De gerechtsdeurwaarder: ambtenaar en ondernemer. Ontwikkelingen in de beroepsuitoefening en de gevolgen voor de opleiding
Author(s)Berg, C. van den
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AbstractThis research focuses on the development of the profession of the judicial officer (or bailiff) and the impact of these developments on their education. The Dutch judicial officer developed from humble servant to self-conscious professional. This independence of the profession is visible in the Gerechtsdeurwaarderswet (2001). The judicial officer is considered to be an independent professional with private liability, which has no connection to the court, but works as an independent professional with its own profession. The judicial officer is a practically oriented legal professional. His profession is regulated by law (Gerechtsdeurwaarderswet), and has its own public organization since 2001, the ‘Koninklijke Beroepsorganisatie voor Gerechtsdeurwaarders (KBvG)’. Judicial officers are also subject to disciplinary law with both professional and behavioral rules. A judicial officer has specialized knowledge and expertise. He is an expert in seizure law and serving summonses. The judicial officers also have an autonomous and responsible position. They have a monopoly position on the issue of summons, and enforcement law, and thus exert government coercion. The judicial officer aims for the realization of values. In a constitutional state they act as gatekeepers of civil procedure (through issuing subpoenas) and the enforcement of court judgments. He acts from an independent position from which he represents both the interests of the creditors and of the debtors. The legal practice was first isolated from the market to protect the objectivity and to assume social responsibility, but the law of 2001 introduced liberalization: the release of rates for clients and the letting go of the district boundaries. Several published commentaries and interviews clearly show that introduction of market forces has had an profound effect on the daily work of the judicial officer. 1. The relationship between the judicial officers changed. They became competitors rather than colleagues. 2. The relationship with clients changed. The clients of judicial officers also increased their scale, making major clients increasingly powerful. Interviewees spoke about working below cost and for them risky constructions of pre-financing. They also confirmed the existence of no-cure-no-pay contracts and other performance based agreements. Almost all interviewees indicated that the commercialization increasingly entailed risks for the judicial officer. 3. The relationship with the debtors changed. It resulted in less attention to the debtor. The current self-image is hardly determined by an ethical dimension and the collegiate organization. The public interest is thus served less, and their own moral identity disappears. The interviews with the (candidate) judicial officers and other stakeholders confirm this. In this context it is of great importance for the education of candidate-judicial officers to focus on the core values, because due to market forces, de focus on values has decreased and sometimes even appears to disappear. It also shows that a reinforcement of profession ethics is required in to maintain the core values of the profession in a market driven environment. Even the European statute mentions the importance of a high standard of professionalism and ethical values. The core values of the judicial officer are responsibility, independence, objective and integrity.