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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurCroatiaSéparateurLiberal European judicial officers as guarantors of the State of Law
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Liberal European judicial officers as guarantors of the State of Law

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On 8 and 9 March 2007 in Zagreb (Croatia), the UIHJ, in co-operation with the French Embassy in Croatia, the ministry of justice of Croatia and the Faculty of Law of Zagreb organised an international conference on the topic ìwhich judicial officer for Europe in the presence of Mrs Anna Lovrin, Minister for justice of Croatia.

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From L. to R.: François Saint-Paul, French Ambassador in Croatia, Ana Lovrin, Minister for Justice of Croatia, Jacques Isnard, President of the UIHJ, Branko Hravtin, President of the Supreme Court of Croatia
Twelve European States and twenty six speakers
This conference was organised in the context of the future joining of Croatia to the European Union. The Croatian authorities indeed decided on important reforms of their legal system and in the field of the enforcement of court decisions. Towards which system will Croatia turn to comply with the requirements of the European Union as regards enforcement of court decisions? To help finding an answer to that question, twenty-six speeches presented by the representatives of eleven States of the European Union (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic) and Macedonia were heard during two days of a rare intensity where it was only question of the European judicial officer and his future.
It is at the time of an information mission organised in July 2006 by the UIHJ in Zagreb, with the assistance of the French Embassy in Croatia, that rose the idea of organising this vast conference of international law in the South-east of Europe.
Indeed, the countries of this zone are neither member of the European Union nor of the UIHJ. It was time for the UIHJ to present our organisation and to propose our assistance in the region, starting with Croatia.
The assistance and the support of his Excellency, François Saint-Paul, French Ambassador in Croatia, were vital in the organisation and the planning of the conference.
A hundred people, magistrates, representatives of the ministry of justice of Croatia, representatives of Embassies, European Commission representatives, judicial officers, lawyers, professors of Law and students, convened during two days to learn and to exchange, at the Palace hotel, in the centre of Zagreb, just a few yards away from the French Embassy. The working languages were French, Croatian, English and German.

Working in the right direction
In his short opening speech, Mr. Branko Hravtin, president of the Supreme Court of Croatia, recalled his recent visit to the French National Chamber of the judicial officers. He underlined the effectiveness of the French judicial officers and praised the French training system as well as the motivation of the trainers of the French National School of procedure, for the majority themselves judicial officers. Mr. Hravtin greeted the support of the Croatian authorities in the organisation of the conference, sign of a “determination to work in a concrete way in the right direction”.
In an engaged speech, Jacques Isnard, initially presented the UIHJ of which he is the president, strong of his 63 Member States and his 11 corresponding countries. The goal of the UIHJ is to represent, defend and promote the occupation of judicial officers and to develop legal aspects, particularly in the judicial law and the law of enforcement. President Isnard made a point of addressing his thanks to the Croatian ministry of justice and to its Minister for justice, Anna Lovrin, for the support and the marks of encouragements which were expressed to him, in particular while agreeing to ensure its patronage to the conference. Jacques Isnard also thanked Mr. François Saint-Paul, for his support and assistance, and by expressing all his recognition to Caroline Socié, in charge of the European and administrative co-operation at the French Embassy in Croatia, who strongly invested herself in the overall organisation. He also stressed that the presence of Mr. Hravtin, president of the Supreme Court, honoured the works of the conference, “testimony of the bond which links those whose mission is to say the law with those whose task is to ensure the effectiveness of the execution of court decisions”. Lastly, Jacques Isnard thanked all the speakers and the participants as well as the rector Serge Guinchard (France) who agreed to increase the prestige of the conference with his highly respected scientific authority.
The president underlined the commitment of the UIHJ since the beginning of the Nineties to support the blossoming of an occupation of an independent and liberal judicial officer.
 “We know States which, before the adoption in their countries of the liberal system of the judicial officer, accumulated more than one million enforcement files and several years of delay in the execution of judgements” he remembers. And to add: “For the Member States, supposedly hostile towards the statute of the judicial officer, they were faced with the following dilemma:
  • Either to continue to burden the State budget with the maintenance of civil enforcement agents
  • Or to promote the liberal and independent profession which makes it possible to reduce the costs for the State and to discharge the judge - whose function is to say the Law - of the burden of enforcement, while supporting the development of a more adapted profession to the modern techniques of data processing which, in addition, privilege employment and the effectiveness with, moreover, the possibility of charging fees and taxes for the benefit of the Tax office “.
