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EU court: Czech nationality required for notaries discriminatory

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Luxembourg/Brussels, March 15 (CTK correspondent) – The Czech Republic has violated the freedom of establishment embedded in EU law by its nationality requirement for notaries, which is discriminatory, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

The court also pointed out that it had ruled in the same way on a similar practice in some other EU countries in 2011.

The European Commission (EC) filed a lawsuit against Prague over the Czech nationality requirement for notaries in February 2016.

None of the activities of the notary practice in the Czech Republic is connected with the public power execution, and consequently the access to the notary’s profession in an EU member state cannot be made conditional on nationality, the court concluded in its press release.

In Thursday’s verdict the court stipulates that freedom of establishment applies to the notary profession.

According to an EU treaty, this right means that a person from another EU country can start working as a self-employed and establish and manage firms in another EU country under the same conditions as its citizens with the exception of activities connected with the execution of public power.

The court says in its press release that legal consultancy, representing parties, the preparation of private documents, legal analyses and entering data into public registers cannot be qualified as the public power execution even if those steps are legal duties.

The verification of legally binding facts and statements by notaries public are only of a preparatory character in the process of the public power execution, the court ruled.

It commented on other activities of notaries in a similar way.

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