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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurAndorraSéparateurA mission of the UIHJ in the Principality of Andorra
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A mission of the UIHJ in the Principality of Andorra

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Bernard Menut, 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ, and Dominique Aribaut-Abadie, Treasurer, Went to Andorra (14-16 July 2010) to Meet the Authorities and Discuss Problems Relating to the Enforcement of Legal Decisions in the Principality.

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For a Different Approach of Enforcement of Legal Decisions
Small spot of land, a mountain wedged between Spain and France, the principality of Andorra has much specificity. Politically first of all, it is under the joint management of France (the president of the French Republic) and the Bishop of Urgel (Spain) although having an independent government. Economically then, because it much depends on tourism, purchases carried out by tourists and real estate. Juridically finally, since it uses a system largely inspired of the Spanish legal system.

For a few years, the Principality of Andorra has had problems with its legal system, and specifically with the enforcement of legal decisions. The number of decisions has significantly increased, and there is a backlog in the enforcement. In a crisis context (Andorra was also struck by the world financial crisis of these two last years), it seemed important to the Andorran authorities to engage a thorough reflection towards a different approach regarding the treatment of the enforcement of legal decisions, through a rationalization of the means.

Presently, the enforcement of court orders and other enforceable titles is done by the Judge (Battle) with the help of a body of civil servants. The task of the judges has notably increased, and enforcement has become more and more complex in particular as many debtors go abroad and there are many cases of insolvency. The effectiveness of enforcement does not reach the expected levels by the legal institutions, and complaints of citizens and contractors are numerous near the supreme judicial body (Consell superior de la Justicia) or the mediator Pere Canturri Montanya (Raonador del Ciutadà) regarding delays in enforcement.

The Expectations of Economic Partners

It is in this context favorable to changes that, on the express request of the Consell superior de la Justicia of the Principality of Andorra, a delegation of experts of the UIHJ went to the Principality from 13 to 15th July 2010. The delegation was led by Bernard Menut 1st vice-president (who had already carried out a previous mission), and Dominique Aribaut-Abadie, treasurer (who knows the Spanish legal system perfectly). The delegation could work closely with Mr. Lluis Montanya Tarres, President of Consell superior de la Justicia, and its Vice-President, Mr. Josep Maria Cairat Vila, as well as with Mrs. Carme Obiols. The experts also met Chief of Government Jaume Bartumeau Cassany - Cape de Govern, for a work meeting, as well as members of Parliament Josep Dalleres Codina - Síndic General (President of the Parliament) and Esteve Lopez Montanya, Subsindic General (Vice-President of the Parliament). Two work meetings took place with representatives of banking institutions and managers, during which the experts could value the depth of expectations of economic partners. The whole of the media largely covered the experts’ mission thus making it possible to continue preparing the public opinion to the changes which prove to be necessary.

The mission had two objectives framed by the Andorran legal authorities. The first objective expressed by the Consell superior de la Justicia in its assignment letter was the development of a statute of the Andorran judicial officer. The development of a statute of enforcement agent initially requires a perfect knowledge of the needs for the Principality of Andorra. The experts thus wished to carry out an analysis of the requirements through meetings with and by listening to the various stakeholders. This analysis of the needs led to a presentation of the possible options which could be suggested to the Principality of Andorra to renovate its system of enforcement of legal decisions.

The Professionalism of the UIHJ

The second objective set by the Consell superior de la Justicia is the participation of the experts in a “draft provision which would make it possible to extract civil - and maybe administrative - enforcement from ordinary jurisdictions, with the obviousness of maintaining judicial control”. This part of the mission must intervene in a second time after the choice that the Andorran legal and political authorities must operate on which enforcement system they want to promote.

The delegation of experts of the UIHJ submitted its report to the legal authorities for a significant improvement of enforcement of legal decisions in the Principality. The political and technical option now belongs to the Andorran decision makers, but facing the financial aspect of enforcement of legal decisions, it seems urgent to act.

This mission showed on the one hand the professionalism acquired by the UIHJ, and its experts to evaluate crisis situations, and also to suggest solutions to governments. The latter are increasingly numerous to call upon the UIHJ to carry out analyzes, to present options and to recommend solutions for an improvement of enforcement of legal decisions. Lastly, this mission should also make it possible to welcome among the members of the UIHJ a new state, the Principality of Andorra, as soon as the technical requirements of its adhesion are filled.

Link to the meeting of 13 July 2010 between the UIHJ and the head of Government of the Principality of Andorra:
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Voici le lien concernant l'entrevue du 13 juillet 2010 entre l'UIHJ et le chef du gouvernement de la principauté d'Andorre

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