Since 2010, several European projects undertaken by consortia of judicial officers and piloted by the French National Chamber of the judicial officers have benefited from European co-funding.
Since its inception, the European Chamber of the Judicial Officers (« CEHJ ») supported this approach, which brought the actions of European judicial officers within the following priorities:
– strengthening the electronic communication,
– enhance mutual cooperation between the different legal actors,
– enhance the level of knowledge of the judicial officers on European instruments.
The CEHJ, structure created in April 2012, now gathers seven members, namely the representative bodies of the profession in Belgium, Scotland, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and pursues two complementary objectives:
– Continuation of European projects initiated thanks to co-financing of the European Union,
– Participation in the legislative making process of European texts, used by the judicial officers in their daily practice, and reflection on the European e-justice action plan.
The CEHJ therefore aims to ensure the sustainability and development of the work, undertaken by consortia of judicial officers during the two years of EU funding, but also to collaborate with other projects that are similar, in order to mutualize know-how and to ensure full interoperability of the created tools.
Thus, the members of the CEHJ wish to contribute to the construction of an European area of justice, at the service of citizens and businesses.
1. TOOLS FOR THE SERVICE OF CITIZENS AND BUSINESSES TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO JUSTICE
1.1 Find a judicial officer in Europe
The EJE project (Europe judicial enforcement) , co-funded for a period of two years (2010-2012), led to the creation of a European directory of judicial officers, thanks to any citizen can easily identify the competent judicial officer for the service of documents (in accordance with EU Regulation 1393/2007) and to proceeding of enforcement measures.
Since June 2012, the CEHJ ensures the management and promotion of the European directory of judicial officers to ensure its expansion and further integration into the e-justice portal, such as the tools “find a notary” / “find a lawyer”.
Talks are currently held with the Ministry of justice of Estonia, head of the European project “Cross-border enforcement tool”, to integrate the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian national directories to the European directory of judicial officers. Thus, the partners of this project could use the European directory to identify the competent judicial officer instead of creating an ad hoc directory, which would save time, reduce the cost and ensure the interoperability of their tool with European standards (implemented in particular within the e-CODEX project).
Moreover, the European directory, which importance has been stressed by the French Ministry of justice, Christiane Taubira, during the Justice and Home Affairs Council held last June 6th, will offer the possibility to easily identify the competent judicial officer or enforcement agent, under the European bank account preservation order regulation, to carry out a preventive seizure of bank accounts in the Member state of enforcement. Therefore, this tool will be essential for the speed and efficiency of this new European procedure.
1.2 Improve the knowledge of civil enforcement procedures of the Member states
EJE project also led to the creation of information sheets on procedures to enforce a court decision in each member state of the partnership.
If, in fact, the European law favors the free movement of enforceable titles in Europe, the possibility for European citizens to actually implement a court decision in another country of the European Union faces many practical obstacles, starting with the lack of knowledge of the rules in different legal systems.
Available in 7 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Polish and Dutch) via the site CEHJ, these sheets provide citizens with an outline of possible actions (measures prior to enforcement, preservation measures, seizure of goods, foreclosure …) to facilitate their steps in the context of cross-border litigation.
2. TOOLS FOR THE SERVICE OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS TO IMPROVE THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE EUROPEAN AREA OF JUSTICE
2.1 The secured exchange of acts, by electronic way
EJS project (e-justice signification), aims to establish a mechanism for the exchange of acts between judicial officers in Europe, in order to improve the functioning of the European Union regulation on the movement of acts in Europe. EJS is the first international project to develop an electronic transmission of acts of judicial officers in cross-border disputes. It consists in the creation of a platform for secured exchanges of dematerialized acts between judicial officers settled in different states.
This project, co-funded for a period of two years (2011-2012), has just finalized its first stage of development, since the EJS partners have expressed their will (during the closing steering committee of October 9th) to entrust the continuation of their work to the CEHJ, in particular with regard to the connection of their platform to the one created by e-CODEX. The members of the CEHJ should normally agree to undertake the sustainability of the EJS project during the next general meeting to be held on November 12.
2.2.Improve the knowledge of the judicial officers on European instruments
The e-learning, or in any case training courses including – at least partially – new technologies, has entered into the everyday life of citizens and businesses, as a simple communication tool, for the dematerialization of training materials and creation of databases.
Thus, EJL (European judicial officers’ e-learning) project, co-funded by the European Union (March 2012-2014), aims at creating teaching e-learning modules on relevant European instruments for judicial officers in their daily practice.
The EJL partners will meet next 13th and 14th of November in Poland for the second steering committee to define the specifications of interactive teaching modules and their learning content. Actually, the EJL platform will offer to judicial officers of all the European Union modules on European instruments which are relevant in their daily activity (general component in 23 EU languages) and their practical application in the five Member States of the partnership (specific component in 6 languages of the EU).
- Comparative Study project on the Brussels I regulation (recast)
Together with the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) and the Instituto Superior de Contabilidad e Administraçao de Lisboa (ISCAL), the CEHJ is taking part in a research project relating to the implementation of regulation no. 1215/2012 of 12 December 2012 (Brussels I recast) by European notaries and judicial officers.
This project is co-financed by the EU for the period January 2016-August 2017.
Consortium EJE: 9 members (national representative bodies of the profession): France (project manager), Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Scotland, Netherlands.
Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents).
EJS Consortium: 8 members namely the national representative bodies of the profession in France (leader), Belgium, Hungary, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the French Ministry of Justice, the International Union of Judicial officers.
EJL Consortium: six members, namely the national representative bodies of the profession in France (leader), Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, the National School of Procedure (France) – with the partnership of the National School of Magistrates (France).
Once the request is launched, the directory will give you the details of the judicial officers who have jurisdiction on the place of enforcement. Results will appear at random (and not in alphabetical order), and at best, they will also appear by a geographical proximity display. For example, a Belgium judicial officer looking for a judicial officer competent to enforce a judgment in Cannes.
(France) will see a list composed at first of judicial officers established in Cannes, and then, judicial officers established in other cities but having jurisdiction in Cannes (such as Mougins, Antibes, Grasse..).The citizen or judicial officer is then invited to click on the tab “Detailed information sheet” which gives access to detailed information about the chosen office and various useful information such as a localization map.