International Newsletter of the Notaries of France - Issue 1

International action of the French notariat

  • Live on assignment - The stakes of columbian land tenure

    • Land governance in Columbia is a key part of President Juan Manuel’s peace process. During the President’s visit to France in January 2015, he expressed his determination to further French-Columbian cooperation for land regis-tries and land governance. As early as April 23, 2013, the High Council of French Notariat (CSN) signed a convention with the UCNC (Unión Colegiada del Notariado Colombiano), which resulted in a multitude of exchanges with Columbian notary officials. Patrick Baudu, CSN delegate for Columbia, went on assignment with Expertise France 3 from November 7 to 13, 2015 in Bogota. Here is his account.

    • The exploratory assignment that brought me to Bogota was organized by Expertise France and led by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with representatives from the Order of Surveyors, the French Development Agency4, the French Embassy, and the National Bureau of Finances 5. Our goals were:
      To assess the situation in terms of land governance, of the institutional and political framework of the reform initiated by Columbia, and of the timeline and its implementation;
      - To identify technical and financial expectations;
      - To examine existing cooperation and the coordination between stakeholders.

    • Post-conflict — During this post-conflict period, the strengthening of land registers and the development of land governance in rural zones is vital. This implies the redistribution of land and existing property titles, notably to return land to victims of the guerrilla forces. We attended a deluge of business meetings over five days. Columbians are early risers and despite the incre-dible traffic jams in Bogota, we suc-cessfully held several dozen meetings with multiple organizations 6.

    • Peace agreement — The urgency of our mission was clear. The Peace Agreement was supposed to be signed within the next months. There were a number of tasks to be completed quickly:
      - Furthering dialogue;
      - Training professionals for land division and security;
      - Supporting the reform and revi-sing texts for land registers, owner registers, and notarial documents;
      - Creating a pilot project.

    • Our trip began with a reception at the French Embassy and ended with an «assessment and perspectives» meeting. Now that the Peace Agreement has been signed on September 26, 2016, it is time to act.

  • Editorial - International Congress of Notaries in Paris by Lionel Galliez

    • The 28th international Congress of Notaries will be held from October 19 to 22, 2016. Every three years, this congress brings to-gether notaries from all over the world. After Latin America in 20131 and Africa in 2010 2, Europe is the destination for the over 1000 participants: notaries as well as jurists and scholars from 86 countries.

    • France and the High Council of the French Notariat are honoured to be hosting this event. It has been 37 years since France last hosted the congress. In 1979, Raymond Barre, Prime Minister, launched the event.

    • Globalization — Created in 1948, the International Union of Notariat included 19 member countries; today, there are 86. What better proof of its dynamic growth? The congress is a chance to take stock and discover the diversity of our profession, according to the traditions of each country. It will also be a chance to discuss and debate with colleagues from highly different horizons, as well as create the ties that are invaluable to our activity, an acti-vity that is developing at an international scale.

    • Debate — The spread of world notarial services is synonymous with diversity. Many States from Central and Eastern Europe have joined the UINL, along with countries in Asia such as China and Japan, and more recently Vietnam and Mongolia. The congress will allow us to assess the situation across the globe concerning debates over our profession, its place in society, and within the economic sector, along with its role for individuals, businesses, and States. This will be the main theme of this congress, The Notary, a trusted third party . This 28th congress will also demons-trate the modernity of our profession with the adoption of new technologies and new paperless acts and procedures, which is the second theme of the congress. The Notaries of France are looking forward to hosting the 28th International Congress of Notaries.

    • For more information : www.uinl.org / www.notaires.fr/en/internot

  • Top news - The World Bank's Land and Poverty Conference

    • How to establish better tenure security?

    • This was the central question for the 17th annual Land and Poverty Conference organized by the World Bank from March 14 to 18, 2016 in Washington. There are a myriad of reasons for tenure insecurity in developing countries: the lack of political strategies, lack of economic interest and fi-nancial means, gaps in the coordination of the different ministries involved.... All of the different ministries involved.... All of these reasons compound the difficulty en-countered by populations wishing to assert their rights on the lands they occupy. Play vidéo

  • Close-up - Franco-Chinese Notarial Centre of Shanghai

    • The Franco-Chinese centre for training and notarial and legal exchange in Shanghai was inaugurated on February 7, 2001. The High Council of French Notariat (CSN) and the Bureau of Justice of Shanghai 7 initiated the project in partnership with the Appeals Court, the University of Paris-Assas, and the Caisse des Dépôts. Its jurisdiction is national. The activity of the Centre has contributed to the creation of a notarial body in China in 2006.

