By-laws of the Bundesnotarkammer
In its version published 6 June 2003 (DNotZ 2003, page 386), amended by the by-laws of 14 October 2005 (DNotZ, 2006, page 1) and last amended by the by-laws of 7 April 2017 (DNotZ 2017, page 881).
I. Seat and tasks
Section 1 Seat
The Bundesnotarkammer has its seat in Berlin.
Section 2 Tasks
The Bundesnotarkammer shall fulfil the tasks assigned to it by law and the by-laws. It protects and represents the interests of the chambers of notaries and the notarial profession collectively. It organises the Congress of German Civil Law Notaries.
II. The Executive Committee
Section 3 Election
(1) The Assembly of Representatives shall elect the members of the Executive Committee by secret ballot in separate ballots. After the President, his deputies shall be elected, followed by the other members of the Executive Committee.
(2) The Assembly of Representatives shall appoint an election officer and two election assistants.
(3) Anyone who receives more than half of the votes cast shall be elected. If this majority is not obtained in the first ballot, a second ballot shall immediately follow. If an absolute majority is not achieved in the second ballot either, the two notaries who received the most votes in the second ballot shall be put to a run-off vote. In the event of a tie, the lot drawn by the election officer shall be decisive.
(4) Blank ballot papers or ballot papers that are invalid for any other reason shall not be counted. A majority of votes cast by the election officer and the two election assistants shall decide on the validity of a ballot paper. The ballot papers shall be kept for one year in an envelope sealed by the election officer.
(5) The election officer shall establish the results of the election.
Section 4 Rejection of the election
The election as a member of the Executive Committee may be refused by
- anyone who has reached the age of 65;
- anyone who has been a member of the Executive Committee for the last four years;
- any person who, for health reasons, is unable to carry out the duties associated with the office.
Section 5 Premature departure
Anyone who resigns from their office as a member of the Executive Committee shall leave the Executive Committee before the end of the election period. Such resignation may only take place with the consent of the Assembly of Representatives or for one of the reasons stated in Section 4 No. 1 or 3.
Section 6 Temporary suspension from office
As long as a member of the Executive Committee is temporarily suspended from the office of notary (Section 54 of the Federal Code for Notaries [Bundesnotarordnung; BNotO]), their membership of the Executive Committee is suspended.
Section 7 Tasks
(1) The Executive Committee shall perform the tasks assigned to it by law and the by-laws. It enacts the resolutions of the Assembly of Representatives, conducts the current business of the Bundesnotarkammer and represents it in foreign and intergovernmental organisations. Section 83 (2) BNotO applies to all expert opinions rendered by the Bundesnotarkammer.
(2) The Executive Committee may authorise individual members of the Executive Committee to carry out certain transactions or certain types of business. It may issue guidelines for day-to-day management, including asset management.
Section 8 Representation of the President
The President shall be represented by his first deputy if he is unable to attend and by his second deputy if the first deputy is unable to attend.
Section 9 Meetings and resolutions
(1) Meetings shall be convened by the President as required. The President shall determine the place and time of meetings in consultation with the other members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be convened if three of its members so request.
(2) The Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum if four members, including the President or one of his deputies, are present. If the quorum is not met at a meeting, a new meeting shall be convened immediately at which the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum irrespective of the number of members present. At least one week must elapse between the first and the second meeting, not counting the days of the meeting.
(3) Resolutions of the Executive Committee may also be adopted in writing, by fax, in electronic form (Section 126 a (1) of the German Civil Code [Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch; BGB]) or by telephone if no member of the Executive Committee objects.
(4) Resolutions of the Executive Committee shall be taken by a simple majority of the votes cast.
Section 10 Director
(1) The Executive Committee, with the consent of the Assembly of Representatives, appoints one or more directors who conduct the business of the Bundesnotarkammer in accordance with the instructions of the President and the rules of procedure adopted by the Executive Committee. The directors need not be notaries.
(2) The Executive Committee determines the remuneration of the Directors with the approval of the Assembly of Representatives and concludes the employment contract with them.
