.

Christophe Bernasconi (The Hague Conference) said how impressed he was with the work. He recalled that he had heard of the Global Code of Enforcement for the first time during the International Congress of judicial officers in Washington in 2006. "Work is progressing, taking shape and will undoubtedly leave traces" he anticipated. Thus, dialogue between UIHJ and institutions is important and should continue. He also invited the UIHJ to present its work to the Hague Conference. "Works on recognition of judgments in civil and commercial matters will have to consider the results of the work of the UIHJ" estimated the Secretary General of the Hague Conference.
 
Leo Netten thanked the speakers for this recognition and invitations to take place within working committees of various organizations. Invited to conclude the round table Natalie Fricero immediately stated: "the Global Principles of Enforcement: Yes We Can!"

The Need for an Independent enforcement

The second part of Panel 2 focused on the need for an autonomous enforcement. Françoise Andrieux was the chair. Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble, Professor at the University Félix Houphouët Boigny of Abidjan-Cocody (Ivory Coast), International Consultant, member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ and Honoré Aggrey, Vice-President of the UIHJ, discussed in turn the interest for a uniform status of an independent judicial officer based on ethics. Professor Lohoues-Oble said that this issue was important, especially for African countries, members of Ohada, which are already in the process of harmonizing standards and the law: "The cornerstone of all this organization is the judicial officer". Those who are the main actors need to have a status that is consistent with the objectives sought by Ohada. How to ensure that enforcement is carried out quickly? A harmonized status can identify and publicize the rights but also the obligations of judicial officers.

Honoré Aggrey focused on the components of the project on a uniform statute of a harmonized judicial officer presented during the International Congress of Judicial Officers in Marseille in 2009. He recalled that through the combined UIHJ and national organizations efforts in Africa, the judicial officer is a professional with a status that gives him the powers and obligations that a sole professional liberal cannot have. "To fulfil his role, the judicial officer should be able to claim a status that combines protection and restraint, both concepts that guarantee independence, based on ethical values and ethics”. He successively tackled these two aspects. It should be remembered, he said, that for nearly twenty years, the UIHJ enrolled in a resolute policy to promote in the world and especially in Africa, the creation of a profession with high legal competence. The implementation of this policy towards Africa, mainly based on training in recent years, has allowed the emergence of a highly qualified and powerfully trained professional, who gradually acquired, if not full recognition, at least some consideration in the judiciary. The numerous training seminars in the UIHJ member countries, added to on-going exchanges between judicial officers on their activities have revealed strong interpenetration. Hence the need for implementing a uniform status of the judicial officer in Ohada... "This uniform status will not only benefit the profession, but it will help to establish security in the field of litigation, debt collection, in the enforcement of court decisions and finally, cross-border issues" ruled the Vice-President of the UIHJ.

This uniform status is the royal road to effective legal security at continent size where service of document, enforcement, statements of facts, mediation would be entrusted to a quality and trustworthy professional. Thus, in this momentum, Uniform Acts relating to service of documents and enforcement could follow. Then he wondered how this liberal judicial officer, who cannot refuse his ministry whenever required, may participate at his level in the legal certainty, therefore the good governance if he is not independent? Because he has a delegation of public power, to be effective the judicial officer needs that substantial resources are made available by the State. The first and probably most important is the guarantee of his independence. In this case, he should be guaranteed to be free from any pressure or threat. Particularly on the area of enforcement intrusions of supervisory authorities are frequent, sometimes violent and untimely with respect to the judicial officer, he regretted. A status that would allow the judicial officer to be an independent professional as regards debtors and public authorities would ultimately contribute to the proper administration of justice, be at the service of legal security, and thus contribute to the establishment of the Rule of Law and good governance. Ultimately, it is through a statute designed for an independent professional supported by ethics that the judicial officer will continue to be successful, competent and inspire confidence. He will then fully play the role expected of him in the development of good legal governance.

The Role of the Judicial Officer Facing the Crisis

The sub-panel 2 encompassed the role of the judicial officer facing the crisis and harmonization factors. Jos Uitdehaag spoke first about debt collection. He showed examples of methods used by some agencies that do not respect human rights. Instead, as part of this activity, a judicial officer must respect a number of principles and is fully liable in case he does not. The issue of debt collection is essential. According to a study in Europe (European Payment Index established by Intrum Justitia), for 2011 alone, 312 billion Euros of debt could not be recovered and have been written off. In 52% of cases, companies have experienced cash flow problems. 45 % of respondents indicated that late payments were an obstacle to their development. In practice, the more time passes, the less likely the creditor is to recover his debt. The consequences of the crisis are also felt in courts whose budgets are reduced. In any event, courts should focus on issues where disputes exist.

Solutions exist to relieve courts where claims are not seriously challenged: European regulations, e-Justice, networking, or European judicial officer. This allows striking the right balance between parties. Jos Uitdehaag recalled the CEPEJ Guidelines on enforcement and in particular paragraph 34 which provides additional activities for judicial officers, including debt collection, bankruptcy proceedings or representation before courts. For him, the judicial officer should be involved in procedures for uncontested claims, fight against poverty, debt management, and implementation of safety legal measures or mediation.

Then he mentioned what was the role of the UIHJ in the context of judicial reforms. The UIHJ also regularly participates in projects to reform judicial system in many countries, in cooperation with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), USAID or the European Commission. He described the Enforcement Toolkit, developed by the Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) in the framework of its European project "Innovative Rule of law Initiative". This Toolkit concerns administrative law, training of legal professionals, court management and civil enforcement law. Acting as a road map, it will help countries and organisations introduce a coherent enforcement system, using best practices from different countries.