Strictly speaking, Europe does not comprise today a structured body of Law professionals. Nevertheless there will be soon independent judicial officers in 21 of the 27 Member States. Only Austria, Denmark, Cyprus, Finland, Italy and Sweden remain, for the future, composed of State employed enforcement agents. Being based on the criteria developed by the Recommendation Rec(2003) 17 of the Council of Europe on enforcement, President Isnard presented the five criteria of the European judicial officers for the UIHJ:
  • Liberal,
  • High level lawyer (master in Law),
  • Equipped with a professional experience materialised by an adapted training course,
  • Compelled to a permanent training,
  • Subjected to disciplinary measures, ethical rules and attached to a national order.
Lastly, addressing to Mrs. Lovrin, Minister for justice, the president of the UIHJ concluded: “If it occurred that the Croatian government decided to adopt as a model that of the liberal and independent judicial officer, which I hope with all my heart, then you will find in the UIHJ a reliable interlocutor, ready, as our organisation has always shown in the past, to help our future Croatian fellow-members to become equal to the other European judicial officers”.
His Excellency François Saint-Paul, French Ambassador of France in Croatia, stressed that the effective enforcement of court decisions is essential for Europe. It constitutes the corollary of an effective justice which must meet the expectancies of the citizens. Mr. Saint-Paul then pointed out that the reduction of the backlog as regards enforcement of court decisions is an issue relating to the joining of the European Union. “The occupation of judicial officer is largely known, including for the countries outside the EU. It is not a question of selling models but to show interest in a profession through concrete examples so that each country can make its own choice. You will have the occasion to exchange with countries of 10 States of the EU” concluded the ambassador.
Mrs Anna Lovrin, Minister for justice of Croatia, declared that she was persuaded that the conference would bring answers. “The satisfaction of the creditor is important because it is the last link of the chain. It is necessary to consider the economic and social specificities of the European Union countries” she indicated. While underlining the progress achieved to reduce the backlog of court decisions, the Minister for justice recognised that in “following the experiment of the European countries, Croatia intends to modify the occupation of judicial officer in Croatia”. In this respect, Mrs Lovrin thanked the French ambassador for having in Zagreb the representatives of many European Union countries. She also thanked the UIHJ for its proposals of collaboration as well as the National Chamber of the judicial officers of France for its suggested assistance.

A diversity of statutes for the emergence of common standards
Then it was the turn of Jos Uitdehaag (Netherlands), member quaestor of the Committee of the UIHJ and expert for the Council of Europe, to present the activity of the judicial officers in his country. Following the Belgium example, the Dutch Gerechtsdeurwaarder are liberal professionals. But contrary to the Belgium, the ratione loci jurisdiction is national. Publicity is allowed. Many judicial officers work through networks and the size of the offices is often important, some of them including ten judicial officers with up to three hundred employees. One of the main activities is the collecting of debts. The judicial officers Dutch occupy approximately 60% of this market. But beside this activity, they carry out court decisions, serve documents and can represent the parties before the jurisdictions.
Francoise Andrieux (France) introduced the French judicial officer. Like his Belgian and Dutch fellow-members - France served as a model for them - , the French judicial officer is a strictly controlled liberal and independent professional. There are in France approximately 3300 judicial officers, including 600 women, for approximately 62 million inhabitants. The judicial officers collect each year approximately 43 billion euros and serve approximately 13 million documents. Like his Belgian and Dutch counterparts, he is subjected to a tariff. He exerts some of his activities in a monopolistic form (service of documents, enforcement) and some others in a competing form (statement of facts, debt collecting, auction sales of movable goods, legal advice ...). Francoise Andrieux recalled that the profession is auto controlled, in particular by the means of a collective insurance to guaranty the citizens against indelicacy, error, fault or negligence.
