Constitutional Law II Notes Luzalej Faith T. Barbac WHAT IS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW?

The study of the maintenance of the proper balance between authority as represen ted by the three inherent powers of the State and liberty as guaranteed by the B ill of Rights. It's true role is to effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised within the framework of the law and the laws are enacted w ith due deference to rights. WHAT IS A CONSTITUTION? Justice Malcolm definition: 'the written instrument enacted by direct action of the people by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, l imited and defined, and by which those powers are distributed among the several departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the body polit ic.' WHAT ARE THE PURPOSES OF A CONSTITUTION? The purpose of the Constitution is to prescribe the permanent framework of a sys tem of government, to assign to the several departments their respective powers and duties, and to establish certain fixed principles on which government is fou nded. It is not the origin of private rights; it is not the fountain of law nor the in cipient state of government; it is not the cause but the consequence of personal and political freedom. STATE THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION? It is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to wh ich all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer. WHAT ARE THE CLASSIFICATIONS OF A CONSTITUTION? 1. Written - precepts are embodied in one document or set of documents 2. Unwritten - consists of rules which have not been integrated into single, con crete form but are scattered in various sources, such as statutes of a fundament al character, judicial decisions, commentaries of publicists, customs and tradit ions, and certain common law principles 3. Enacted - ex. Conventional Constitution. One that is formally 'struck off' at a definite time and place following a conscious and deliberate effort taken by a constituent body or ruler. 4. Evolved - ex. Cumulative Constitution. One that is not inaugurated at any spe cific time but changing by accretion rather than by any systematic method. 5. Rigid - one that can be amended only by a formal and usually difficult proces s. 6. Flexible - one that can be changed by ordinary legislation. ENUMERATE AND DEFINE THE ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF THE WRITTEN CONSTITUTION 1. Broad - embodies the past, reflects the present and anticipates the future. I t provides for the organization of the entire government and covers all persons and things within the territory of the State. Comprehensive enough to provide fo r every contingency. 2. Brief - confines itself to basic principles to be implemented with legislativ e details, more adjustable to change and easier to amend. 3. Definite - no ambiguity in its provisions that would result in confusion and

divisiveness among the people, and perhaps physical conflict. Exception: found o nly in cases where the rules are deliberately worded in a vague manner, like the due process clause, to make them more malleable to judicial interpretation in t he light of new conditions and circumstances. ENUMERATE AND DEFINE THE ESSENTIAL PARTS OF THE WRITTEN CONSTITUTION 1. Constitution of Liberty - consists of a series of prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil and political rights of the citizens and imposing limitat ions on the powers of government as a means of securing the enjoyment of those r ights. 2. Constitution of Government - consists of a series of provisions outlining the organization of the government, enumerating its powers, laying down certain rul es relative to its administration, and defining the electorate. 3. Constitution of Sovereignty - consists of the provisions pointing out the mod e or procedure in accordance with which formal changes in the fundamental law ma ybe brought about. DEFINE PERMANENCE OF THE CONSTITUTION The capacity to resist capricious or whimsical change dictated not by legitimate needs but only by passing fancies, temporary passions or occasional infatuatio ns of the people with ideas or personalities. WHAT IS THE DISADVANTAGE OF A CONSTITUTION'S PERMANENCE? It may be unable to adjust to the need for change justified by new conditions an d circumstances. The written constitution may become an impediment rather than a spur to progress. HOW IS THE CONSTITUTION INTERPRETED? Like statutory enactments, the Constitution should be read in accordance w ith the usual rules on interpretation and construction. It's interpretation shou ld give effect to the intendment of the framers. This intention is discoverable either in the document itself or through the use of extrinsic aids. The Constitution must be change with the changing times lest it impede the prog ress of the people with the antiquated rules grown ineffective in a modern age. DEFINE A SELF-EXECUTING FROM A NON-SELF-EXECUTING PROVISION. A self-executing provision is a rule that by itself is directly or indirectly ap plicable without need of statutory implementation while a non-self-executing pro vision is one that remains dormant unless it is activated by legislative impleme ntation. Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the provisions of the constitution shou ld be considered self-executing. WHAT ARE 'IRON RULES'? These provisions in the Constitution which are not as malleable to judicial inte rpretation. They cannot be altered except by formal amendment. STATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMENDMENT AND REVISION Amendment means isolated or piecemeal change only while a Revision is a revamp o r the rewriting of the whole instrument. WHAT ARE THE TWO STEPS INVOLVED IN THE AMENDMENT OF REVISION OF OUR CONSTITUTION

The proposal is generally made either directly by the Congress or by a Constitut ional Convention while Ratification involves the people themselves in the sovere ign act of drafting or altering the fundamental law. Under Proposal: 1. Direct Legislative Action - where what is intended is a mere amendment or cha nge of particular provisions only. It needs at least 3/4 of the vote of the Con gress. This method avoids the unnecessary expenditure of public funds and time t hat the calling of a Con-Con will entail. 2. Constitutional Convention - if what is envisioned is the overhaul of the enti re Constitution. The Con-Con has more time, opportunity and the needed expertise to discharge the task. This may be made by a vote of 2/3 of all members of the Congress. WHAT IS THE THIRD METHOD OF PROPOSAL ALLOWED BY SECTION 2 OF ARTICLE XVII? It reads: Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by t he people through Initiative in petition of at least twelve per centum of the to tal number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be re presented by at least three per centum of the register voters therein. ENUMERATE AND DEFINE THE THEORIES ON THE POSITION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTI ON 1. Theory of Conventional Sovereignty - The Constitutional Convention is Supreme over the other departments of the government because the powers it exercises ar e in the nature of sovereign powers. 2. The Constitutional Convention is Inferior since it is merely a creation of th e legislature. 3. Independent of and co-equal with the other departments. As long as it exists and confines itself within the sphere of its jurisdiction. This is what's widel y accepted. WHAT DOES 'JUDICIAL REVIEW OF AMENDMENTS' MEAN? This doctrine allows the courts to inquire into whether or not the prescribed pr ocedure for amendment has been observed. The judiciary may declare invalid a proposal adopted by less than three-fourths of the members of the Congress, or a call for a a constitutional convention by l ess than two-thirds of the legislature, or a ratification made by less than a ma jority of the votes cast, or a plebiscite irregularly held. WHAT IS THE 1987 CONSTITUTION ABOUT? The fourth fundamental law to govern the Philippines since it became independent on July 4, 1946. WHAT IS VOTING? The concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the delib erations on the issues in the case and voted therein. Used to be no less than tw o-thirds of the Court were needed for a declaration of unconstitutionality, now as few as five members can declare unconstitutional. This number being a majorit y of the quorum of with of the fifteen-member court. ENUMERATE AND DEFINE THE REQUISITES OF A JUDICIARY INQUIRY 1. There must be an actual case or controversy - involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims sus ceptible of judicial adjudication. - The case must not be moot or academic. - There must be a contratriety of legal rights that can be interpreted and enfor

ced on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence. - A 'controversy' must be one that is appropriate for judicial determination. - A controversy must be definite and concrete, touching the legal relations of p arties having adverse legal interests. - Request for advisory opinion cannot come in the category of an actual case or controversy since the issue raised does not involve any conflict in law - Counseling by courts is contrary to the doctrine is separation is powers since their advice will not have the force of law but of a mere suggestion or recomme ndation but where the purpose is to solicit from the court a declaratory judgeme nt involving bathe interpretation of the rights and duties of a person under the provisions of deed, will, contract, or other written instrument, or a statute o r ordinance, the case is deemed an actual controversy over which the courts may validly assume jurisdiction.

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