A. Why Judgments must be binding
Civil procedure is a compilation of many rules. Rules such as thosegoverning jurisdiction, pleadings, motions and trial have been meticulously craftedso as to facilitate the fair processing of adjudication of issues coursed through thecourts of justice. All this efforts of providing a fair judgment to a party however,would be of no use to him if such a judgment does not bind the opposing party.Thus ultimately, the final settlement of disputes is the desire of every litigant. Allthe rules comprising civil procedure would all be for naught, if this were not theeffect when a court renders a judgment. Therefore res judicata, or in layman’s terms“a matter adjudged”, is important and central to the whole purpose of resorting tothe courts in “the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redressof a wrong.”
The impact of such binding effect however is underscored when oneconsiders the question as to who can invoke it and against whom. Thus consider thefollowing permutations of this question: can a prior party use res judicata as againstanother prior party; a prior party as against a nonparty; a nonparty as against a prior party; and finally, a nonparty as against a nonparty? The current rule recognized by
Rules of Court Rule 1 sec. 3 par. (a) (1997).