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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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Towards Cooperation Between International Legal Professionals

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71. This is now the number of members of our organization, more than a third of the world’s countries. The UIHJ is now one of the largest and most influential legal organizations in the world. We can only be proud of what has been accomplished by a simple association whose operating budget is ridiculous. Without the passion shown by each of our members to go always further, nothing would have been possible.

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Nothing would have been possible without the action of my predecessor, Jacques Isnard, and his board, who for fifteen years have worked tirelessly to unite and establish the structures of the UIHJ that allow us to continue our progress in all areas.

When I was appointed chair over a year ago, I emphasized that we should take advantage of our position within international organizations and on the need to be proactive. We can only note that the movement initiated is today fully operational. Solicitations and direct contacts are ongoing.

On our side, we can only welcome and encourage individual actions by the member countries of the UIHJ and the international organizations working in collaboration with us. These initiatives reinforce the position of judicial officers in the world. They contribute to the influence of the Union, which is the goal we all seek.

We must maintain our unity which is our strength. We are recognized by all institutions at all levels, European, African or global, as the natural partner to turn to. For nearly sixty years, our huge advantage over other legal professionals often fragmented between their different entities is the opportunity to speak with one voice, yours. We develop and send the same message whether in Africa, Europe - not only in the European Union but in the wider Europe of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe - in America or Asia. This unique strength is irreplaceable. It allows us to be recognized everywhere. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the Hague Conference on Private International Law as regards the Service Convention. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the Council of Europe through its numerous missions in its member states. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the Council of Europe when it decides to create a working group on enforcement. The UIHJ is present as a speaker at the launch of the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters (EJN) in December 2002. It is naturally to the UIHJ that turns the European Commission when it plans to incorporate legal professions to the same EJN, which is now a reality. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the Council of the European Union to create a European directory of judicial officers for its e-Justice portal. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the European Commission as regards its Justice Forum. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the European Union for its great project on training. It is towards the UIHJ that turns the European Law Institute, when it asked us to be a founding member at the time of its recent creation. We should be aware of this strength, enjoy it, cherish it and protect it as our most valuable asset. We should however not forget that the occupation of judicial officer is much less important in terms of number than that of other legal professions. Yet our influence, our recognition and efficiency are very real. Let us be lucid and consistent with ourselves: we should avoid any dispersion of our actions. They would only result in weakening our profession and therefore weakening each judicial officer of each Member State of the Union.

Beyond these considerations, we realize with each passing day that a European judicial area, and in a (much) longer-term a global judicial area, cannot be built without all the legal professionals, represented by their international bodies. As you know, the UIHJ is constantly sought on this. It is our practice, our experience and our professional expertise that are essential to international institutions. We have plenty to offer in terms of safety and legal effectiveness. Moreover, the effects of the crisis leads to greater efficiency, economy and, more generally, to challenge ourselves. I initiated with my board a great movement to get closer to other major international organizations of lawyers (notaries, lawyers, judges, registrars). We can exchange, cooperate and work together for the benefit of everyone and of the law. We've renewed our contacts with our friends notaries and registrars. Such cooperation will enable us to exchange, to create international inter-professional networks, to help consolidate the influence of legal professions at international level and achieve a more functional and more consistent law at both domestic and international level.

In the same vein, after having created the World Day of the judicial officer in 2008, we initiated a project to establish a World Day of Justice. Our ambition is to have this day recognized amidst the world or international days decreed by the UN. For this, we want to associate to this project all the international organizations of legal professions.

And to ensure the promotion of our actions, we now publish position papers on different areas. Five position papers have been issued. They concern the effects of the global economic crisis, e-Justice, judicial officers in Europe, the multi-field judicial officer, and the attachment of bank accounts. You can find them on our website, in French and English.

The news is also the upcoming International Congress of the UIHJ in a year in Cape Town (South Africa). This general theme is "The judicial officer of the 21st century" and on this occasion we will unveil our great project of a global code of enforcement on which we work in close collaboration with our Scientific Council under the direction of Professor Natalie Fricero.

Finally, along with Moldova, 71st member of the UIHJ, we now have the great pleasure to count among the full members of our organization, our Spanish friends who were so far co-opted members for many years. This accession as a full member has been possible thanks to reforms in Spanish law that now allows the Procuradores to serve judicial documents. This is a major change in the statute within the UIHJ of the 9000 Spanish Procuradores and their president, Juan Carlos Estevez Novoa, who have always shown their unwavering support. Surely, they will write with you and with us a whole new chapter in our history.


Long live the Union!


Leo Netten

President

May 2011


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Séparateur
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Leo Netten

President of the UIHJ

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Towards Cooperation Between International Legal Professionals
May 2011
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