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At the Service of the Profession of Judicial Officer in the World since 1952
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The permanent Council of the UIHJ in Bucharest (10-11 May 2007): diversification

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The Permanent Council was held in Bucharest (Romania) May 10th and 11th, 2007. At this meeting Jacques Isnard, President of the UIHJ, insisted on the importance of the diversification of the activities of the Judicial Officer for the future of the profession in Europe and in the world.

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The Human rights hall at the Parliament Palace, during the permanent council
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The Judicial Officer: The Single Actor of the Enforcement Procedure

The first day of the traditional European and American Permanent Council of the UIHJ was held in the exceptional building of the Romanian Parliament Palace - the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. About thirty delegations were present, as well as representatives of Azerbaijan, Moldova, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), guests and representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Romania and of their Government.

The solemn opening ceremony was held in front of the television cameras and journalists who came to cover the event. Mr. Bogdan Olteanu, President of the House of Commons of Romania, stated he was very happy to lend the magnificent room of the human rights of the Parliament Palace for the meeting. Mr. Olteanu clearly showed he was familiar with the occupation of the Judicial Officer, as he is himself a lawyer. “I am very eager to support you in your development for a liberal and functional profession” he said. He then indicated that the Government works to reinforce the profession and that the reforms will be carried out in partnership with all the people concerned. The President of the House of Commons understands the impact of the work of the UIHJ, both on international and national levels, concerning the project of the international training center. In echo to the words of Mr. Olteanu, Ducu Mihai, President of the National Union of the Judicial Officers of Romania, welcomed the foreign delegations in attendance on Romanian ground. He indicated that the honor, which was made to him to accommodate the permanent council, reflected on the whole profession as well as Romania, which had just joined the European Union. He specified that the wish of the Romanian Judicial Officers was to raise the profession to the highest standards.
Mr. Tudor Chiuariu, Minister of Justice for Romania, pointed out his concern of developing relationships within the legal professions. Mr. Chiuariu underlined the improvements, which result in a decline of the complaints relating to the Judicial Officers. “Concerning the permanent vocational training, thanks to the training center, professionalism will increase and the public will change its perception on the profession”, he insisted. And to add: “The modifications of the Code of Civil Procedure confer on the Judicial Officer the right to be the single actor of this procedure where the judge only intervenes within the framework of disputes or of provisional measures, as is the case in other countries such as France, Belgium or the Netherlands”.

Extraordinary Progress Achieved by the Romanian Judicial Officers

Jacques Isnard, President of the UIHJ, pointed out the extraordinary progress achieved by the Romanian Judicial Officers, under the impulse of its untiring President, Ducu Mihai. “We have to remember our first visit eleven years ago to our colleagues - who were civil servants at that time - and the conditions of precariousness which surrounded their activity. We had then been struck by the little credit which was granted to their functions”, remembers the President the UIHJ. “It is exceptional that the UIHJ holds so quickly, after the creation of the profession in a country, a European Permanent Council. That could have appeared a challenge for many... but for the Romanian Union and its President, it was merely a simple logical sequence of a series of actions” he added. Jacques Isnard then greeted the delegations and guests, in particular those who were attending Permanent Council for the first time. The President of the UIHJ was particularly grateful towards all the authorities and the personalities who honored, with their presence, the work of the Permanent Council, and in particular Mr. Chiuariu, Minister of Justice, who agreed to chair the solemn opening ceremony.

