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Four Countries from Four Continents Join the UIHJ at the Permanent Council

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On 29 November 2007, Chile, Kazakhstan, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and Mauritania Joined the UIHJ at the Time of a Historical Permanent Council in Paris, In front of More Than 120 Representatives of Over Forty Delegations and High Representatives of the Republic of Belarus and Thailand

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Jacques Isnard, president of UIHJ and Kairat Mami, president of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, sign the Charter of Co-operation between UIHJ and Kazakhstan
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The Independence of Justice and the Independence of Judicial Officers

The UIHJ Permanent Council, the highest authority of the UIHJ, takes place every year in Paris on the last week of November. Like in 2006, the day before this great international event was reserved for the workshops animated by members of the UIHJ on themes chosen for their topicality: statement of facts, sequestration of goods and debt recovery. Each one could participate in the debates and once again, this initiative proved to be a great success.
Jacques Isnard, president of the UIHJ, opened the permanent council on November 29 with his introductory welcome speech. He greeted the delegations, as well as the high representatives of the Republic of Belarus and Thailand, who came especially on this occasion. He also thanked the French National Chamber of judicial officers “which hosts us with an unceasingly increased benevolence and thanks to which our organisation can continue its action on many domains by promoting the flag of the UIHJ”.
President Isnard then developed a talk on the independence of justice and his corollary, the independence of judicial officers. “To speak about justice is to apprehend the system as a whole. Justice in its traditional meaning is a body of magistrates, but also of auxiliaries and members of legal professions” he said. On the basis of the concept of independence of justice and independence of the judicial power, the president of the UIHJ specified that the topic of the independence of justice is very extensible. Quoting Locke, then mentioning Montesquieu in “the Spirit of the Laws”, he indicated: “There are in each State three kinds of capacities: legislative power, executive power of matters depending on the law of nations and the executive power of those which depend on the civil law”.
According to Jacques Isnard, the independence of justice is a constitutional value shared between the judge and the judicial officer. The concept of independence of justice appears very reducing when only examined under the angle of the judicial power. One too often considers that justice has fulfilled its role once the judgement is given. The judges themselves do not seem to be much concerned with the fate of their decisions and rare are those who wonder about the capacity of the parties to understand or even to interpret their judgements.
But gradually, notes the president of the UIHJ, the political sector, the legal world, the economic operators express an increasing interest in the enforcement of court decisions. It was started by the European Union with the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice (the 1999European Council of Tampere), then the European Court of Humans Rights who recognised the right to the execution of judgements like forming an integral part of the equitable lawsuit (Honrsby v. Greece case of March 19, 1997), right which was moulted in a true “autonomous enforcement law”, and finally the recommendation Rec (2003) 17 of September 9, 2003 of the Council of Europe on the standards as regards enforcement of court decisions and enforcement agents.
Jacques Isnard evoked in his speech the project of a standard statute for the judicial officers of Africa, within the framework of Ohada, presented under the aegis of the UIHJ. “The liberal and independent judicial officer, as it was many times shown, is a pledge of independence of justice” pointed out the president of the UIHJ. He then mentioned the too many cases where, in certain countries, judicial officers had to undergo vexations, sanctions, some being even imprisoned for having resisted to intimidation and unlawful manoeuvres while they were honourably fulfilling the noble mission which fell to them: that to carry out a judgement in the name of the people or the Republic. The un-enforcement of court decisions is a true attack against democracy. “To reach an independent justice, it is thus advisable to have not only one independent judicial power but also an independent and liberal body of judicial officers.” he concluded.

