1. The punishment for rape in the Code of Constantin Mavrocordat
1750 – People who committed rape in that era were punished with the cutting of the sexual organ. Nowadays, raping is punished with imprisonment.
2. Law against drunkenness
In accordance with its name, this law determined how the alcohol was made and sold. Also, the number of innkeepers was strictly determined by the law: one drinking house for 150 men and one drinking house for 50 men in isolated areas. Founding or dissolving a drinking house was made by the communal council.
The innkeeper must have been an educated person, at least 25 years old, married and with a good reputation. The innkeeper was not allowed to sell or keep spurious brandy or wine made from anything than plums or grapes. Also, the innkeeper must have had always wine in stock.
It was forbidden for the innkeepers to sell alcoholic drinks to children under 16 years old, too drunk people or to those who were on the list of drunkards. (Yes! Such a list really did exist, and it was composed of the recidivist drunkards.)
3. Banning Mickey Mouse
It is said that in 1935 the Govern of Romania decided to ban Mickey Mouse because it was thought that the animated character was scaring the children.
4. Prohibiting abortion
The communists aimed to increase the birth rate and the natural growth of the population. Thus, starting with the October 1966 and ending with December 1989 (when the decree was abolished because of the fall of Communism) all the abortions were prohibited in Romania.
Only in special circumstances the abortion was allowed (for ex.: when the pregnancy was the result of a rape or incest; when the woman was more than 45 years old or had 4 children to take care of; when one of the parents suffered from a serious disease with hereditary transmission; when the pregnancy put the woman’s life in danger).
This is how the generation of the ‘decree children’ appeared. Besides the growth of the young population, this had many other negative effects such as the death of more than 10.000 women due to illegal abortion.
5. Marital rape
The criminal Code from 1968 regulated that the author or any other participant in rape was not punished if he married his victim before the judgment became definitive.
In other words, the rape between spouses was not punished back then, because it was considered that it was the ‘woman’s duty’ to have sexual relation with her husband any time he wanted.
Rape between spouses was incriminated just in 2000 in an aggravated form (as rape against a family member) and nowadays marital rape is regulated without an aggravated punishment.
6. Capital punishment
Down from the times of Vlad Țepes (Dracula) and towards the Revolution from 1989, capital punishment has been used in Romania. Although, during history, there were also times when capital punishment was abolished (ex.: Constitution from 1866 and the one from 1923).
The most recent time when such punishment was applied was during the communist era – ‘for the worst criminal offenders, in accordance with the law, the death penalty will be applied.’ Thus, there were sentenced to death war criminals as well as people who committed economic and political crimes. Capital punishment was predominantly dominated by the political factor in the communist period.
This punishment was abolished in January 1990 and it was replaced with the life imprisonment punishment. The last ones who were sentenced to death punishment in Romania were Ceaușescu spouses (25th of December 1989), the leaders of Communist Romania.
7. National Direction of Anticorruption
In Romania, there is a specialized direction that functions in the Public Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice and its primary role is fighting against high-level corruption.
8. The frequency of changes in the fiscal field
Although the most disputed changes in the Romanian law system were the ones in the criminal law field, the fiscal adjustments should also be taken into consideration nowadays. The special thing about these changes is the frequency they are made with.
Currently, the Romanian authorities usually violate the principle for predictability of the fiscal law, as the fiscal legislation is constantly changing in Romania. According to www.startupcafe.ro, there were made 236 changes in the fiscal legislation in 2018. Also, there were some cases when the fiscal code was modified even before its entry into force.
The predictability of the fiscal law implies that the fiscal system should not suffer such frequent changes into a term of at least one year so that any contributor could predict and make plans based on the taxes/fees that he will have to pay. It is questionable whether the Romanian authorities should be penalized due to the inflation of changes in the fiscal legislation.
Legal Intern – R&R Partners