In Romanias legal landscape, it is essential to understand the differences between civil and customary law. As a Romanian lawyer at Pavel, Margarit & Associates Romanian Law Firm, we strive to provide expert legal guidance and representation to our clients who navigate through these distinct legal systems. In this article, we will explore the fundamental contrasts between civil and customary law in Romania, highlighting their implications and importance.

Civil and Customary Law: A Comparative Overview

Civil law, also known as continental law, forms the basis of the Romanian legal system. It is based on comprehensive codes and legislation that define rights, obligations and procedures in various areas of the law. In Romania, civil law is based on the Napoleonic Code and strongly influenced by the legal traditions of continental Europe.

Customary law in Romania:

Although civil law is the dominant legal system in Romania, the principles of customary law have also become more relevant in some areas. Customary law, which originated in England, is based on judicial decisions and precedents as the principal sources of law. In Romania, elements of customary law often appear in commercial and international transactions, as well as in the interpretation of laws.

Distinctions in legal principles and sources of law:

One of the main differences between civil and customary law is their legal principles and sources. Civil law is based on written laws, codes and laws enacted by legislative bodies. In contrast, customary law places great emphasis on judicial decisions and the doctrine of precedents, which create a binding legal authority for future cases.

Role of the courts and legal interpretation:

Civil law places significant importance on codes and laws, allowing judges to interpret and apply the law within these established frameworks. In customary law, judges play a crucial role in shaping legal principles through their interpretation of precedents and the development of case law. The flexibility of customary law allows for a more dynamic and adaptable legal system.

Legal proceedings and adversarial system:

Civil law in Romania follows an inquisitorial system, in which judges play an active role in fact-finding and decision-making. The customary law system, on the other hand, takes an adversarial approach, with parties presenting their arguments before an impartial judge who acts as an arbitrator.


Understanding the differences between civil and customary law is essential for individuals and businesses navigating the Romanian legal system. At Pavel, Margarit & Associates Romanian Law Firm, we have in-depth knowledge and expertise in both legal systems, guaranteeing our clients superior legal representation tailored to their specific needs. Whether you need civil law guidance or assistance with customary law principles, our team of experienced lawyers is here to provide you with effective and reliable legal solutions.