Kazakhstan, FYROM, Chile, and Mauritania: Four Countries from Four Continents Join the UIHJ

Then, Gerard Ploux, member of the board of the French national Chamber of the judicial officers, on behalf of Paul Rochard, its president who was held up, indicated that he could witness the incredible development of the UIHJ during the years and its extraordinary rise. He said that the National chamber of judicial officers of France expresses to the UIHJ and its board its most cordial wishes for its extension in the world and was happy to accommodate every year the whole of the delegations in the “house of the judicial officers of the world”.
Then the establishment ceremony of the new members started. It was chaired by Francis Guépin, member of the board of the UIHJ.
It was first the turn of Kazakhstan. Following the congress of the judicial officers of this country which was held in Astana in June 2007 and in which the UIHJ had taken part (see the article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1016698&lg=ang ), Kairat A. Mami, president of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, had wished on the one hand to engage a process aiming at creating the occupation of a private and independent judicial officer, according to the model in force in France, and on the other hand to propose the candidature of his country in order to join the UIHJ. It is in this particularly positive context that Mr. Mami presented his candidature as an associate member with the UIHJ. Sponsored by France, represented by Bernard Menut, secretary of the board of the UIHJ, the president of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan indicated that independence is the base of the courts system. For him, court decisions must be carried out by judicial officers. However, despite all efforts made to improve the enforcement system, today ensured by civil servants, the system is not entirely up to the expectations of the market economy.
After having compared various systems, like those of Germany, France and other countries, it is finally the French model which seemed for him to meet the expected standards of both citizens and businesses. Mr. Mami indicated that a bill will be soon submitted to the Parliament. He declared himself very happy about this initial co-operation with the UIHJ and confirmed that Kazakhstan is open for the development of the enforcement of the court decisions. The intervention of Mr. Mami was to be warmly applauded.
Then it was the turn of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to present its candidature, under the sponsorship of the Netherlands, of its president Franz Van Der Meer, and of Jos Uitdehaag, 1st quaestor of the Committee of the UIHJ, who achieved multiple missions in this country since 2002, within the framework of the reform of the legal institutions and the installation of an independent and liberal occupation of judicial officer.
Mr. Antonio Kostanov, president of the national Chamber of the judicial officers of the country cordially thanked the UIHJ for its assistance and in particular the Netherlands. He declared himself very happy to join the rows of this large international organisation.
After Asia and Europe, it was the turn of a country of the American continent to present its candidature: Chile. This country was represented by Patricia Castro Jimenez and Tatiana Munoz Mimiza, respectively president and vice-president of the Association of the Legal Receivers of Santiago, on behalf of the Association of the Legal Receivers of Chile. Our colleagues were sponsored by France and Dominique Aribaut-Abadie, member of the French delegation of the UIHJ, specialist in Hispanic law. A delegation of the UIHJ indeed went to Santiago at the beginning of October 2007 within the framework of a mission of the European Union assigned with the ministry for the justice of France and its European and International Affairs Service (see the article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1019165&lg=ang ). It is at the end of this mission that contacts were made with the Chilean Legal Receivers who at once shown a vivid interest in the UIHJ and their intention to join without delay.
Lastly, it is a new African country, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, sponsored by Tunisia and its president, Abdelkader Boutaba, as well as by Mourad Skander, member of the board of the UIHJ, which was established as an observant member of the UIHJ. Mr. Sidi Oueled Zammel, president of the Mauritanian Association of judicial officers declared that the judicial officers of his country needed assistance in order to help them to raise the standards of the profession and the enforcement of court decisions.

