France is the very heart of the modern European notarial tradition. It was France and Napoleon who exported the French legal system, which, with many variations here and there, forms the backbone of many European legal codes.
The notaire is a key person, but he does not exercise official authority. France’s highest court knows that, as does its Minister for Justice (Garde des Sceaux). I applied to him to work there and have chased him up and had the UK government apply on my behalf. All correspondence has been ignored or dismissed with a two line “We do not have to let you in since notaries are exempt from EU provisions on free movement because they exercise official authority”. No argument is made or followed through.
The correspondence is the following (links will open in a new window):
- Application to the Garde des Sceaux
- Letter to John Bowis my MEP chasing the application
- Further letter to the Garde des Sceaux on 2nd June
- Rejection by France of my application to work there
- Cour de Cassation decision showing clearly that France knows that notaries do not exercise official authority ( the case was specifically brought to the French government’s attention by myself and the UK government)
- Letter from Garde des Sceaux