An Opening to New Activities

Evoking the general stability of the occupation of Judicial Officers in Europe, Jacques Isnard considered that it is now possible to wonder about the future for the profession. The analysis of the president of the UIHJ oscillates between contrast, mobility and uncertainty. The profession is contrasted. In full expansion in certain States with a margin of constant economic progression, even euphoria on the economic level, it remains threatened in some places, in particular due to the effects of national policies, which bring tensions that tend to reduce the activity, and to deteriorate the image of the Judicial Officers. For the president of the UIHJ, the situation is moving because “little things may have large effects”: sometimes when a minister changes or a president completes his mandate, a whole process of construction and progress, which had been patiently made, can suddenly be put in reserve, or abandoned altogether. Lastly, there is a sense of threat in the air for the future of the profession. “To contribute in creating a liberal Judicial Officer in the majority of the Member States is one thing. To ensure its future is another thing. This future is articulated around a central axis: that of the economy of our offices”, specified Jacques Isnard. For him, the execution of judgments could not guarantee our future. This is why the UIHJ never ceases, since the beginning of the year 2000, to multiply incentive recommendations for the profession to be diversified. “It is necessary to nourish other ambitions and to open areas of new activities”, he suggested.  The President of the UIHJ illustrated his point with the directive of the European Communities on services and its exclusion with regard to the occupation of Judicial Officer. One can conceive, because of its link to the public service of justice, which all that concerns the monopolistic sector - for example enforcement should be excluded. But, what about other activities, precisely those in competing matter?  To admit the total exclusion of the directive to the Judicial Officers involves a risk: that to find itself enclosed in the block of a national legal system, including the Judicial Officer member of the legal professions attached to the exclusive service of justice with for only profit that of being riveted to the execution of judgments (for what will remain of it) or to the service of documents.  President Isnard invited each one to be vigilant at the time of the votes of the laws of transposition in the Member States of the European Union. He concluded his presentation by greeting the representatives from Azerbaijan, Moldova and FYROM. He also made a point of congratulating the newly elected presidents: Ginters Hmelevskis (Latvia), Gabriel Pietrasik (Poland), Josef Risian (Slovakia), Louis-Raymond Maranda (Canada) and Roderick MacPherson (Scotland). Lastly, he thanked the Union of the Judicial Officers of Romania, and its President Ducu Mihai, for the reception and its colossal work in the organization of the Permanent Council.

A Spark on the Way of Enforcement

In a speech marked with a federative emotion, President Mihai did not hide his joy and his pride to take part in this event, which “will mark the history of enforcement in Romania”. “We lit a spark on the way of enforcement” he said. The president of the Union of the Judicial Officers of Romania did not hide his willingness to prepare the future in perfect harmony with the prescriptions of the UIHJ: widening activities with the service of documents which will be superimposed with the missions of the Judicial Officer such as permanent training, full liability, professionalism, discipline, and ethics. “We live in a globalized world. We must be transparent. We must be credible and we will be with professionalism. The professionals are those who save the world. In my capacity as a president, I wish that the name of the Judicial Officer be at the front piece of Romania”, concluded Ducu Mihai, by thanking the President of the House of Commons and the Minister of Justice for their support.

Situation Report of the Profession

After this particularly rich solemn opening meeting, which was immediately followed by interviews by the press and the media, the work quickly started.  In his report on the profession, Jacques Isnard regretted the departure of the Association of English Enforcement Officers, which stated their inability to pay the contributions of the UIHJ, however very moderate. When questioned on the question, David Walker (Scotland), member of the board of the UIHJ, declared his surprise. “The profession is very organized, but it is possible to become a Certificated Enforcement Officer without any training. Maybe they don't feel in phase with the requirements of the UIHJ?” he wondered.
Concerning Italy, the president of the UIHJ mentioned the visit of an Italian delegation to the head office of the UIHJ, in Paris, in January 2007. The delegation was composed of four Italian fellow-members who had just created a new organization (Union of European Ufficiale Giudiziari). The delegation consisted of Arcangelo d'Aurora, Judicial Officer in Cesena (President), Andrea Mascioli, Judicial Officer in Tivoli, Irene Maialetti, Judicial Officer in Tivoli, and Adele Carrera, Judicial Officer in Rome. This organization was created with an aim of setting up a liberal profession in Italy. “We have now many hopes with the engagement of our Italian fellow-members”, concluded President Isnard.

The representative of Bulgaria presented the evolution of the situation in her country. She thanked the UIHJ for its support in favor of the liberal Judicial Officer in Bulgaria. After one and one-half years of exercise the Chamber of the Judicial Officers was very active and success was noted at the time of the first general assembly, she declared.  She stated: “In our country, we proved that the liberal model is more effective than the civil servant model”.