48 missions for the UIHJ in 2007

Last but not least, Belarus was also invited to take part in the works of the permanent Council. Indeed, the UIHJ had been invited to take part in an international conference which took place in Minsk at the end of October 2007 to celebrate the 85th birthday of the Supreme Economic Court of Belarus (See the article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1019138&lg=ang). Following these meetings, representatives of Belarus was thus invited in Paris. This country was represented by Mr. Andrei Ardeev, Deputy Chief Judicial Officer of the Economic Courts of the Republic of Belarus, and by Mrs. Irina Belskaya, Division Head of the Legislation and International Affairs Division of the Supreme Economic Court of Belarus. Mr. Ardeev thanked president Isnard for the possibility which was offered to his country to take part in this meeting and hoped that the co-operation between the UIHJ and the service of the judicial officers of his country would be long and prosperous.
Then, according to the agenda, the president of the UIHJ drew up a general state of the profession. Jacques Isnard indicated that the UIHJ includes today 64 members and that it will have taken part or organized 48 missions in 2007. Concerning training, he insisted once again on its vital importance for the profession. In this respect, he mentioned the creation of the International Institute of Private Judicial Law and of Enforcement Law (IIDJPDE). This institute gathers the various bodies dedicated to training: the International Training Centre (CIF) created in co-operation with the National School of Procedure of Paris, present in Romania, in Tunisia and soon in Latvia, the Ufohja, a world library in the course of its creation, the Juris-Union publication and the Scientific Committee of the UIHJ. “This institute will become one of the fundamental weapons of promotion and of the development of the UIHJ” the president of the UIHJ predicted.
Jacques Isnard also indicated that the UIHJ is very active within the Council of Europe with its missions of expertise and within the Cepej, a “true laboratory of Europe”.
The UIHJ was also invited by the Hague Conference of Private International Law at the time of the conference for French-speaking Africa which was held at the end of August 2007 (see article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1003093&lg=ang) and brought together the high-ranking magistrates of the jurisdictions of French-speaking Africa. President Isnard indicated that the Hague Conference asked the UIHJ to present the Hague convention of 15 November 1965 on the service of documents abroad. Again concerning Africa, the UIHJ was still invited to the congress of the French Speaking countries of the presidents of the Courts of Cassation and Supreme Courts in Dakar, at the beginning of November 2007. “We were the only international organisation invited with the International Union of lawyers” noted Jacques Isnard.
At the end of his presentation, the president of the UIHJ greeted our fellow-members Honoré Aggrey and Emmanuel Minoungou, both promoted knights in the National order of merit, respectively of Ivory Coast and of Burkina Faso. He finally greeted the work achieved by Mathieu Chardon, 1st secretary of the UIHJ, Luisa Lozano, secretary of the UIHJ and by Christiane Duperray, wife of René Duperray, secretary-general of the UIHJ, for her voluntary and much appreciated help in the accountancy of the organisation.

Ohada's child

Nikola Hesslén, permanent deputy of the UIHJ for the Scandinavian countries, then presented her report. In Denmark, a reform of the judicial map reduced the number of jurisdictions from 85 to 22. In Norway, a new law on the litigious procedures must come into effect in 2008 in order to make this matter simpler and more effective. In Finland, a reduction of the number of judicial officers is to be envisaged. In Iceland, our colleague deplored the absence of contact with this country. Lastly, for Sweden, Nicola Hesslén presented Oulof Tanen, the new Head of the Public service of forced enforcement of Sweden Reforms should simplify and make more effective the enforcement procedures. The 5th Scandinavian seminar was held in Stockholm from 12 to 14 September 2007 on the topic of the situation of the debtor beyond borders (see article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1019379&lg=ang ). The UIHJ was represented by its highest representatives, President Jacques Isnard, first vice-president Leo Netten, and one of its vice-presidents, Roger Dujardin.
Concerning the USA, our colleague Sue Collins, deputy of the UIHJ for the United States, informed the participants of the projects in progress for the service of documents by electronic means in some States. “There is very little we can do and things will be done with or without us”, she indicated. Sue Collins also declared that she would take part at the beginning of December in the annual meeting of the Association of the Sheriffs of the United States and that she would try to convince them to become member of the UIHJ.
Then Jacky Sizam, UIHJ delegate for the Antilles, indicated that he took part in the Forum conference of exchanges of Pointe-à-Pitre on the Ohadac (Organisation for the harmonization of Business Law in the Caribbean) project. Our fellow-member specified that the many States resulting from colonization present very diverse Legal and Judicial realities. Thus, on the island of Saint Martin, the two systems of the Roman Germanic Law and Common Law coexist without any physical border! For this reason, the expertise on the UIHJ was requested to present to the 28 concerned countries its know-how to found professionals of the Law in the Caribbean mosaic. President Isnard was delighted by this awakening. “Ohada has a child. Ohada is the most beautiful politico-legal invention” he commented.
Then, Honoré Aggrey, delegate for Western Africa presented his report, testifying of the various conferences and meetings organised on African grounds in 2007. He insisted on training, with the help of Ufohja. He also evoked this major event for the profession which consisted in the signature in March 2007 in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) of a project of a uniform act of a standard statute for the occupation of judicial officer of the Member States of Ohada (see article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1006959&lg=ang ).

