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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 meetingsSéparateurCouncil of the European President of the UIHJ in Brussels on 15 March 2012
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Council of the European President of the UIHJ in Brussels on 15 March 2012


The Council of the European Presidents of the UIHJ which Took Place on 15 March 2012 in Brussels Officially Launched the Stobra Project Aiming at Harmonizing the Profession of Judicial Officer and Enforcement Procedures in Europe

From L. to R.: Roger Dujardin, Vice-President de l’UIHJ, Leo Netten, President de l’UIHJ, Bernard Menut, First Vice-President de l’UIHJ
The future of the Profession at European and World Level

The following European delegations attended: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Other non-European countries were also represented: Algeria, Canada, Ivory Coast and USA.
Leo Netten, president of the UIHJ, welcomed all delegations and thanked them for their presence. After having praised his predecessors, he said that the UIHJ, with 71 members, was one of the largest and most influential international legal organizations in the world. He recalled that in November 2011 during the permanent council of the UIHJ in Paris, delegations expressed their wish to develop a structure with a European emphasis by voting unanimously for it to be internal to the UIHJ. He said the UIHJ is everywhere but the profession was too small to be divided. President Netten also reminded that with a budget of 450,000 euros, the UIHJ had organized or participated in 90 events worldwide in 2011. Then the president of the UIHJ evoked the recent actions of the UIHJ.

The UIHJ is a member for many years of the Economic and Social Council of the UN. It participates in meetings each year. The UIHJ recently joined Uncitral.

Council of Europe
President Netten recalled that, for over fifteen years, the Council of Europe regularly calls on the UIHJ experts for cooperation missions in its member countries. In general, these missions are financed or co-financed with European Commission funds. He stressed that the UIHJ attended hundreds of seminars all over Europe.
The UIHJ was associated with reforms that led to the establishment of a liberal and independent judicial officer in many European countries (ten of the twelve European countries that joined the EU since 2004).
President Netten also recalled that the UIHJ was a pioneer in tenders of the European Commission by winning late 2004 a TACIS project of 1.25 million euros in Azerbaijan. This project, led by Bernard Menut, first vice-president of the UIHJ, generated a profit of 100,000 euros to the UIHJ.
The UIHJ is an observer member of the European Commission on the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe (CEPEJ). It participates twice a year since its inception ten years ago at its plenary meetings. Strong contacts are in place. In 2009, Leo Netten said he had personally participated in the working group that drafted the CEPEJ Guidelines of the Council of Europe of 17 December 2009 on enforcement. This document accurately reflects the positions of the UIHJ on the status of the judicial officer and on civil enforcement procedures. It includes the full multidisciplinary program developed by the UIHJ during the Washington congress in 2006. President Netten urged the heads of delegation to take advantage of this document, which contains he asserts, the future of the profession at European and global level.
The CEPEJ required the help of the UIHJ about fifteen days ago to respond to a request for information from the European Commission on the enforcement of court decisions in Europe and on the implementation of European regulations. This questionnaire will be sent to the heads of delegations. It illustrates the fact that today it is the European institutions that are turning to the UIHJ.

World Bank
President Netten informed the heads of delegation that in December 2011, during the last plenary meeting of the CEPEJ, the first secretary of the UIHJ, Mathieu Chardon presented to members of the CEPEJ the Grand Questionnaire of the UIHJ on the profession. The World Bank was present. Its representatives immediately made clear they were very interested in the work. They acknowledged that they had no information and no statistics on the execution of court decisions and on the profession of judicial officer. The UIHJ is now in direct contact with the World Bank, at the highest level. The World Bank has recently created the Global Forum on Justice, Law and Development. It asked the UIHJ to deal with the enforcement component. President Netten said it was a huge victory, that it was the result of collective work, politics and unity of the UIHJ.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law
President Netten said that the UIHJ and the Hague Conference wished to work together on common projects. He informed the participants that the UIHJ would participate in a call for proposals from the European Commission with the Hague Conference on maintenance obligations.