Adrian Stoïca (Romania), assistant treasurer of the UIHJ, introduced the judicial officer in Romania. He indicated that, within the framework of the accession of Romania to the European Union on January 1, 2007, the Romanian authorities tried to find efficiency in all areas to comply with the European standards. For this purpose, the Romanian legislator largely took as a starting point the French and Belgian models for the execution of the court decisions. There are in Romania 520 judicial officers with a private statute organised on the regional and national levels. The rationae materie competence relates to debt collecting, the service of the documents, reports, seizures of bank accounts, the direct and indirect distraint of movable and immovable goods. The assistant treasurer of the UIHJ indicated that in 2001, the Romanian judicial officer recovered the private and independent statute which he had before 1947.
The situation in Spain was described by Lorenzo Christian Ruiz Martinez, vice-president of the general Council of Procuradores. The profession is currently very different from the other European countries. For 44 million inhabitants, Spain includes 9500 Procuradores, of which 65% are women. Their principal activity is the representation of the parties and the postulation. “What is the link with the UIHJ?” wondered Mr. Ruiz Martinez. “The totality of the Spanish procedures is directed by lawyers but we depend on the legal civil servants in order to deal with the cases, especially as regards the service of documents. That causes many delays. 70% of the notifications are not made by the civil servants. That is because the service by post is used. The civil servants are not able nor have the means necessary to make all the notifications” regrets our fellow-member. In the topicality, a reform of the civil procedures is in hand where the intervention of Procuradores is much more present. The execution is made through the judge. The system obliges to lodge a request where the role of the Procurador is essential, especially with the communication and the procedural documents. He also intervenes in the banking seizures, in the attachment of earnings, the deposit of seized goods and the auction sales. “We are waiting for this law to be voted” concluded the vice-president from the Council of Procuradores of Spain.

Are the French Judicial officers thirteen times more efficient than the Austrian Gerichtsvollzieher?
Bernard Menut, secretary of the UIHJ and expert at the European Union then drew up a review of the training of the judicial officer in Europe. In particular, he presented the French National School of procedure (ENP), created in 1960 by the profession of judicial officers. After having presented the objectives of the vocational training, the secretary of the UIHJ described in a precise and lively way the organization chart of the ENP and its characteristics. He then described the various training programs suggested by the ENP, while insisting on the importance of the training for the judicial officers and their collaborators, being both prior and ongoing. He finished his intervention by presenting the training systems in force in Belgium, in the Netherlands and in Poland.
The next workshop was dealing with the evolution of the occupation of judicial officer in Europe. The workshop was chaired by Marc Schmitz.
Anton Lojowski (Austria), Gerichtsvollzieher, presented the professional situation in Austria. There are 350 judicial officers (Gerichtsvollzieher) in Austria. They are placed under the monitoring and the management of a Deskpool made up of regional lawyers and commissioners. Taking into account the volume of the cases, it is practically impossible to respect the requirements as regards the treatment of the files, i.e. to achieve the first steps within four week following the reception of the request. The first contacts with the debtor require indeed between two to three months. In 2005, 320 million euros were collected by Gerichtsvollzieher, including 104 million concerning the jurisdiction of the Supreme jurisdiction of Vienna. Our fellow-member noted that this figure was very weak in consideration of the monies being recovered by private judicial officers. If one compares the figures with equal population, the Austrian judicial officers collect approximately 13 times less than the French judicial officers!
Hans Eckhart Gallo (Germany), President of the Federal Chamber of Gerichtsvollzieher of Germany gave a progress report on the evolution of the profession in his country. Broadly confronted with the same problems than Austria, the Gerichtsvollzieher however took their destiny in their own hands, with the support of the UIHJ, and engaged in a vast reform of the profession to lead to its revalorization due to the installation of a private and independent liberal system. At the time of the conference, the bill was to pass in front of the Bundesrat where it was adopted. It would even seem that the process of installation of the liberal judicial officer in Germany is faster than what had been initially envisaged.
After this comforting news, Juraj Podkonicky (Czech Republic), President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of the Czech Republic, presented his profession and its recent evolutions. The Czech judicial officers adopted a liberal statute in 2001, based on the French model. They are appointed by the ministry of justice. In addition to the activities usually carried out by the liberal judicial officers (enforcement, service of documents, debt collecting, statement of facts, legal advice, etc.) they can also proceed with the public auction sale of immovable and prepare sales contracts regarding tangible and intangible movable property. As for the results, figures speak for themselves. In 2006, seventy times more enforcement were carried out than in 2001, year of the installation of the new profession!
