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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurAfricaSéparateurMaliSéparateurThe UIHJ Meets the WAEMU in Bamako (Mali) from 6 to 10 December 2010
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The UIHJ Meets the WAEMU in Bamako (Mali) from 6 to 10 December 2010

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At the initiative of the WAEMU, Honoré Aggrey, Vice-President of the UIHJ, went to Bamako (Mali) to attend a workshop on freedom to provide services and the right of establishment for legal and judicial officers of the WAEMU area

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The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) is a West African organization whose mission is the realization of the economic integration of its member states by strengthening the competitiveness of economic activities in the framework of an open and competitive market and a streamlined and harmonized legal environment. Replacing the West African Monetary Union (WAMU) established in 1963, it exists since 1994. It is based in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). It comprises eight member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The WAEMU appears as a veritable tool in regional integration.
The workshop aimed to give effect to the general freedom to provide services and right of establishment for legal and judicial officers of the WAEMU area.
The specific objectives tend to identify and then remove all barriers to the free legal services and the permanent exercise of the functions of legal and judicial officers in the member states of the WAEMU.
These are:
- To transcend the constraints of nationality and territoriality;
- To harmonize the conditions of access to the different bodies of legal and judicial officers;
- To facilitate the conditions for exercising the various functions.
At the end of the work in which also took part representatives of the Committee, representatives of the Ministries of Justice and the presidents of chambers or orders of notaries, judicial officers and auctioneers of the eight member countries of the WAEMU, the participants made the following recommendations as regards priority areas of intervention.

1. Harmonization of conditions of access
- Community-wide harmonization of the statutes of legal and judicial officers;
- Abolish all discrimination based on nationality;
- Standardize the qualifications required for entry into the body of legal and judicial officers;
- Generalize the organization of competitions as the only means of access to the functions of legal and judicial officers;
- Develop a common training program to the functions of legal and judicial officers;
- Consider in the long term the creation of a regional training center for the functions of legal and judicial officers.

2. Harmonization of conditions of practice
- Foster collaboration between officers of the WAEMU area;
- Obtain the free circulation of documents, in particular by suppressing the exequatur;
- Harmonize tariffs charged by legal and judicial officers;
- Develop forms for the documents executed by legal and judicial officers which can be supported under the common training program;
- Harmonize taxation;
- Establish a regional mechanism for coordination and control of the activities performed by legal and judicial officers;
- Carry out the reciprocal recognition of the Seals.

The results of the workshop are unfortunately not up to the expectations of the delegation of the judicial officers, given the progress made in preparatory work it had with the commission in November 2009 in Ouagadougou. Considering the strategic plan proposed by the commission and adopted by the workshop, the implementation of the priority areas of intervention spreads over the next three years. However, with few exceptions, all items considered part of the priority areas of intervention are already acquired for the judicial officers of the WAEMU area. Two reasons explain the choice of method of developing a strategic plan in advance:
- First, the specificity of the legal status of legal and judicial officers,
- Then the deficiency or the non-existence of organizations or even of relationships between notaries on one hand and between auctioneers in another hand, in the WAEMU area.
However, we are pleased to have achieved that the harmonization at Community level of the status of legal and judicial officers is the first priority to be translated into action, followed by training, a key issue for judicial officers.
We can thus consider that both objectives of the UIHJ in its action towards Africa and the projects developed at the initiative of the African countries are taken into account by the WAEMU Commission.

 
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