Timothy Lemay, Principal Legal Officer, Head, Legislative Branch, Secretary of Uncitral, presented his organization. He noted that Uncitral was established by United Nations General Assembly in 1966. It is the core body of the UN system in the field of private international trade/commercial law. Its mandate is the progressive harmonization and modernization of international trade law by preparing and promoting the use of legislative and non-legislative instruments in key areas of commercial law.

60 countries are members of Uncitral. Countries and organizations are observer members. Uncitral regularly works in coordination with Unidroit, The Hague Conference on Private International Law, regional organizations such as Asean, the European Union, and international or regional development banks such as the ADB and the World Bank. For Uncitral, harmonization is a central issue. The differences between the legal systems are barriers to trade.

There are many benefits of harmonization. In terms of legislative-drafting benefits, state of the art legislation requires limited work for enactment; implementing tools are available (academic works, case law compilations...). In terms of economic benefits, legal framework becomes more predictable, costs for contrasts management and for dispute resolution are lower, foreign law is avoided, which is particularly relevant for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Uncitral Commission takes decisions on consensual basis. Participants are members, observer States, and non- and inter-governmental organizations. Uncitral texts are conventions, model laws and legislative guides. There are negotiated with universal participation and reflect balance of national, regional, legal and other interests. They are drafted with a view to ensure compatibility with the various legal traditions. On Uncitral website a collection of court decisions and arbitral awards interpreting Uncitral texts are available. In June 2012, Uncitral launched its Digest on the Model Law, a digest of case law on the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. Finally, Mr Lemay mentioned the opening on 10 January 2012 in the Republic of Korea of the Uncitral Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific.

CEPEJ, a Harmonization Instrument

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe (CEPEJ) was invited to attend the Lomé conference. Its president, John Stacey, who could not be present, asked Mathieu Chardon to represent he CEPEJ in his capacity of participant of the CEPEJ working group of on execution (CEPEJ-GT-EXE). So as such, and after pointing out this great vote of confidence, the first secretary of the UIHJ explained the triple role of the CEPEJ in areas relevant to the harmonization of European judicial systems in general and the profession of judicial officer in particular: harmonization through the evaluation of judicial systems, its instruments, and finally its specific programs.

Mathieu Chardon recalled that the CEPEJ was created on 18 September 2002 by Resolution Res (2002) 12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Its creation was part of the desire of the Council of Europe to promote the Europe of law and respect for fundamental rights, on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular Articles 5 (Right to liberty and security), 6 (Right to a fair trial), 13 (Right to an effective remedy) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination). The Council of Europe has developed a reflection on the effectiveness of justice and adopted recommendations favouring different ways to combine equity and efficiency. This decision reflects the desire of the Council of Europe not just to adopt legislation of general application, but to promote a clear understanding of legal systems and the various existing tools to identify problems and help solve them. The CEPEJ brings together experts from the 47 Council of Europe, and is assisted by a secretariat. Observers may be allowed to take part in some of its works. This is the case of the UIHJ, which represents the profession of judicial officer since its inception. The European Union also participates in its activities.

The aim of the CEPEJ is the improvement of the efficiency and functioning of justice in the member States, and the development of the implementation of the instruments adopted by the Council of Europe to this end. Its tasks are:
- to analyse the results of the judicial systems
- to identify the difficulties they meet
- to define concrete ways to improve, on the one hand, the evaluation of their results, and, on the other hand, the functioning of these systems
- to provide assistance to member States, at their request
- to propose to the competent instances of the Council of Europe the fields where it would be desirable to elaborate a new legal instrument.

Concerning harmonization through the evaluation of judicial systems, Mathieu Chardon said the status of the CEPEJ emphasizes the comparison of judicial systems and the exchange of knowledge on their functioning. The scope of this comparison is broader than ‘just' efficiency in a narrow sense: it also emphasizes the quality and the effectiveness of justice. In order to fulfil these tasks, the CEPEJ has undertaken a regular process for evaluating judicial systems of the Council of Europe's member states. Its Working Group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) is in charge of the management of this process. To facilitate the process of collecting and processing judicial data, an online electronic version of the Scheme has been created. Each national correspondent can thus accede to a secured webpage to register and to submit the relevant replies to the Secretariat of the CEPEJ. National replies also contain descriptions of legal systems and explanations that contribute greatly to the understanding of the figures provided. They are therefore a useful complement to the report, although because of the need to be concise and consistent, it was not possible to include all this information in this report.

Thus, a genuine data base on the judicial systems of the Council of Europe's member states is easily accessible to all citizens, policy makers, law practitioners, academicians and researchers. Four editions already have been published. The 2014 Edition of the report, which will be published in 2014, will be based on figures from 2012. These exercises give unprecedented information on judicial systems and their effectiveness. Each country is positioned with others in the measurement of the completed evaluation grid criteria. The evaluation reports and act real stimulators for reforms, reforms that will be more efficient because their objectives are clearly identified.

Regarding the second factor of harmonization, the instruments of the CEPEJ, he stated that In order to carry out these different tasks, the CEPEJ prepares benchmarks, collects and analyses data, defines instruments of measure and means of evaluation, adopts documents (reports, advices, guidelines, action plans, etc), develops contacts with qualified personalities, non-governmental organisations, research institutes and information centres, organises hearings, promotes networks of legal professionals. Among its instruments are the guidelines that play an important role in the work of the CEPEJ. The CEPEJ has created a Working Group on execution (CEPEJ-GT-EXE), to develop guidelines for an effective implementation of existing standards of the Council of Europe. The members of the working group drafted a contribution on specific points of the guidelines. The UIHJ participated in this working group.

