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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurFranceSéparateurIn Memoriam - Bernard Menut
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In Memoriam - Bernard Menut (16th September 1952 – 3rd March 2015)


On 1st January 1, 2015, Bernard Menut, our dear friend, our colleague and 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ, was the victim of a massive stroke that plunged him into a deep coma, from which he was never to wake up. He passed away on 3rd March 2015.

Bernard Menut, during the Permanent Council of the UIHJ in Paris, on 27 November 2014
During these two long months, the news of his condition were not optimistic. Yet we all hoped he would recover. For Bernard, fight was part of life.

His departure is a boundless loss. The UIHJ is in mourning. The profession of judicial officer is in mourning. We are all in mourning.

His human qualities were unanimously appreciated by all who knew him. The many words of support we have received are there to testify. Bernard loved to enjoy life, but as the moderate ascetic he actually was: he took its best sides while rejecting its excesses which he loathed.

Both very lucid and a voluntarily optimist, he was opened to others, always preferring dialogue, discussion and explanations to confrontation, an art in which he excelled, however, as the great boxing fan he was.

Very demanding of himself and of others when it came to work, he was at the same time open to ideas and exchanges. Being in his company, whether in private or in the context of professional relations, was always a pleasure. His great intelligence coupled with a particularly sharpened humour made him the precious friend and colleague for all those who knew him.

Within the board of the UIHJ where he officiated, first as a Member, later as Secretary, and finally as First Vice-President, he was the one to turn to when in need for ideas and advice.

He was an example of excellence. Who else but Bernard could better illustrate the English saying: "If you want something done, ask a busy man"? His extraordinary sense of organisation and his incredible work efficiency allowed him to carry out the many activities he encompassed. Bernard was committed. Bernard never failed. Bernard was a rock.

He was a model of commitment, courage, and righteousness. His qualities, he had put to the service of his profession, first nationally, then internationally.

His life has suddenly ended. It was full of encounters, dense and in accordance with his aspirations, in a word gripping. He seemed particularly serene. It is in this period of his existence that he went, too soon.

Saying that Bernard will be missed is an understatement we cannot grasp as his presence is so strong today and will remain so.

Bernard was to preside over the 22nd International Congress of Judicial Officers to be held in Madrid from 3 to 5 June 2015. A tribute will be paid to him. This Congress will be dedicated to his memory.

I would now like to mention the exceptional career of this man. Indeed, how best to honour him?
He took two MBA, one in Estate Law in 1976, the other in Economy in 1977 while working, demonstrating at an early stage the scope of his mind and abilities. He followed the course of the National School of Procedure (ENP) where he graduated. After his scholarship, he obtained in 1979 the professional examination of judicial officer. He was appointed judicial officer in 1981 in his native region, Mirebeau, north of Poitiers. He would build and develop his business until its merger with an office in Poitiers a few years ago.

His passion for the profession, his recognition as an experience lawyer and his interest for knowledge and the sharing of knowledge encouraged him to engage in this jewel of professional training that is the ENP, first as a trainer, then as a member of its Executive Board, then as Vice-President and finally as Honorary Vice-President.

Obviously, such qualities are sought by his peers. He is a member of the Departmental Chamber of the Judicial Officers of the Vienne between 1989 and 2007. There he will exercise the functions of member, Treasurer and President. He was also a member of the Regional Chamber of the Judicial Officers of the Court of Appeal of Poitiers. He joined the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of France in 1996, as a member and then as Secretary, and finally as President in 2000 and 2001.

It was at this time that his openness and his natural curiosity got him interested in international actions that would lead him to join the UIHJ to become one of its most active and influential members for fifteen years.

As President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of France, he was personally involved in international actions. He participated in all seminars and conferences organised by the UIHJ to defend and promote the model of the French Judicial Officer, along with my predecessor, Jacques Isnard.

He joined the board of the UIHJ in 2000 after the International Congress of Judicial Officers in Athens. Since then he has never stopped.

Bernard was a key element of the UIHJ during all these years. His visionary skills associated with great pragmatism and rare abilities as a lawyer have greatly contributed to raise the level of the profession of judicial officer to heights never reached before by our organisation.

He saw in the creation of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) of the Council of Europe in 2002, an unprecedented opportunity for the profession. Through his contacts with the Council of Europe, he managed for the UIHJ to become an observer member of the CEPEJ and then a permanent observer member. One of the crowning points of this approach was the participation of the UIHJ in the development of the CEPEJ Guidelines on enforcement, certainly the most important text for our profession and whose scope is universal.

President Menut was the first judicial officer to pay close attention to the tenders of European and international institutions and organisations. Through persuasion, arguments and work, he demonstrated that it was possible to be present, active and influential in this area. With his will as only weapon - but what a weapon! - and with no experience, he put together a successful project in Azerbaijan. The UIHJ won the contract funded by the European Union. For two years, from 2004 to 2006, Bernard would pilot this project, which would meet a great success. This would open the way for dozens of other projects in which the UIHJ is involved since.

Bernard was very attentive to all international institutions and worked with the board of the UIHJ to create contacts with the World Bank, UNCITRAL, the IMF...

During his professional life and with the UIHJ, Bernard took part in hundreds of seminars and missions. His skills as a speaker were such that his presentations, carefully prepared while giving the impression of great spontaneity were expected and savoured in advance: everyone knew that he would do everything to excel.

Nature having been generous towards him, his speaking abilities was coupled with a talent for writing that he cultivated and mastered, assuring him throughout his career a prolific literary output of huge scientific quality.

Bernard was known worldwide as a man of contact. Wherever he went, he received the same enthusiastic welcome; he stirred the same admiration, inspiring everyone to shine and offer the best.

Bernard Menut's legacy to us is his whole work to the benefit of the profession of judicial officer. We fully measure our luck. He shows us the way. He is the example to follow.

Thank you Bernard. Rest in peace. You are with us. Forever.

Leo Netten
President of the UIHJ
In Memoriam - Bernard Menut
2203.26 Ko20/09/201520/09/2015wu
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