The map of notaries in the world
The Italian (or “Latin”) model of notary (otherwise known as “civil law notary”) is present in 86 countries around the world and in 22 of the 28 European countries, covering over 60% of the world population.
In all these countries, notaries are highly trained lawyers selected by the State, non-partisan by law with respect to the parties and therefore able to offer impartial assistance of which they are guarantors and for which they are responsible. The fact that those operations that are economically more important for citizens are subject to a prior review of legality by a specialist who is independent of the parties very significantly reduces subsequent disputes.
The advantages of the internationally recognised Latin type of notariat have led in recent years – a result of globalisation – to a considerable spread of this model in the world: culturally very distant countries have become part of the family, such as China, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam, and the model’s presence has been further reinforced in the European arena with the entry of Russia and almost all the countries of Eastern Europe. The Italian notariat, the oldest and among the most influential in the world, actively supports the growth of more recent notarial organisations.
Co-operation between the Italian and Chinese notariats is intense and is bearing fruit. In 2003, the Chinese Ministry of Justice chose Rome to announce, during a visit to the National Council of Notaries, the adoption by his country of the Latin notarial model and recently (September 2014) returned to explore the subjects of electronic transmission of documents to the land registry and the company registry as a way of overcoming problems known elsewhere as identity fraud, identity theft, and real estate fraud. To this end, in recent years training courses have been held in Rome by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Union of Notariats and the National Council of Notaries.
The validity of the system of Latin notaries has gained ground too in totally different political and economic contexts. Alabama and Florida, alongside their Anglo-Saxon system, have put in place a new body of Latin notaries, such as has existed for some time in Louisiana; other US states are following suit. Italian notaries have been called to assist in the training of their new American colleagues.
How it works where there is no notary
The role of the notary public of the Anglo-Saxon type (in Great Britain, the US and other countries) is quite different: there he is only responsible for the authenticity of signatures. This obliges, for example, anyone who buys or sells a house to seek the advice of a lawyer (one each) and to bear the cost of title insurance, with total costs that are much higher than those that are incurred in Italy for the same level of guarantee.
The absence of the figure of the Latin-type notary also leads to unreliability of the data entered in the land and company registers of these countries, as is clearly admitted by those who manage them.
The economic value of the public function of the notary is also demonstrated by the request by the American Bar Association for the presence of three Italian notaries in the task force set up with representatives from the White House and the FBI to find effective solutions to problems relating to the management of digital identities and the prevention of electronic fraud. Such phenomena are also linked to the housing market, which led among other things to the falsification of thousands of documents prepared to facilitate the expropriation of the assets of borrowers (“foreclosure-gate” and “robo-signing”).
CNUE – Council of Notariats of the European Union
The Council of Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), established in 1993, is the official body representing the Notariat with regard to European institutions. The CNUE includes the 22 Notariats present in the 28 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Hungary. Turkey has been accepted as an observer.
The CNUE’s mission is to promote the notariat and its active contribution to any decision-making processes of the European institutions. This involves areas including the legal aspects of citizenship and running a business, access to justice and consumer protection.
To this end, the CNUE set up working groups to follow EU affairs and establish position papers committing all of the CNUE’s member notariats. These working groups are composed of experts designated by the member notariats and are chaired by a representative of one of the member notariats. The CNUE is thus present in all political and technical matters that have an impact on the notarial profession.
Furthermore, the CNUE keeps its members updated on developments in European legislation and any initiatives taken by the EU institutions. It also assists in the continuous training of notaries in EC law.
The CNUE does not, however, limit itself only to following EU work; it also makes proposals. It implements projects with a European dimension involving all its members, with the aim of constructing the area of justice, freedom and security expected by European citizens. These positive initiatives, which often rely on new technologies, make life easier for citizens, whose mobility can be hindered by cross-border legal complications.
U.I.N.L. – The International Union of Notariats
The International Union of Notariats is an NGO founded in 1948 and set up to promote, coordinate and develop the function of notarial services throughout the world, since closer cooperation among Notariats ensures their dignity and independence, in order to better serve individuals and society.
There are 86 Member Notariats:
Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgio, Benin, Bolivia, Brasile, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Camerun, Canada, Ciad, Cile, Cina (Repubblica Popolare), Colombia, Congo, Costa d’Avorio, Costa Rica, Croazia, Cuba, Equador, El Salvador, Estonia, Francia, Gabon, Germania, Giappone, Grecia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Lettonia, Lituania, Londra (UK), Luisiana (USA), Lussemburgo, Mali, Malta, Marocco, Messico, Moldavia, Monaco, Nicaragua, Niger, Paesi Bassi, Panama, Paraguay, Perù, Polonia, Portogallo, Porto Rico, Repubblica Ceca, Repubblica Centrafricana, Repubblica di Macedonia (FYROM), Repubblica di San Marino, Repubblica Dominicana, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovacchia, Slovenia, Spagna, Svizzera, Togo, Turchia, Ungheria, Uruguay, Vaticano, Venezuela
The International Union of Notaries (UINL) is a non-governmental organisation. It aims to promote, co-ordinate and develop the function and activities of notaries throughout the world. It assures their dignity and independence in order to provide a better service to people and society in general.
Formed by 19 countries at the time of its establishment in 1948, our organisation includes 86 countries at 31st December 2013, of which 22 out of the 28 member countries of the European Union and 15 out of the 19 countries of the G20, thus showing the expansion of the European legal system. Today it is in place in almost 120 countries, totalling 2/3 of the world population and accounting for over 60% of world Gross Domestic Product.
Directed by a Steering Committee formed by 28 councillors, the decision-making body is the General Meeting of member notariats where each country has one vote regardless of its importance. It also includes a General Council formed by 172 members and continental and intercontinental commissions working from the scientific (vocational training and research), strategic (development), economic (networks and activities) and sociological (human rights and social protection) standpoints.
Commissions and Working groups
The Commissions deal with notarial topics from the technical and legal viewpoints. They organise Study Days and Workshops.
They are broken down into continental commissions: African Affairs Commission, American Affairs Commission, European Affairs Commission and Asian Affairs Commission; and intercontinental commissions: International Notarial Co-operation Commission, Advisory Commission, Themes and Congresses Commission, Notarial Social Security Commission, Notarial Deontology Commission ad Human Rights Commission.
The working groups take part in the implementation of the action plan of the Union, especially in the fields of titling, partnerships with international organisations and the notarial network.
• Promote and apply the fundamental principles of the civil law notarial system and the principles of notarial deontology;
• Represent the notariat at and co-operate with international organisations;
• Collaborate with national bodies and institutional authorities in every country;
• Study law in the field of notarial activities and co-operate to harmonise national legislations at international level;
• Promote, organise and develop vocational training and support scientific works in the notarial field;
• Study and systematically gather legislation on the civil law notarial institution;
• Promote international congresses, conferences and meetings.
Promote and establish relations with:
• developing Notariats and Notaries in countries lacking notarial organisations to work for their development and organisation with a view to their admission to the Union;
• notarial organisations under legal systems that are eligible to join the civil law notarial system;
• organisations that are not part of the notarial system in order to collaborate with them in areas of common interest.
• Support the development of law in States.