European Commission
The European Commission is one of the institutions with which relations have developed over many years.
Regarding the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matter (EJN), President Netten stressed he was present in Brussels when it was launched in 2002. He recalled that the UIHJ has been very active for the legal professions to incorporate the EJN.
The UIHJ was invited to attend the EJN meeting on 9 and 10 February 2012. For the first time, the postal service of documents has been criticized by several members of the EJN. This awareness reflects the report being prepared and presented by the MainStrat Company. President Netten mentioned that Mathieu Chardon who was present on behalf of the UIHJ did not fail to intervene to defend the position of the European judicial officers and highlight the shortcomings of the postal service.
In the field of training, after the creation of Ufohja for Africa 10 years ago, the UIHJ created with the National School of Procedure of Paris and the National Chamber of Judicial officers of the France the training days of European judicial officers. The fifth edition will take place on March 16. Leo Netten said that the profession of judicial officer is the only one to organize an event of this nature, which is the practical result of the training policy of the UIHJ.
Regarding the European attachment of bank accounts, two UIHJ experts integrated the working group of the European Commission, whose vice-president of the UIHJ, Roger Dujardin.

Council of the European Union
In September 2010, the President recalled that he went to Brussels at the invitation of the Council of the European Union to discuss opportunities for collaboration between the UIHJ and European institutions on e-Justice. At this meeting, Mr Paulino Pereira, in charge of e-Justice, asked the UIHJ to set up a directory of the profession of judicial officer to the website of the European portal. The French National Chamber being already in charge of the EJE project with nine European countries, the UIHJ asked it to extend it to other countries.

European Law Institute

Leo Netten said the UIHJ is a founding member of the European Law Institute. He travelled to Vienna on Feb. 18 with Secretary General of the UIHJ Françoise Andrieux to the headquarters of ELI for a work meeting. There were representatives from the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the World Bank, the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association. ELI has expressed great interest in the execution of court decisions. It asked the UIHJ to propose programs on the enforcement of court decisions.

Five Projects for Europe

Then, president Netten stressed that the fact that the UIHJ is an international organization and not just European is considered an asset. He then referred to the database created by the Grand questionnaire of the UIHJ. This questionnaire has generated considerable interest from institutions and international organizations.
President Netten said he would then propose to all delegations to take an active part in all activities of the UIHJ, through the Stobra project which was going to be presented.
Indeed, during the Permanent council of the UIHJ, the countries voted unanimously for the establishment of the European structure proposed by the UIHJ through the Council of Presidents and the European Stobra Project.
The president of the UIHJ ended his speech by stating that the UIHJ has a website, a magazine, a scientific revue, a secretariat, a scientific council composed of law professors of international renown and an Institute of Private International Law and Enforcement Law. Position papers on all topics concerning the profession are available. The UIHJ works tirelessly to develop the profession globally. It generates trust. It leads a development policy and actions clearly defined by the international congress.
Calling on all countries to unity, the President invited all delegations to pursue together the path of the UIHJ.
However, Jean-Daniel Lachkar, President of the National Chamber of judicial officers of France mentioned his will and that of his board to create a European structure of judicial officers autonomous to the UIHJ. Then he left the room.
The countries immediately ensured President Netten of their support and the works could begin.

Roger Dujardin presented the Stobra project. He recalled the CEPEJ Guidelines, which are very important to the profession of judicial officer. They deal with the outlines of standardization of the profession at European and global level. He mentioned that the board of the UIHJ had submitted the Stobra project during the Permanent Council in November.
The STOBRA project (acronym symbolizing the North-South line of Europe: STOckholm, BRussels, Athens) is intended to meet this objective of harmonization of the profession of judicial officer and enforcement proceedings in Europe. The creation of the Stobra Commission is proposed within the UIHJ. This commission consists of the Head of Delegation of each European country member of the UIHJ or a designated representative. The Stobra Commission is chaired by the President of the UIHJ or his nominee. The board of the UIHJ may designate representatives to participate in projects of the Commission. The projects proposed by the Commission are validated by the board of the UIHJ. The projects of the Stobra Commission are normally created for a period of three years corresponding to a term of a bureau of the UIHJ. The Stobra Commission shall be assisted by the secretariat of the UIHJ.