These spectacular results are also noted in Hungary, as it was explained to us by Levente Zoltan, General Secretary of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Hungary. As in Romania, the occupation of an independent and liberal judicial officer is not a recent creation. It is only in 1955 that the profession had been occupied by civil servants. In front of the inefficiency of the system and in preparation for the entry of Hungary in the European Union, this country was the first of the 10 countries which joined the EU in 2004 to have changed the statute of their enforcement agents. In 1995 the Hungarian judicial officers thus began their activities in the capacity of liberal judicial officers. “After the liberalization of the occupation of judicial officer, the number of the enforcement cases increased in an unimaginable way. The new system gave as much work to the judicial officers than the old one ensured in six years. The new organisation allowed a growth of the effectiveness which passed from 20 to 70% in five years” specified Levente Zoltan. Concerning training, the General Secretary of the Hungarian Chamber indicated that at a national level, the current principal direction is the development of the system of training to ensure the judicial officers an ongoing training.
Lastly, the participants could listen to a short presentation on the occupation of judicial officer in Macedonia. GoranToshevski, President of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Macedonia, indicated that there are currently 49 judicial officers in this country which counts around 2 million inhabitants. The reforms undertaken a few years ago were successful since the profession has acquired nine months ago a liberal statute. “The justice reform was essential because of slowness in the execution. It was essential to proceed to the reforms, including amending the law on the judicial officers. The result is a fast resolution of the enforcement cases and I can say that until now the rate of effectiveness is close to that of the other States which have a similar system” declared Mr. Toshevski. According to him the procedures before the reform lasted more than ten years... Now, the cases which are sent for enforcement are treated in order and quickly. A case is treated into three to four months. “The results of the reform and the emergence of the private judicial officers are obvious” he estimated.

To highlight the liberal model
The following workshop was chaired by Mathieu Chardon. Tatjana Krivec (Slovenia), president of the National Chamber of the judicial officers of Slovenia, evoked the situation in her country and the difficulties with which the enforcement agents are confronted. The judicial officers exert in Slovenia in an independent form since 2000. However, contrary to the other countries where the liberal profession was installed, the Slovenian judicial officers have a very competence restricted to the seizure and sale of movable property and the seizures of unregistered immovable, the retrieval of children and evictions. The other procedures are carried out by the judges: seizures on bank accounts, attachments or earnings, seizure and sales of immovable. The judicial officers cannot carry out statements of facts or voluntary auction sales, nor can they accept instalments or give legal advice. A conference organised by the UIHJ will be held on April 12, and 13 2007 in Ljubljana (Slovenia) to try to sensitise the authorities on the importance for the country to entrust to the judicial officers more extended missions and on the role of the judicial officer on a European level.
Concerning Croatia, Alan Uzelac, professor at Law at the University of Zagreb and Member of the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) introduced the mode of the execution and the administration of the profession in his country.
Professor Uzelac indicated that the Progress report of the CEPEJ for 2006 considers that execution and enforcement cases are the main problem in 93% of the courts in Croatia. “Croatia needs to consider taking the enforcement process out of the hands of the courts, for instance through the use of special enforcement officers vested with public powers.” one can read in this report. Then Alan Uzelac described the three main enforcement systems in the European countries: the administrative system, the judicial oriented system and the court oriented system of enforcement. He then described the advantages and the disadvantages of each system. Regarding training, he considered that “the preliminary condition is that the judicial officer has the same training as that of the judges and the notaries”. And professor Uzelac to continue: “It is not enough that the candidate achieves his legal studies. An added value is required as well as taking into account our tradition. It would be necessary to entrust this professional with certain actions without the control of the judge. In this respect, what occurred in Slovenia is rather negative”. And to conclude: “It might be the moment to highlight the model which we mentioned”.
Following this presentation, Jos Uitdehaag drew up a general state of the occupation of judicial officer in the South East region of Europe. Through the actions of the European Commission and the Council of Europe, our fellow-member evoked successively the situation in Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Jos Uitdehaag noted that, among the countries of the zone which are not members of the European Union, only Macedonia had created the occupation of liberal judicial officer.

