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05/11/2019
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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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Permanent Council (Europe-America)

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Lisbon was host on 26 and 27 May 2005 to the European Permanent Council whose opening session was presided by Dr Jaoa da Silveira, Secretary of State for Justice

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A profession established with the help of UIHJ

This event occurs each year in a European capital and brings together the organisations of judicial officers of Europe but also America: Canada, USA, Argentina and Brazil.
The choice of the Portuguese capital shows the success of the “Creation of a European Judicial Officer” programme started in the 1990s by Baudoin Gielen. It is true that there really was not a judicial officer as such in Portugal until 2003. It is surely because of the action of the UIHJ as well as the French National Chamber, that Portugal established the profession of enforcement solicitadores by conferring upon the existing 500 solicitadores the responsibilities of judicial officer.
Despite these obstacles, this initiative has proved very positive because this new position is gradually taking root in Portugal.
From now on, the enforcement solicitadores are a structured branch with a chairman, Mr José Vieira.
We should salute the prowess of the chairman of the National Chamber of solicitadores, Antonio Da Cunha, for having obtained, as a continuation of the work of his predecessor José Resende, that Portugal should play host to this spring Council only thee years after becoming a member of the UIHJ.

Confront competition

No doubt the choice of Lisbon was attractive because 29 delegations came, with the delegation of Latvia participating for the first time.
In his opening speech chairman Isnard spoke about the economic situation of the profession, which seems patchy, but with a significant drop in activity in legal enforcement, in France, Belgium, Slovakia and Canada.
The UIHJ chairman, after conducting an analysis of the content of the draft European Constitutional treaty, took pains to show that, whatever the outcome of that, the actual substance of the European  texts favours the business of judicial officers more than of other professions.
According to Jacques Isnard, the draft directive on freedom of services could be rather a blessing for the profession, which could defend its dual profile whether the question is work associated with its monopoly - which needs to be protected and remain subject to fee rules, competition ethics and prohibition on individual publicity - or whether the issue is the competitive portion, especially collections, which needs to take a more commercial form in order to confront competition on equal terms.
Following on the economic topic, the chairman confirmed the office's allegiance to the triple slogan of “notification - enforcement - collection”.

Living on a goldmine

Mr Isnard, returning to the subject of the European texts, asked the chairman of the national chambers who might change their by-laws to make plain, in the opening articles, the work of judicial officers in their countries. Lastly, the chairman asked the profession to “move into the opportunities that are open to us and, to that end, it would presumably make sense to militate for:
 “-monopoly on public service enforcement activity including, as has already been obtained in some countries, all class-action procedures and property procedures;
 “-recognition of the judicial officer as a genuine aid to the judge as part of the mechanism of proof, eligible for the provisions of rule 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 in the ‘area of securing civil or commercial proof'. And why not ask for the authenticity of the official report?
 “-a new alternative means of conflict resolution: arbitration, which would occur before a trial and before any enforcement action (point g. of article III 269.2 of the draft Constitution);
 “seeking a Community information system for more efficient enforcement (point B.2 of the mutual recognition programme of 15 January 2001)”.
And Jacques Isnard therefore said “we are living on a gold mine that we have not been able to take advantage of”.

Intervention from the delegations

The Permanent Council then spent considerable time on the organisation of networks for debt collection. There is not doubt that the sessions on collections in Brussels in April 2004 and in Paris last November set off a collective reaction because the subject is being discussed everywhere: France has its conference at La Rochelle in June, Quebec has its international colloquium in September, many other countries from Europe and Africa will be at the Brazzaville colloquium in October.


Amongst the delegations which registered as participants there were relevant points from:
- Spain, announcing the law on enforcement and transfer of that to the procuradores before the end of 2005
- Germany, confirming that a definitive decision on the establishment of independent judicial officers would be made by the German government at the end of June
- Latvia, which spoke for the first time and presented the implementation of the independent status in its country
- Bulgaria, which had just received the approval of Parliament to implement an independent status
- Slovakia, which mentioned the festivities commemorating the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the profession
- Greece, which described its action with Cyprus to institute independent judicial officers in Cyprus and the organisation of “UIHJ Euromed” in 2006
- Czech Republic, which raised the concerns of our colleagues for efficient enforcement
- Poland, which advised that a new international colloquium would be held on 28 and 29 September
- Hungary, which related its approach to Ukraine, whose deputy minister will be the guest of the UIHJ at the Permanent Council in November
- France, which announced its 27th Conference at La Rochelle on the topic of “reform”, on 16-17 June
- Romania, which presented its international colloquium of 21-23 July
- Quebec, which announced the programme for the international colloquium that is it organising at Laval on 28 and 29 September 2005.

Two resolutions

At the end of the two days of work, the Council adopted the following resolution unanimously:
Convinced that it is correct to provide citizens of member countries the necessary guarantees of respect for the private lives and to participants in the economy safety for their transactions,
Determined to increase the activity of their members by offering them sustainable economic growth,
Securing for member States the legal security that a top-quality professional legal officer provides,
Commit themselves resolutely to the business of debt collection and intend to promote the establishment of a multinational debt collection network.
This resolution confirmed the resolution voted on 3 March 2005 during the conference of chairmen in Paris.
The Chairmen here present a mandate to the UIHJ office to closely follow the changes in European legal texts, to draft comments that are required in the strict defence of the interests of the profession, and if circumstances warrant, to keep them informed, especially through extraordinary meetings.

The participants will long remember this Council, which was superbly organised by the Portuguese Camara des solicitadores and its chairman Antonio Da Cunha. The closing evening will remain as a magical moment during which more than 150 people were together and that the language barrier did not separate.
Thanks to Jose Resende for initiating this event and to chairmen Da Cunha and Veira for making it happen.
Thanks also to the solicitadores and see you soon in Lisbon or elsewhere in Portugal.
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Jacques Isnard, Joao Tiago da Silveira & Antonio Gomes da Cunha
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Antonio Gomes da Cunha
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José Vieira
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Joao Tiago da Silveira, José Carlos Resende & Antonio Gomes da Cunha
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The participants
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Preketes Efhtimios
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Helle Jardorf
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John Marston
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Inga Cepjolkina
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Mikhail Ducu
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