Notaries in Luxembourg

Notaries in Luxembourg

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Mobility

Legal Education: University qualification

As there is no University awarding law degrees in Luxembourg the system relies on recognition on non-Luxembourg degrees. This process is called “homologation”. Once homologated the gaps of knowledge as regards Luxembourg law must be filled by special supplementary courses on Luxembourg law.

See below:

Homologation
Supplementary courses on Luxembourg law

Homologation

The Law of 18th June 1969 permits an intending lawyer, whether a Luxembourg citizen or a non-national, to submit, for what is called homologation (i.e. approval), a foreign degree or equivalent educational qualification. Homologation is granted by the Minister for National Education on the advice of ad hoc committees. The Regulation of 18th December 1970 lays down certain criteria for this grant of homologation.

Criteria for homologation require that:

a final degree or diploma at higher education level may be submitted for homologation only if the applicant holds
either a Luxembourg secondary school-leaving certificate or a foreign school-leaving certificate recognised as equivalent under Luxembourg law.

The foreign final degree or diploma must either confer a qualification in higher legal education recognised by the country of origin in respect of its own nationals or, allow access in that country to the profession of avocat or to a period of practical training leading to the profession of avocat.
degrees etc. submitted for homologation must be based upon a complete cycle of legal studies of at least four years duration or eight semesters or twelve trimesters.
The foreign degree etc. must satisfy certain requirements as to its content: these relate first to the subject matter studied – a number of subjects must have been studied.
The law studied must correspond in its fundamental conceptions to the general principles of the Luxembourg legal system (Luxembourg law is based primarily on French law). Both French and Belgian law degrees are recognised as fulfilling this last requirement of a conceptual likeness with Luxembourg law. Other cases are looked at on their merits. It seems that Italian law degrees have found acceptance; an English law degree would certainly not be acceptable.

Supplementary courses on Luxembourg law

The system of homologation leaves the candidate with a considerable gap in his knowledge of Luxembourg law. To fill this gap the candidate must attend what are called topping up courses given once a year at the University Centre in Luxembourg City. Both Luxembourg citizens and non-nationals are eligible to attend these courses.

Each course runs for an intensive three and a half months from mid-October to the end of January. The teaching is provided by practitioners – members of the Bar, Judges, and officials from the European Community Institutions. There are presently some 250 hours of classes.

The topping-up courses require obligatory attendance and satisfactory performance is assured by a system of course work and examination. Once the course has been completed the student becomes an avocat stagiaire. The intending lawyer is now ready to begin on his professional training, having obtained a reasonable knowledge of Luxembourg law.

Legal Training

Luxembourg falls within the Civil Law tradition as having a notarial system for the authentification of documents required for non-contentious transactions. The route for qualification as a notary follows closely that already set out above for qualifying as an avocat. The difference arises in the professional stage.

The intending notary must complete an additional period of training in notarial practice. This may be carried out during the first or second year of his three- year professional training, i.e., it is in substitution of one year of the general stage described above for a stagiaire.

Alternatively, the notarial stage can take place after the examen de fin de stage. The notarial stage requires full-time attendance in the office of a practising notary for a period of twelve months. It involves also attendance at lectures and practical exercises relevant to notarial practise and procedure. The notarial stage concludes with the taking of a notarial examination which is both written and oral. The Notarial Examination is described below:

The Notarial Examination

The Written part: The written examination deals chiefly with three matters:

The drafting of notarial instruments in French and in German.
The preparation of a notarial act of liquidation, i.e., for the winding up and division of an estate or the partition of community property on marriage breakdown.
The questions of fiscal law relevant to notarial practice.

The Oral part: The oral examination will deal with similar questions. For the notarial examination a special jury is appointed consisting of four practising notaries and members of the judiciary. It should be noted that, as in France, it is the requirement of Luxembourg law that a notary should be of Luxembourg nationality, the justification being that he participates in the exercise of public authority.

Governing Bodies

Relevant Legislation

Author: J Lonbay (A), 2008

Other Legal Professionals

Lawyers

The full title of an avocat used to be more correctly called an AVOCAT-AVOUE. A further distinction is made between the fully qualified AVOCAT, who is styled AVOCAT INSCRIT (on List I) as compared with the trainee lawyer (AVOCAT-STAGIAIRE ) (found on List II). Information about lawyers in the European countries is provided here.

Bailiffs

The law of 4 December 1990 entitled Loi portant organisation du service des huissiers de justice organises de profession of huissier de justice. Information about bailiffs in the European countries is provided here.

Notaries in other European Countries

Resources

Notes

See Also

Further Reading

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