Along with a glossary, which is a first in the field, the guidelines essentially cover the following points:
Realisation of enforcement;
Information of the parties and third parties;
- The enforcement title;
- Information accessible to the enforcement agent;
- Data protection;
- Costs of enforcement;
- Legal aid;
- Timeframe for enforcement procedures;
-  Supervision, and control of enforcement activities;
-  And on the profession of enforcement agent:
  • Qualifications;
  • Organization of the profession and the status of the enforcement agent;
  • heir rights and obligations (competence, activities);
  • Remuneration;
  • thics and professional conduct
"I think I can be the spokesperson for Mr Stacey inviting you to draw on these guidelines, to ensure their widest dissemination at your authorities and our profession, and to ensure that they can be complete their role that will lead us to the next step of our harmonisation" said the first secretary of the UIHJ.

Finally, he referred to the specific programs in which the CEPEJ is associated. The CEPEJ is involved in numerous studies and specific cooperation programs: Targeted cooperation with the Council of Europe or joint partnerships programs with the European Union and the Council of Europe. Such is the case of the joint program "Strengthening Democratic Reform in the Southern Neighbourhood" (Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan), known as the South Programme. Launched in January 2012, this 3-year programme aims to accompany democratic and political reforms in the Southern Mediterranean countries, following a demand driven and targeted approach. As part of its component No. 1, the CEPEJ has been responsible for conducting the assessment of the functioning of the judicial systems of Morocco and Tunisia (cooperation with Jordan has not yet started). "As part of this program for Morocco, I was personally asked to act as expert in the component relating to the service of documents" said Mathieu Chardon.

Associating Judicial Officers to the Reform of the Uniform Act on Enforcement

After this presentation, Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble and Natalie Fricero presented a review of case law of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) on the profession and enforcement. On CCJA Professor Lohoues-Oble focused on the latest case law difficulties relating to conflicts between Ohada and national laws, and the various interpretations given by different states in several jurisdictions and for which the CCJA has a role to play. "Can the creditor whose right has been recognized by the court accept that after months, even years of procedure, often after the obstacle course he had to undergo, accept that the decision will not be enforced while proceedings required that many sacrifices on his part sometimes resulting in a situation where he finds himself in trouble?" she analysed.

The ancient practice in force in the states of Ohada regarding enforcement gave rise to many uncertainties in the protection of the conflicting interests of creditor and debtor, creating serious doubts in the minds of investors about the reliability of ensuring the effectiveness of enforcement. It is against the non-enforcement of judicial decisions that Ohada wanted to fight, including with the adoption of the Uniform Act on simplified debt collection and enforcement procedures. "Almost twenty years after the entry into force of this community standard, can we say that these objectives have been reached?" wondered Professor Lohoues-Oble. For that, she felt it was good "to scrutinize jurisprudence, even if it concerns a pathological part of the law, because it can reveal its difficulties encountered during the enforcement of court decisions".

In the Ohada zone, jurisprudence is made of domestic courts decisions of the States Parties and those of the CCJA, acting as a sole Supreme Court. If within case law of national courts, it is impossible to specify numbers, statistics from the Registry of the CCJA already showed that between 2003 and the first half of 2008, 238 decisions were made including 92 on procedures for debt collection and enforcement procedures. Today, those numbers have more than doubled. It appears that in addition to the "standard" difficulties relating to enforcement (protection of debtor disputes, grace periods, insincere debtor, practical difficulties to locate debtor or his assets, etc.), new challenges appeared. These difficulties arise from conflicts of law born with the advent of Ohada on the one hand and controversial interpretations of certain provisions of the Uniform Act on enforcement on the other hand.

Regarding the issue of conflict between Ohada and national laws Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble distinguished the difficulties relating to defence from enforcement and legal persons of public law exempted from enforcement. She illustrated this through concrete examples, such as the famous Karnib v. SGBCI case (CCJA, 11 October 2001), or the SEHIC Hollywood v. SGCB case of 19 June 2003. In the second part of her speech, she noted that the study of the law relating to enforcement shows that difficulties also appear in the understanding of the litigants and the courts of certain provisions of the Uniform Act. "Lawyers do not agree on the meaning of certain sections of the Uniform Act on enforcement. This applies in particular to Articles 28, 49, and 297" she said. Although having already ruled on cases based on Article 28 (CCJA, 1st ch, Decision No. 10 of 29 June2006, SERAC v. BREG, available on Ohadata.com / Ohadata J.07.24; CCJA case no 051/2005 of 21 July 2005, Texaco -CI v. Fragate Group, available on Juriscope.org ), the CCJA has not yet received a request for an advisory opinion or a dispute so that it has the opportunity to comment on the matter and put an end to the controversy. Its position is highly expected to operate the harmonization of the positions of courts.

Professor Lohoues-Oble also focused on the general theory of nullity regarding enforcement procedures enshrined in the Ohada legislature on the basis of Article 297. Finally, she asked whether the originality of the Ohada system, based on the creation of a judicial system that covers legislative harmonization by judicial unification, is satisfactory. "Concerning enforcement, the answer is mixed if one takes into account the difficulties faced by the CCJA to make decisions that are binding on all courts including the jurisdictions of the States Parties" she estimated. However, "we should continue to have faith in this system. Because the political will exists. It has created this wonderful tool that community standards are for businesses".

Much remains to be done. After nearly twenty years of operation time has come to address the problems faced by the CCJA, by providing satisfactory solutions. Some of these solutions are the responsibility of the Council of Ministers of Ohada, whose constant goal should remain the optimum functioning of the institutions he created. Professor Lohoues-Oble ended her very remarkable presentation with very few concrete actions to be taken:
-    Continue the revision of the Uniform Acts including those causing problems of interpretation, as the Uniform Act on enforcement; associate judicial actors (judges, judicial officers... );
-    Grant to the judicial officers a uniform status to assist in the carrying out of their duties regardless of the State Party where they are;
-    Substantially increase the number of judges and ensure their renewal;
-    Increase the number of legal assistants.