A multiple enforcement judge
Then, in the next workshop, chaired by Francis Guépin, the role of the enforcement judge in various European countries was evoked. In France, Françoise Andrieux explained that the enforcement judge has complete capacities based on four principal domains:
  • difficulties during enforcement
  • authorisations and dispute over interim measures
  • demands for compensation for the consecutive damages due to the enforcement or lack of enforcement
  • dispute in cases of insolvency
After this presentation, Roger Dujardin (Belgium), Vice-President of the UIHJ, evoked the enforcement judge in Belgium. “In a democratic State of Law, one may consider the enforcement of court decisions as an intrusion in the private life and an intervention in the legal sphere of the concerned debtor. This execution under constraint, which arose from the executive power, must be done under the control of the judicial power. This is why this task of control is entrusted to a specialised judge, namely the enforcement judge” he mentioned. The vice-president of the UIHJ then gave details on the general and special competence of this magistrate. For instance he deals with all the requests relating to the garnishments orders, with the enforcement procedures, the collective payment of debts and the interventions in case of alimonies. He is also qualified as regards measures in cases of town planning, sea pollution or seizures in territorial waters or in the exclusive economic Zone. Moreover, the enforcement judge has a right of control on the course of the procedures of garnishment or distress and on the public officers, namely the judicial officers.
Lorenzo Christian Ruiz Martinez continued this review with the judge of the procedures in Spain. This professional has a much wider scope than his French or Belgian counterparts since it is him who directs, decides and controls all that relates to the execution of the court decisions. He is the central point of the enforcement procedures. Unfortunately that leads to a complexity and a heaviness which makes the system inefficient.
At last, Stephan Mross (Germany), Gerichtsvollzieher, former Rechtspfleger, evoked the role of Rechtspfleger in Germany. These agents have some jurisdictional capacity. They are qualified to authorise garnishment orders. They supervise the steps of the judicial officer but only on request of a party.

The judicial officer, essential element of the State of law
The last workshop, chaired by Marc Schmitz, included the intervention of Mrs. Slavica Garac (Croatia), Judge at the regional court of Zagreb, who presented the reforms of the system of the execution in Croatia and the 2005 legislative modifications on the law on enforcement. “We wish that the judicial officers have a statute within the executive and are separated from the judicial power” indicated Judge Garac. “One of the most important problems, she indicated, is the delay in the enforcement of the court decisions. That is due to the fact that the case is regarded as finished, not when the judgement is given, but only once the execution is finished. The installation of a system of distraint, with a judicial officer who would be separated from the judicial power, would contribute to increase the efficiency of the system”.
Bernard Menut then explained in what way the judicial officer is an essential element of the State of Law. Handling the concepts with ease, the secretary of the UIHJ developed the topics of the importance of justice as an essential element of the State of Law, and the execution of court decisions as an element of the equitable lawsuit. Drawing his arguments from the expectations of the Council of Europe and the criteria required by the European Union, he concluded his speech by showing that the judicial officer is an essential element of the State of Law, on the one hand while contributing to the good administration of justice and on the other hand by the recognition of the protection of the judicial officers mentioned in various decisions of the European Court of the humans right, such as the Pini C Romania case of June 22, 2004. “The evolution is therefore not completed, because the enforcement of a court decision is illusory if the agent in charge of enforcement does not have the suitable means to carry out the necessary investigations to the effectiveness of its action. Moreover, the enforcement agent must have the procedural tools which allow an effective and fast action in respect of the dignity of the debtor-defendant” Bernard Menut concluded.
In the last intervention, Roger Dujardin then presented the future prospects for the profession. The vice-president of the UIHJ invited his fellow-members to show “positive corporatism”, to allow them “to approach in a balanced way and as a united professional body the challenges of our modern society”. The law formulated in a bill or in a norm, as it is implemented by the practitioners and as it is implemented by a judge, must, on the basis of the fundamental idea to equitably appreciate the interests of all the involved parties, always be brought back to its essential reason of being: that to be useful, to be a useful means to regulate and organise the coexistence of the men and women. It is in an impartial way that the judicial officer will make sure that the enforceable titles receive the execution which they deserve, in a correct and moderate way, by taking into account the interest of the creditor and the situation of the debtor, such as for example his human dignity and the respect of his privacy. Many new missions and prospects cannot be denied for the judicial officer of the 21st Century, only insofar as these professionals constitute a high level body which respects professional ethics and a strict deontology. Then, “For who sees the future as clear and opened, the future prospects are very favourable” concluded Roger Dujardin.

