The profession of Judicial Officer is governed by articles 509 and following of the Judicial Code. The judicial officer is a public officer and a ministerial officer.
The State indeed assigned him with part of the public authority in order to allow him to fulfil his official missions, such as summons, serving of instruments, assignments, … (see monopolistic competences) assigned to him by Law.
In the framework of his competences, he is not allowed to refuse to serve (except for very precise cases, in case of conflicts of interests or if the request appears to be illegal for example) and he must apply the rates imposed by law.
The judicial officer also performs non monopolistic tasks such as e.g. amicable recovery.
In the framework of his missions, the judicial officer is subject to very strict legal and ethical rules.
He acts under the status of liberal profession and is therefore independent. He doesn’t receive any wage or compensation from the State.
The acts the judicial officer is entitled to perform are authentic acts and are therefore complete proof (articles 1317 to 1319 of the Judicial Code) except for the civil requests in forgery matters (article 895 of the Judicial Code).
To become a Judicial Officer, one must be holder of a Doctor’s degree, a Master’s degree or a Bachelor’ degree in law, have completed a two years’ traineeship in a judicial officer’s office, have succeeded in the traineeship homologation examination (in order to become a candidate), have been a candidate for over five years and pass an open competition organised between the candidates.
The judicial officer is then appointed by the King for the performance of his tasks in a given judicial district.