Matei Cantacuzino

Matei B. Cantacuzino (1855-1925) – jurist, university professor, politician

High school studies in Dresda and Lausanne. Legal Studies at the Universities of Heidelberg and Paris. Bachelor of the Faculty of Law, Paris (1877). Philosophy and Law studies in Dresda and Lausanne. Substitute judge at the Court of Iasi (1878). Judge at the Court of Iasi and counsellor at the Court of Appeal Iasi (1885-1900). Lawyer practicing in Iasi (1900-1925). Member of the Romanian Parliament. City Mayor of Iasi (29th December 1912-  6th January 1914). Minister of Culture and Public Instruction (29th January – 5th March 1918). Minister of Justice (31st March – 27th August 1920). Rector of the University of Iaşi (1916-1918). Professor, Civil Law Department of the Faculty of Law, Iasi (1901-1925).

His work in the field of Law is not very vast, but it is remarkable for its synthetic value. In The Elements of Civil Law (1921), work that is considered to be “the perfect monument of Romanian legal science”, Matei B. Cantacuzino conducted a comprehensive synthesis of the main institutions of the Romanian Civil Law (the person, real rights, the family, the succession, the marriage and obligations) presented in a critical manner that derives from the social function of Law. Author of studies in which he developed a realistic theory on the legal person: L`Etat et le concept de personnalité (1924), On Individual Freedom and Legal Persons (1924), La vie – Le droit – La liberté (published posthumously in 1929). Some of his pleadings were also published: Defending Freedom of Writing. Pleading Made before the Court Martial of Iasi, on 27th November 1919 (1925).