Private Enforcement Officers Summarized Organizational Flaws Detected During the Initial Two Years of the Profession Existence

The Association of Private Enforcement Officers of Ukraine (APEOU), jointly with the Ministry of Justice, Council of Private Enforcement Officers of Odesa Oblast, and EU Project “Pravo – Justice”, held a conference titled “Unification of Legal Provisions and Institutional Development of Private Enforcement in Ukraine”.

The Conference agenda included discussions of intercommunication between the judiciary and private enforcement officers, best international standards for training enforcers, initial and ongoing training of private enforcement officers, and lessons learned during two years of the profession existence. The Conference participants paid special attention to the professional reputation risks they faced in connection with ethical aspects of advertising of private enforcement activities and competition in the professional community. Specifically, they discussed standards for presenting information in the media as some private enforcers use publications in the media for promotions purposes while readers form their view on the profession on the whole. Speakers encouraged their colleagues to tell communication channels which develop a private enforcement officer’s image in the society from those used to promote personal brands.

Besides, private enforcers considered the impact of the Ukrainian Code of Bankruptcy procedures, which was passed last October, on the enforcement process and a need to unify practices of judicial oversight over execution of court decisions as every so often competent courts compete for foreclosing on debtor’s property, thus, complicating private enforcement officers’ activities in satisfying lenders’ claims.

Following the discussion on improving performance of the private enforcement in Ukraine, experts from Moldova, Bulgaria, and Lithuania shared exposed their Ukrainian counterparts to international experience in organizing the enforcement of judicial decisions in the private sector. For example, Lithuania operates an automated system whereby collected debts are distributed among lenders in priority sequence. In so doing, employed information technologies link all institutions engaged in the enforcement process. A similar system in Moldova enables its users to seize debtor’s assets in a matter of minutes. The system makes it possible to keep track of not only debtor’s bank accounts but also safety deposit boxes registered in his/her or his/her close relatives’ name.

To obtain expert support and share information in years to come, the leadership of the Association of Private Enforcement Officers of Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with its Moldavian counterparts. Thanks to established contacts and information received at the Conference, the self-regulatory organization will continue working on the enhancement and development of the private enforcement system in Ukraine.