    • Training programs — The Centre offers numerous research and study programs and opportunities for exchanges between professionals. Its training programs are based on seminars, conferences, and cooperative programs with universities. 
      Two conferences are organised every year in China, led by French professionals, notaries, judges, and scholars. Each is divided in two parts:
      - the first is delocalized in order to reach the greatest number of Chinese professionals;
      - the second takes place in Shanghai on specialised themes8.
      Conferences are held in the over 25 Chinese provinces.
      The Centre is a party to the cooperation agreement for a diploma program9 between the Institute of Law and Political Science of Shanghai and the University of Panthéon-Assas, and the University of Law and Political Science of East China and Paris II.

    • Publications — The Centre publishes documents for researchers and professionals, such as a French-Chinese notarial dictionary. A quarterly journal allows both cultures to exchange viewpoints on legal matters. The Courrier du Centre is the only bilingual publication over the past ten years to address legal issues in both France and China.

    • Their website offers additional information:  http://www. cnfr-notaire.org/index_f.asp

  • Conversation with... Anne-Marie Leroy

    • Senior Vice President and World Bank Group General Counsel 10, Anne-Marie Leroy, a French national, will leave her post in the fall of 2016.

    • She looks back on her seven years at the head of the World Bank’s legal services. She also explains the importance of the Doing Business report, which includes nu-merous indicators on business regulation and how they can be applied to world economies. She also underlines the role played by French notaries in the evolution of certain criteria. Play video

  • Panorama - Managing co- ownership around the world

    • In 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion. Three quarters of the population will live in cities. Urban expansion is developing vertically and the difficulties in managing condominiums. The High Council of French Notariat, the Order of Surveyors, and the National Federation of Real Estate Agents have created a co- ownership kit to help professionals with each step, from the legal workings to management. 

    • The Co-Ownership Kit is a multidisciplinary tool created after several years of collaborative work between a number of experts: notaries, jurists, economists, scholars, specialists in land tenure and urbanism. 

    • Adapted to all situations — The kit is a hundred page booklet including:
      - A project for a framework law, which can be adapted by each user;
      - A model for a Declaration of the creation of a Condominium of apartments in a single building (description of units, private and public spaces, etc.);
      - An example of rules for co-ownership with explicit rules of governance (the role of the property management council and the General Assemblies of owners), and management rules, notably in terms of finance. 

    • All the suggested solutions can be adapted to the needs and culture of each country, notably for developing nations facing accelerated urban growth. The experts who authored this kit can also provide on-site counsel.

    • Multiple users — The Co-ownership kit is mainly aimed at States and all tenure stakeholders (notaries, jurists, surveyors, management councils, government officials) who are facing vertical urban expansion.

    • For more information:
      - Presentation video: youtube.com/watch?v=8B4YuwUS7B0 
      - Contact: kit-copropriete@notaires.fr

  • The experts - Helping Albania with private property issues

    • How can we help Albanian professionals identify assets and real estate? This was the heart of two missions to Tirana, organized by International Justice Cooperation11. An audit was carried out in November 2015, followed by a presentation of the results to Albanian officials12 in May 2016. Three experts participated in both missions: Lionel Decotte, court bailiff, Philippe Perreve, deputy head of the office of Prospects and Economy of professions of the Ministry of Justice, and Caroline Ginglin-ger-Poyard, notary representative of the CSN.

    • Context — During the dictatorship, between 1945 and 1990, all forms of real pri-vate property were abolished.
      - In April 1991, a constitutional law recognized the right to private property by natural and legal entities as well as the State.
      - The 2nd Constitution13 consecrated the transfer of collective property to private property.
      - Ten laws voted between 1991 and 2001, specify the modalities of privatization14.
      - In terms of the attribution of property, there is currently only one competent organism: the National Agency for the Restitution and Compensation of Property.

    • Assessment — The first mission identified several possibilities for improvement, such as:
      - The legal rules for attribution of property have not contributed to securing property titles, in either urban or rural situations.
      - The physical boundaries of parcels also pose a number of problems.

