The Spanish notariat has a new General Council for the next four years. Mr José Manuel García Collantes, Dean of the Notarial College of Madrid, has taken on the role of President, and Mr Joan Carles Ollé, Dean of the Notarial College of Cataluña, is the new Vice-President.
The new Council has already announced its desire to continue to work alongside the CNUE and in close cooperation with authorities and legal systems to prevent and fight money laundering. This subject will in fact shape its work for the first part of the year, as the European Commission has announced that a draft Fourth Directive will be published on 5 February.
At national level, the Spanish notariat will be supporting the development of the Statistical Information Centre of the Notariat. The Centre, which was inaugurated on 3 July 2012, provides up-to-date information based on all of the legal documents issued by Spain’s 2,600 notarial practices. Detailed, anonymised statistical reports are now publicly available on a dedicated web portal (www.cienotariado.org).
One of the Council's objectives for the next four years is to take on tasks related to non-contentious court proceedings, which will ease the burden on the Spanish courts and, consequently, improve the operation of the country's judicial system. In particular, the Council is currently in talks with the Ministry of Justice on procedures for divorce by mutual agreement.
It is also worth mentioning two interesting initiatives from the General Council of the Spanish Notariat which are aimed at better informing the public about the role and competences of notaries.
The first is the publication of a guide entitled 'The Top 100 Questions Notaries are Asked'. This guide provides answers to the most common queries that arise during the process of drawing up a will, setting up a company, buying or selling a property, applying for a mortgage, etc. The publication is available at www.notariado.org.
The second initiative is an educational online video about the history of the notariat, which can be viewed (with English subtitles) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIhidozP6ZM.
You can stay up-to-date with the Spanish notariat’s news by following its Twitter account. It already has over 700 subscribers.