There are many exciting jobs in the field of law. One of these is the job of a court clerk. As a close collaborator of the magistrate, the clerk must assist them during all hearings. Are you a new graduate who wants to enter the law sector or a student looking for a job related to your university career? Do you want to know more about the duties of a clerk to guide you in your choice? Read this article!
Definition of a Clerk
Etymologically, the word “clerk” comes from the Greek verb “graphein,” which means “to write”. Other sources also state that the term originates from the Latin “graphium,” which means “style”. Thus, the clerk is a pen specialist in the legal field. In other words, they are a master of writing. He is an officer of justice working within the administrative or judicial jurisdiction. He holds different responsibilities depending on the system to which he is subject. After passing a competitive examination organized by the State, clerks join the body of civil servants.
Categories of Clerks and Their Respective Functions
There are two categories of clerks: directors of judicial clerkship services and clerks. Both have a dual jurisdictional and administrative mission, so they are considered multi-skilled.
The Director of Judicial Registry Services
Commonly known as the chief clerk, the director of judicial registry services is a category A civil servant. They are responsible for the administration, supervision, management, and assistance of the judge in their decisions.
They assist in elaborating the court’s budget and ensuring its execution. As the guarantor of logistics, he is responsible for managing material resources and premises. In addition, they are responsible for the animation and management of their staff and organizes all activities.
Since 1996, the year of the creation of the regional administrative services, the chief clerks have been performing the functions of coordinator in a court of appeal.
During each hearing, they must always be present to assist the judges. In case of absence or impediment, he is replaced by one or more deputy chief clerks. He guarantees the respect and authenticity of judicial proceedings. With a role similar to that of a secretary, they keep the court’s acts, archives, and registers.
Sometimes, administrative tasks clutter up the chief clerk’s schedule, preventing him from adequately fulfilling his role of assisting the magistrate. This is why they request the transfer of certain attributions of the chief clerks to the clerks. These are, for example, the establishment of certificates of ownership and notoriety or the maintenance of various judicial documents.
They are also called “court notaries”. They are category B civil servants under the direction of the chief clerks of the court. They are mainly responsible for assisting the judge and authenticating legal documents. In addition to transcribing the debates during the hearings, the clerk ensures the respect and authenticity of the entire proceedings. This is why they are often called “court notary” or “procedural technician”.
Upon entering the courthouse, citizens are usually greeted by the clerk. Indeed, the clerk is the intermediary between the judge and the parties throughout the proceedings. Moreover, he is the primary contact for the auxiliary officers of justice (bailiff, notary, lawyer, etc.). Any act established without his presence is considered null and void.
The clerk registers the cases, keeps the parties informed of the hearing and closing dates, draws up the minutes, and drafts the judge’s decisions. They are responsible for the archives, documents, and acts and may issue copies.