Simplifying the movement of authentic instruments in Europe
In Europe, the authority given to notaries to confer authenticity on the entire contents of an act allows a particularly effective and secure legal instrument to be created. The authentic instrument enables non-contentious and preventive conflict jurisdiction. It reconciles freedom (the basis for economic efficiency), security (an essential component of social harmony) and preventive justice (catering for consumers’ needs and for the requirements of contractual relations).
Being in many respects the same as a court decision, the authentic instrument cannot be challenged except by court proceedings. Unlike private agreements, it has a higher probative value and is binding on judges, the administration and third parties. Like court decisions, it is enforceable, which enables the contracting parties to have their obligations directly enforced by the bodies responsible for enforcement (bailiffs) without having to go before a judge. By affixing the seal of the State next to the signature of the parties on the act he/she draws up, the notary is responsible for the substance as well as the form:
• yes, the authentication process has been perfectly respected;
• yes, the authenticated instrument is proof of the wishes of the signatories, their identity, the date of their commitments and the content of these commitments.