The Juridisch Maatschappelijk Kenniscentrum voor gerechtsdeurwaarders (Sociolegal Expertise Centre for Judicial Officers, abbreviated to SAM (Samenwerken voor een meer rechtvaardige maatschappij – Working together for a more equitable society) is a fact. This non-profit organisation in course of incorporation has already signed a collaboration agreement with the Nationale Kamer van Gerechtsdeurwaarders (Belgian National Chamber of Judicial Officers) with regard to its goals, financing and assignments.
Jan De Meuter, driving force and architect of SAM, signed the agreement on behalf of the brand-new expertise centre, which is aimed at speeding up the professionalization process of the trade. The challenges are many and varied.
Sam’s parents didn’t take any chances. It was a long and complicated pregnancy.
The framework for the establishment of this centre was first outlined in the 2011-2012 report of the Permanent Council, approved by the General Meeting on 27 October 2012. The Initial Board Meeting was held on 23 May 2013. The content of this meeting was discussed by the Permanent Council on 20 June 2013 and approved without any remarks. Finally, the mission statement was unanimously approved on 22 April 2014 by the Management Committee. SAM is now ready to go!
SAM’s articles of association stipulate the following specific goals :
- drawing up the profile of the profession of judicial officer with regard to the judicial order, society and the political world, with an eye to improving the squad and taking the mission and agenda of all concerned parties from civil society into account (consumer organisations, poverty organisations, debt counsellors, etc.)
- analysing and reporting the financial/economic role of the judicial officer in relation to society;
- developing an expertise & training facility where all potential knowledge, information and experience is assembled, spread and valorised, and where training, seminars, conferences, etc. can be organized;
- preparation, advice, coordination, support and performance of policy and decisions of the bodies of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers on the level of administration, content and logistics.
- performing all assignments entrusted to the organisation by the bodies of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers;
- giving optimal support and service to judicial officers and candidate judicial officers in the performance of all aspects of their profession (operations, training and education, ICT, finances);
- offering a forum, meeting place and exchange platform where all parties concerned and interest groups can proactively and constructively collaborate and discuss the future of the profession;
- establishing a centrally organised counselling service for citizens, together with other legal professions as the case may be, with regard to the daily performance of the profession of judicial officer;
- developing a proactive and positive communication strategy with regard to the role of the socially conscious judicial officer in the world of today and tomorrow.
SAM’s goals are entirely based on the mission statement approved by the Management Committee of the National Chamber of Judicial Officers.
In order to achieve these goals, the following departments will be established within SAM:
- an expertise centre and legal department,
- a financial expertise centre,
- a technical centre, and
- a communication centre.
Moreover, the National Chamber has given SAM the assignment to establish a permanent forum to which all parties concerned and interest groups can contribute.
With an eye to financing SAM’s assignments, the National Chamber will provide an annual remuneration of 1,000,000.00 euros.
If it appears from the annual accounts that SAM has made a profit, SAM undertakes to transfer the profits to the National Chamber within 30 days of the publication of the annual accounts and after express agreement of the auditor.
Finally, in case of dissolution or liquidation of SAM, its net assets will be transferred to the National Chamber.