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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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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurUIHJSéparateurPermanent CouncilsSéparateurPermanent Council of the UIHJ in Glasgow (Scotland) on 6-7 May 2010
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Permanent Council of the UIHJ in Glasgow (Scotland) on 6-7 May 2010

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Over 20 delegations faced the wrath of the Icelandic volcano to take part in the permanent council of the UIHJ, in the presence of John Stacey, Vice-President of the CEPEJ, and during which Georgia became member of the organization

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From L. to R. : Leo Netten President of the UIHJ, Dorothy Love, President of the Society of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers, James Taylor, Sheriff Principal of Glasgow and Strathkelvin
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Securing Exchanges Inside and Outside the European Union

As usual, the UIHJ organizes in spring its European and American permanent council in a European country. Scotland and Glasgow, its economic capital, had been selected to accommodate this statutory meeting of the UIHJ, the most important organ after the congress.

Dorothy Love, Chairman of the Society of Messengers-At-Arms and Sheriff Officers of Scotland (SMASO), welcomed all the participants from Europe, America and also from Africa. She said she was very happy and proud to accommodate all the delegations. She wished for a profitable work by stressing the importance of the many topics which were going to be approached.
Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ, thanked the SMASO for their reception in Glasgow, city which “has a history stretching back to the earliest times of the Stone Age”. As guardian of the rights of the concerned parties and of third parties during proceeding, the judicial officer in an independent and impartial “field worker” in the legal landscape, declared Leo Netten, adding that “Thus it is also logical that such official can perform several tasks which benefit the smooth functioning of the judiciary in general.” And to quote the various fields of interventions:
- debt recovery
- voluntary sale of moveable or immoveable property at public auctions;
- seizure of goods;
- recording and reporting of evidence;
- serving as court ushers
- provision of legal advice;
- bankruptcy procedures;
- performing tasks assigned to the by courts;
- drawing up private deeds and documents;
- teaching

The president of the UIHJ pointed out that all this, and much more, is laid down in the Guide lines for a better implementation of the existing council of Europe's recommendation on enforcement, fully adopted on 17th December 2009 by the European commission on the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ). He added that the UIHJ was very much involved in elaborating these Guide lines for an effective application of the existing Council of Europe standards, and that he was particularly happy to welcome John Stacey, Vice-President of the CEPEJ, who came especially to present these Guide lines. As regards the European Union, President Netten mentioned the speech delivered 10 April 2010 by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission. Mrs. Reding is astounded that, within the framework of the Single Market, more than 60% of cross-borders debts cannot be enforced. “That's hardly an incentive to do business in the Single Market! And that is a rather worrying situation in the present context of the economic crisis”, she said and added: “Citizens and business also are telling us that they don't know how to get a legal decision recognised in another country, or that they have to pay an exequatur of up to 2000 Euros to do so. Just for getting a judgment from one country recognised as valid in another country. Last but not least, citizens and business are explaining why they hardly ever buy from abroad, despite the possibilities of online commerce. Because citizens are not sure about their rights in other countries or online and they face too many legal and technical obstacles”. Leo Netten explained why the judicial officers can secure exchanges inside and outside the European Union. He recalled that the UIHJ created within its structure an e-Justice group. One of its objectives is to make the UIHJ the root certification authority for the dematerialized exchanges in the legal and extra-judicial field. That would allow the simplification and the safeguarding of these exchanges. For him, “It is important for citizens and business that the constraints of incompatibility of technical standards, linguistics incomprehension or specificity of the legal field, are no longer a curb on access to justice”. The UIHJ has worked for several years to set up an electronic database on judicial officers. This database will initially make it possible to draw up a general inventory of fixtures of the profession and in the second time to be used as base for its harmonization at international level.

Then the president of the UIHJ evoked the various topics which were going to be discussed during the meeting. He thanked the delegations and greeted the representatives of Georgia who were going to officially sign the cooperation agreement with the UIHJ. He also warmly greeted Eric Vincken, of the International Center for Legal Cooperation (CILC), who initiated with Jos Uitdehaag, the Balkans Enforcement Reform Project (BERP), as well as the representatives of this project from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Lastly, Leo Netten congratulated the new President of the Chamber of the judicial officers of Slovakia, Peter Molnar, as well as Dionysios Kriaris, new President of the National chamber of the judicial officers of Greece, also a member of the board of the UIHJ. The opening ceremony was completed with the welcome speech of James Taylor, Sheriff Principal of Glasgow and Strathkelvin.