The liberal judicial officer, guarantor of the State of Law
It was finally up to Serge Guinchard, professor at the University of Pantheon-Assas (Paris 2), former rector of the Academies of the Guadeloupe and Rennes, honorary director of the Institute of legal studies “Pierre Raynaud”, honorary Dean of the Faculty of Law of Lyon, to have the honour and the privilege to conclude the Zagreb conference by sharing his point of view on the topic of these two days and his conclusions on the interventions which followed at such a fast pace. After having thanked the high authorities for their presence and their support and to have greeted the UIHJ to have had the idea of this conference and the whole of the speakers for their contributions, Professor Guinchard said to be very pleased to be in Zagreb. “I was not forced to come to Zagreb. I came here with a real intellectual pleasure to discover, to learn and to share with you my conclusions and some certitude” he indicated. On the choice of a professor of university to present a summary report, Dean Guinchard specified that it was a pledge of impartiality, “your guaranty to you, professional authorities which will have to choose a mode of exercise for the profession of enforcement agent, that the choice is right and in conformity with the European standards”. Indeed, for Mr Guinchard, the good enforcement agent for Europe can only be a judicial officer - the euro-judicial officer- who, all at the same time, is the guarantor of the State of law and offers services of quality by the guaranty of his competence and his independence. “The judicial officers are the guarantors of the efficiency of the civil rights. It is them who, beyond the formal guaranties recognised by the State to the citizens, make real and effective, the rights of these same citizens” he analysed. However, it is not sufficient that a State of law exists and that the civil rights are formally guaranteed by the Constitution or by the bills. Still it is necessary that the State does all that is in its capacity to ensure this efficiency. Also, in the realisation of this efficiency, the judicial officers have an essential role to play. Indeed they offer a double guaranty: the guaranty of a liberal professional in the delivery of safe legal information, and the guaranty of a liberal professional in the effective enforcement of the decision of the judge. For Professor Guinchard, “only a liberal professional, in particular because he is remunerated directly by the parties and not by the State, can guaranty the effective enforcement of court decisions”. He has an essential role to play to ensure the efficiency of this enforcement. It is him who constitutes the interface between the citizen and the judge. Without him, the efficiency of justice cannot be assured, whatever the economic level of development reached in our respective States. “For this reason the judicial officers are essential to the construction of a State of law” showed Professor Guinchard at the end of the first part of his intervention. But the judicial officers must offer the citizens services of quality, thanks to their competence and to their independence. The competence of the judicial officers appears on three levels: in the recruitment and in the initial training, in the ongoing training, and in the sanction of this competence by the implementation of the liability for the judicial officer. Concerning the guaranty of independence, “the independence of the liberal judicial officer is initially with regards to all powers, including the judicial power” he estimated. He also approved the president of the UIHJ when he declared that “the judge must be released from the constraints of the execution and his role circumscribed to the examination of the requests which are presented to him and to give provisions. He must also solve the difficulties which are lodged before him. As for the control of the operations of enforcement, it must be left to the appreciation of the parties who must be able to choose the measurement which seems to them most suitable without having to refer to any jurisdiction”.
Lastly, the independence of the liberal judicial officer must be also appreciated as regards the parties: it must give those guaranties. It results on the one hand in ethical requirements and on the other hand by a collective guaranty of independence installed by the Chambers of judicial officers, “at the same times the sword and the shield of the judicial officers”. In conclusion, for Professor Guinchard, the judicial officers are the guarantors of the State of law. “There are no miraculous formulae, no solutions ready to be imported. There are only solutions which each country must find for itself, while informing themselves of the examples of the others but by preserving its roots. There is only one principle which is essential: Justice is a universal value, commune to the community of the States and to the judicial officers who are at the service of their fellow-citizens, of this Justice. This is what the euro-judicial officer is about” he concluded.