Concerning Poland - Michal Redelbach announced that the Ministry for Justice wants to open the profession to all the lawyers and wishes to multiply the number of Judicial Officers to 5,000 instead of the current 600. In addition, our colleague deplored the problems involved in the application of the tariff in discredit of the Judicial Officers. President Isnard indicated that a high level delegation of the Ministry of Justice of Poland was accommodated in Paris, April the 25th and 26th, 2007 by the UIHJ and the national Chamber of the Judicial Officers of France for a study mission relating to the functional organization of the profession and the mode of the enforcement procedures in France. This mission consisted in Mr. Andrzej Kryze, Vice-Minister for Justice, Mr. Karal Dalek, Director of the Department of the Legal Organization, Tomasz Jasklowski, Director-Assistant of the Department of the Legal Organization, and Urszula Wieczorek, head of The Division of Notaries and the Judicial Officers at the Ministry of Justice. President Isnard declared himself satisfied with the discussions, which proceeded in Paris, and added that a conference is scheduled for June 14th, and 15th, 2007 that he would attend.

Francis Guépin, member of the board of the UIHJ, submitted a report on the Spanish 5th meeting of Procuradores, which was held in Seville on February the 2nd and 3rd, 2007. In this respect, he insisted on the will of Procuradores to obtain the execution of the court decisions and the difficulties relating to the service of documents (it is necessary to have recourse to two witnesses to hand a document to a person other than the recipient).
Abel-Didier Pansard, President of the National School of Procedure of France (ENP), evoked the creation of the International Institute of the Law of Enforcement of which the first meeting was held in Sinaïa (Romania) February 15th and 16th, 2007. “It is necessary to promote the profession through training. The UIHJ has interest and should head this institute to ensure harmonization. I am at the disposal of the UIHJ and the countries. The French National Chamber gives me all the means to ensure the creation of schools in the world,” announced President Pansard. Paul Rochard, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of France (CNHJ) confirmed his words by opening the door of the “house of the Judicial Officers” in Paris. “We accommodate very many delegations. If the countries wish to meet the ENP, we are completely willing to help”, he declared. On the same matter, Bernard Menut, himself a former president of the CNHJ and Secretary of the UIHJ, stressed the importance to turn to a specific training school and to “forget the single diagram generally suggested by the Americans or the Germans”.
Antonio Gomes da Cunha, President of the Chamber of Solicitadores of Portugal, submitted a report on the meeting of Solicitadores, which was held in Lisbon February 23rd, and 24th, 2007 in which the president of the UIHJ as well as a representative of The Hague Conference on Private International Law took part.

To Move the Liberal Profession Forward in Europe

The report on the International Conference of Zagreb (Croatia), held March 8th and 9th, 2007, was then presented by President Isnard. This conference, the most important organized by the UIHJ apart from a Congress, brought together speakers from eleven different countries. The topic of the conference was: “Which Judicial Officer for Europe?” “This conference made it possible for the liberal profession to progress in Europe” underlined the president of the UIHJ. Following Zagreb, a second international seminar was organized on April 12th, 2007 in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on the topic of the “Harmonization of the Occupation of Judicial Officers and the Procedures of Execution in the European Union”.  Nearly all of the Slovenian Judicial Officers took part in this event as well as representatives of the Slovenian authorities. The aim of the UIHJ and the national Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Slovenia was to change the opinion of the authorities and to alert them to the dangers that the return to a civil servant profession would represent.

Nicola Hesslèn, permanent secretary of the UIHJ for the Scandinavian countries, presented her report, which was very complete, as usual. Concerning Denmark, our colleague indicated that the Danes reorganized the public service of the recovery of debts and on November 1, 2005, created a single authority for all the State and municipality's debts.  In Norway, the Association of the Norwegian Judicial Officers made a request to become a member of the UIHJ in November 2006 at the time of the Permanent Council. A twinning convention was signed between Oslo (Norway) and Goteborg (Sweden) that will allow direct exchanges between the Judicial Officers. In Finland, the number of civil servants of the Public Enforcement Service must be reduced in 2008 (23 instead of 51). Concerning Iceland, Nicola Hesslèn deplored the absence of contacts. In Sweden, the reorganization of the public enforcement service will bring a greater independence that would be detached from the Treasury, an improvement according to our colleague. Lastly, the Permanent Secretary of the UIHJ announced that the 5th Scandinavian seminar will take place from the 12th of September through the 14th, 2007 in Stockholm, on the topic of the “The Debtor in Focus”.