Membership of Georgia at the UIHJ and Guide lines on Enforcement

The permanent council began with a happy event, that of the official ceremony of admission of Georgia within the UIHJ. Bernard Menut, first Vice-President of the UIHJ, was the godfather of Georgia for the occasion. He indicated how pleased he was to fulfill his mission so much he had been impressed by the professionalism of our fellow-members and their determination to reinforce the legal security of their country by adopting the highest international standards as regards enforcement. Nika Melior, director of the Enforcement Bureau of Tbilissi pronounced the introductory words on behalf of Bachana Shengelia, director of the National Bureau of Enforcement of Georgia (NBE), also present. Mr. Melior indicated that Georgia was very honoured to belong to the big family of the judicial officers. He indicated that the reform started in 2008, when the Enforcement Department became the NBE. The NBE works under the supervision of the ministry for justice. It is composed of 270 people, among whom 130 civil servant judicial officers. There are also 38 judicial officers exerting in a liberal form, the system being inspired from the Bulgarian model. Mr. Melior pointed out that Georgia took part in the international congress of the UIHJ in Marseilles in September 2009 and that the NBE is grateful towards the UIHJ to have enabled it to acquire experience in the field of enforcement. “We think that not only Georgia will profit from the UIHJ but also that the UIHJ will profit from the membership of Georgia. We will make our best to add our contribution to the expansion of the UIHJ. We have ambition but we have also ammunitions!” concluded our fellow-member with great enthusiasm, triggering a salvo of applause. It is thus in a friendly and fraternal atmosphere that Bachana Shengelia signed the cooperation agreement between the NBE and the UIHJ, Georgia thus becoming the 73th Member State of the UIHJ.

John Stacey, Vice-President of the CEPEJ, made us the honor and friendship to present the CEPEJ Guide lines. Mr. Stacey thanked the UIHJ for its invitation and underlined the close bonds of trust and friendship which exist between the two organizations. He recalled that the CEPEJ has existed for eight years and that it was created because of the repeated violations of article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and in particular of the violations as regards enforcement. Three evaluation reports have been written relating to the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe. Working groups are created to cover the various aspects of the missions assigned to the CEPEJ. Vice-president Stacey thus mentioned problems such as those involving judicial time management or quality of justice. He also spoke about targeted interventions in countries such as the Russian Federation, Portugal, Malta or Armenia. As regards enforcement, Mr. Stacey pointed out that the report carried out by Julien Lhuillier (CEPEJ Report #8 on enforcement of legal decisions in Europe,
(http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/cepej/series/Etudes8Execution_en.pdf), recommended the creation of a working group on enforcement, which was made in 2009. He indicated that the UIHJ was present with Leo Netten and Mathieu Chardon and that he had attended the meetings in his capacity as Vice-President. “All the people who were there worked towards a positive result”, he said. “We proposed the principle of competition, not on prices, but on quality of services, so that the consumer has the choice. It is necessary that enforcement agents are recognized and are properly trained. That is vital” carried on the Vice-President of the CEPEJ and to add that it is important that the judicial officers have “access to information, to offer a better enforcement, in compliance with the rules”. John Stacey completed his much appreciated presentation by indicating that “the work is not completed. We must see how we can improve the system”.
 
A Project for the Balkans

Eric Vincken presented the project he is in charge of. The aim of the "Balkans Enforcement Reform Project" (BERP) is to support the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, ARYM, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) in the reform of their legal system in general and more in particular ensuring a more efficient and effective functioning of the systems of enforcement law at the national and at the regional level. Eric Vincken indicated that the work of the BERP is based on the recommendation Rec (2003) 17 of the Council of Europe on enforcement, the CEPEJ Guide lines and the standards of the UIHJ. “The project could not have existed without the support of the UIHJ and that must be stated”, he declared. Then each country gave a short speech on the progress report of reforms. Thus, in Albania, a system of liberal judicial officers was set up in 2008, beside the civil servant judicial officers. The representative of Albania declared that the Albanian liberal judicial officers should join the UIHJ soon. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, working groups were created to reform the occupation of judicial officer and to improve the effectiveness of execution of legal decisions. In Croatia, the liberal judicial officer soon will be created, normally before the end of 2010. In this respect, the Croatian representative thanked Jos Uitdehaag and Eric Vincken for the quality of their work and their personal investment. Kosovo is currently at the stage of the reflections to know how to reform its legal system. In Montenegro a bill is being introduced to create the liberal judicial officer.

