The distribution of notaries around the country is divided into 91 Districts; the territorial scope of the District by law coincides with the area of jurisdiction of the Court. Notaries having their practice in the District make up the notarial College and for each College there is a notarial Council. Districts in which fewer than fifteen notaries work may be combined with another neighbouring District to form a single Notarial Council.
The Council is located in the city where there is a District Court.
The Notarial Council consists of five, seven, nine or eleven members according to the number of notaries in the College; it is elected by practising notaries in the district and representatives are elected for a term of three years. Each year one-third of the councillors’ three-year terms expire and by the end of February there is a vote to renew the Council. The Council elects from among its members a president, secretary and treasurer.
The Notarial Council has the following functions:
- discipline: it can open proceedings before the Regional Disciplinary Commission, the body responsible for judging in first instance any disciplinary offence by a notary and imposing penalties;
- oversight: it oversees the protection “of the decorum of the profession and the conduct of notaries in the precise observance of their duties”. This supervision is not limited to the power to call to order, but can also be the power of inquiry and active participation in the disciplinary proceedings.