Natalie Fricero mentioned that the concerns of the States of the European Union are somewhat different from those of the States parties to the Treaty of Ohada. European countries that have adopted the Treaty on European Union are subject to laws including regulations they have to observe and cannot discuss. However, the ECJ case law is important because it interprets autonomous concepts contained in the treaties. Whenever a judicial officer establishes enforcement procedures, he must ensure that the rights of the litigant to defend himself are respected, including the right to information. The mission of the enforcement is raised because it is he who is in contact with the defendant.

A Professional at the Heart of Social Issues


The third and final panel of the conference discussed the professional at the heart of social issues. The first sub-panel, on mediation, was chaired by Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo. Jean-Michel Rouzaud (France), President of the ENP, David Walker, Messenger-at- Arms (Scotland), member of the board of the UIHJ, and Carlos Esplugues Mota, professor at the University of Valencia (Spain), focused in turn on the European Directive on mediation and its implementation in their countries.

Jean-Michel Rouzaud referred to the alternative dispute resolution in France. "Building a "fair" justice, as stated this morning by the Minister of justice is a laudable and ambitious project but certainly difficult to achieve" he estimated. It was necessary to substitute an alternative method of dispute resolution to trial and its inevitable setbacks and tensions. It is precisely mediation, now entrusted to French judicial officers, who will be alternative to trial, he said. In France, based on the 2008/CE/52 European Directive of 21 May 2008, mediation is organized by the 2011-1540 Order of 16 November 2011 and 2012-66 Decree of 20 January 2012. The activity of mediator was added among the activities French judicial officers may exercise under their status. "Who would have thought that the judicial officers often taxed as diehard enforcers of court decisions could become mediators?" questioned the president of the ENP. They were designed for this new activity for at least two reasons:
- First, because they are, by nature, in contact with disputes and litigation and that their primary purpose is to solve them;
- Secondly, because the primary qualities imposed on those mediators are already those of a judicial officer, since his appointment, namely independence, neutrality, impartiality, confidentiality, liability.

However, he says, even if "French law maintains a real confusion between conciliation, negotiation and transactions," the notion of mediation should be clarified. To be able to carry out this activity as a mediator, French judicial officers should meet three main requirements: (1) respect for the neutrality, impartiality, confidentiality and total freedom and independence of the parties, (2) accept the strict delimitation of this activity, (3) and have prior training because, "contrary to what one might think, you can't improvise yourself as mediator". In this regard, the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of France expressed its determination to give full substance to this new mediation activity conferred to judicial officers. In agreement and support with the ENP, said Jean-Michel Rouzaud, it will initiate, at the end of 2013, a training course for all judicial officers interested in this activity. The Mediation Centre of Judicial Officers will soon be established in Paris. This centre will be in fact a technical platform for receiving mediation requests from all interested persons, to assess the relevance and feasibility of these applications, and finally to provide applicants with details of several mediators judicial officers likely to operate in their region. Later, regional mediation centres should be set up.

Under this new organization, judicial officers trained in mediation may have three functions:
- A proper mediation function with administrative monitoring by the Mediation Centre;
- The function of prescribing mediation: when the judicial officer cannot, for the reasons indicated above, act as a mediator, he may prescribe it and direct the applicant to the Mediation Centre;
- The mediator judicial officer may be limited to an assistance mission in mediation on behalf of one of his clients.

Then David Walker discussed the situation in Scotland. He shared his practical experience on difficult issues regarding family law, recalling a situation where he was able to use his independent status as a “go between” a husband and wife fighting over weekend custody or their child. David Walker also said that in terms of current Scottish legal practice, lawyers specialising family and employment law can receive training and accreditation on mediation. He stated that because of the world wide crisis both Sheriff Officers and lawyer clients are struggling to find new sources of work... so far the lawyers have cornered the market in terms of mediation, which will make it more difficult for Sheriff Officers to demonstrate that we can provide a better service..

Difficulties in the Unified Transposition of the European Directive on Mediation

Carlos Esplugues Mota presented the 2008/52/EC Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters, and the role that can be played by judicial officers under this instrument. The volume of cases in courts is globally increasing. With a view to facilitating better access to justice, the European Council at its meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999 called for alternative, extra-judicial procedures to be created by the Member States. Mediation is one of the ways. In order to promote further the use of mediation and ensure that parties having recourse to mediation can rely on a predictable legal framework, it appeared necessary to introduce framework legislation addressing, in particular, key aspects of civil procedure. This is the aim of the 2008 Directive. ‘Mediation' means a structured process, however named or referred to, whereby two or more parties to a dispute attempt by themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reach an agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a mediator. This process may be initiated by the parties or suggested or ordered by a court or prescribed by the law of a Member State. It includes mediation conducted by a judge who is not responsible for any judicial proceedings concerning the dispute in question. It excludes attempts made by the court or the judge seized to settle a dispute in the course of judicial proceedings concerning the dispute in question. Its objective is to facilitate access to alternative dispute resolution and to promote the amicable settlement of disputes by encouraging the use of mediation and by ensuring a balanced relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings. The Directive applies, in cross-border disputes, to civil and commercial matters except as regards rights and obligations which are not at the parties' disposal under the relevant applicable law.

Professor Esplugues Mota mentioned that the Mediation Directive wanted to offer countries a possibility to implement a new legislation on this topic. However he considered that the result has not been as good as expected in terms of harmonisation. Countries have not reacted at the same level. Some countries only refer to any type of cross-border mediation; some only refer to European-Union cross-border mediation, some only to domestic mediation, and others to all types of mediation. In some countries, the law only consider voluntary mediation whereas in some other countries only judicial mediation is considered. The end result is thus very disparate. Parties can organise mediation the way they want as long as they follow some basic principles: impartiality, confidentiality, equality of parties, and neutrality of the mediator. Who can serve has a mediator, asked Carlos Esplugues Mota. Almost anyone, for the directive mentions any third person who is asked to conduct a mediation in an effective, impartial and competent way, regardless of the denomination or profession of that third person in the Member State concerned and of the way in which the third person has been appointed or requested to conduct the mediation. He also mentioned the effects of mediation on limitation and prescription periods and the enforceability of agreements resulting from mediation.