Sue Collins, Deputy of the UIHJ for the United States, gave a report on the advanced contacts that she has tied for several months. She indicated that she approached the American Bar Association, which wishes that the UIHJ advanced specific proposals. Concerning the Sheriffs, Sue Collins considered it regrettable that the new representatives of this association, which will organizes a congress in Salt Lake City in June 2007, did not judge a relationship with the UIHJ useful for the moment, but our colleague intends to try new contacts. Her work and her pugnacity were unanimously greeted by the delegations.

In Austria, our fellow-member Anton Lojowski announced that he had taken the initiative to create a new association, which has a dozen members today. The object of the association will be to try to convince the Judicial Officers to turn to the liberal system. “The problem is that our colleagues lack information”, deplores Anton Lojowski.  “We expect the full support of the UIHJ”, he indicated. For Italy, Andrea Masciotti thanked the UIHJ and its president for his renewed trust in the newly formed association of Italian Judicial Officers (Union of Europeans Ufficiale Giudizziari). “Justice in Italy is paralyzed in all the sectors, including within the framework of the enforcement of court decisions. We want to create the conditions to establish a liberal profession”, he announced.

Good and Bad News

Bad news arrived from Germany. It would seem that the project of installation of a liberal Judicial Officer did not collect the majority of two thirds in Bundesrat, which is required for a constitutional change, said sadly the representative of Germany.
More optimistic is the announcement made by Mr. Alikhanov, chief of the Enforcement Department at the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan, announcing his wish to become a member of the UIHJ. Mr. Alikhanov cordially thanked the UIHJ for its action in the project of reform in his country and in particular its project manager, Bernard Menut.  Mr. Menut was delighted that recognized UIHJ experts are now solicited for new markets, in particular in Euro Mediterranean, in Kosovo or in the Persian Gulf with the State of Barhain. Following the Azerbaijan example, Mr. Stankovic, President of the Association of the Judicial Officers of FYROM, announced his desire to join the many Member States of the UIHJ. The representatives of Moldova asked for assistance to incite the government of their country “to recognize and satisfy the requests of the Judicial Officers for an installation of a liberal profession”. They also thanked their Romanian fellow-members, and their chairman Mihai, for their support. President Isnard confirmed the support of the UIHJ and stressed that it was thanks to the support of the Romanians that our Moldavian fellow-members had been able to attend the meeting.

Large Seminar in Brussels February 2008

Bernard Menut then presented the assessment of the work carried out in November 2006 during the Permanent Council on the multi-field Judicial Officer by underlining the success of the formula. For the next Permanent Council, the Secretary of the UIHJ proposed to work on the following topics:
-     Harmonized standards of the handing over of legal documents (service of documents). Either that does not exist (in this case how that can function), or that exists (how the system functions).
-     Access to patrimonial information of the debtor: research of the enforcement agents near the existing files.
-     Certificate of negative inheritance. It is noted that if the debtor does not have any means of paying. Who can make this document? On what basis? What is the value of this document? What is its lifespan? What are its effects?

Considering a study made by the UIHJ; Leo Netten, 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ, announced the organization of a large meeting in Brussels in February 2008, on the use of the European instruments.

Concerning communication, Roger Dujardin, Vice-President of the UIHJ underlined the quality of the magazine and of the Internet site and thanked Mathieu Chardon, 1st Secretary of the UIHJ, for his investment in these two fields. This last presented an intermediate report on the Committee of the UIHJ. He indicated that the questionnaire on the profession prepared by the Committee would be addressed soon to the members of the Committee, with instructions on how to constitute the world bibliography and to supplement the handbook of the Judicial Officers.

Among the other events of the Permanent Council, the Eurodanube charter was signed by the whole of the representatives of the delegations, except for Hungary. The first meeting of UIHJ-Eurodanube will be held in Warsaw in September 2007, indicated Michal Redelbach.

