On 17 July, the representatives of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania, namely chairman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs Juozas Bernatonis, chairman of the Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labour Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė and MP Andrius Palionis met with the representatives of the Ministry of Justices of Ukraine and private judicial officers. The guests from Ukraine came to Lithuania for an introductory practical visit, the purpose of which is to get acquainted with the experience of 15 years of Lithuanian judicial officers in the execution of debt recovery in the offices of judicial officers, the possibilities of the use of information technologies and the requirements of professional conduct.
A round-table discussion considered the transfer of enforcement from public sector to private one, and involved sharing of valuable insigts. Members of Parliament were interested in the implementation of institutional reform of court bailiffs in Ukraine.
“The success of the reform of the system of court bailiffs was also the fact that judicial officers considered their activities not only as a way of earning money, but also as a state-delegated obligation. The state must have a clear policy so that judicial officers could work for the benefit of parties to the proceedings. Lithuania did not find a special recipe for reforms, but our experience will be useful to Ukraine,” noted MP J.Bernatonis.
Presenting the projects and initiatives to be implemented, MP Šalaševičiūtė emphasised the importance of maintaining the proportionality between creditors and debtors. “Many functions in the regulation of judicial officers’ activities are performed by the court, therefore, attempts are being made to provide possibilities for allocating or postponing debt paying in instalments without court, also, we are looking for methods to limit social benefits to malicious debtors,” says R. Šalaševičiūtė.
The success of the reform of the system of court bailiffs was also the fact that judicial officers considered their activities not only as a way of earning money, but also as a state-delegated obligation, noted MP J.Bernatonis.
I.Karalienė, chairwoman of the Presidium of the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania, expressed satisfaction with the efficiency of the activity of private judicial officers compared to the existing state system of court bailiffs. "Working efficiently is not enough for a contemporary judicial officer, therefore, various ways are being sought to mitigate the debt recovery process and provide useful legal services".- noted I.Karalienė. The judicial officers of Macedonia, Moldova, Georgia and Kazakhstan have already benefited from the experience of Lithuanian judicial officers.
Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine presented debt recovery system. One year ago, private judicial officers started operating in Ukraine. Currently, there is a mixed system of decision-implementation: 6,000 court bailiffs and 130 private judicial officers. Social-type recovery such as eviction, maintenance of children are commissioned only to civil servants (bailiffs), but in the future it is planned to expand the activities of private judicial officers. Ukrainian private judicial officers have emphasised the fact that many bailiffs have moved from state sector to private one because of their ability to develop their professional experience. Currently, not only court bailiffs started to work as private judicial officers, but also former representatives of other professions, such as lawyers, arbitrators, and advocates. It has been noticed that the delegation of state bailiffs functions to private judicial officers helps Ukraine to improve the quality of debt recovery.
The discussion was organised by the Chamber of Judicial Officers of Lithuania upon implementation of the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Project No. K2018-VB-UK-06 “Implementation of the Ukrainian legal sector reform: development of judicial officers’ professional activities and services, strengthening of trust in the institution of private judicial officers in the society.” The project is funded by the Development Cooperation and Democracy Support Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
The project is dedicated to increase trust in the Ukrainian legal system, to promote a positive attitude towards judicial officers performing functions entrusted by the state, to promote transparent and efficient activities of judicial officers, and to create a positive investment climate in the country.