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Au service de la profession d’huissier de justice dans le monde depuis 1952
At the Service of the Profession of Judicial Officer in the World since 1952
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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurUIHJSéparateurPresidents meetingsSéparateurConference of the European presidents of the UIHJ in Paris
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Conference of the European presidents of the UIHJ in Paris

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19 European countries took part on 16 and 17 April 2009 in the meeting of the presidents of the national chambers or orders of judicial officers members of the UIHJ

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The spectacular rise of the UIHJ

Like each year, the board of the UIHJ organized a conference of information for the European countries, on the always very dense European legal and judicial topicality. Nineteen countries took part in this meeting which was held in Paris, at the seat of the National Room of judicial officers of France (CNHJ): Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. The board of the UIHJ was composed of Jacques Isnard, president, Leo Netten, 1st vice-president, Roger Dujardin, vice-president, Jean Christin, treasurer, Bernard Menut, secretary, Adrian Stoïca, vice-treasurer, Francis Guépin, member, and René Duperray, general secretary.
Guy Duvelleroy, president of the CNHJ, greeted the participants in the “large house of the judicial officers” as it is usually called. Paying homage to Jacques Isnard, the French president evoked “the spectacular and remarkable rise of your Union” which passed from twenty-three members at the time of his election fifteen years ago to nearly seventy today. “This amazing evolution is no hazard. It is the result of the recognition of your competences, your dynamism, your investment, and your availability, but also of your pugnacity” he added. Then he evoked the economic crisis which currently affects the world. In spite of that, it is necessary to continue to take part in the necessary Community evolution. “We are all joined together here in spite of our historical, cultural, social and legal differences. We are the perfect testimony of this will to succeed” concluded president Duvelleroy.
After having welcomed all delegations and having thanked them for their participation, president Isnard embarked straight away on the fifteen items of a particularly rich agenda. He showed his recognition to the countries which accommodated the team of the UIHJ which came to carry out a report on the modes of introducing proceedings in Europe.

CEPEJ, Forum Justice and EJN

As regards the activities of the board towards the main international organizations, Leo Netten initially evoked the Council of Europe. The UIHJ is a permanent observer member of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) of the Council of Europe. Within the framework of the activities of the CEPEJ, a study was carried out at the end of 2007 on the execution of legal decisions in Europe by a team made up of researchers of the University of Nancy (France) and the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law. This remarkable study was examined by the CEPEJ working group on evaluation of justice (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) and was presented on 22 December 2007 during the 10th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ. In the continuity of this study, it was decided to create a working group on execution (CEPEJ-GT-EXE). This group is instructed to enable a better implementation of the relevant standards of the Council of Europe regarding execution of court decisions in civil, commercial and administrative matters at national level. In order to fulfill its tasks, the CEPEJ-GT-EXE must in particular:
- Assess the impact in the states of the existing relevant instruments of the Council of Europe on execution or court decisions at national level;
- Draft, if appropriate, guidelines aimed to ensure an effective implementation of the existing standards of the Council of Europe;
- Draft, if appropriate, quality standards on execution in order to improve the accessibility of execution systems and the efficiency of execution services.
The CEPEJ-GT-EXE is composed of six experts appointed by the board of the CEPEJ as well as the UIHJ, represented by Leo Netten, and by its 1st secretary, Mathieu Chardon. During the meeting which was held on 29 and 30 January 2009 in Strasbourg, the group examined the documents provided for them by the CEPEJ, in the light of which it was decided to propose concrete and practical guidelines on enforcement. A scheme of work including ten points was distributed between the participants. These points cover the whole of the components relating to the execution of legal decisions: context of enforcement/Access to justice, notices to parties, Enforceable title, parties involved in the enforcement procedure, enforcement agents, information about debtors assets, processes and standards, cost of enforcement, outcomes and timelines, and regulation. The final report of the work group will be presented during the 14th plenary meeting of the CEPEJ in December 2009.
Then the 1st vice-president of the UIHJ gave an report of the Forum Justice meeting initiated by the European commission, one of its objectives being the e-justice project, with the creation of a large European portal in which citizens and law practitioners should find all information on cross border litigations.
Mathieu Chardon said he took part on 4 December 2008, within the framework of the 7th meeting of the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters (EJN) in Paris, on a roundtable on the topic: “ The future of the EJN: towards the opening to legal professions - States of negotiations”. In her introductory speech, Claudine Jacob, representing the European commission, had declared that the innovation for the EJN would be the participation of the professions. This opening was thoroughly discussed, in particular on the level of their integration. It was decided that the network would be opened to the professional orders and to their national representatives. The European Parliament then ratified the Commission proposal in its 17 and 18 December 2008 meeting, This community asset is undeniably a great recognition that judicial officers are truly essential elements of the Rule of law, as it was acknowledged at the level of the wide Europe, in the well-known European Court of the human rights Pini vs Romania case of 22 June 2004. It should however be mentioned that this collaboration will truly not be operational before 2010, to give time to set up the necessary structures to its implementation. Then the 1st secretary of the UIHJ indicated that he would attend on 30 April 2009 in Brussels a meeting of the contact points of the EJN on the application of the Community 1393/2007 regulation on service of documents. A discussion followed on electronic service.
Leo Netten declared that the e-justice Commission wished to know the stage of evolution of each country. Antonio Gomes da Cunha, president of the Chamber of Solicitadores of Portugal indicated that, in his country, attachments and service can be electronically done since April 2009 and that he offered to share his experience with his colleagues.
To the question put by Jacques Isnard to know whether the fact that 90% of the households will not have before long adapted equipment would lead to two systems, one for the rich and one for the poor, Bernard Menut declared that it was on the contrary an opportunity for judicial officers who can ensure both actions.
Jos Uitdehaag, first quaestor of the Comité of the UIHJ, added that there is eventually no difference between electronic and physical signatures. “As regards service of documents, the important thing is to be convinced that the document is actually served” he noticed. Jacques Isnard then approached the project of the green book of the European commission on transparency of assets. The report was interesting because it was proposed to facilitate access to information to enforcement agents while enabling them to consult all registers.

