In the spring of 2003, a law was passed by the then Romanian Parliament: the Private Investigations Act 329/2003, with the intent of regulating the profession. It was a poor attempt, but it served its purposes for the moment. Please note that before 1945, this profession has existed and it was officially recognized. When the communists came to power in the late 1945, they banned it and forbade the existence of such a profession in Romania.

I say this was a poor attempt, because it was obviously marred by a complete wrong approach to the regulation of this profession, lack of knowledge of what this profession represents and a complete disregard for the basics of its sensitive nature. Even now, if read, makes one cringe with disbelief on how this matter was handled by the politicians. Even now, if read, it is evident that the law was made by people who could not care less for the future and well being of a professional category of their own electors.

Two examples: one could not become a private investigator if one had a poor health; impaired vision was a “no license” thing, for example. Another mandatory was that the activities a private investigator could engage were but a few: some sort of brief (brief is an understatement) due diligence, surveillance, and a few other ones, poorly and very loose defined. Loose is good you might say; well, not if the state forces your nose into a rubbish heap, declining to understand the bare necessities on how a private investigator must engage his jobs and declining to understand ( or failing) that this is a sensitive (second time using this word in here) occupation and as such, has to be regulated in a proper and professional manner.

Basically, the outcome was something like this: “yes, private investigators can operate legally from now on. No, they can’t do squat”. This approach sounds too much to what an old communist militia operative would say, for this to be a simple coincidence.

 –  This article, regarding Romania private investigations professional standards, will continue.