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• The bailiff is a member of the legal profession who must guide each person towards the respect of their obligations.

• He plays an essential part in the protection of the debtor's interests.

• The bailiff, like any individual, has duties derived from moral requirements such as honesty, uprightness, and respect for others.

• Moreover, because he has an official role linked to the administration of justice, the bailiff has specific duties and obligations associated with this role, mainly inspired by considerations of social and judiciary utility.

• In this matter, the rules of conduct of the bailiff, who performs a mission of general interest, are above all guided by a concern for the safety of people and property and the desire to guarantee the effectiveness of activity which is useful to the community.

What characterizes the execution of the duties entrusted to this member of the legal profession is independance:

independance in relation to others
independance towards the debtor
independance towards oneself

• The duties that he performs are not part of a hierarchical organization but, because the bailiff has responsibilities, it is under the surveillance of the public prosecutor's office (Public Prosecutor and State Prosecutor).

• The bailiff acting within the context of his legal limits guarantees the authenticity of the official documents of his ministry. He acts as such as a public officer and his documents are legally authentic.

• The bailiff has the monopoly of serving legal documents:

The important thing is to bring them to the knowledge of the persons against whom they are directed and to make sure they are received by these persons.

• The bailiff is the only member of the legal profession who is qualified to proceed to the execution of the judge's decisions.

The bailiff is endowed with the monopoly of the State which owes each citizen a correct administration of Justice.

This is why, in order to be worthy of the confidence that the Law gives him, the bailiff must know the laws well enough:

• not to exceed what he can do
not to do less than what he has to do
• to be scrupulously careful not to omit any formality
• to have a firmness, when performing his duties, which will not be swayed
• to have the presence of mind which gives him the ability to resort to methods which are sometimes necessary in unpredictable circumstances.
• to show humanity towards those against whom he expends the rigours of the Law.
• to demonstrate integrity, preventing him from making needless expenses
• to always respect the duties of cautiousness, surveillance and obtaining information which characterize safety.

The effectiveness of a good system of justice required the creation of a profession which would be useful to the community and would provide such a feeling of security that the debtor would feel reassured and guaranteed: the bailiff was born.

Jacques LAURENT (1925-2000)
Bailiff in TARBES

You may visit the national website of the French bailiffs :

Les Dix Commandements des Huissiers



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