(3) The Assembly of Representatives may at any time request the dismissal of a director.
III. The Assembly of Representatives
Section 11 Convocation
1. The Assembly of Representatives shall be convened by the President. The Executive Committee shall determine the time and place.
(2) At least two meetings of the Assembly of Representatives shall be held annually.
(3) Without prejudice to Section 85 (2) BNotO, the Assembly of Representatives shall be convened in writing with a notice period of three weeks. The day on which the letters of invitation are sent and the day of the meeting are not counted. If the president has to convene a meeting of the Assembly of Representatives pursuant to Section 85 (1) sentence 3 BNotO, the day of the meeting may not be later than six weeks after receipt of the request that entails the obligation to convene.
(4) The invitation shall announce the items on which the Assembly of Representatives is to take a decision.
Section 12 Quorum
(1) The Assembly of Representatives shall constitute a quorum if more than half of the votes are represented.
(2) If the Assembly of Representatives does not constitute a quorum, a new Assembly of Representatives shall be convened immediately, which shall constitute a quorum irrespective of the number of votes represented. At least three weeks must elapse between the first and the second Assembly of Representatives, not counting the days of the meeting.
Section 13 Adoption of resolutions
1. Resolutions of the Assembly of Representatives shall be taken by a simple majority of the votes cast. A majority of three quarters of the votes cast is required for
- the drawing up of and amendments to recommendations for the guidelines to be issued by the chambers of notaries in accordance with Section 67 (2) BNotO;
- amendments to the by-laws;
- the dismissal of a director.
(2) Resolutions on matters that were not stated in the invitation may, without prejudice to Section 85 (2) BNotO, only be adopted if the chambers represented agree to the vote and the chambers not represented subsequently agree to the vote being taken.
(3) An objection to the implementation of a resolution (Section 86 (4) BNotO) must be made to the President in writing or by telegram within one month of dispatch of the minutes of the resolution being passed.
IV. Minutes and Committees
Section 14 Minutes
Minutes shall be taken of the deliberations of the Executive Committee and the Assembly of Representatives, and file notes shall be made of resolutions passed in writing, by fax, in electronic form (Section 126 a (1) BGB) or by telephone. The minutes and file notes shall be signed by the President. Copies of them shall be immediately communicated to the chambers of notaries.
Section Article 15 Committees
The Assembly of Representatives may set up committees to advise the Executive Committee and the Assembly of Representatives. Notaries who are not members of the Assembly of Representatives and non-practising notaries (Notar a.D.) may also be appointed to the committees. The members of the Executive Committee may participate in the deliberations of each committee.
V. Promulgating journal
(1) The Deutsche Notar-Zeitschrift is the promulgating journal of the Bundesnotarkammer. It is published on behalf of the Bundesnotarkammer and can be made available to the notaries by the Bundesnotarkammer.
(2) The publication of the Deutsche Notar-Zeitschrift and the main editorial work shall be transferred by the Executive Committee to suitable notaries. The longest-serving editor and the chief editor of the Deutsche Notar-Zeitschrift shall be entitled to participate in all meetings of the Assembly of Representatives without voting rights.
(3) In order to fulfil the tasks related to the Deutsche Notar-Zeitschrift, the human and material resources must be ensured on a permanent basis in accordance with the high standards required of the Deutsche Notar-Zeitschrift. The funds necessary for this purpose shall be provided by the participating chambers of notaries by means of additional contributions to the budget of the Bundesnotarkammer. The distribution of the contributions among the participating chambers of notaries shall be based on a per capita amount.
VI. Notarial Institute
Section 17 Tasks, services, participation
(1) The Bundesnotarkammer maintains the German Notarial Institute.
(2) The Institute’s task is to provide scientific advice to notaries. Furthermore, the Institute supports the chambers of notaries participating in it and the Bundesnotarkammer. Advice is provided in all areas of notarial activity, especially ancillary areas, but not in the areas of professional law and cost law.
