Traitement en cours, merci de patienter...
Saut de ligne
Last update: 
18/09/2019
Français
English
Saut de ligne
Saut de ligne
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
Saut de ligne
Saut de ligne
Saut de ligne
Saut de ligne
HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurFranceSéparateurFrench Judicial Officers Protest in Paris on 15 September 2014
Saut de ligne
Image

French Judicial Officers Protest in Paris on 15 September 2014

Image

French Judicial Officers Launch National Protest Against Expected Changes to their Status and Activities

Image
 
Unacceptable Reform

The French Government plans to change the status and some of the activities of French judicial officers, without any prior consultation with the profession. The judicial officers are outraged and have initiated a national protest movement. Nearly 4,000 judicial officers and employees met in Paris on 15 September 2014, in front of the Palais de Justice to express their disapproval.

For the first time in 700 years of history, French judicial officers demonstrate! How did we get there? The basis of the proposed reform is an unpublished report released by the General Inspectorate of Finance, strongly contested in substance and in form. This report covers 37 regulated professions. Regarding the judicial officers, the French Ministry of Economy plans to quickly implement a reform with the following guidelines:
- Transfer of the service of documents to a single operator, instead of judicial officers;
- National Jurisdiction of the profession of judicial officer;
- Opening of the capital of judicial officers bureaux to private companies;
- Freedom of installation;
- Reform of the tariff of the profession of judicial officer.

Since it discovered the project early summer 2014, the National Chamber of judicial officers of France tried - unsuccessfully to this day - to reason with the representatives of the Ministry of Economy, despite the strong support of the Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira. For Patrick Sannino, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of France, such a reform, conducted without any consultation with the profession, is unconceivable. It would be disastrous for an already ailing economy and for the public service of justice.

The demonstration was organised by the Departmental Chamber of Judicial officers of Paris, at the initiative of its president, Denis Calippe. Patrick Sannino asked the entire profession to mobilise and to participate. Responding to this call, thousands of judicial officers and employees from all over France gathered to make their voices heard. All trade unions were also present, as well as the National Union of Judicial Officers, the National Union of Professions and representatives of the National Chamber of Notaries.

Many colleagues admitted that they had never seen such a rally and that the day was historic. President Sannino urged his colleagues to unite to defend the interests of the profession, now in danger. He called for a justice humane and of proximity, a justice that cannot be privatised. He estimated that the planned reform was all the more absurd that it would destroy a profession that works, serves the economy and is a model for the world. In France about 3,200 judicial officers work within 1,700 offices. They employ over 11,000 employees. If this reform were to emerge, it is estimated that nearly two-thirds of employees would be laid off and that many offices would close.

The Decline of the Continental Law

This reform would have even larger effects than the "simple" loss of thousands of jobs. If the postal service in France became the main mode of summoning parties to courts, it would be necessary to compensate for the lack of legal security of this method of service by engaging deep structural reforms of the French judicial system. In other words, such a reform would mark the decline in France of Continental Law to the benefit of a Common Law model.

Besides the proposed postal service goes against the debates taking place for more than two years in Brussels, at the European Commission and in particular within the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters (EJN). At a meeting held in February 2012 several countries acknowledged that the postal service leads to practical and legal difficulties. In May 2014, the EJN meeting focused on the European regulation on service of documents. Half of the day was devoted to the postal service and its problems.

In 2004 and 2012, the European Commission ordered the MainStrat Company a report on the application of this regulation. The recommendations of these two reports are clear: they condemn the postal service for lack of legal certainty and recommend service by a professional such as the judicial officer.

Well aware of the difficulties posed by the service of documents, the European Commission very recently published (2 September 2014) a call for tenders on service of documents. The purpose of this call is to study the different modes existing in the 28 countries of the European Union and to propose minimum standards. Precisely the UIHJ has been looking very closely at these minimum standards for some time. Eager to guarantee the legal security that citizens of the European Union expect, the UIHJ had written in 2009 a draft European directive of a harmonised document initiating proceedings. This model is based on that of France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

For the UIHJ, service by post is not a solution. On the contrary, particularly in cross-border disputes, it is essential that the writs of summons are carried out by a professional such as the judicial officer who, precisely because of his status, is the only one fully liable for the contents of the document he serves, and for how it was served, while ensuring its authenticity, a service that no private operator can provide.

Coming back to the event of 15 September, many participants took the floor to explain the reasons for their mobilisation. On behalf of the UIHJ and its President Leo Netten, its first secretary, Mathieu Chardon, recalled that the UIHJ represents 73 countries in the world, that the French model has been exported to thirty countries and that if we touched this model, it would affect the profession of judicial officer worldwide. He added that the battle that took place was that of all the judicial officers of the world and that France could count on the support of the UIHJ.

Hopefully with this event widely reported in the media, the French authorities will have heard the message that a reform of any profession cannot be successfully carried out without this profession. Otherwise, announced Patrick Sannino, other actions will be taken, particularly with the other 36 threatened professions... that is to say, with about two million people.
 
  
Image
Séparateur
Image
Some of the demonstrators
Séparateur
Image
From L. to R.: Patrick Sannino, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of France, Denis Calippe, President of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Paris
Séparateur
Saut de ligne
Saut de ligne
UIHJ 2010 All Rights Reserved  |  Made by SAILING  |  Powered by WysiUp