BERP in the Balkans

Being the situation in the Balkans, Jos Uitdehaag gave a detailed report of the actions which he carries out in the countries of the zone (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) through the “Balkans Enforcement Reform project” (BERP), a project which began in January 2009. This project was initiated by the Center for Legal International Co-operation (CILC) of the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the UIHJ. Its aim is to support the countries of the Western Balkans in the reform of their legal system in general and more in particular ensuring a more efficient and effective functioning of the systems of enforcement law at the national and at the regional level (for more information: http://www.berp.info). Then our fellow-member also approached some of the countries in which he also intervenes in his capacity as expert of the Council of Europe: Bulgaria, Moldova and Turkey.
Michal Redelbach, vice-president of the national Chamber of judicial officers of Poland, indicated that contacts had been made with Ukraine. A delegation of the ministry for justice must indeed come to Poland at the end of May 2009 to discuss of the possibility of a private occupation of judicial officer in this country.
Marius Crafcenco, president of the national Chamber of judicial officers of Romania, invited the whole of the participants to Sibiu from 13 to 15 May 2009 where will take place a wide international Conference organized by the Simion Barnutiu Law Faculty of Sibiu with the National Chamber of judicial officers of Romania and the UIHJ, on the topic: “The Council of Tampere, 10 years afterwards”. Adrian Stoïca added that this conference will propose the idea of an autonomous enforcement law and that it will give a progress report on the various European instruments used by judicial officers. Jacques Isnard insisted on the fact that this was the largest conference organized by the UIHJ apart from international congresses, with forty one presentations over three days. On this occasion, the president of the UIHJ added that a film shot by René Duperray and Francoise Andrieux, general reporter of the next international congress of the UIHJ in Marseilles (France), on the significance of the documents initiating proceedings, will be presented, as well as a draft European directive on a harmonized document initiating proceedings at European level.

A new network

Concerning the works of the Committee of the UIHJ, Mathieu Chardon presented the new project on the creation of the International Network of Judicial Officers (INJO). “We are solicited permanently by national or international organizations for information on the profession, on civil and enforcement procedures, but also on legal institutions” our fellow-member declared. And to continue: “We thus have more than ever the need for a permanent information network. The idea would be thus to activate a new entity, the INJO, managed by the quaestors of the Committee, aiming at an academic vocation and a network of simple information”. In addition to the use of Internet means of communication, the members of the INJO would meet at the time of the various UIHJ-Euros meetings. On the same topic, Jacques Isnard greeted the work of the Committee of the UIHJ, composed of Jos Uitdehaag, Mathieu Chardon and Marc Schmitz. The president of the UIHJ asked for each representative of the European States to appoint one or two qualified members having good knowledge of French or English to constitute the network.
Leo Netten indicated that it was necessary to create a working group on the field of new technologies. Alain Bobant, judicial officer (France), specialist in this question, launched out in a plea for the profession: “It is necessary to be able to authenticate oneself, to secure exchanges. We need a man, everywhere in the world, able to handle this trust and to be this trusted third party. It is necessary to put in place a working group to chart what we do”. “It is exactly what the European commission asks”, answered Leo Netten. For Francis Guépin, the stakes are fundamental. “There are captive markets. The Multi-field program has met an unexpected success. The Greek judicial officers cannot make statements of facts. They could use the Depomail product and make a kind of statement of facts. It is necessary to have an aggressive and not a defensive policy”, estimated our fellow-member.

