The profession of liberal judicial officer of Romania celebrates this year the 20th anniversary of the creation of its National Union.
The first contacts between the UIHJ and the profession of judicial officer in Romania dating back to the mid-1990s through discussions with the Romanian government. In September 1998, a delegation of the UIHJ was received in Bucharest by the Minister of Justice of Romania, Valeriu Stoica. At the time, Romanian judicial officers were low-level civil servants under the direct authority of the judge. Their training was not satisfactory, and the Ministry of Justice was postulating for the establishment of an independent profession with a high level of legal knowledge. The National Chamber of Judicial Officers of Romania had just been created and included a provisional board composed of four members: Gabriel Draganescu (president), Dan Nemes (secretary), Lucian Ezer (treasurer), and Mihai Sersea (member).
Romania became a member of the UIHJ on 26 May 2000, during the 17th International Congress of Judicial Officers in Athens, Greece.
The profession of the liberal judicial officer was created by law n. 188/2000 of 1st November 2000. This law shows that the attributions of Romanian judicial officers are very similar to those of judicial officers of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands: enforcement of court decisions and provisional measures, service of judicial and extrajudicial documents, amicable recovery of debts, statements of material facts …
The National Union of Liberal Judicial Officers of Romania (UNEJ – Uniunea Națională a Executorilor Judecătorești) was created on 12 June 2001. Gabriel Draganescu became its president, until 2004.
However, shortly after their creation, and despite their effectiveness, the liberal Romanian judicial officers had to face several difficulties discussed in the framework of a seminar organized in Sibiu in September 2003 by the Council of Europe and to which participated an expert from the UIHJ, Mathieu Chardon: the threat of bank bailiffs, delays in obtaining the enforcement authorization, delays in enforcement procedures, attacks on judicial officers, insufficient training of judicial officers …
In October 2004, the National Chamber of Judicial Officers organized an international symposium of judicial officers in Sinaia, north of Bucharest, in the presence of the UIHJ represented by its president, Jacques Isnard, and delegations from France, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Its president, Ducu Mihai, accomplished the feat of placing the closing session of the symposium under the prestigious presence of the President of the Republic of Romania, Ion Iliescu, making the cover of the UIHJ Magazine. Addressing President Isnard in French, President Iliescu declared: “Thank you for the support you have given to Romanian specialists in this matter. The French have always been our friends and have always supported us in our action in favour of our accession to the European Union“.
This event marks the excellent relations between Romania and the UIHJ. The UIHJ regularly supports the UNEJ, as was the case in the context of a bill postulating for the partial reorganization of the profession. The UIHJ regularly participates in international conferences organized by the UNEJ (such as the one in Constanta in July 2005), and supported the creation of the Academic Centre for Training, Preparation and Improvement of Judicial Officers of Romania (CAFPP), created on 28 October 2005 in Bucharest, chaired by Eugen Huruba, in the presence of the president of the UIHJ.
During the 19th International Congress of Judicial Officers in Washington in May 2006, Adrian Stoica, judicial officer in Constanta, became a member of the board of the UIHJ. Until 2012, he held the positions of assistant treasurer, then secretary. The UIHJ was also alongside the UNEJ in May 2006 on the occasion of the celebration of its 5th anniversary, in the premises of the former Parliament of Bucharest. President Mihai then declared: “It is thanks to the liberal regime of our statute that the profession has been able to progress so significantly in a few years. It is also thanks to a rigorous statute, in terms of requirements on the skills of judicial officers, that the level of knowledge has been raised and that training has become a capital element in the active life of judicial officers “.
On 1st January 2007, like its Bulgarian neighbor, Romania became a member of the European Union. In February 2007, an international seminar was organized in Sinaia by the CAFPP, in the presence of an important delegation from the UIHJ led by its president, on “The need for vocational training centers and the European Enforcement Order“. That same year, the city of Sibiu was designated the European Capital of Culture.
To celebrate Romania’s accession to the European Union with pride, the UIHJ organized its traditional spring permanent council in Bucharest on 10-11 May 2007, in the exceptional setting of the Romanian Parliament Palace, in the presence of about thirty delegations as well as representatives of Azerbaijan, Moldova, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as representatives of the Romanian Ministry of Justice and the Romanian Government. This event was covered by all the country’s media. Tudor Chiuariu, Minister of Justice of Romania, recalled during his speech his concern to develop relations with the legal professions by underlining the improvements which result in a drop in complaints relating to judicial officers.
