Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

The Judicial Organization in Romanian Principalities during the Second Half of the Nineteenth and the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

The Judicial Organization in Romanian Principalities during the Second Half of the Nineteenth and the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. The impact of the economy and changes in social relations imposed modifications in the field of legal institutions. The old rules were no longer appropriate and legal customs requested new trends in the legal universe.

Keywords: judicial activity, first modern laws

The period following the Union of Principalities, in January 1859, can be characterized as being dominated by measures intended to strengthen the unity of the state; those measures influenced gradually the development and modernization of the judiciary activity. Prince Alexandra loan Cuza, as well as King Carol I, in his great reign, together with great personalities of the time, strengthened the unity of the state, bending on French laws and adapting them wisely to conditions ofthat time.

Long before our neighbors, we were endowed with modern laws on judicial organization. Great jurists of the time worked to that endowment, among which we mention Vasile Boerescu and Gheorghe Costafora, who had studied in France.

Among the most important laws of that period, we mention that of January 24, 1861, which established the Court of Cassation and Justice, "one Court for the entire State of the United Principalities - Moldavia and the Romanian Country". The establishment of a unique Court of Cassation for the United Principalities was a measure of great importance, not only from the political point of view. The Paris Convention of 1858 provided in the content of art. 38 and 39, that: "a High Court of Cassation common to both Principalities will be established ...Court's decisions and judgments delivered by law courts in both Principalities will be claimed only to the Court of Cassation". As consequence of those provisions, the law of January 1861 was promulgated; under that law, the first body, common and unifying for both Principalities, was set up. The Court of Cassation was composed of three sections: a section of claims (chambre des requêtes), a section for civil affairs and a section for criminal affairs. Subsequently, the law underwent significant changes, but found its utility in the universal legal space, through the establishment and implementation in the Principalities, of some institutions specific to modern law.

Thus, by the law of 1864, the section of claims was suppressed, and by the law of March 5, 1870, the civil section was given the name of "section G and the criminal section, the name of "section ?". At the same time, the ratione materiae jurisdiction of those two sections was clarified.

Later, by the law of July 1st, 1905, section III of contentious administrative was established, and it operated until 1910 when it was abolished by law, being, subsequently, re-established by the law of February 17, 1912.

The Law for judicial organization of July 4, 1865 had a particular importance in the evolution of courts of law. Sanctioned by Decree no. 982 of July 4, 1865, the law was promulgated on July 9, 1865 and underwent successive changes in July 16, 1868, March 12, 1870, and November 12, 1871 and it was applied until the appearance of law of September 1st, 1890.

The law for judicial organization of 1865 perfected, by its 168 articles, the work of unification of justice; until its implementation, courts before the Union continued to function in every principality, under amendments made by the Law of the Court of Cassation, of 1861 and the Decree on the admissibility and promotion in judicial functions of December 6, 1864, which regulated conditions to be met in order to occupy a judicial office, including auxiliary functions in the field of justice1.

The law of 1865 has however, the merit to have enacted, even since that moment, the basic principles of our judicial organization. The following laws of organization were natural consequences of the former.

Provisions of article 1 of the law adopted in July 1865, provided that: "justice is served in the name of the Prince" and, later, under amendments to the Law of 1890, stipulated that justice was served: "in the name of law". …

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