The Small Sister of Ohada

Yacine Sene, Vice-President of the UIHJ, evoked Ohadac, the small sister of the African Ohada, for the Caribbean zone. The treaty of Ohada was such a success that other countries wished to reflect on the possibility of setting up such a system in their area, as in Southern Africa, or in the Caribbean zone. “The Judicial Officers are the most powerful actors within the framework of Ohada” underlined our colleague. That explains why the UIHJ was requested to bring its assistance in conjunction with other organizations. “We are invited because of our experiment in the field of Ohada and in international matters, at the sides of the magistrates and the people of the legal world, and in particular because of the influence of the UIHJ in the Caribbean zone. I would like to say how much the influence UIHJ is increasingly more constant and more actual” Jacques Isnard continued.

Lastly, the president of the UIHJ evoked the International Congress of the UIHJ, which will be held in Marseilles, France from the 7th through the 11th of September, 2009 on the provisional topic of: “New Rights for a More Open Profession”.

This topic results from the idea to gather the work of the Congress of the UIHJ from Athens and to put forward new ideas on the basis of the law with a variation and an adaptation to new legal techniques. Thus, in the current concept of Romano-Germanic Law, a parking space is a building that requires complicated steps for it's selling, whereas a painting masterpiece can be sold with reduced formalities. “Our ambition is to constitute teams to disrupt the classification of movable and immovable property because there is an element, relating to credit, which is preeminent. We will add the work on the multi- field Judicial Officer to this new classification. We will put forward new instruments such as private deeds with authentic value. If there is somebody who can certify a private document, that has to be a Judicial Officer”, specified president Isnard.

After two days of great intensity, it was time for president Mihai to thank the participants by again pointing out the honor given to Romania to organize this Permanent Council. “Without the support of Jacques Isnard, we would never have arrived at such a level of development. We were at a dead end. There were intentions so that our profession becomes again civil servant. Mr. Isnard incited us to fight for our rights” recognized Ducu Mihai.  President Isnard concluded: “We are now at the end of this permanent council. You carried out a true prowess with a record number of participants. Five years ago, you did not exist! You created, developed, resisted and organized this Permanent Council. You will open the training center in Sinaïa. You are an example to those who are present. All were struck by the remarks of consideration you received from your authorities, the Ministry of Justice and the President of the Parliament. It is the demonstration of the footprint that you leave on the legal activity of your country. We were invited in this “modern Versailles”. That can revive the wounds of the history, but it is Romania which built it and the whole world travels to see it.”

The official gala dinner, which followed, made it possible for everyone to meet again, to continue the discussions in an informal way and to taste - together with the local delicacies - the friendship that links the Judicial Officers in the world.
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Bernard Menut, secretary of UIHJ
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The delegations from Italy, Latvia, Scotland and Belgium
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A part of the delegations
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From L. to R.:Adrian Stoïca, Bogdan Olteanu, Jacques Isnard, Tudor Chiuariu, Ducu Mihai, Leo Netten
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In the centre, the delegations from Germany and Austria
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The Parliament palace
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Bulgaria, during its presentation
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Nicola Hesslèn (Sweden), Sue Colins (USA), Ellin Vilippus (Estonia)
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Mr Alikhanov, Head of the Enforcement Departement of Azerbaijan
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David Walker, Roland de Meerleer and André Mathieu, members of the board of UIHJ
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Antonio Gomes da Cunha, President of the Portuguese chamber of Solicitadores
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A family souvenir, on the great staircase of the Parliament Palace
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Jacques Isnard and Tudor Chiuariu
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Leo Netten, 1st Vice-President of UIHJ
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Vue sur Bucharest depuis le palais du parlement
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One the right, Tudor Chiuariu, Minister for Justice of Romania
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The Dutch delegation
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Yacine Sene and roger Dujardin, vice-president of UIHJ, Francis Guépin, member of the board of UIHJ
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The tribune
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The Minister for Justice, during the interview
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Michal Redelbach (Poland)
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Bogdan Olteanu, President of the House of Commons
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Jacques Isnard, President of UIHJ, Tudor Chiuariu, Minister for Justice of Romania, and Ducu Mihai, President of the Union of the judicial officers of Romania
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Ducu Mihai, Jacques Isnard, Tudor Chiuvariu
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Abel Pansard, President of the French National School of Procedure
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Paul Rochard, President of the French National Chamber of Judicial Officers, with Alain Bighelli, secretary, and Jacques Bertaux, member of the UIHJ
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