Romania Law

The starting point of Romanian law is found in Roman law, brought to Dacia by Roman colonists in the early years of the century. II d. C. and applied for more than one hundred and sixty years alongside the leges moresque peregrinorum. We do not know what these norms were in Dacia. Concrete proof of the importance of Roman law in Dacia can be found in the wax tablets discovered in Transylvania at Abrud (Alburnus maior), which contain a series of acts, in the forms prescribed by Roman law, although the majority of the parts were not Roman. From the retreat of the legions and officials (270 AD) the ties with the Empire are severed, which explains the lack of any influence of post-classical and Justinian law.

The invading barbarians, with the exception of the Slavs, left no legal footprint. For centuries, the legal life of the Romanian people was governed by the oral tradition, represented by two synonymous terms: obicei (word of Slavic origin) and lege (Latin). This unwritten law which, although deeply affected by the Slavic influence, nevertheless also has purely Roman traces, still holds the life of the Romanian peasant in some regions (eg, the limba de moarte, an oral testament not recognized by civil law, the simulation of the primitive rape of the bride, etc.).

In the century V the great Byzantine influence begins to manifest itself with the pravile (legislations), formed by the translation, first in Slavic, and then in Romanian, of the Byzantine canons and nomocanons. The Slavic pravile all seem to come from a single source screams. The Romanian pravila are the following: the pravila of Eustratzio (1632), unofficial legislation translated from a manual by Manoil Malaxos; the pravila of Govora (1640), translated by Michael Moxalie from a Slavic pravila, the primitive source being equally a Byzantine nomocanon; la Carte româneasc ă de inv ă t ăṭ ur ă(Iaşi, Moldavia, 1646) drawn up by Eustratzio himself by order of the voivod Vasile Lupu. It includes the agrarian laws of Leo the Isaurian and fragments taken from a Greek summary of Prospero Farinaccio ‘s Praxis et theorica criminalis, translated by Eustratzio. It is the first official Romanian secular legislation. The opinion, according to which since the time of Alexander the Good (15th century) an official Romanian code, imitated by the Basilicas of Leo the Philosopher, has been introduced in Moldavia, has proved to be completely wrong; Indreptarea legii(1652) is an official pravila written under Matei Basarab by Daniele Panonschi; it includes a canonical part, translated from a manual by Malaxos, and a penal part, derived from Vasile Lupu’s pravila, with a secondary canonical addition. Neither in the Carte româneascâ nor in the Indreptarea legii do we find provisions of customary law. The uniformity of the Romanian legislations, also existing in the Slavic pravile, is what interests most; as far as their sphere of action is concerned, it has been very limited. In truth, the law applied for centuries in the Romanian regions consists of : canons and nomocanons in proceedings in ecclesiastical matters, of customary law in matters relating to real rights and rights of obligation; the will of the sovereign dominates in criminal law. Vel sec. XVIII, the two Romanian officials, without being repealed, fall into oblivion.

The Phanariot princes aimed to replace unwritten law with Byzantine civil and criminal laws (including Constantine Armenopulus ‘ Hexabiblos). But running up against the tenacious resistance of the people, they renounced it and tried to harmonize the norms of Byzantine law with customary law. Of this last period we have: Pravilniceasc ă Flavor of Prince Ypsilanti (1780), the official code of Muntenia; l ‘ Adunare cuprinz ă toare în scurt din c ă r ş ile împ ă r ă te ţ tilor pravile(1814), by Andronache Donici, one of the great Romanian jurists; in this work the basilicas have been used more than Justinian’s legislation, several more recent short stories, etc. (although unofficial, Donici’s work has had considerable influence in both principalities); the Legiuire di Caragea (1818), official code of Muntenia, which has as sources: Byzantine law, customary law and, under a certain aspect, also the Napoleonic code; the Code of Calimah(1817), official code of Moldova; its authors are Flechtenmacher and Cuzanos; it is especially inspired by the Austrian code of 1811, by Greco-Roman law and also includes some customary norms, etc. Modified several times, the Caragea and Calimah codes remained in force until the promulgation of the current civil code.

The following also belong to the history of law: the Condica criminal ă in Moldovei (1828) under Giovanni Sandu Sturdza; the Condica criminaliceasc ă (1850) under Barbu Ştirbei, in Muntenia, largely translated from the French codices; the Organic Regulation (1832), a kind of constitutional law imposed by the Russians; it includes in germ all the principles of modern law.

Romania Law