The Stobra Commission aims to:
- Convening during European Councils of Presidents of the UIHJ
- Identify relevant areas of intervention of Stobra
- Propose actions aiming to harmonizing the profession of judicial officer and enforcement procedures as listed in the Guidelines of the Council of Europe of 17 December 2009, which are validated by the board of UIHJ, the Permanent Council and the Congress of the UIHJ
- Implement the actions that were decided
- Ensure the realization of the projects
- Prepare reports on the progress of work
- Be accountable for its actions to the board of the UIHJ, particularly during the European Councils of Presidents, permanent councils and congresses

Five projects were presented:
- Harmonizing enforcement procedure on immovable in Europe
- Harmonizing the service of documents in civil and commercial matter in the European Union
- Harmonizing and promoting the transparency of assets in Europe
- Harmonizing the setting of evidence in Europe through statements of facts carried out by judicial officers
- Harmonizing the training of judicial officers in Europe

Each working group is established for a period of three years, corresponding to a term of office of the board of the UIHJ.
Each working group is supported by members of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ. It is also supported by specialized training institutions in vocational training of judicial officers, their trainees and their employees. It has at its disposal the secretariat of the UIHJ.
The UIHJ-Euros are invited to participate. The European institutions and organizations are invited to participate. Conferences and regional workshops are organized in different countries, particularly in the context of UIHJ-Euros meetings.

A New Decisive Step in the History of the UIHJ

The Stobra project is simple, inexpensive and very appealing. It combines scientific and communication activities. It showcases the countries. It ensures the participation and involvement of many. Because it is concrete, the project is very exciting. This is probably the best way to promote our ideas and to turn the goals mentioned in the statutes of the UIHJ into reality: the elevation of the profession of judicial officer.
Then Adrian Stoica, member of the board of the UIHJ, successfully presented the work he carried out as part of his thesis on the enforcement on immovable in Europe. During a lively and very detailed presentation, he demonstrated the extent of his knowledge and skills.
Jos Uitdehaag, First Quaestor of the UIHJ, then outlined the latest developments of the proposed European attachment of bank accounts.
Bernard Menut explained that European standards of the profession are those of the Council of Europe and not those of the EU. The notion of Europe is larger than that of the EU. A project funded by the EU is made between the EU and a partner. At the end of the project, if there is another financing, it refers to a new contract. This again is not necessarily awarded to the first partner. The EU does not finance a project but an institution. If the project is done with several partners, it has a chance of succeeding. It is necessary not to work alone. The UIHJ is in partnership on several projects with various partners. Technically, all ideas are good to take, with all those who have human or intellectual means. Imposing a political vision and influence in the European Community at large - which is not limited to twenty-seven - requires moving forward with a broad organization. It is the global aspect that matters. In terms of European institutions, the EU is a member of the Council of Europe. There is an EU representative at meetings of the CEPEJ and the Council of Europe. Why? Because the CEPEJ is an intellectual laboratory where one comes to look for ideas. Tomorrow, the EU will involve 28 countries and more. These countries are currently in the Council of Europe. The EU is a regional organization in Europe. You need a broader vision than that of the EU.

It appears from all the discussions that the UIHJ has just reached a new milestone in its history. The Stobra project will allow the UIHJ to present actual projects that will matter and be effective. It is only together that these projects will be carried out. The strength of the UIHJ is rooted in its unity and solidarity. European countries are the first to benefit from the political weight of the UIHJ due to its international nature. The representatives of the delegations that attended all of the work have shown support for this project and their commitment that there is one organization that represents the profession on a European and global levels.
A roadmap on the implementation of the project will soon be sent to each member of the Stobra project.
Leo Netten closed this founding meeting by thanking all the countries present for their continued support and willingness to get involved in the Stobra project. He did not fail to acknowledge the excellent organization of the day, thanks to the efficiency of our colleague from Brussels Roland Meerleer and Luisa Lozano.
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