Other major events followed, notably in the context of scientific work. On 20 June 2008, the UIHJ set up a Scientific Council consisting in 12 university professors, senior judges, and lawyers specializing in international law, all of whom had experience in relations with enforcement professionals. The mission of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ is to direct research, to provide an analysis on the development of law in the light of globalization, to be associated with the work of the UIHJ, particularly during congresses, and to contribute to the publication of articles or legal studies under the auspices of the UIHJ. Ioan Les, professor of law and dean of the Simion Barnutiu Faculty of Law of the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, former Ambassador of Romania, became a member of this Scientific Council from its inception.
Under the auspices of Professor Les, the UIHJ participated in the colloquium organized on 16-17 February 2008 by the Simion Barnutiu Faculty of Law, on the theme “Reality and perspectives of the European integration process in the era of globalization“, with the CAFPP and many practitioners and academics, including professors from the universities of Cluj, Iasi, Oradea, and Tg. Mures.
In March 2009, Romania and the UIHJ are still in the spotlight in academic matters. Our colleague and member of the board, Adrian Stoica, presented his thesis at the same Simion Barniutu Faculty of Law on the theme of “Seizure of real estate and enforcement law“. Adrian Stoica became on 1st October 2009 professor at the Ovidius University in Constanta and later the Dean of its Faculty of Law and Administrative Sciences, a position he still holds to this day.
Faced with the success of the 2008 conference, the UIJH decided to organize one of its most ambitious international scientific conferences, in the same premises of the Simion Barnutiu Faculty of Law, from 13 to 15 May 2009, in collaboration with the UNEJ and its president, Marius Crafcenco, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tampere European Council, on the theme: “Judicial Europe: 10 years after the Tampere Council“. The organization of this conference, which was a huge success and was greeted by Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission, brought together judicial officers from Europe and Africa, university professors, members of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ, and members of the European Commission.
In November 2010, the UNEJ sponsored Moldova’s membership in the UIHJ, which became its 71st member.
Leo Netten, president of the UIHJ since the end of 2009, was present at the 10th anniversary of the UNEJ in Timisoara on 10th May 2011 and once again underlined the unwavering links that unite the UIHJ to the UNEJ.
On 5th September 2012, it was in Constanta that the European presidents of the UIHJ decided on a major project to harmonize procedures, the activities of judicial officers, and training, which would give birth a few years later to the Stobra projects.
In April 2014, under the UNEJ chairmanship of Cristian Jurchescu, the UIHJ and the Ovidius University of Constanta signed a cooperation agreement relating to training, while Natalie Fricero, member of the Scientific Council of the UIHJ became Doctor Honoris causa of this prestigious university.
From 31st March to 2nd April 2017, under the UNEJ chairmanship of Marius Morari, the UIHJ, chaired by Françoise Andrieux, once again participated in an international conference organized by the Ovidius University of Constanta on the law and the main legal professions in the context of European Union, then in another conference organized in Bucharest on 13-14 October 2007, on the responsibility of judicial officers.
Finally, the UJHJ and the UNEJ signed in 2019 a cooperation protocol within the framework of the POCA European project “Improving the access to justice by developing and applying new policies and instruments in the enforcement activity” co-financed by the European Union, a project which has since been successfully completed.
This was a rapid report on the extremely dense links that have united the UIHJ, the UNEJ, and the profession of judicial officer in Romania for more than twenty years. The UIHJ wishes a happy 20th anniversary to the UNEJ and particularly salutes all its successive presidents, Gabriel Draganescu (2001-2004), Ducu Mihai (2004-2008), Marius Crafcenco (2008-2013), Cristian Jurchescu (2013- 2016), and Marius Morari (since 2016), as well as all the members of their boards, all the judicial officers of Romania, as well as professors Ioan Les and Adrian Stoica, for the unwavering fight that they have led and will continue to lead for the promotion, development, and defense of the interests of the profession of judicial officer in Romania.
Long live the UNEJ!
On the occasion of the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the National Union of Judicial Officers of Romania, “Legal Magazin” (edited by Universul Juridic, Bucharest, Romania) will publish the present article in the Romanian language in a special edition during the month of May.