If you need to ensure legal security and effectiveness for a private document or enforce a deed or seek an arbitrator for a dispute or, even simply, obtain legal advice, you may need to turn to a notary. This section provides you with guidance on how to find a notary within the European Union (EU).
Notaries are legal practitioners specialised and authorised to act in certain legal matters. By virtue of their tasks and responsibilities, notaries play an important role in the State legislature in the 21 Member States where the legal order is based on Latin civil law.
Their tasks in particular are:
- to draw up private agreements and to advise the parties while satisfying an obligation to treat each of them fairly. In drafting official documents, the notary is responsible for the legality of these documents and of the advice s/he gives. S/he has to inform the parties of the implications and consequences of the obligations they undertake,
- to enforce the deeds s/he draws up. The deed can then be registered directly in the official records, or enforced if one of the parties does not meet its obligations, without the prior intervention of a judge,
- to play the role of an arbitrator who, impartially, and under strict observance of the law, enables the parties to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
To read more about the role of notaries, please see the section on legal professions.
The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is the official body representing the notarial profession in dealings with the European institutions.
If you are looking for a notary in a European country, the CNUE offers on its website an electronic directory service for a European notary. Via this search tool, it is possible to find the contact details of a notary anywhere in the European Union as well as information on the languages used by the notary. You can choose one of the 23 official languages and the country where you wish to find a notary including the option of selecting a specific town. The result of the search will return the notary's contact details (postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, website, etc.) and the location of the notary's office on a map of the town.
In addition to the possibility of searching for a notary using the electronic directory service, it is also possible to contact the national Chambers by phone, fax or email, in order to find a notary. Contact details of the National Chambers can be found here.
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Last update: 19/02/2014