(3) The Notarial Institute shall fulfil its tasks by
- answering telephone or written enquiries, if necessary also through individual meetings;
- the publication of information leaflets;
- the management of a database and procurement of other database services;
- the provision of qualified translation services.
(4) The Institute’s services shall only be provided to participating chambers of notaries, their members and the Bundesnotarkammer. The Assembly of Representatives shall decide on exceptions.
(5) The chambers of notaries may declare their participation in the Notarial Institute at any time with a notice period of three months. Participating chambers of notaries may waive their further participation until 1 September of each year, but not before the expiry of three years from the beginning of their participation, with effect from 31 December of the following year.
Section 18 Contributions
(1) In order to fulfil the Institute’s tasks, the human and material resources must be ensured on a permanent basis in accordance with the use made of the Institute and the high standards required of the quality of its services. The funds required for this purpose shall be provided by the participating chambers of notaries by means of additional contributions to the budget of the Bundesnotarkammer. The Assembly of Representatives shall decide on any remuneration for individual services.
(2) The distribution of the contributions among the participating chambers of notaries shall be based on a per capita amount in the ratio between attorney-notaries and single-profession notaries of 1 : 3.17.
Section 19 Head of Institute, Advisory Board
(1) The Executive Committee shall appoint a Director as head of the Institute with the approval of the Assembly of Representatives in accordance with Section 10.
(2) An Advisory Board shall be set up to provide ongoing and comprehensive advice to the management of the Institute; the Executive Committee shall appoint its members with the approval of the Assembly of Representatives. Only notaries may become a member of the Advisory Board; at least two members must be single-profession notaries, two members must be attorney-notaries. The Executive Committee appoints the chair from among them. The Advisory Board shall adopt its rules of procedure. They shall require the approval of the Executive Committee.
VII. Financial management
Section 20 Financial year
The financial year is the calendar year.
Section 21 Budget and annual accounts
1. The Executive Committee shall submit a budget and annual accounts for each financial year to the Assembly of Representatives. The Assembly of Representatives shall adopt the budget.
2. The Executive Committee shall report once a year to the Assembly of Representatives on the state and management of the assets. The Executive Committee shall decide on the use of the proceeds of the assets. The Assembly of Representatives may issue guidelines in this respect, in particular deciding on the use of the income for care services.
Section 22 Audit
One or more auditors to be appointed by the Assembly of Representatives must audit the annual accounts. The audit report is to be submitted to the members of the Assembly of Representatives. The Assembly of Representatives shall decide on the discharge of the Executive Committee.
Section 23 Dues
(1) The expenses of the Bundesnotarkammer shall be borne by the chambers of notaries. The share of the expenses of the Bundesnotarkammer to be borne by the chambers of single-profession notaries on the one hand and the chambers of attorney-notaries on the other hand shall be determined by the ratio of the population in the areas covered by the chambers of single-profession notaries or attorney-notaries to the total population of the Federal Republic of Germany according to the publications of the Federal Statistical Office.
(2) The proportional distribution of the dues between the chambers of single-profession notaries and the chambers of attorney-notaries shall be determined by the Assembly of Representatives based on the calculation key mentioned above. An adjustment of the distribution ratio is only made in the event of significant changes. Significant changes in the population figures are to be reviewed by the Assembly of Representatives at intervals of 3 years.
Section 24 Reimbursement of expenses and allowance
The members of the Executive Committee and the committees receive an allowance from the Bundesnotarkammer for their participation in the Assembly of Representatives, in meetings of the Executive Committee and in other meetings and conferences, as well as reimbursement of their travel expenses. The Assembly of Representatives may set lump sums for the allowance and reimbursement of expenses.
VIII. Announcement, entry into force
The by-laws of the Bundesnotarkammer are validated by the signature of the President of the Bundesnotarkammer and announced in the Deutsche Notar-Zeitschrift. The by-laws shall determine the date of entry into force. In the absence of such a provision, they shall enter into force on the first day of the second calendar month following their promulgation.