On the African experience with regards to mediation, the floor was given successively to Alphonse Kibakala, judicial officer (Congo) and Abdelaziz Fouganni, first Vice-President of the National Order of Judicial Officers of Morocco. Alphonse Kibakala defined the mediator - from the Latin word "mediator" (the middle) -, as one who is in the middle, who serves as an intermediary, a conciliator. When the judicial officer draws up a mediation agreement, it may be approved by the judge, and then be given the same force as a judgment. In Africa, despite the absence of legislation, the judicial officer is and remains essentially a local jurist. He is a natural mediator in all situations. He can for example set up instalments or a settlement with the debtor on the terms of voluntary compliance with the obligation, embodying the agreement of the parties and thus saving them the cost of a lengthy and expensive procedure. It is the same in the case of provisional measures which may give rise to mediation. Alphonse Kibakala stressed the important role of the judicial officer in mediation. He concluded that "the rapid institutionalization of this activity is therefore highly wished for by us, judicial officers of Ohada".

Abdelaziz Fouganni announced the existence of a mediation centre in Morocco. Even in the presence of an enforceable judgment, it is possible to address the centre. In the context of the judicial reform currently underway in Morocco, three recommendations were issued in September 2013. They encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution: mediation, conciliation and arbitration. The development of commercial mediation plans to impose it in some cases. "This will strengthen the role of the judicial officer" he noted. The role of the judiciary will also be strengthened in promoting the use of mediation with the institutionalization of family mediation in family court. All professionals are encouraged to participate in this reform. He noted that the National Oder of Judicial Officers of Morocco was active considering the fact that the judicial officers should be recognized as mediators and registered as such in law.

Timothy Lemay presented in detail the Uncitral Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation adopted on 24 June 2002. This model law defines the role of a conciliator, how he is appointed, what the effects are and how to carry it out. Mr Lemay reviewed most of the articles in this convention and made comments. He mentioned that the Model Law is now in use in fifteen states.

Issaka Moussa Dankoma, President of the National Chamber of Judicial officers of Niger took the floor to present the recovery of alimonies in his country. The speaker first defined alimonies as a legal obligation to provide a person with the necessities for living. It enshrines the duty of care between the various elements of a family. Nigerian law recognizes this right which exists between ascendants and descendants, but is extended to uncles, cousins and their descendants, and even the spouse's family. "This shows the fundamental role of this obligation" commented President Moussa Dankoma. The judge can compel a person to respect that right. The amounts allocated may not exceed one third of the income of the debtor. The debtor is also liable to criminal sanctions when the default results from voluntary insolvency or when he gets organized to escape his obligations. The judicial officer is in charge of the recovery of alimonies. The channels used are classical enforcement proceedings. The recovery of alimonies is part of the daily activity of the judicial officer.

Summary Report of the Work

After this final lecture that closed the work, Françoise Andrieux presented her summary report, reproduced below.

We are at the end of the third Africa-Europe Meetings, which now constitute a key event for our profession. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, "If you differ from me, my brother, far from hurting me, you enrich me". This sentence could serve as a basis of our event but the UIHJ gives an even deeper meaning through the analysis of the data it carries for the enrichment and harmonization of our profession.

The theme of our work was "The Judicial Officer, Actor of Legal Governance". Etymology tells us that governance comes from the Latin word "gubernare" meaning navigate! What a guide for this summary report! So I'll just invite you to embark on a cruise aboard the "Good Governance". The captain will be the judicial officer. In this cruise we will trace the work of its crew. Before we begin our journey, a few semantic settings are required. Indeed, can the term good governance apply to justice and its actors? Governance is a concept sometimes controversial, covering a multiplicity of uses that eventually approach the "good governance" by introducing a notion of collective leadership and ethics. It is a way of running a policy, actions and affairs of a state. The concept of governance has emerged to describe the set of political conditions in which plans are implemented, including both legitimacy of political operation, relations with administration and relationship between the pole leader and the rest of society (especially entrepreneurs).

It is therefore a set of measures, given rules laid down by governing, information and monitoring bodies that ensure proper operation and control of a State, an institution or an organization whether public or private, regional, national or international all in accordance with the interests of beneficiaries (the defendants) and ensuring that targets are met. This was recalled to us during the opening presentation of the work by Professor Akuete Santos. If we speak of institutions, then it seems obvious that good governance can actually apply to justice which includes all state institutions designed to implement the law. In this sense, justice is a legal institutional reality that has for - political - function to impose a social order. Failing this, only disorderly individual wills would prevail.
 
The institution of justice is the guarantor of the Rule of Law and collective rules of a society.
But we cannot hide the fact that governance is first and foremost a notion that found its fulfilment in business. It was what can be named as of a form of management. This concept is therefore applied to economy which, far from taking it away, on the contrary is bringing it closer to us, for as we know law and economy are linked. They are key foundations of social life bringing order, wealth and justice. They organize today's society. Today, it is not necessary to prove the close relationship between justice and economy not only within the borders of a country where the strength of one gives the power to the other but also in the context of the globalization of trade where common and stable legal provisions allow goods and services to exchange with trust and therefore trade relations to develop.

