The 8th of June is the World Day of the Judicial Officer. It was commemorated for the 10th time on the initiative of the International Union of Judicial Officers.
The topic of this year’s World Day of the Judicial Officer was Informing of Parties to the Proceedings.
“Information is the key to smooth process of recovery. We are inviting to be actively interested in processes and to provide information to judicial officers”, says the Chairwoman of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania Inga Karalienė. According to her, cooperation increases the possibility to win for the both parties to the process: the creditor recovers his or her funds or their part and the debtor performs his or her obligation in the most beneficial way to him or her.
The Chairwoman of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania Inga Karalienė
In Lithuania around a thousand people help to recover debts: 118 judicial officers and 900 of their assistants and employees at their officers. Each day of a judicial officer’s work on average recovers 405 thousand Euro of debts to their debt-collectors.
Whatever the court decision is: motivated, justified, lawful, if it is not enforced, the justice will not be enforced either.
This aspect noted the Judge of Civil Cases Division of the Supreme Court of Lithuania Egidijus Laužikas when speaking in Žinių radijas (News Radio) show Atviras Pokalbis (Open Conversation) on the eve of the occasion.
The Dean of Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Faculty of Law prof. dr. Lyra Jakulevičienė and the Director of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania Dovilė Satkauskienė also participated in the discussion.
According to Egidijus Laužikas, it is very important to the court that judicial officers work in a qualified and operative manner because the person to whom the court awarded the debt must recover his or her money. Changes in laws confirm that work of judicial officers improves in many aspects. In comparison to 2003 when judicial officers of Lithuania began to operate on private grounds, today the right to make a lot more independent decisions is granted to judicial officers and there is a lot less court control necessary.
One of the examples is the necessary preliminary order of appeal of disputes concerning actions of judicial officers which came into force in 2011. Firstly, the parties of the process address to a judicial officer and if the judicial officer does not agree with the arguments of appeal, the appeal is transferred to the court for hearing. This helped to decrease the number of applications submitted by the applicants to the court because a part of issues are solved by judicial officers themselves. Another proven new thing is the refusal of formal court decisions by which the costs of enforcement of decisions used to be awarded or acts of sale of assets at an auction used to be approved.
New changes in the Code of Civil Procedure will come into force on 1 July this year by which judicial officers will be granted the right to solve the issues of succession of procedural rights, administration of assets and many other issues”, listed the Judge Egidijus Laužikas.
The Director of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania Dovilė Satkauskienė noted that professional competences characteristic to judicial officers in all states where judicial officers have a liberal status are increasing.
“We are not innovators. In France private judicial officers already exist for 200 years. All Member States of the European Union that aim for a higher quality of enforcement of decisions choose private judicial officers”, summarized Dovilė Satkauskienė.
According to her, despite the fact that the demand for legal services provided by judicial officers in Lithuania is increasing, the enforced recovery of debts constitutes around 80 % of all activities of a judicial officer and that will continue to be the principle mission of a judicial officer for a long time.
On the other hand, legal services of judicial officers is one of the reasons why the number of new requests to enforce the recovery of debts is in decline. Such services as serving of documents, intermediation in performing liabilities related to assets or statement of facts allow to solve the majority of problems in an out-of-court procedure, therefore the number of decisions submitted to judicial officers is also in decline. In comparison to 2010, the need for enforced recovery declined by 24 %.
From L. to R.: the Director of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania D. Satkauskienė, the Judge of Civil Cases Division of the Supreme Court of Lithuania E. Laužikas, the journalist R. Musnickas and the Dean of MRU Faculty of Law L. Jakulevičienė
The Dean of MRU Faculty of Law Lyra Jakulevičienė admitted that not everyone could perform the work of a judicial officer well: psychologic climate is difficult and various additional skills are also necessary to begin with management skills and to end with psychological knowledge or mediation techniques.
According to Lyra Jakulevičienė, judicial officers themselves say that negotiation and mediation skills are very important in dealing with emotional challanges, especially in family cases. Therefore judicial officers as well as judges often are guests of MRU Saturday mediation school.