What do we learn about General Law in College?

The first year as a law student often proves to be both a challenge and a unique, formative experience. The newness of the studied disciplines and the academic environment can be initially difficult to manage, especially in terms of concepts, sometimes abstract and unfamiliar, which are studied, understood and subsequently learned thoroughly by any new student aspiring to become a law professional.

In shaping these new notions, General Law, as one of the first disciplines studied in legal matters, has a leading role in being the science whose object of study is law as an ensemble and which represents the common understanding guide of all branches of law, through explaining the common elements related, for example, to the norm or to the legal relationship in general.

From a concrete perspective, the following notions stand out as the main object of analysis of the previously mentioned legal science and at the same time the answer to the pressing question that every new student faces: What do we learn about General Law in college?

Definition of law, philosophy of law, emergence of law, rights vs. law, influencing factors

First of all, the term law itself will be defined, alongside its concepts of objective law and rights, what is law and the requirements of the science of law and its role in society, the philosophy of law and how it should adapt to society, but also how it transforms it, depending on social, cultural, historical, environmental factors and not only. In order for the development process to be a complete one, a brief historical presentation, in this case the emergence of law together with society, is outlined by presenting, for example, the Code of Hammurabi, of Manu, the Law of the XII Tables or the Caragea and Callimachus` Codes.

Principles, functions and branches of law

The principles of law, namely the fundamental guiding ideas, those common to several branches of Romanian law or individually applicable to a branch, the leading functions that guide the normative implementation, as well as a classification of the branches are also found in any book of General Law.

Sources of law

The social realities, the sources that determine the legislator to adopt a certain legal provision constitute the material source of the law which, along with the formal source, namely the concrete form in which the provision is constituted, represent the two meanings of the idea of sources of law, later studied. General Law aims to demonstrate why, in Romania, doctrine and jurisprudence are not sources of law (by exception, being sources referrals in the interest of the law, advance rulings, the jurisprudence of the CJEU or of the Constitutional Court of Romania), but normative acts or custom.

Legal norm, legal relationship, legal liability

Referring to the essence of law, General Law directs its attention to the legal norm, its features (general and impersonal, typical character, coerciveness and implication of an intersubjective relationship), its structure (hypothesis, disposition, sanction) and its classification and interpretation, as well as on the legal relationship (consisting of subjects, content and object) and the legal liability of those who violate the legal norms, its forms and the possible causes that remove it.

Legislative procedure, law enforcement, principles of legislative technique – the crisis of contemporary law

Being the essence of any legal system, the legislative procedure, more precisely the procedure in which normative acts are passed by the Parliament and subsequently enacted by the President is also addressed by General Law in a detailed manner, in conjunction, on one hand, with the possibility of contesting at The Constitutional Court, by a constitutional challenge prior to its commencement, of a text of law and, on the other hand, with the principles of the legislative procedure technique that ensure rigor, grammatical correctness and respect for the normative structure.

The role of the chapter is, to a good extent, also to draw attention to the current problems regarding the crisis of contemporary law, translated by diminishing respect for the law, the excessive interference of the Government in making laws, legislative bulimia and the difficulty, including of lawyers, to know the frequent changes of laws. The information regarding the application of the law in time (entry and exit from force), in space or on people is not forgotten either.

Considering all this, however, as well as the complexity of the discipline as a result of the abstract way in which it is presented, it is not any less true that its understanding is achieved gradually, through continuous study and by providing notions a practical form with the help of learning the disciplines of substantive law, such as civil law, which can constitute a true example of the application of the concepts presented in General Law.

Ruxandra Ștefania Grăjdan

Legal Intern R&R Partners Bucharest

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