The Notariat worldwide

The continental European notarial system is the Latin-Germanic tradition, grouped together at the International Union of Notaries (UINL).

The continental model of the Notariat achieves more secure transactions with lower costs to users. Many countries of other legal cultures have adopted it as their own.

It is today the majority model worldwide, used by 70% of the global population.

The overarching function of a continental notary is the public faith, to offer impartial advice and strict control of legality.

The cornerstone of the Latin notarial model is the authentic notarial instrument, a document with enforcement status representing privileged evidence in court. It may be asserted that the notarial instrument is in ordinary dealings what a court judgment is in litigation. Unlike private contracts, the enforcement status vested in notarial public instruments allows the contracting parties directly to obtain the execution of their reciprocal obligations before the courts. The notarial public instrument likewise enjoys an efficacy that extends to third parties. Within the notarial system, the priority is preventive legal certainty as opposed to other systems in place around the world, which typically make use of the arrangement of insurance and the involvement of the courts in the event of a dispute.

The International Union of Notaries (UINL) includes most countries of the European Union and Latin America, all the countries of Eastern Europe, and others so far away from our culture as China and Japan, and many other states in Asia and Africa.

The notarial system is strategically important for the proper functioning of economic life. It is a figure that protects consumers and saves costs, by providing them with consultancy free of charge, reducing paperwork and, essentially, avoiding lawsuits.

  • CNUE


    The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is the official organism representing the notarial profession before European institutions, with the power to speak, negotiate and reach decisions on behalf of the various European Notariats.

    More information on the CNUE
  • UINL


    The International Union of Notaries (UINLis a non-governmental organisation established to promote, coordinate and develop notarial activity around the globe and to protect the dignity and independence of the various Notariats.

    More information on the UINL
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