Victor Dan Zlătescu

Founder of the modern Romanian school of comparative law, Victor Dan Zlătescu was born on 25 October 1933 in Bucharest, as the son of the well-known barrister Dobre Zlătescu, head of the General State Litigation Department during the interwar period, and Sofia Zlătescu, née Murgescu, in a noble Moldavian family.

In 1952, Victor Dan Zlătescu was expelled from the Young Workers' Union (UTM) and from the Faculty of Law of the University of Bucharest, due to "file" problems, being sentenced to work in the forced labour camp Danube-Black Sea Canal. He was readmitted to the faculty the following year, graduating in 1956 with distinction. The same year he started working as a trainee lawyer for the barrister Adrian Dumitru-Dobrovici.

He practiced as barrister within the Bucharest Bar Association until 1962, when he was appointed Chief Arbitration Counsel of the Romanian Ministry of Mines and Electric Energy.

In 1964 Victor Dan Zlătescu was assigned as a scientific advisor within the Institute for Legal Research of the Romanian Academy, working in the private law branch headed by Mihail Eliescu. His research has been published in the two journals of the Institute - "Studii și cercetări juridice" and "Revue roumaine des sciences sociales. Série de sciences juridiques".

In 1967, he obtained his doctorate from the Faculty of Law of Bucharest with a thesis entitled "Contracts for the supply of electrical and thermal energy". Between 1967 and 1971, he completed his studies at the International Faculty of Comparative Law in Strasbourg (France), graduating in 1971 with a Higher Diploma in Comparative Law. In 1972 he completed the general examinations for the doctorate in comparative law.

In 1969, he ended his work at the Institute for Legal Research and after a brief period working as a consultant for the Legal Department of the Council of State (1969-1972), Victor Dan Zlătescu was appointed as scientific secretary to the newly re-established Legislative Council (the second in the country's history, which functioned from 1971-1989).

Within the Legislative Council, he served as Counsellor, Deputy Head of Section and Head of the Second Section, where prestigious jurists such as Constantin Bejenaru, Artur Hilsenrad, Valer Dorneanu, Lucian Stângu, Olga Ionescu, etc. worked. After Ioan Ceterchi's departure from the chairmanship of the Legislative Council in 1980, Victor Dan Zlătescu served as President of the Council. He voluntarily resigned from the Legislative Council in 1982, working as a barrister within the Bucharest Bar Association until 1990.

From 1990 to 1992, Victor Dan Zlătescu was a judge of the Supreme Court of Justice. In 1992 he has been appointed by the Chamber of Deputies as judge of the frist Constitutional Court of Romania. He contributed to the establishment of the organisational and functional foundations of this institution, as well as to the creation and improvement of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and the synchronisation of its practice with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

Since 1990, Victor Dan Zlătescu was a professor of Private Law, Comparative Law and Formal Legistics, being among the founders of the National School of Political and Administrative Sciences (SNSPA) and of the Ecological University of Bucharest, the first private institution of higher education in Romania after 1990. He has also lectured at the Faculties of Law of the Athenaeum University, the Romanian-American University and the Spiru Haret University, serving as Dean of the latter.

Victor Dan Zlătescu was a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law of The Hague (IACL/AIDC) and one of the founders of the Union of Democratic Jurists of Romania, serving as its Vice-President. Within the Union of Jurists he founded the Romanian Society of Comparative Law, being its founding president.

Today, the Law Department of the Faculty of Public Administration of SNSPA, as well as an Auditorium of the Ecological University of Bucharest, bear his name.

After his passing away, the non-profit organization "Clubul de la Cheia-Victor Dan Zlătescu" stood out both nationally and internationally for its continuous research and continuing education activities in the field of Comparative Law, European Law and Human Rights Law, organizing for more than two decades the courses of the International University of Cheia dedicated to legal practitioners and scholars from all branches of law.