 "Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development" said Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations. As subtly mentioned by Professor Natalie Fricero, we no longer talk of crisis, we enter a phase of development and we should find ways to support this development: we have repeatedly stated that the judicial officer, the guarantor of security enabling legal trade, is a backbone of good economic relations and thus to their development. In fact when it comes to market economies, she evoked the exchange as the basis of economic activity. Through these exchanges economic actors are in contact with each other and need mutual trust to nurture these exchanges. This allows understanding the interdependence between actors: the spending of some become the incomes of others, the purchases of certain actors provide an outlet for the production of other actors, and all individual economic action affects another point of the circuit.
 
The balance is fragile and should have strong foundations including the judicial officer whose role is to ensure safety of trade or their fair outcome. Good legal governance supports respected individual rights, secure contracts, and implemented judgments. It can generate the necessary trust in economic growth. It is based on four principles: liability, transparency, Rule of Law and information... that we will turn into stops throughout our trip. Therefore let's cast off for our first stop!

I.    Liability


Liability is the duty to answer for one's actions, including all circumstances and consequences, that is, to assume the saying, the effectuation, and consequently the compensation or the penalty. Liability is not only a fact, but also a value. As a social value, according to the adopted perspective, it can take on different meanings: it thus inevitably refers to ethical (or legal) values. How can the judicial officer meet this concept and these values? His liability is based on his status. But it is inconsistent: four examples showed the many faces of the judicial officer. In France and in Togo, Rose-Marie Bruno and André Sama Botcho presented the private judicial officer, a liberal independent with monopoly activities on service of documents and enforcement. In Germany, Marc Schmitz brushed the portrait of a State employed judicial official but toying with private status. Finally in South Africa, Johan Fourie presented an independent private judicial officer but deprived of a monopoly...
 
We therefore need to continue to work to harmonize our status. The UIHJ is working tirelessly on this issue and in particular the proposal of a uniform status of the judicial officer presented by Honoré Aggrey and Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble. It is common knowledge to say that the judicial officer's liability should be threefold: civil, criminal and disciplinary since independence has a price which is liability. His credibility as a regulator of trade depends on it. This liability, far from being an obstacle to his activities is on the contrary the engine and the warranty. Accountability is a major driver of economic development and the affirmation of the need for a specialized professional, a high level, liable, lawyer.

Our profession is regulated in its liberal form or takes the form of civil service but our professional liability may be sought should we fail in the exercise of our functions. Judicial officers should give the example of impartial justice. They should fulfil duties of loyalty, care and diligence. They should meet their obligations and accept penance for non-compliance. This is the counterpart of their monopoly and their public service mission. Their main duty is that of advice and information common to all professionals in the legal world. Their further duty is to ensure effectiveness of actions and advise their clients on the usefulness and effectiveness of the actions they are required to carry out (Civ. 1st, 15 December 1998, Bull. No. 364). Judicial officers, who only bring quality to enforcement of judicial decisions, must personally take the necessary steps to identify the person against whom enforcement of the decision is directed (Civ. 1st, 20 June 2000 Bull. 188).
 
We should not forget the role of training in the liability of the judicial officer: a professional who has many activities should continuously train and a trained professional can claim new activities. It is in this sense the seeds of the profession as described by Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo. Training is both an African and a European concern and according to Guillaume Payan, it should be considered from a strategic angle. This strategy can be found for example in the mode of operation of the Association Henri Capitant through what Alain Ghozi called "exportation of intellectual mechanisms" to generate scientific expertise, or in the creation of the Global Forum on Law Justice and Development of the World Bank, to bring together the expertise and exchange as it was explained by Giuliana Dunham Irving. For Africa, Felix Onana Etoundi finally urged the judicial officers to consider the importance of their role in the enforcement of court decisions which can only lead on the way to training, moreover inter-professional training to ensure mutual understanding of all members of the judiciary. Regarding Europe, Guillaume Payan recalled the willingness of the EU to put in the foreground training of paralegals including judicial officers. This training focuses on the knowledge of European instruments, but also on the knowledge of legal systems of other Member States. These two examples show what we are looking for today, what the UIHJ has been promoting for sixty years now: to find out and to promote what is happening outside borders! Training of judicial officers should be the source of their responsibility as only he who knows can be responsible.

Our second stop leads us to the harbour of transparency, the second pillar of good governance.

II.    The Principle of Judicial Transparency

In the community of nations, we consider that governance is good and democratic to the extent that institutions and processes of a country are transparent. We already mentioned that justice is an institution and the processes referred to in the definition I have given include legal proceedings, which should be corrupt-free. The ability of a country to achieve these standards helps to determine its credibility and respectability in the world. However, corruption, violence and poverty undermine good governance because they affect transparency, security, participation and fundamental freedoms.

The principle of judicial transparency is intended to prevent arbitrariness, corruption and injustice. It is intended for the legitimacy of the process and public trust towards the justice system. When compared to the profession of judicial officer, it can be illustrated by two examples: one concrete, the other moral. Concretely, transparency can apply to our tariff. Indeed, it should be clear, legible and legally framed to prevent abuse and to satisfy those for whom equality before the law also includes its cost.

The transparency of our profession should also be reflected through its ethics. This is the moral example. In the current difficult economic environment, the complexity of which hits the defendant, the judicial officer acts as a regulator and a stabilizer. Being at the service of citizens and businesses, he plays a key role in economic activity. Professional, rigorous rules and the conduct which he is subjected to in the exercise of his profession makes of him a bulwark against corruption and puts him once again at the heart of economic activity. In short, the independence and transparency of the justice system and its actors, judicial officers in the foreground, is a sign of good governance. It is even an essential variable to attract investors in a country.

Here we are in the third port for a technical and compulsory stop.

