On 6 June 2017, Vivien Whyte, accompanied by Gerhard Scheucher, Vice-President, and Walter Szöky, officially presented the White Paper for a Rechtspfleger/Greffier for Europe to Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter, Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Justice of the Republic of Austria.
Vivien Whyte presented the context and the content of the White Paper, emphasizing the model represented by the Austrian Rechtspfleger for other European professions. He emphasized the key role of Rechtspfleger in the Austrian judicial system, which is regularly cited by the European authorities as the most effective in Europe and the advantage that other countries would have in adopting a similar model. Vivien Whyte finally recalled the need to act at the level of the European Union and the Council of Europe to promote an independent profession, highly qualified and with jurisdictional competences alongside judges and prosecutors.
Dr. Brandstetter was very interested in the White Paper, which he said he wanted to draw on in his work. He agreed on the importance of Rechtspfleger, without whom the Austrian judicial system could not function. Finally, he was sensitive to the EUR’s arguments on the place of Rechtspfleger, which should not be seen as competition by judges and prosecutors, but as an asset allowing them in particular to refocus on their mission in most complex contentious cases.