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Reading Suggestion: Eugen Ehrlich - On the "Living Law"


Eugen Ehrlich (1862-1922) was an Austrian lawyer who was born and worked as a law professor in Chernivtsi (now in Ukraine). He became known worldwide particularly for the “living law” doctrine, developed in his work Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law.

Suffice it to recall that the depth of his work has been recognised by jurists like Oliver Wendell Holmes, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (“the best book on legal subjects by any living continental jurist”), or Roscoe Pound, Dean of Harvard Law School (“the best thing that has been written lately”).

It is disappointing that the personality of this scholar is buried in oblivion in Romanian speaking areas, while in Moscow most of his works have been translated, with governmental support, and in Ukraine even a law review has been established bearing his name.

Perhaps the time has come to reconsider Ehrlich and recognise him as one of us, as Nicolae Iorga and Dimitrie Gusti did, without reservation.

We therefore propose you to read the lecture Ehrlich held at the East European Institute on 12 and 19 December 1920, which was later published in “Neamul Românesc” newspaper, in several editions of 1920 and 1921 years (in Romanian): ON "THE LIVING LAW."

Mihai Poalelungi, President of the Constitutional Court of Moldova

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