Publication of the specific study on the profession of notaries

As every two years, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) publishes on its website, and on the special page of its database CEPEJ-STAT, a specific Study on notaries. 

This study has been prepared by the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), professional association with CEPEJ observer status. Based on 2020 data collected by the CEPEJ in the framework of its evaluation of judicial systems, this study practically complements and deepens the  Evaluation Report published in 2022. The Specific Study on Notaries covers different themes relating to the profession of notaries in Europe and in particular the status, number, functions, competences, activities, best practices in the field of new technologies, training, and supervision and monitoring of the notariat. Similar studies are carried out concerning enforcement agents and judicial experts, and they are published in September on the CEPEJ and CEPEJ-STAT web pages.

Trends and conclusions of the study are as follows:

"Civil law notarial activities are exercised in large parts of continental Europe, ensuring effective access to justice for citizens and companies. As an actor of preventive justice, the civil law notary prevents litigation and controls the legality of transactions. 

In many states, notariats are at the forefront of developing new technologies via electronic channels. This is not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic but instead reflects the general effort of the notariat to facilitate access to justice as well as providing legal certainty in the digital age. 

Important steps have also been taken to lighten the burden of the courts and public administration offices. The examples and figures in practice show that more and more competences are transferred to notaries for that purpose. Along with the succession regulation, where many EU Member States entrusted the competence to issue the European Certificate of Succession to notaries, also the notarial competence of divorce by mutual consent as well as the role of the notaries as court commissioners/courts reflect this evolution. Likely, this trend will continue in the future. 

Given the transposition of the 4th and 5th AML Directives into national law in most EU states, the role of the notaries in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing has become more important and is evolving ever since. Notaries do also cooperate with authorities in fighting against corruption, fraud and other illegal practices in different fields. 

High level of training of the profession, initial and continuous training, is a continuous ambition as well as the promotion of genuine equality between men and women in the practice of the notariat and representation in the profession’s decision-making bodies. 

In conclusion, the notariat has not only proven essential pillar of the states’ judicial systems, especially in an emergency like the COVID-19 crisis, but also a pioneer in the field of new technologies. Notaries thereby provide legal certainty in the digital sphere". (source: coe.int/en/web/cepej / photo: freepik.com)

The specific study on Notaries is available here

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Editorial

Editorial
George Kazoleas, Lawyer

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