The drafting of the Heritage Code has dragged on for a long time, the causes of the delay being related to the approach to the code’s conception and the lack of political cohesion around the idea of reform in the field of cultural heritage. The attempt of starting from the bottom up by assembling the existing heritage laws and patching them up through the incorporation of countless suggestions or proposals from specialists or the civil society seems doomed to failure. The best way, addressed by the code’s current drafting committee, as well as by its predecessor, is the one going from the top down, from a set of generally applicable, comprehensive principles of cultural heritage, proposing regulatory measures that would give legal power to these principles and then leaving room for directions that are better identified in the law and that may be detailed further through norms
This working method divides the problem into three levels. The first one is political, responsible for the acceptance of the basic principles in society, an indispensable step for the law’s efficiency by identifying and explicitly recognising the purposes for which we regulate the issue of heritage. The second level is the technical one, which allows the structuring of the legislative statements and the precise definition of a unitary, flexible, and clear legal text, and which is meant to support the administrative processes, not to describe scientific and procedural professional practices in the heritage areas. The third level is the administrative one, meaning the capacity to provide statistics of bureaucratic and legal processes that currently block the proper administration of cultural heritage, as well as the capacity to determine the measures for breaking down the law through norms. All these three levels form a logical pyramid, the administrative area being subsequent to the technical one which, in turn, is subsequent to the political one, and the three cannot work in practice unless they are collected in one package. The practical application of this logical schema in the field of conservation of load-bearing structures could be the following:
1. The acceptance on a political level of the principle of preserving authenticity, which might involve exemptions from the technical rules applicable to new constructions, a principle that is currently lacking;
2. The technical strengthening of the approval committees that arise from the requirement of authenticity, by the explicit mention in the law of their decisions’ source of authority in the doctrinal principles generally accepted by the specialists;
3. Taking over in the administration of the technical norms existing in other parts of the world and urgently adapting them to Romanian needs, given the current administration’s inability to produce the required derogatory norms.
Keywords: politics, administration, legislation, norm, committee, Heritage Code