Country after country, containment measures are slowly beginning to be lifted, but for most of these countries, national authorities always seems to be looking for solutions in the field of justice. We even observe that – in some countries – justice remains confined, while deconfinement – although there are obviously restrictions – becomes the rule. Shops s’ and restaurants are opening again, and we are trying to move towards a new normal – and here I underline „new”. It seems obvious to me that the world will be another after COVID-19 since it will undoubtedly influence our lives for the future.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown us how vulnerable we are, and above all how vulnerable our profession is and that there is an urgent need to modernize it.
The economic and therefore financial impact caused by the pandemic within the profession has been enormous, especially in countries where the judicial officer is working under a liberal status. He had to cease his professional activities for several months, notwithstanding the fact that the costs associated with the operation of his office continued to run.
At the beginning of April, the UIHJ has drawn up an official position paper to help the authorities of our member countries understanding how the judicial officer can help to overcome the economic crisis in the countries linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the premise that:
“Legal security is the right to the judge; the right to the judge is the right to a court decision; the right to a court decision is the right to enforcement; the right to enforcement is the right to the judicial officer. »
we can conclude that the judicial officer is one of the emblematic figures of legal security.
He plays an essential role in ensuring both the effectiveness and efficiency of the enforcement of court decisions. He’s the interface between the citizens and the judge.
One of the main tasks of the judicial officer is to look for solutions in disputes between creditors and debtors. The judicial officer plays the role of a mediator and conciliator.
Of all this, we can conclude that:
The judicial officer offers to the state, the law and the economy, the qualities of a competent, responsible and efficient professional, capable of projecting himself into the future.
The International Union of Judicial Officers is doing its strong work to defend the profession of judicial officer at the international level. That’s why we offer our expertise in the field of enforcement.
But we also encourage the National professional associations to become proactive and to promote an expansion of the scope of the activities of judicial officers (the key word is multidisciplinary) and to ensure that his security is always guaranteed.
We have to take the lead by ourselves! There are undoubtedly other professional actors within the judiciary – or even commercial actors – who could propose to governments, always concerned about the budgetary constraints that bind them – to take over some of the tasks that are performed till now by the judicial officer. We must be aware of this situation and take care!
Despite this crisis that we are currently living, we cannot lose sight of the evolution that the profession has been going through in recent years and in which the role of the judicial officer in new technologies (I.A., blockchains, digital assets ,…) should be ensured. The crisis of the COVID-19 will probably accelerate this general process of digitization.
Times are changing and the profession of judicial officer must adapt.
It is mainly through basic and continuing training that we must try to convince and justify our existence. With the digital (r)evolution, we have a challenge. The judicial officer must be integrated into the processes of digitalization of justice and ensure that he keeps the place that he deserves within the judiciary.
In a digitalized world, the human aspect certainly cannot be set aside. This is the card that the judicial officer must play to ensure his future. By establishing human contact, the judicial officer ensures, that the right balance between the rights of the debtor and those of the creditor is respected. While automated procedures will have a positive impact to avoid the congestion of the courts, the human aspect cannot be neglected in enforcement proceedings.
The judicial officer, on the other hand, will have to ensure that he becomes more flexible and has in-depth knowledge, not only at a legal level, but also in IT, in order to be able to cope with the digitalization of justice.
Digital evolution is not a destination, it’s a journey.
We will have to make sure that we travel quickly and always securely. This will require the UIHJ to be able to make investments on a human and on a financial level. This will of course require the solidarity support of ALL its member countries.
The judicial officer must remain THE professional of enforcement!
Our profession is changing – in every country and everywhere in the world! Together we must secure its future. And it is only by speaking with one voice that we will achieve this.
OUR UNION IS OUR STRENGTH.