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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurFranceSéparateurUIHJ-EuroDanube Meeting in Paris on 23 November 2011
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UIHJ-EuroDanube Meeting in Paris on 23 November 2011

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Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, FYRO-Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, held a UIHJ-EuroDanube meeting in Paris on 23 November 2011

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Juraj Podkonicky, secretary of UIHJ-EuroDanube opened the meeting and with warm welcome he remarked this year is significant for most EuroDanube members, because of the round anniversary celebrations of their existence. In December 2010 celebrated the 5th anniversary Bulgarian Chamber, in March 2011 also Estonian Chamber, at the end of March the 15th anniversary of the Slovakian Chamber and recently followed the 10th anniversary of the Czech Chamber and the 5th anniversary of Macedonian Chamber last year.
The year 2011 can be thus evaluated quite positively in terms of promotion of various national systems, but also a little negative in terms of constant attack by the political representation and the media itself on basic principles of national systems. Politicians want to increase their pressure on the national chambers of judicial officers, particularly through reducing rates or by increasing the number of court bailiffs as we have been witnessed in Poland.
In his opening speech, Roger Dujardin, vice-president of the UIHJ, saluted all the delegations in the name of the UIHJ and expressed his great pleasure over the participation of delegations at the EuroDanube meeting. In his opinion EuroDanube proof that the EURO organizations formed inside the UIHJ are important especially in terms of responding to current problems of individual regions.
Juraj Podkonicky thanked to Roger Dujardin for his opening speech and asked all delegations to give a short report on the present situation in their countries.

Poland
Marek Jessa, Vice-President of the Polish National Chamber, referred first about the situation in Poland. There is a new government and a new Minister of Justice, who is a philosopher (non-lawyer), so everybody is waiting for the situation to come. However, in Poland many amendments in the field of justice are planned, which will touch the field of executions. Polish National Chamber due to attack by politicians and the media on status of court executors established function of the spokesman, carrying out regular monitoring of information published via the media; they created website with information for media. They are going to organize open-days in their offices and trainings for judicial officers on how to speak to media. They want to make a free-advisory service for the public. They are also working on preparing a short movie for one of the main TV channels about the everyday activities of the judicial officers.

Slovakia
Peter Molnár, President of National Chamber of the judicial officers of Slovakia, informed that the chamber had been working on a big novelization of the enforcement execution code, but now the process is suspended along with new government to come - in the fall there will be new elections.
But also there is one thing to come - from January 2012 VAT will be added even to judicial officers' costs. Until now it was added to remuneration amount only.

FYRO-Macedonia
Antonio Koshtanov, President of National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of FYRO-Macedonia, informed that the judicial officers were celebrating 5 years of existence at the beginning of November.
He said there is a similar situation as in Poland - from June 2011 in Macedonia there is a new Minister of Justice. He is young, born 1984, and nobody knows what could be expected...
They are currently solving problems with tariff - it was decreased by approx. 33%, but some items were shortened even more - up to 50%.
Another big event - new Execution Law - till the end of 2011 all court enforcement cases shall be handed over to private judicial officers (there are 400 thousand cases to hand over, only about 1.000 was handed over until now and each judicial officer is to receive about 400 pcs/ day, they have to catch up with time. If a case is not handed over to a private judicial officer (i.e. if the creditor does not appoint a judicial officer to hand the case over to) it is terminated automatically.
Another thing to be solved is that when a criminal case against judicial officer is started, the judicial officer is suspended automatically.

Hungary
Gyula Kovács, Member of the Board of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Hungary, informs that in Hungary, there has been a change in the court structure. Some amendments are already in force, some to come.
There are some changes linked to judicial officers: deadlines are shortened, some are even not manageable - penalty for not meeting a deadline is cutting costs.
Judicial officers have started cooperation with notaries in the field of notarial electronic decisions - there is a huge amount of this type of cases judicial officers receive from notaries;
Many delegations asked Gyula Kovacs to explain the decision about costs if there are objections which are then solved by court. Legal remedies against notarial decisions fall within the jurisdiction of courts, and duties of enforcement objection are to be paid to the courts as well; extra fees are being planned.
If judicial officers seriously breach or default on a regulation, they can be obliged to pay 20 % of their service charge (fee) as a fine. In case of repeated violation of a regulation, they may face a fine up to 50 % of their service charge. The fine is paid to the deposit account and is added to the collected sum, excess money (what is left after the creditor's claim is settled) is transferred to the state budget."

Estonia
Janek Pool, Chairman of the Board of Assembly of Judicial Officers, remarks that the National chamber was celebrating 10 years of existence in March 2011.
In Estonia they have also new Minister of Justice (a young professional studying politics) who wants to analyse judicial officers' costs (and probably decrease them).

