You are on page 1of 2


Nature of Legal Authority

Legal Authority
- is any published source of law setting forth legal rules, legal doctrine, or
legal reasoning that can be used as basis for legal decision
- authority that will aid in finding a solution to a legal problem
Types of Legal Authorities
1. Primary Authority
Authorized statements of law issued by governmental bodies
The court must rely on
2. Secondary Authority
Statement about the law and are used to summarize, compile, explain,
interpret, comment on, or in some other way address the law
The court may consider
Can be used in several ways:
To obtain a background or overall understanding of a specific area of law
To locate primary authority (the law) on a question being searched
May be relied upon by the court when reaching a decision, which usually occurs
only when there is no primary authority governing a legal question or it is unclear
how the primary authority applies to the question
Role of Authority
1. Mandatory (binding)
- must be followed because it is the legal authority for a particular jurisdiction
2. Persuasive (non-binding)
- any authority a court is not bound to consider or follow, but may consider or
follow when reaching a decision

1. Legal Research by Atty. Rufus Rodriguez
2. A Guide to Philippine Legal Materials by Gupit and Martinez

Reported by:

Khristine Mantilla