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Civil Law Notaries - serving land tenure security worldwide

The question of how land ownership is organised is essential in any country seeking economic development.

It is through the delivery of reliable securities that the property market of a country can organize itself harmoniously.

  • A credible system of securing land transactions is hinged around 3 pillars :

    • an accurate, concrete identification of a property based on drawings, records or photos (land registry or satellite photos),

    • an instrument that gives virtually watertight legal certainty (sale, division gifts , etc.),

    • a property register that lists all legal instruments relating to all property and all owners.

  • The interest of these pillars is triple

    • legal : incontrovertibly establishes who owns what and under what conditions, of title to use them, particularly to obtain credit and invest, instruments

    • economic : enables holders of

    • tax : informs the public authorities about the identity of owners so they can collect taxes related to  ownership .

  • Issuing instruments of title remains the civil law notary's core business

    • This is why the civil law notary has decided to devote considerable energy to the campaign for land reforms.

    • This campaign is also part of the French notarial profession’s general policy aimed at contributing, along with the other players in the property field and in a spirit of respect for cultural diversity, to establishing a State governed by the rule of law which is the cornerstone of economic development.

  • Titling

    • Titling is linked to the main concerns of developing countries: the fight against extreme poverty, economic development, food insecurity, women’s rights, peace between people, microcredit, and sustainable development.

  • The concrete actions of French notariat

    • Since June 2007, the Titling Commission has been federating initiatives and coordinating joint action plans. On November 10, 2009, a colloquium was held under the patronage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, bringing together all the actors in this field on the theme of "Security of tenure and economic growth: title to real estate in developing countries ".
      The International Union of Notaires organized two international conferences in January 2012 in Burkina Faso and January 2013 in Mexico on the subject.

    • To date, several actions have been carried out with our partners :
      - Haiti: participation in the French interdepartmental cadastre / land tenure security project since June 2010.
      - Colombia: signature of a cooperation agreement on 23 April 2013 renewed in 2015 and audit missions. The report was given to the country's political authorities.
      - Burkina Faso: contribution of expertise on the Agricultural Investment Code for the Euro-African Institute for Economic Development (INEADEC) chaired by Michel Rocard, partner of the OECD, in September 2013.
      - Madagascar: collaboration with the National Land Program of the Minister of Land Use Planning and Decentralization; Audit mission in 2010 and evaluation missions in 2011 and 2012, in particular for the World Bank. Continuation of training.
      - Mali: seminar organized with the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie in Bamako on 14 and 15 April 2011 on security of tenure; Following this seminar, a mission entrusted by the Minister of Land of Mali to carry out an audit, currently suspended in view of the internal situation in Mali. Work in progress with the French Ministry of Economy on this subject.
      - Tunisia: Audit of land in urban areas submitted in June 2012 for the Marseille Center for Integration in the Mediterranean.
      - Vietnam: Released in March 2011 the audit report on land security in the country's three economic centers (Hanoi, Danang, Ho Chi Minh) in partnership with IGN International, Bull and ADETEF.
      - Montenegro: audit mission for UNDP from 22 to 27 February 2010.
      - Togo: audit report submitted to the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister on 24 June 2009, in partnership with surveyors.

  • Commitment of the Association Parlementaire Francophone (French-Speaking Parliamentary Association) 

    • The High Council of the Notariat has been actively involved in the preparation of the United Nations Voluntary Guidelines on land security (UNDP and FAO) and the World Bank, particularly in the framework of the program "Legal Empowerment of the Poor" "And adopted on 11 May 2012. It participates in the work of UN-Habitat on urban land tenure security and ongoing work on the principles for responsible agricultural investment (FAO). He is recognized as an expert by the World Bank in this field, participates in its think-tanks and intervenes regularly at his annual conference on "Land and Poverty".

    • The Africa Regional Assembly of the Francophone Parliamentary Assembly also decided to initiate a reflection on securing land titles in Africa, after hearing representatives of the French-speaking Notarial Association. A resolution was adopted on 22 May 2009 in Dakar (Senegal) to this effect. Meanwhile, Mr Harissou, a notary in Cameroon and secretary-general of the French-speaking Notarial Association, published his book "The Land, a Human Right" by Dunod. A first awareness-raising seminar for parliamentarians took place on 6 April 2010 in Yaoundé (Cameroon) and a second seminar in Bamako (Mali) on 14 and 15 April 2011. They resulted in a recommendation voted at the Francophonie summit in Kinshasa 14 October 2012 encouraging the creation of a secure and simplified title. The principle of the creation of a working committee on this subject was voted by the Plenary Assembly of the APF in Abidjan in July 2013.

    • Furthermore, the notariat was interviewed in Brussels in 2012 by both the African-Caribbean-Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament's Development Committee on the subject.

    • Together with the Investors' Council of Africa (CIAN), he set up a committee to discuss the importance of land tenure security for the establishment of businesses in Africa. A joint field action is under study in Congo-Brazzaville.

    • Finally, the Higher Council of Notaries is an active member of the Technical Technical Committee of the French Development Agency.