Dimitrie Alexandrescu

Dimitrie Alexandrescu (1850-1925) – jurist, university professor, politician.

He studied at the Lemberg Institute of Pilate (1860-1861) and at Napoleon High School in Paris (1861-1870). He took his High School Graduation Diploma in Letters at Sorbonne (1870). Legal Studies at the Universities of Nancy (1870-1871) and Paris (1871-1875). Prosecutor of the Court in Iasi (1875). Judge of the Court of Appeal in Iasi. (1878). Examining Magistrate (1878). Chief prosecutor of the Court in Iasi (1878). Lawyer, practicing in Iasi (1880-1899). Attorney General of the Court of Appeal in Iasi (May-October 1899). Attorney General (October 1899- June 1900) and Adviser (June-December 1900) of the High Court of Cassation. General Secretary of the Ministry of Justice (6th March 1891 – 21st October 1892). Deputy (1888) and senator (1904-1907) in the Romanian Parliament. Bulgarian Government expert in the committee for civil law codification (1905). Professor of Civil Law at the University of Iasi (1894-1925). Dean of the Faculty of Law, Iasi.

Considered the founder of comparative legal studies in Romania, Dimitrie Alexandrescu was the most prolific author of Romanian legal literature of his time. His most significant works are extensive exercises in comparing Romanian civil legislation to Roman law, to former Romanian law and to the modern legislation of several European countries.

Author of a monumental work in 11 volumes, Theoretical and Practical Explanations on Romanian Civil Law as Compared to the Old Laws and to the Main Foreign Laws (1886-1915). The comparative method was also used in his work Droit ancien et moderne dela Roumanie. Etude de législation comparée (1897) in which he outlined the principles of most civil law institutions, describing the civil procedure and making an overview of the history of Romanian law, from Pravila of Vasile Lupu (1646) and to the publication of the Civil Code (1864).

He published numerous notes on jurisprudence, articles and reviews in all specialized journals in Romania and in major French journals. Some examples of studies are: The Seller’s Obligations (1893), Divorce in Roman and Romanian Law (1897), The Political Organization Introduced by S. Tallius in Rome (1897), On Contravention (1906), On the Issue of Trams in Bucharest (1911), The Interpretation of Articles 82 and 84 of the Higher Education Act on the Transfer of Some Professors from the Faculty of Law in Iasi to the one in Bucharest (1915)

Interested in the issue of legislative unification, he attempted to develop a preliminary draft of the Civil Code and a comparative Civil Law textbook. Excerpts from Preliminary Review of the Civil Code, Drafted under the Assignment of the Commission for Legislative Unification and from Textbook of Romanian Civil Law Compared to Austrian, Hungarian and Russian Law and to Other Foreign Statutes were published in the journals “Judicial Tribune” (1921) and “Judicial Courier” (1924), respectively.

Thanks to the Romanist scholar Matei Nicolau, four volumes of the Romanian Civil Law Principles were published posthumously, this being an original, unpublished work, printed according to the author’s manuscripts. It includes the updated doctrine and jurisprudence, as well as maxims, aphorisms, proverbs and the best known Romanian, French, German legal rules commented on by the author, arranged in the Civil Code order, applied to different law subjects (1926-1927).

Author of a one act comedy entitled “The Cheap Man’s Bet” (1879), Dimitrie Alexandrescu was also the senior editor of the journals “Judicial Courier” (1900-1907, 1910-1916), “Judicial Tribune” (1919-1923) and “Justice”.