III.    The Rule of Law

We have repeatedly defined the Rule of Law. It is the legal situation in which everyone has rights, but also duties all in close conjunction with the fulfilment of the hierarchy of norms, the separation of powers and human rights. These three aspects address directly our profession and naturally good governance. Good governance promotes equity, participation, pluralism, transparency, accountability and the Rule of Law, in an effective and sustainable way. These principles translate into practice including an independent judiciary that interprets the laws. Respect for the hierarchy of norms is the right to respect the law, the right to trial, judgment and its enforcement. Our colleagues Rosine Bogore Zongo and Alain Ngongang gave us examples of the organization of enforcement in African countries.

Within the Rule of Law, a state should be explicitly required to enforce court decisions. This is what emerges from the Recommendation Rec(2003)17 of the Committee of Ministers to member states of the Council of Europe on enforcement and its corollary, the CEPEJ Guidelines. Some countries are already in compliance with the guidelines, such as the Netherlands, for example, as was explained by Jos Uitdehaag. The equality of subjects before the law - or the isonomy - implies that every litigant can claim the application of a legal rule, or challenge it when it does not meet the higher standard.

Besides enforcement, the Rule of Law applied to good governance is a system that involves the ability to also resolve conflicts arising from enforcement by a mediator. Mediation, an element of good governance is just a procedure that European countries had to integrate in their legal system following the European Directive of 2008. We see that its implementation has taken different forms for judicial officers through the reports of Jean- Michel Rouzaud, David Walker and Carlos Esplugues Mota. It therefore exists in Europe and has taken various forms too in Africa. In Morocco, Abdelaziz Fouganni told us it was regulated, with many European similarities. However, in other African countries including Congo, Alphonse Kibakala told us it was due to the simple practice.
 
For the Rule of Law to be a reality, it is not enough that citizens' rights are formally guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws. It is also necessary that the State does everything in its power to ensure effectiveness. Also in achieving this, judicial officers have a vital role to play, that of efficiency. They offer a double guarantee:
- The guarantee of a liberal professional in supplying secure information;
-  The guarantee of a liberal professional in the actual enforcement of the judge's decision.

The judicial officer is a summary of the legislative and judicial powers and the proper implementation of justice implies respecting the rules that govern the rules of enforcement procedures (let's recall here that we can only respect what we know and therefore training is once again at the heart of this respect...). Therefore, judicial officers are essential to ensuring the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law creates legal certainty. Legal certainty conditions the exercise of citizens' rights and economic development.

The growing internationalization of financial markets, the speed of trading operations and of the exchange of information cannot exist without the security of financial and legal transactions that not only the state must ensure but that should be guaranteed in other countries, which is one of the concern of Uncitral, as explained Timothy Lemay. In Europe, we know the European Enforcement Order which provides guarantees of effectiveness to Europeans. Mathieu Chardon reminded us of the UIHJ proposal to create the African Enforceable Title under the same objectives of trust and guarantee for economic operators. Here, we can say the states, because the very exemplary organization of Ohada, represented by Alexis Ndzuenkeu, responds vividly to the need for legal certainty: transparency, common rules are all criteria met around good governance.

In all member states, the judicial officer is in its most developed form, and this is probably not a coincidence. Indeed, the judicial officer is the essential element of the rule of law and its use as well as the means that are given to him indicative the existence of the Rule of Law. The Montesquieu theory of the separation of powers, on which the majority of modern Western States are based, mentions the distinction between the three powers (executive, legislative and judicial) and their mutual limitations. Good governance is also based on this separation, which ultimately results in an auto-control of the State apparel which legislates and ensures the application of the law by an independent institution. This provides optimal enforcement and is likely to bring trust to domestic and foreign traders.

Besides, institutions including the World Bank (in which there is a "good governance" section) are right when they determine their involvement in the implementation of the principles of good governance in States. They support this implementation by classically focusing on the fight against corruption but also in promoting the simplifying and speeding up of court procedures and the use of new technologies. It is the quality of justice that is at the forefront of international institutions to help governments become more transparent and accountable to their citizens to provide better services to accelerate development and improve its effectiveness. The action of the World Bank in this regard shall include legal reform.
 
We arrive at the end of our cruise and drop anchor to our last stop.

IV.    Information

At a general level, good governance covers legal actions taken by countries to comply with international recommendations for exchange of information to prevent and combat misconducts and corporate misconducts. Envisaged under a legal angle, it is to consider a system which implies the existence of a set of legally imposed regulations, known in advance and approved by appropriate and respected procedures. This allows on one hand to facilitate access of litigants to fair and independent judicial institutions and on the other hand to ensure fair, timely and compelling information to individuals, a concern of both the Court of Justice of the European Union and the African Common Court of Justice and Arbitration as mentioned by Fricero Natalie and Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble.

The Rule of Law must be known and, for this, paralegals should be bearers of the message. To be heard the message should be transmitted through a channel which is the service of documents by a trained, informed professional, able to provide litigant with the right information not only in the served document itself but also as regards the context of its existence. The service of documents is an activity that already has all the characters of a prefigured harmonization as explained our colleague Luc Sowah Ako, judicial officer in Togo. At international level, thanks to The Hague Convention of 1965 in particular, as noted Christophe Bernasconi, the rules of cross-border transmissions are already simplified and unified, but it still depends on the decision of the States to demonstrate their commitment by joining the Convention. The judicial officer fills its role as an informant, through all his activities, and if we emphasized its economic role throughout this presentation, we should also stress its social role as recalled Issaka Moussa Dankoma.

We have reached the end of our trip. Good governance, transparency, liability, Rule of Law, information cannot exist without a strong will, but especially without a deep desire for harmonization. The peak of this harmonization will be reached by the Global Code of Enforcement, an unquestioned instrument of good governance. It includes:
- The notion of liability and transparency through the integration of ethics in the chapters of the Global Code;
- The notion of respect for the Rule of Law and information by providing independent and qualified enforcement agents.