    • The second mission presented recommendations to improve the census system, the identification of property, and the transcription of real estate. Following these recom-mendations would favour investors’ interests. Albania has great development potential, notably in tourism, with a magnificent coastline, comparable to Croatia and Greece.

  • Briefs

    • FAO-UINL cooperation agreement
      The FAO, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, represented by Maria-Helena SEME-DO, Deputy Director-General, coordinator of Natural Resources, and the International Union of Notaries (UINL), represented by Lionel Galliez, President of the Work Group for International Organisations, signed a cooperation agreement on January 8, 2016 in Rome. It is the result of six years of exchanges, mee-tings, and conferences with the FAO on land tenure issues. Of particular note is the contribution to the writing of the international text, «Voluntary Guide-lines» for land tenure, adopted by the United Nations assembly in 2012. This cooperation agreement repre-sents the recognition of notarial expertise.
      For more information:  www.uinl.org/748/uinlsignature-du-protocole-d-accord-fao-uinl-08-01-2016

    • The ANF working for access to water and civil registries
      As a side event of the COP21, the Association of Francophone Notary Bodies (ANF) co-organized a conference on December 11, 2015 in Paris. The event took place in the context of the Land of African Business (LAB). Titled «Legal security and Social res-ponsibility», the event ended with two round tables: 
      - Water, a new economic war in Africa?
      - Civil Registries and the Rule of Law.
      Many high profile figures participated, notably Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, ambassador of France for Human Rights; Laurent Bossard, Director of the Sahel and West Africa Club at the OECD; Dior Fall Sow, Senegalese magistrate; as well as Laurence Dumont, Vice President of the French National Assembly. The President of the ANF, Laurent Dejoie, took this opportunity to announce a first step in the regularisation of children’s birth registries in the Ivory Coast in partnership with UNICEF. 
      For more information: notariat-francophone.org

    • An agreement for judicial cooperation between France and Jordan
      An agreement for judicial cooperation was signed between France and Jordan during an official visit by the President of the Republic François Hollande on April 19, 2016 in Amman. The agreement includes a notarial section. Jordan adopted a notarial law in December 2015. The expertise of the Notaires de France was engaged for the implementation of the notarial reform during a work session on April 6, 2016 in Paris, with Bassam Talhouni, Jordanian Minister of Justice, and Didier Coiffard, Vice-President of the CSN. France is the only country in the European Union to directly engage in cooperation in the fields of governance and State of law with Jordan.

    • Conference on child abductions at Interpol
      A symposium on international child abductions was co-organized by INTERPOL, France’s Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Police (ENSP), and the Notarial Centre for European Law (ACENODE), with support from the Faculty of Law of Lyon 3 University in Lyon on February 11, 2016. Five hundred experts, representatives of the European Union, jurists, members of the police, and heads of associations participated. Didier Coiffard, Vice-President of the CSN, discussed the key role played by notaries in the protection of minors, notably through the 86 notary bodies within the International Union of Notaries (UINL). Laurent Dejoie presented efforts undertaken by the Association of Francophone Notary Bodies (ANF), which he presides, in favour of children without identities15. The symposium ended with participants adopting a series of resolutions to identify good practices and to improve cooperation and mobilisation. 

    • Graduation ceremony for OHADA jurist degree program
      The 2nd graduation ceremony for the OHADA jurist inter-university degree program (DIU) took place on June 27, 2016 at the CSN’s headquarters in Paris. The degree was created in partnership with the Panthéon-Assas Paris II University, the Paris 13 Nord University, and the ANF (Association of Francophone Notary Bodies). Diplomas were granted to 28 students of this second graduating class. Over 70 high profile figures attended the event.

  • Calendar - Not be missed

    • 21/09/2016 : International Conference on Identifying People: global stakes organized in Paris by the CSN, the World Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Association of Francophone Notary Bodies.

    • 16/10/2016 : World Food Day  at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s headquarters (FAO) in Rome

    • 19 to 22/10/2016 : International Union of Notaries Congress at the Palais des Congrès in Paris

    • 26 and 27/11/2016 : International Union of Notaries Congress at the Palais des Congrès in Paris

    • 5 to 8/12/2016 : Law, Justice and Development Week 2016 on law, global warming, and development at the World Bank in Washington.