CNUE is a partner in the project " Justice without Litigation for Europe " supported by the European Union and which will start on 1 December 2020.
In Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary and the Slovak Republic exist a legal particularity that notaries exercise court functions, in particular in succession procedures, but also in other fields of civil justice (e.g. family law, order of payment). In Slovenia reflections are ongoing since some years already on the introduction of such court functions for notaries for succession cases. Taking these elements into account, a deeper look into the notaries’ court function needs to be taken in the context of the EU legal framework.
The project will analyse for Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary and the Slovak Republic the term "court" under the EU Succession Regulation in the context of non-contentious judicial procedures by notaries from a comparative law, fundamental rights and rule of law viewpoint. The project will also include Slovenia where reflection by policy-makers, academia and the chamber of notaries on transferring court tasks to notaries is progressing.
Against that background, the project aims at improving the application of the EU Succession Regulation through a better knowledge and understanding of court functions exercised by notaries in the above-mentioned central European Member States. Since the term “court” has been expanded by the Succession Regulation and other EU instruments to legal professionals (e.g. notaries) exercising court functions, the project aims at identifying common minimum procedural standards which enable fulfilling the criteria of the concept of “court” set by EU law. The project also analyses fundamental rights aspects and rule of law requirements in the participating Member States. On that basis, recommendations addressed to lawmakers at EU and national level will be presented.
The economic part of the project will carry out an in-depth analysis of the Civil Law Notaries’ function as court commissioners to assess social as well as economic benefits resulting from this non-contentious judicial procedures. The study will include a major data collection exercise to identify as well as quantify important economic and legal advantages that can arise from the reduction of ex-post legal expenditure of an economy. The data collected will be used for developing composite indicators to provide a comprehensive mapping of non-contentious judicial services aiming at disburdening the judicial system. For this, the legal acts and the respective litigation preventive judicial services shall be compared in their substance and reach in order to better reflect non-contentious judicial procedures in the European Justice Scoreboard or in the work of CEPEJ of the Council of Europe. On that basis, new indicators will be developed to better reflect non-contentious judicial procedures in these instruments. Recommendations and conclusions addressed to policymakers will be presented.
Finally, as a contribution to better enforcement of judicial decisions through better procedures, case-handling and cooperation in cross-border civil cases, the project aims at putting in place a specialised online cooperation mechanism by expanding the ENN (European Notarial Network, www.enn-rne.eu) and thereby facilitating communication between notaries exercising court functions in Europe. This will enhance mutual trust in such procedures and complement mutual assistance tools such as the EJN in civil and commercial matters.