Romania
Mihai Ducu, Vice-President of National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Poland mentioned the good relationship between the National Chamber and the Parliament.
In Romania they have used 6 types of judicial officers. But thanks to the UIHJ and the French National Chamber of Judicial Officers a change has been carried through and a new Civil Code has been accepted; the categories were cancelled, now there are only judicial officers as we know them, then fiscal executor and bank executors.
But, the problem was that there is a new amendment in force - former 6 categories of judicial officers became regular judicial officers without passing any exam or event of education, now there are 600 judicial officers + 450 to come (note - there are 20 mil. inhabitants).
Roger Dujardin said that this is a real problem, which has to be tackled on at UIHJ level. It is not possible for the court Executor to be a person who does not have sufficient education, resp. Not received any educational courses. Such procedure is contrary to the CEPEJ guidelines from the year 2009. He therefore proposed to organize a meeting with Romanian government officials for this purpose. The Vice President's Mihai sees it absolutely necessary and therefore in this matter active intervention and help from the UIHJ is needed.
Juraj Podkonický responded that the planned EuroDanube meeting (where Member States should present their experiences in this field) can be organized in Romania at an earlier date than the conference in South Africa. The specific term will be suggested by the Romanian National Chamber.

Lithuania
Dovile Satkauskiene, Director of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Lithuania, informed that in Lithuania an amendment of the Civil Procedure Code was passed. The situation is now more positive in general; discussion about decreasing of the fees stopped.
They have a new problem in Lithuania with criminalization of judicial officers - when high amounts of money are collected, the debtor nowadays regularly starts a criminal procedure against the judicial officer.
Juraj Podkonický remarks that there was a similar problem a few years ago in the Czech Republic. The problem stopped when the police unfounded postponed the announcement to be ungrounded. In contrast, the Slovak Republic occurred several years ago a case where the Minister for investigation suspended judicial officer exercise of the office.
Antonio Koshtanov added that Macedonia had a similar experience: judicial officer could not carry on business for 8 months for examination of the debtor's complaint...

Latvia
Ginters Hmelevskis, President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officers of Latvia, and Guna Berlande, Director of the Chamber remarked that in Latvia they have still the same Minister of Justice as was before the election.
The National chamber has a good cooperation with the ministry of justice, but there is a problem with tariff, which has to be reviewed every 3 years. At this moment banks insist on reducing the tariff.  The contra-proposal from the chamber was to reduce the tariff for minor cases (bagatelle cases). The final solution was not reached yet. Negotiation between Chamber and ministry is still in process. At this point the project of new tariffs provides in each enforcement file one fixed fee for all enforcement actions plus percentage of recovered sum (instead of set of separate fees for each enforcement action plus percentage of recovered sum). However the amount of fees at this point has not been seriously reduced.

Czech Republic
Jiří Prošek, Vice-President of the National Chamber of the Judicial Officer of the Czech Republic, informed that in the Czech Republic there are current work on transmission of dual enforcement system to a unified one - over half a million cases should be transferred to judicial officers. The amendment is currently approved by the Legislative Council of the Government and will be discussed in Parliament at the end of this year. The chamber is still discussing the matter with the Minister of Justice. The amendment should be agreed roughly in the middle of 2012.

The next UIHJ-EuroDanube meeting was planned to be held in Romania in the end of April 2012. But because of the UIHJ congress in South Africa was preliminary agreed, that next meetings will be connected to this important event in Cape Town which all delegations are going to visit.
Juraj Podkonicky thanked Roger Dujardin for his involvement and active participation in the discussions and to all delegations for their participation and information about current events in their countries.

Juraj Podkonicky
UIHJ-EuroDanube Secretary
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The participants
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Roger Dujardin, vice-president of the UIHJ
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Juraj Podkonicky (Czech Republic), secretary of UIHJ-EuroDanube, Roger Dujardin, vice-president of the UIHJ, Mariusz Starzonek, member of the board of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Poland, Ewa Bieda, interpreter
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The Polish delegation. On the right, Marek Jessa, vice-president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Poland
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Antonio Kostanov, president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of FYRO-Macedonia
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Dovile Satskauskiene, director of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania, and Aleksandras Selezniovas, member of the board
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Gyula Kovacs, member of the board of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Hungary, with Judit Szabados-Dotsch, interpreter
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Jiří Prošek, Vice-President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Czech Republic, David Koncz, Member of the Board and Tereza Michálková, Head of international committee
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On the right, Ducu Mihai, vice-president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Romania, with his interpreter
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Janek Pool, Chairman of the Board of Assembly of Judicial Officers of Estonia
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On the left, Peter Molnar, President of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Slovakia
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Ginters Hmelevskis, president of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Latvia, and Guna Berlande, director of the Chamber
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