It remained to President Isnard to thank Professor Guinchard for this genuine proclamation in favour of the liberal judicial officer and also to thank the ministry of justice of Croatia for its support as well as Professor Uzelac and the whole of the participants, and particularly the French Embassy and its ambassador, François Saint-Paul. At the end of this historical conference, President Isnard ensured once again the Croatian authorities with the full support of the UIHJ for the reforms undertaken in the field of enforcement as regards joining the European Union and in the installation of a professional body to meet the requirements of the European judicial officer.
In introduction to the conference, Mathieu Chardon (France), first secretary of the UIHJ and expert for the Council of Europe, evoked the need for a European judicial officer. In the two parts of his speech, Mathieu Chardon wanted to show that the European judicial officer constituted a need both from a social and economical point of view and from a legal point of view. Noting in this respect the emergence of a body of liberal judicial officer and the harmonization of the profession in Europe, the first secretary of the UIHJ concluded that these are the two aspects which will make possible to ensure the future of the profession at a European level, for the benefit of the citizens of the European Union and the public service of justice.
A round table chaired by Francis Guépin (France), member of the board of the UIHJ, had the task to treat the diversity of statutes of the profession for the emergence of common standards.
Marc Schmitz (Belgium), member quaestor of the Committee of the UIHJ, presented the occupation of judicial officer in Belgium. Public and ministerial officer, the Belgian judicial officer is titular of his office and exerts in a liberal form. There are 520 judicial officers for approximately 10 million inhabitants. The judicial officer can carry out his activity only in the legal district in which he is appointed and cannot have another occupation.
Marc Schmitz indicated that the judicial officer provides a “range of services” including the drafting and the service of documents, the garnishment of goods, the enforcement of court decisions, the public sale of movable goods, the distribution of the seized funds, statement of facts, the collecting of debts, or the mediation as regards debts.
In spite of his independence, the judicial officer is subject to ethical rules. A disciplinary control relating to the judicial officer is established within the 27 districts Chambers. At a civil level, the National Chamber of the judicial officers subscribed various collective insurances for the whole of the judicial officers.
Thus not only is there a professional insurance to cover the malevolent judicial officer in the event of a fault, but there is also an insurance covering his “indelicacy”. This protects any third party against the misappropriation of funds that a judicial officer could make. In other words, there is a true guaranty and quality provided by the profession to the public. And our fellow-member to finish: “The best judgement given by the best judge is without value if it cannot be carried out in an effective way”.
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Ana Lovrin and Jacques Isnard
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Roger Dujardin, Vice-President of UIHJ
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Mathieu Chardon, first secretary of the UIHJ
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The first workshop
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Branko Hravtin, president of the Supreme Court of Croatia
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Ana Lovrin, Minister for Justice of Croatia
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François Saint-Paul, French Amabassador in Croatia
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Jacques Isnard, President of the UIHJ
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François Saint-Paul and Ana Lovrin
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Alan Uzelac, Law Professor at the University of Zagreb and member of the CEPEJ
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Serge Guinchard, Law Professor at the University of Panthéon-Assas (Paris II)
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Francis Guépin, member of the UIHJ
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Marc Schmitz, quaestor member of the Committee of the UIHJ
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Adrian Stoïca, Vice-Treasurer of the UIHJ
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Françoise Andrieux, UIHJ expert
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Jos Uitdehaag, quaestor member of the UIHJ
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Lorenzo Christian Ruiz Martinez, Vice-President of the College of the Procuradores of Spain
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Goran Toshevski, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Macedonia
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Dragutin Sapirov, Chief of the Judicial Officers of Zagreb
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Bernard Menut, secretary of the board of the UIHJ
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The second workshop
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Some very attentive students from the Law faculty of Zagreb
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The third workshop
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atjana Krivec, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Slovenia
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4th workshop
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Stephan Mross, Gerichtsvollzieher (Germany)
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Anton Lojowski, Gerichtsvollzieher (Austria)
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Hans Eckhart Gallo, président of the National chamber of Gerichtsvollzieher of Germany
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Juraj Podkonicky, President of the National Chamber of the Czech judicial officers
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Levente Zoltan, General Secretary of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Hungary
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