EXCELLENCE IN LAW. 160 YEARS OF ROMANIAN LEGAL EDUCATION

Romfilatelia aims to celebrate an emblematic institution of Romanian legal education, the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest, by introducing into circulation, on Thursday, November 21th, current year, the postage stamps issue EXCELLENCE IN LAW. 160 YEARS OF ROMANIAN LEGAL EDUCATION.

The postage stamp with the face value of Lei 8.50 shows the logo of the Faculty of Law. The issue also contains a perforated souvenir sheet, whose stamp, with the face value of Lei 28.50, presents the Palace of the Faculty of Law illustrated in a drawing by the architect Petre Antonescu (1873-1965). The graphic elements that complete the composition of the booklet have as subject the deans of the Faculty of Law who have been noted as illustrious personalities in the Romanian legal education since 1859.

160 years ago, on the 25th of November 1859, by the Decree no. 519, signed by the Ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Bucharest Faculty of Law became an independent institution. Nevertheless, the history of education in Bucharest began since during the reign of Constantin Brancoveanu, the Ruler of Wallachia, who founded the Princely Academy from St. Sava in 1694 in Bucharest, being advised to do so by the High Steward Constantin Cantacuzino, a great scholar having taken humanistic studies in Padua.

Then, under the reign of Alexandru Ipsilanti, new locations were built for the Academy during 1776-1779. In 1818, the Transylvanian scholar Gheorghe Lazar created The School of St. Sava, where courses were taught in Romanian. In 1832, Petrache Poenaru performed an educational reform at the St. Sava National College, developing upper juridical and scientific education. In 1850, at the same time with the Education Reform, the upper courses having a juridical and scientific nature were established, and four years later the first class of lawyers graduated.

On the 25th of November 1859, the Faculty of Law became an independent institution, having Constantin Bosianu as its first Dean. On the 4th/16th of July 1864, by the Decree no. 765, the Ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza approved the establishment of the University of Bucharest by reuniting the three existing
faculties: the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy. Since 1864, the year of its establishment, the University of Bucharest has been significantly contributing to the development and modernization of the Romanian education, science and culture. The Faculty of Law had initially 9 departments, 9 Professors and 30 students. During the first academic years, the subjects taught were: Roman Law, Civil Romanian Law and Civil Law Procedure, Romanian Criminal Law and the Criminal Law Procedure, Commercial Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Political Economics. The period of the studies was of four years.

In 1908 the first Doctor of Laws was awarded. Due to the large number of students registered at the Faculty of Law, the need of a new headquarters became acutely. Thus, in the 4th decennium of the 20th century, at Nicolae Basilescu’s initiative, who was the Dean at that time, and with the support of King Carol II and the competent Ministry, the current Palace of the Faculty of Law was built, between 1934 and 1936 according to the design of the architect Petre Antonescu, member of the Romanian Academy. This building became one of the landmarks on the map of the historical monuments of Bucharest.

The Deans of the Faculty of Law of the University of Bucharest have been important personalities of the Romanian Higher Legal Education and of the public life in Romania, leaving a mark on their evolution. Romfilatelia honors them through this postage stamps issue, dedicated to the celebration of 160 years since the establishment of the Law Faculty of the University of Bucharest (November 25th, 1859 – November 25th, 2019). Among the illustrious  deans of the Faculty of Law are included Constantin Bosianu, George Costaforu, Vasile Boerescu, Constantin Dissescu, Ioan Tanoviceanu, Gheorghe Mironescu, Nicolae Basilescu, Constantin Stoicescu, Anibal Teodorescu, Alexandru Otetelisanu and Viorel Ciobanu.

The First Day Cover of the issue depicts the Palace of the Faculty of Law from the graphic creation of the architect Petre Antonescu together with the bronze anniversary medals with the face of the first Dean, Constantin Bosianu (1815-1882), and the faculty building together with the anniversary logo 160th years since establishment. 

We would like to thank the Board of the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest, for the support granted in the accomplishing of this postage stamps issue.