Then Mathieu Chardon, 1st Secretary of the UIHJ, presented the activity report of the UIHJ since the permanent council of November 2009 in Paris, that is to say 31 events on the whole.

Roger Dujardin, Vice-President of the UIHJ, confirmed the change of the name of the Legal Institute of Private International Law and Enforcement Law (IDJPEX) in “Institute Jacques Isnard”, in homage to President Isnard. He also recalled that the UIHJ decided to write a world code of enforcement and that the control of the operations had been entrusted to Natalie Fricero, member of the Scientific council of the UIHJ, law professor at the Faculty of Nice (France), in collaboration with Francoise Andrieux, General Secretary of the UIHJ. “This work will respect the quality standard of the CEPEJ as regards enforcement. The objective is to reach worldwide and transposable standards” he announced.

Jos Uitdehaag, 1st quaestor of the Committee of the UIHJ, evoked the meeting of UIHJ-EuroNord which was attended by all countries, despite the Icelandic volcano. It was decided to embark on a major work, in particular by means of visiting each country and to present a report at the time of the congress of the UIHJ in Cape Town in 2012.

After the finance report of the UIHJ by its treasurer Dominique Aribaut-Abadie, Leo Netten confirmed that, in accordance with the wish of the permanent Council of November 2009 within the framework of its professionalization, the UIHJ called upon Mathieu Chardon.

Fighting for a Better System

The heads of delegations and the permanent secretaries of the UIHJ who wished to do so made a presentation. Dahnell Olof, secretary permanent of the UIHJ for the Scandinavian countries, indicated that in Norway a file of seizures and insolvencies had been created. In Finland, enforcements cases have increased up to 10% with 2.6 million new cases, also with an increase in immovable attachments. In Denmark, there is also an increase in enforcements, sales and bankruptcies proceedings. In Sweden, to improve the collecting of traffic fines, the Government is preparing an amendment allowing the attachment of the motor vehicle as a guarantee of payment. Our fellow-member moreover announced that a conference will take place in Stockholm in September 2010 on the code of enforcement.

David Walker, Messenger-At-Arms in Glasgow (Scotland), indicated that a reform of the public service was going to modify the SMASO.

Guyla Kovacs (Hungary) reported on the UIHJ-EuroDanube meeting which was held in April 2010 in Pecs (Hungary) (See our article on our site: http://www.uihj.com/rubrique.php?ID=1003103&lg=ang).

Walter Gittmann, President of the Association of the judicial officers of Germany, reported to the participants of a bill of January 2010 providing the installation of a liberal judicial officer in his country. He stated however that he cannot fully support this bill since no new attribution is provided and that incomes cannot be ensured. It would be necessary, according to him, to multiply by three the expenses for the project to be viable. “We must have a better training. We want to have more responsibilities. The situation of the German judicial officers is always difficult. 80% of the judicial officers are members of our organization and fight for a better system.” he declared.

Andrea Mascioli, secretary of the Association of the European judicial officers (Italy) estimated that the situation in Italy is “a little worse and a little better”. He reproaches a political opposition to progress under pretext of other priorities. For as much six projects, including the one of the association to change the statute of the Italian judicial officers, are before the Parliament. “We want to use this situation to promote our objectives towards the liberal profession” insisted our fellow-member. Following the example of his German colleague, he estimated that “training is very important to professionnalise the profession”. Andrea Mascioli expressed his determination in the conclusion of his speech: “Our work is difficult but we know that one day we will be liberal like our other liberal colleagues, that we will achieve our goals and that nothing will stop us”. This credo was strongly applauded.

Concerning Spain, Dominique Aribaut-Abadie recalled that the first contacts with the Spanish Procuradores had been tied in 1992 by the UIHJ President Baudoin Gielen during a mission in which she had taken part. A law coming into effect at the beginning of May 2010 makes it possible for the Procuradores to serve procedural documents at the expense of the applicant. The Procurador will be able to search for information and to consult various registers. This is a major event. Procuradores will also be able to carry out banking seizures with the authorization of the judge.