The UIHJ International Congress in South Africa in 2012

Concerning English-Speaking Europe, David Walker, member of the board, deplored that the Certificated Bailiffs chose to leave the UIHJ, for reasons apparently related to their refusal to pay the contributions - however very moderate - to the UIHJ, especially at a time when a new law must come to reform this profession which does not enjoy a very good popularity. In Scotland, the projects which were to lead to the removal of Messengers-At-Arms were suspended, following the recent elections of the Parliament. Lastly, in Southern Ireland, there is no significant projection.
Then Cheslan America, Executive Manager of the South African Board for Sheriffs, presented the candidature of South Africa and Swaziland for the international congress of the UIHJ in 2012.
After Dominique Aribaut presented the incredible “Chilean marathon of the UIHJ” in Santiago of Chile (see article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1019165&lg=ang ), André Mathieu presented a report of the 60th meeting of DPI/NGO to which belonged the UIHJ, the topic of the conference being the climatic change (see article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1019438&lg=ang ).
Concerning the activities of the Council of Europe and CEPEJ, Bernard Menut, secretary of the board of the UIHJ evoked the 9th full session which was held in Strasbourg on 13 and 14 June 2007 (See article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1003075&lg=ang).
Our fellow-member evoked the report which is published every two years on the efficiency of justice in the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe. A report on the execution of court decisions in Europe in which the UIHJ took part was prepared by the team of research on execution of court decisions (the University of Nancy and the Swiss Institute of comparative Law). This report must be presented during the next meeting which will be held at the beginning of December, specified the secretary of the board of the UIHJ.
Then, Jacques Isnard and Mathieu Chardon presented the new European instruments (European Order for Payment Procedure and the European Small Claims procedure). They also presented the first number of the Juris-Union Publication of the IIDJPDE, and which consists in a publication on the European Enforcement Order of which they are the joint authors.

The World Day of the Judicial Officers

Bernard Menut then presented the training catalogue prepared by the National School of Procedure of Paris (ENP) on international matters. Three broad topics are concerned: training of trainers, communication, and the study of the five European regulations concerning the occupation of judicial officer. “This training activity is considered to be strategic for the UIHJ. It makes it possible to implement training activities in your countries on these topics” said the secretary of the board of the UIHJ. Concerning the international projects, he continued by evoking Kosovo, Tunisia, Lebanon and the Ukraine.
Mohammed Chérif, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria then spoke about the international seminar of Algiers which will be held on 12 and 13 March 2008 and which will relate to the African Union countries and the countries of the Arab League.
Concerning Thailand, the general director of the Enforcement Department of the ministry for Justice thanked the UIHJ for its cordial reception. The UIHJ has been in relation with Thailand for more than ten years. The general director informed the participants of the last evolutions relating to the occupation of judicial officer in her country.
On the topic of communication, the date of Thursday June 12, 2008 was fixed for the world day of the judicial officers with for topic: “What do You Expect From a Judicial Officer?”.
Then Bernard Menut, Roger Dujardin and Françoise Andrieux, the latter being a member of the French delegation of the UIHJ, gave a report of the three workshops which unrolled the day before on statement of facts, sequestration, and debt recovery. Françoise Andrieux then evoked the UIHJ EuroMed meeting in Elche (Spain). Michal Redelbach (Poland), secretary of UIHJ EuroDanube also gave a report on the UIHJ EuroDanube meeting in Sopot (Poland) from 26 to 28 September 2007. In this respect, UIHJ EuroDanube has an Internet site: http://www.eurodanube.eu, with a Polish English, and French access.
Roland de Meerleer and Francis Guépin, both members of the board of the UIHJ, then presented the Study Day which will be held in Brussels on 28 February, 2008 on the European instruments used by Judicial Officers::
- Service of documents
- Recognition of decisions
- European Enforcement Order
- European Order for Payment Procedure
- European Procedure for Small Claims
“We will be the first organisation to hold a conference on the new regulation on the service of documents” specified Francis Guépin. This conference will include interventions of academics and judicial officers.