The judicial officers of the world understood it, and showed it by joining our dear UIHJ and made it their creed because they know they are one of the essential links in social and economic peace, of good governance. I started with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and I will end with him: "When you want to build a ship, do not start by gathering wood, cutting boards and distributing the work, but awaken in men the desire for the great and beautiful sea".

Therefore let's carry on sailing...

Recommendations of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers in Lomé on 26 and 26 September 2013

Presented by Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo, judicial officer (Congo)

Recommendation 1

- Considering the role of the judicial officer in law enforcement and the protection of the rights of the parties in general, and in the implementation of the Uniform Act on enforcement in particular,
- Considering the preamble of the Ohada Treaty,

We, the participants at the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers recommend that States Parties to the Ohada Treaty :

- Adopt a uniform status of judicial officers of the Ohada area.

Recommendation 2

Whereas the Rule of Law ensures proper application of judicial decisions and preserves against intrusion or interference from the authorities or influential individuals in the implementation of these decisions,

We, the participants at the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers recommend for States :

- To respect the effective separation of powers and independence of judicial officers in the enforcement of court decisions.

Recommendation 3

Whereas the exercise of the profession of judicial officer of justice is a source of responsibility and requires for the effectiveness of quality of justice for all, professionalism, integrity and moral probity,

We, the participants at the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers recommend :

  The implementation of a universal Code of ethics integrated into a Global Code of Enforcement.

Recommendation 4

Whereas the requirements of transparency and accountability and control of corruption are the keys to good legal governance,

We, the participants at the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers recommend for States :

To provide judicial officers with a framed tariff, worthy and satisfactory, likely to be a bulwark against corruption.

Recommendation 5

Whereas legal governance requires from judicial officers efficiency in the carrying out of professional duties and the implementation of best practices in order to preserve the rights of the parties,

We, the participants at the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers recommend :

a) For the States :

- To provide the bodies representing the profession of judicial officer with training structures.
 
b) For the National chambers or Orders of judicial officers :
 
- To develop partnerships to promote and ensure the training of their members.

Recommendation 6

Whereas the impossibility of direct application of the decisions made by a State Party in the territory of another,

We, the participants at the 3rd Africa Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers recommend that States Parties of Ohada:

Adopt an African Enforceable Title that would promote cross-border enforcement of judgments.

Presented in Lomé on 27 September 2013
 


 
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Opening of the 3rd Africa-Europe Meetings of Judicial Officers
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During the opening ceremony, from left to right, André Sama Botcho, President of the National chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo, Koffi Esaw, Minister for Justice of Togo, Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ
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Le Netten, President of the UIHJ and Kwesi Séléagodjil Ahoomey-Zunu, Prime Minister of Togo
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Presentation of the Global Code of Enforcement to the International institutions and organisations, from L. to R.: Christophe Bernasconi (The Hague Conference on Private International Law), Natalie Fricero, Professor at the University of Nice (France), member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, Giuliana Dunham Irving (World Bank), Timothy Lemay (CNUDCI), Alexis Ndzuenkeu (Ohada), Alain Ghozi (Association Henri Capitant)
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Koffi Esaw, Minister of Justice of Togo
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André Sama Botcho, President of the National chamber of Judicial Officers of Togo
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Leo Netten, President of the l’UIHJ
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The delegation of the UIHJ with Kwesi Séléagodjil Ahoomey-Zunu, Prime minister of Togo
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Akuete Santos, Professor at law at the University of Lomé
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Mathieu Chardon, First Secretary of the UIHJ
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Rose-Marie Bruno, judicial officer (France), ENP and Ufohja expert, Johan Fourie, Sheriff (South Africa), Permanent delegate of the UIHJ for Southern Africa
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Marc Schmitz, judicial officer (Belgium), Member of the Board of the UIHJ
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Félix Onana Etoundi, General Director of Ersuma
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Guillaume Payan, lecturer in Private Law at the University of South Toulon Var (France), consultant UIHJ
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Jérôme Okemba Ngabondo, judicial officer (Congo)
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Alain Ghozi, Professor at Law at the University Pantheon Assas (France), Member of the Association Henri Capitant of the Friends of French Legal Culture
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Bernard Menut, First vice-President of the UIHJ
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Françoise Andrieux, Secretary General of the UIHJ
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Luc Sowah Ako, judicial officer (Togo)
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Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of The Hague Conference on Private International Law
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Jos Uitdehaag, First Secretary of the UIHJ
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Rosine Bogore-Zongo, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Burkina Faso
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Alain Ngongang Sime, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Cameroon
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The African Delegations with Leo Netten and Jacques Isnard
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Alexis Ndzuenkeu, Chief of the Justice and Communication Service at the Permanent Secretariat of Ohada
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Jacques Isnard, Honorary President of the UIHJ
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Yacine Sene (Senegal), former Vice-President of the UIHJ
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Honoré Aggrey, Vice-President of the UIHJ
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At the end of the celebration ceremony of the 20th Anniversary of Ohada
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Giuliana H. Dunham Irving, Senior Counsel and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice- President and Group General Counsel à la Banque mondiale
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Timothy Lemay, Principal Legal Officer, Head, Legislative Branch, Secretary of Uncitral
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Jacqueline Lohoues-Oble, Professor at the University Félix Houphouët Boigny of Abidjan-Cocody (Ivory Coast), Member of the Scientific Counsel of the UIHJ
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Natalie Fricero, Professor at the University of Nice (France), member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ
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Jean-Michel Rouzaud, President of the National School of Procedure of Paris
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Carlos Esplugues Mota, Professor at the University of Valencia (Spain)
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David Walker, Messenger-at-Arms (Scotland), Member of the Board of the UIHJ
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Alphonse Kibakala, judicial officer (Congo)
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Abdelaziz Fouganni, First vice-President of the National Order of Judicial Officers of Morocco
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