The Peace Courts in the Romanian Judicial System

Author:Constantin Tanase
Position:Senior Lecturer, PhD, Danubius University of Galati, Romania
ISSN: 2067 9211 Miscellaneous
The Peace Courts in the
Romanian Judicial System
Constantin Tănase1
Abstract: Reconciliation, as a way of solving disputes between the members of the Romanian communities,
has ancestral origins and obviously a l ong tradition. Firstly known in the old customary law (the Law of the
country or Jus Valahicum or Jus Valahorum) the peace was taken over by modern law, creating specialized
courts (peace courts, the district courts, the traveling judges), or the public entities (the peace commissions, the
judiciary commissions) that contributed to the simplification and speed of the act of justice, but also to educate
the population and to create a correct attitude towards the law and its compliance. Currently, although some
legal institutions and a legislative framework have been created as an alternative in the litigation confrontation
in court, the role of reconciliation is quite blurred. The present paper highlights the experience gained in the
field of reference and some ways of re-evaluating and reusing it.
Keywords: Reconciliation; peace courts; litigation;
1. Introduction
Reconciliation - placation, conciliation, the action of restoring peace through non-contentious means, a
way of solving disputes between members of Romanian communities has ancient origins and a long
tradition in customary law, but also in written law, before and after the establishment and consolidation
of the modern Romanian state.
Present in the old Romanian law (Country Law, Jus Valachicum, Jus Valachorum) reconciliation was
taken over by the written legislations, creating specialized courts (justices of the peace, schools, itinerant
judges) or public entities (reconciliation commissions, judging commissions, judging councils) which
have contributed to the simplification and speed of justice in civil, commercial and criminal cases of
little importance and involving a minimum volume of activities. At the same time, and just as important,
the reconciliation courts have been a remarkable factor in forming and perpetuating a correct attitude
towards the law and the institutions called upon to ensure its observance.
The territorial communes, successors of the gentile, family ones, kept and tr ansmitted the “custom of
the land” (Colective, 1980, p. 146), including the village courts that judged the cases according to the
old usual traditions, the priority way of solving being the reconciliation of the parties2. Even the strongest
pressures from the “performing” legal systems of the time (Roman and Byzantine law) did not affect
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, Danubius University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd., 800654 Galati, Romania, Tel.:
+40372361102, Fax: +40372361290, Corresponding author:
2 In general, the system of the old Romanian law was characterized by moderation, in serious crimi nal cases the maximum
punishment was not death, but the expulsion of the culprit from the community. In this way, the public opinion exercises a
permanent control and rooti ng over t hose who do not respect the rules of coexistence. (Colective, 1980, p. 143)

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