The African European meetings

On the basis of the fact according to which the European judicial officers seldom go to Africa, and remembering the success met by the ceremony of the 10th birthday of the Call of Dakar, in particular to the European fellow-members who were present during this great event, president Isnard then proposed the organisation of African European meetings for judicial officers. He proposed a first meeting to be held on 8 to 10 October 2008 in Libreville (Gabon), a very attractive destination in terms of hotel and tourist reception. The goal is “to try to reinforce the bonds which exist between the judicial officers of the whole world” he declared.
Then the Committee of the UIHJ, represented by Jos Uitdehaag, 1st quaestor, Mathieu Chardon and Marc Schmitz, quaestors, presented the work of the Committee during the year 2007, relating to the UIHJ magazine, the UIHJ Internet site, the world bibliography, the preparation of the international congress of Marseilles in 2009, the new UIHJ Extranet site and the launching of the UIHJ-Newsletter. The presentation of the works of the Committee ended with the live presentation of the world questionnaire on the profession which left a strong impression. It is the first time indeed that one can have statistics on the profession at the same time on a world, continental and national levels
To finish, Francoise Andrieux did captivate an audience already filled with information after these two days by making a very appreciated presentation on “the judicial officer as an essential element of the Rule of Law”, topic of the next international congress of Marseilles in September 2009. Our colleague explained why it was necessary to think of new classifications of goods for a better answering of the expectancies of citizens and businesses and for a better following of the legal and judicial evolution of the countries world-wide.
At the time to end this permanent council of a great richness and full of promises for the future, Jacques Isnard thanked all the participants for their great assiduity and their trust in the members of the board. “We will endeavour to work in the line of the mission which was entrusted to us. In advance, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year” he concluded.
Until they meet again soon, the participants found themselves in a very convivial environment in Paris for the traditional and sumptuous dinner offered by the national Chamber of the judicial officers of France which one will never be able to thank enough for its support in the actions of the UIHJ and, through those, of the promotion of the profession of judicial officer in the world.
On this occasion, Jacques Isnard gave Mrs Iwona Karpiuck Suckecha, former President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Poland, the Honorary Diploma of the UIHJ. A well merited award and a great way to end this historical Permanent Council!
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The Board of the UIHJ
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Jacques Isnard, President of the UIHJ
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Guy Duvelleroy, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of France
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Leo Netten, 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ
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A part of the delegations
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Signature of the membership of the Russian Federation at the UIHJ- On the left, Nicolaï Vinnintchenko, Director of the Federal Enforcement Service of the ministry of justice of the Russian Federation
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Signature of the membership of the NSA at the UIHJ - On the left, Craig Webre, past President of the NSA
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Some of the delegations
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Signature of the membership of the Republic of Belarus at the UIHJ - On the left, Victor Golovanov and Victor Kamenkov
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Roger Dujardin, Vice-President of the UIHJ
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Antonio Gomes da Cunha, President of the Chamber of Solicitadores of Portugal
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Mohamed Chérif, president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Algeria
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Michal Redelbach, Vice-President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Poland
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Louis-Raymond Maranda, President of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Quebec
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The representatives of the European Union of Ufficiale Giudiziari (Italy)
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Some of the delegations
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Irak Yelekeev, President of the Legal Administrative Committee of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan
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Some of the delegations
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Jacques Isnard and Jacques Bertaux, Past President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of France, membre of the French Delegation at the UIHJ
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Françoise Andrieux, General Reporter of the UIHJ Marseilles Congress
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Some of the delegations
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