Louis-Raymond Maranda, President of the Chamber of the judicial officers of the province of Quebec, member of the board of the UIHJ, was pleased with the fifteen new attributions granted to the judicial officers in his country. He recalled that twenty-five years ago, Francis Aribaut, then President of the UIHJ, had inaugurated the famous “Allée des Huissiers” in Montreal - famous since it is there that many press conferences are given - and that a plate with the names of the UIHJ and its president had been installed there. He invited the members of the UIHJ to attend the conference which will celebrate the twenty-five years of the “Allée des Huissiers” at the beginning of June 2010 in Montreal on the topic of “The judicial officer: THE legal security”.

Sue Collins (USA), member of the board of the UIHJ, drew up a report of her activities in her country and her very profitable contacts with the Sheriffs and the powerful National Sheriffs' Association. Our colleague informed us that she suggested to the NSA that the topic of the delegation of the civil work of sheriffs to the Process servers is approached at the time of its next meeting in Los Angeles, which will be attended by 10 000 participants. This proposal was adopted, which is a “colossal” step, estimated Sue Collins. Leo Netten cordially congratulated her, acknowledging her exceptional work.

The Trusted Third Party of the 3rd Millenium

The reform of the statutes of the UIHJ was also on the agenda. Bernard Menut is in charge of this work, with all the stamina that characterizes him. The 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ exposed the various stages which will result in adopting the new statutes at the time of the congress of Cape Town in 2012.

Leo Netten and Francoise Andrieux evoked the meetings which were held recently in Brussels, at the European Commission (Justice Forum, Pilot A project on electronic signature).

Alain Bobant, President of the Electronic Law and Communication Association (Adec), presented the e-Justice project of the UIHJ. He indicated that it was necessary to have tools to make our communications tools homogeneous: “We must take the head of the safeguarding of electronic exchanges and become the trusted third party of the third millennium”. Any dematerialized exchange must be made reliable. “Tomorrow there will be no dematerialized exchanges without trust and there will be no trust without you, judicial officers” he predicted.

Bernard Menut started a fundamental work on the tariff of the judicial officers. He explained in detail the adopted methodology to lead this gigantic and complex task, as well as its stakes.

As regards communication, Mathieu Chardon announced that the next magazine of the UIHJ would be soon ready.

Johan Fourie, member of the board of the UIHJ, unveiled the dates for the international congress of the UIHJ in Cape Town (South Africa): from 1st to 4th May 2012. Mathieu Chardon, general reporter of the congress, indicated that the topic of the congress “The judicial officer of the 3rd Millennium” would make it possible to ensure the promotion of the profession on a world level by showing all the aspects of the profession and that the work would be supplemented by the presentation of the world code of enforcement.

When Leo Netten closed the work of the permanent council, he said how much he had been pleased to chair it. He congratulated our fellow-member David Walker, as well as Luisa Lozano, secretary of the UIHJ, for the perfect and very professional organization of the meeting. He thanked all the Scottish fellow-members for their warm welcome and wished to everyone a safe journey home.

But before that, our Scottish friends had set an exceptional and unforgettable evening: an evening of Scottish culture. On the program: kilts, haggis, bagpipes, traditional music and dances, without forgetting the Scotch whisky that each one tasted - as it should be - with utter moderation...
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The board of the UIHJ
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The participants
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Leo Netten, President of the UIHJ
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John Stacey, Vice-President of the CEPEJ
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Dorothy Love, President of the Society of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers
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James Taylor, Sheriff Principal of Glasgow
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David Walker, Messenger-at-Arms in Glasgow
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Signature of the Co-operation Agreeement between the UIHJ and the National Bureau of enforcement of Georgia by Leo Netten and Bachana Shengelia, Director of the National Bureau of Enforcement of Georgia
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Eric Vincken, Project manager of the Balkans Enforcement Reforms Project
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A part of the public
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The Beneficiary countries of the BERP project
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Bernard Menut, 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ
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Nika Melior, Director of the Bureau of Enforcement of Tbilisi (Georgia)
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A part of the public
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Mathieu Chardon, 1st Secretary of the UIHJ
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Françoise Andrieux, General Secretary of the UIHJ
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Dahnell Olof (Sweden), Permanent Secretary of the UIHJ for the Scandinavian Countries
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Guyla Kovacs, judicial officer (Hungary)
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Walter Gittman, President of the Association of the Judicial Officers of Germany
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Andrea Mascioli, Secretary of the European Association of Italian Judicial Officers
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Sue Collins (USA), member of the board of the UIHJ
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Louis-Raymond Maranda (Canada), member of he board of the UIHJ
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Alain Bobant, President of ADEC
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There are only two real Scotsmen in this picture!
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