Judicial officers are members of the legal profession in the same way as lawyers. It is an independent profession whose members are not listed in the commercial register. Their status is governed by the rules of the profession of judicial officer which came into force on 1 January 2011.
Judicial officers are charged with executing, throughout the Canton of Geneva, all the responsibilities that the law entrusts to them, especially voluntary auctions of movable items or those authorised by a judge, and to provide service to the courts.
They also draw up legal statements and inventories on behalf of third parties, carry out provisional seizures, serve judicial process (notifications) and operate in enforcing rulings, especially in the compulsory eviction of tenants. Judicial officers are required to personally carry out the actions of their ministry. However, they may be replaced at tribunal hearings by a senior clerk approved by the court's presiding judge. They are authorised to draw up protests at the same time as lawyers. The responsibilities of a judicial officer are separate from those of a lawyer or legal representative.
Before they begin to practise, judicial officers make the following promise or declaration before the Council of State: "I do swear or I do solemnly promise to be faithful to the Republic and the Canton of Geneva; to obey the courts and scrupulously to enforce, without undue delay, using neither surprise nor harrassment, the orders that shall be given to me; to observe strict impartiality in the enforcement of mandates with which I shall be entrusted; to abide fully by the laws and regulations in the exercise of my responsibilities."