A European professional training

Then the topic of the training was lengthily approached. The president of the UIHJ regretted the weak participation of the French judicial officers in the International training day of judicial officers which took place in Paris in February 2009. On the other hand, on the following day was held the inaugural meeting of the International Training Center for Judicial Officers (CIFHJ), which met a great success with the participation of ten States: Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, the Russia Federation, and Sweden. Abel-Didier Pansard, administrator general of the CIFHJ presented the reasons which decided for the creation of this branch of the UIHJ. Training is the hyphen of the judicial officers throughout the world, he indicated. The UIHJ has made the heart of its actions on training for several years. However the specific configuration of the profession, original by its diversity and by its statutes divided overall between private judicial officers and civil servant agents, constitutes an obstacle to the development of a generalized institutional system. In addition, “many are the States where the judicial officer is only a recent institution, unable to support the installation of a training body”. To solve the main difficulties raised by the whole of these problems, the first training partnership agreement intervened under the aegis of the UIHJ between the National school of procedure (ENP) of Paris and the ENP of Tunisia on 16 November 2006 in Tunis. Thereafter the UIHJ, the CNHJ and the ENP signed on 19 September 2008 a partnership agreement aiming at supporting and at coordinating an international action on training. In the means which they intend to give each other, the organizations envisaged the installation of an entity to ensure the coordination of their actions. The creation is thus made up in accordance with the partnership agreement occurred between these three structures having for title the International Training Council of Judicial Officers (CIFHJ), being specified that any country can join this center. The object of this structure is as follows:
-    to promote the permanent and on-going training for judicial officers and their collaborators in the world
-    to coordinate the training schemes in the various countries
-    to plan requests and training actions
-    to organize meetings between the various training bodies of foreign countries.
The idea is not gratuitous, declared Jacques Isnard. “With the Bologna process, Brussels wants to plan training. Professional training will become European. We will have exclusively European financings. It is necessary to prepare ourselves, hence the idea to create the international Training Center. It should be the object of the best welcome because it is a plan for the future. It is opened to all countries”.
Then president Isnard pointed out the topic of the world day of judicial officers on 12 June 2009: “Justice and social stakes”. He invited each country to use the day to promote the most social aspects of the judicial officer without occulting the other fields of the profession.
On the point of intercontinental exchanges, Francis Guépin indicated that information would be given to Marseilles in September 2009 on the idea to make benefit the African fellow-members from the system set up by the Pension fund for judicial officers of France.
Being the UIHJ-Euros meetings, Antonio Gomes da Cunha pointed out that a UIHJ EuroMed session would take place in Lisbon in May 2009. UIHJ EuroDanube must organize a meeting in Slovakia on 7 to 9 October 2009 indicated its secretary, Michal Redelbach.
On the next international congress of the UIHJ which will be held in Marseilles from 7 to 11 September 2009, Francoise Andrieux, general reporter, presented the various topics, which are now reproduced on the website of the UIHJ. Lastly, the meeting was completed by the traditional round table and in particular the interventions of Italy, Germany and Romania. President Isnard thanked the participants once again and said he will be very pleased to meet them again in September 2009 in Marseilles.
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The Romanian delegation
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The Hungarian delegation
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The Polish delegation
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Une partie des participants
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The Greek delegation
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From L. to R. : Abel-Didier Pansard, administrator general of the CIFHJ– René Duperray, general secretary of the UIHJ – Françoise Andrieux, general reporter of the Marseilles Congress
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The Bulgarian delegation
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Leo Netten
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The Board of the UIHJ
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The Slovakian delegation
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The Belgium and Macedonian delegations
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From L. to R.: Jacques Isnard – Guy Duvelleroy, president of the National chamber of judicial officers of France – Sandrine Jacquier, secretary of the board of the French chamber
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First row: the Italian delegation – Second row: the Kazakh delegation
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From L. to R: Leo Netten, 1st vice-president of the UIHJ – Jacques Isnard, president of the UIHJ, Bernard Menut, secretary of the board of the UIHJ
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