Romania is an amazing country to visit, but besides that, it is a country that used to honor the law through the attorneys who dedicate themselves and continues to do so through the numerous lawyers who practice in the service of justice.
In the Bucharest Bar Association there are almost 9.000 active attorneys. Initially called the Ilfov Bar Association, it came through many changes over the years, from the modern organization between 1831-1865 to the European integration in 1989.
On the stairs of justice have walked some of the most memorable attorneys from Romania. We would like to present to you a part of the best lawyers in the country.
Most of them studied law at the University of Bucharest or at the University of Paris, coming back home and bringing their knowledge to the Romanian law table, or studying law at both universities, creating an even better understanding of the field.
In the Moldavia Region of Romania, in the year 1876, Ella Negruzzi is born on 11 September. Along with her brother, she was raised by her father, the writer Leon C. Negruzzi and uncle, Iacob Negruzzi. After her father’s death, Iacob Negruzzi made it a purpose for the two children to complete their education.
She studied law and philosophy at the University of Iași and in 1913 she became the first woman to try to take the exam for the Iași Bar Association. Her request was denied, so she moved to Galați for a second attempt, which was also unsuccessful.
From this point she made a mission to ensure women for their rights to vote, to have a higher education and to be allowed to have a political and civil implication in society. In 1918, along with Ella Meissner, she founded the Association for the Civil and Political Emancipation of Romanian Women.
In 1919 she made her third attempt to take the bar examination, this time at Ilfov Bar Association in Bucharest and was allowed to do so. This made her to become, in 1920, one of the first women to ever be lawyers in Romania.
She practiced law in Galați and later in Bucharest, and she continued her mission to guarantee women’s rights as equal as men’s rights. She remains a feminist symbol for her fight and interest given towards this cause.
Ella Negruzzi reaches the end of her life on December 19, 1948 in Bucharest being remembered for her amazing ambition to fulfill her goals.
Istrate Micescu is born on May 22th in the year of 1881, in Ploiești. He graduates “I.C. Brătianu” High School in 1899, and decides to study law at the University of Paris where, in 1903 he obtained his license, and three years later the PhD in law.
He practised in Romania, in the Argeș Bar Association and then in the Ilfov Bar Association, where he became more than a lawyer. He also had two mandates of being a dean, the first one between the years 1923 and 1928 and the second until the year 1936. Meanwhile, he was also a university teacher at the Faculty of Law from the University of Bucharest, teaching civil law and legal philosophy.
From the year 1918 prof. Micescu had also pursued a political career in Romania, by becoming a member in the National Liberal Party. From here in 1931 he was nominated as vice president in The Chambers of Deputies.
On February 7th 1937, he violently implements anti-Semitic legislation, in the Bucharest Bar Association. Micescu is able to make this decision by using his role of Minister of Justice in his favor, a decision that would ban all the Jewish attorneys to practice.
In 1945, however, after the establishment of the communist regime, he was excluded from the bar and later arrested for the “actions of resistance against the regime of popular democracy”.
After being given his sentence of 20 years in jail, he states to the judges “I thank the generosity of the Supreme Court for wishing me such a long life, from which I will probably make two or three, and the rest will be made by you!”
Istrate Micescu is sent to prison on the First of July, 1948, where he dies at May 22nd, 1951.
Born on May 10, 1921, Yolanda Eminescu is starting her law journey when she starts her studies at the Faculty of Law in Bucharest (1939 – 1943). She worked as an intern at Ilfov Bar Association for two years and by the royal decree from February 17, 1945 she is named as a judge, along Sanda Rosetti and Steliana Popescu making them the first women with this position.
After the year 1949 when she quits her judge role and starts being an assistant for the civil law classes at the University of Bucharest, from which she is pushed away because of her family’s political orientation.
Yolanda Eminescu is hired in 1954 as a scientist at the Civil Law Section from the Legal Research Institute of R.P.R Academy. In 1972 she is put in the position of Deputy Scientific Director of the same institute.
Being a specialist in the Intellectual Property Law, she contributed to finalizing the draft laws from the field and worked on the legislation from civil law.
Yolanda Eminescu has multiple awards gained during her lifetime and posthumous, being mentioned Romanian Academy Award “Matilda and Stelian Benea” (1942), Romanian Academy Award “Simion Bărnuțiu” (1967), “Mihail Eliescu” Award (1991).
In sign of respect and appreciation for her law scientific research, Court of Appeal from Bucharest named one of its courtroom by her name. The Union of Lawyers and the Judges Forum from Romania awards the “Yolanda Eminescu” Prize.
Yolanda Eminescu passed away on March 9, 1998, leaving behind almost 19 published books, written in her 76 years of life, and years of law research for the passionates of the field.
Legal Intern – R&R Partners Bucharest
The first part of this article can be read HERE.