You are on page 1of 3

Construction expressed in such a way as to give it legal effect and

The art or process of discovering and expounding the
meaning and intention of the authors of law, where that The duty and power to interpret or construe a
intention is rendered doubtful by reason of the statute or the Constitution belongs to the judiciary.
ambiguity in its language or the fact that the given case The SC construes the applicable law in controversies
is not explicitly provided for in the law. which are ripe for judicial resolution.
The court does not interpret law in a vacuum.
Purpose: to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the The legislature has no power to overrule the
law, to determine legislative intent. interpretation or construction of a statute or the
Constitution by the Supreme Court, for
interpretation is a judicial function assigned to the
Rules of Statutory Construction latter by the fundamental law.
The SC may, in an appropriate case, change or
These are tools used to ascertain legislative intent. They overrule its previous construction.
are not rules but mere axioms of experience.
A condition sine qua non before the court may construe
or interpret a statute, is that there be doubt or
Legislative Intent ambiguity in its language. The province of construction
lies wholly within the domain of ambiguity. Where
The essence of the law. The intent of the legislature is the there is no ambiguity in the words of a statute, there is
law, and the key to, and the controlling factor in, its no room for construction.
construction and interpretation.
A statute is ambiguous when it is capable of being
The primary source of legislative intent is the statute understood by reasonably well-informed persons in
itself. either of two senses.
Where the law is free from ambiguity, the court may
not introduce exceptions or conditions where none
Where the words or phrases of a statute are not is provided.
obscure or ambiguous, its meaning and the intention of A meaning that does not appear nor is intended or
the legislature must be determined from the language reflected in the very language of the statute cannot
employed. be placed therein be construction.
Where the two statutes that apply to a particular
case, that which was specifically designed for the
Legislative Purpose said case must prevail over the other.
When the SC has laid down a principle of law as
The reason why a particular statute was enacted by the
applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to
that principle and apply it to all future cases where
the facts are substantially the same.
Legislative Meaning
Judicial rulings have no retroactive effect.
The court may issue guidelines in applying the
What the law, by its language, means: what it
statute, not to enlarge or restrict it but to clearly
comprehends, what it covers or embraces, what it limits
delineate what the law requires. This is not judicial
or confines.
legislation but an act to define what the law is.
In construing a statute, it is not enough to ascertain the
Limitations on power to construe
intention or meaning of the statute; it is also necessary
to see whether the intention or meaning has been
Courts may not enlarge nor restrict statutes.
Courts may not be influenced by questions of wisdom.
Legis interpretation legis vim obtinet privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such
Judicial construction and interpretation of a statute collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly
acquires the force of law. and logically inferred from its terms.

ASSOCIATED WORDS The principle is expressed in the maxim EX NECESSITATE

LEGIS or from the necessity of the law.
Noscitur a sociis
A thing is known by its associates. Stare Decisis [Latin, Let the decision stand.] The policy
of courts to abide by or adhere to principles established
Ejusdem generis by decisions in earlier cases. "To stand by a decision,"
Of the same kind or species. This is to give effect to both the doctrine that a trial court is bound by appellate court
the particular and general words, by treating the decisions (precedents) on a legal question which is raised
particular words as indicating the class and the general in the lower court. Reliance on such precedents is
words as indicating all that is embraced in said class, required of trial courts until such time as an appellate
although not specifically named by the particular words. court changes the rule, for the trial court cannot ignore
the precedent (even when the trial judge believes it is
The rule of ejusdem generis is not of universal "bad law")
application; it should be used to carry out, not to defeat
the intent or purpose of the law; the rule must give way CONTEMPORANEOUS CONSTRUCTION
in favor of the legislative intent;
Limitations of ejusdem generis Contemporary or practical constructions are the
constructions placed upon statutes at the time of, or
Requisites: after, their enactment by the executive, legislature, or
1. Statue contains an enumeration of particular and judicial authorities, as well as those who, because of their
specific words, followed by a general word or phrase; involvement in the process of legislation, are
2. The particular and specific words constitute a class or knowledgeable of the intent and purpose of the law,
are of the same kind; such as draftsmen and bill sponsors.
3. The enumeration of the particular and specific words
is not exhaustive or is not merely by examples; Contemporanea exposition est optima et fortissima in
4. There is no indication of legislative intent to give lege--- the contemporary construction is strongest in
general words or phrases a broader meaning. law.

Expressio unius est exclusion alterius Kinds of Executive Construction, generally

The express mention of one person, thing or What is commonly known as contemporaneous
consequence implies the exclusion of all others. construction is the construction placed upon the statute
by an executive or administrative officer called upon to
Expressum facit cessare tacitum execute or administer such statute. Accordingly,
What is expressed puts an end to that which is implied. executive and the administrative officers are generally
the very first officials to interpret the law, preparatory to
Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemus. its enforcement.
When the law does not distinguish, do not distinguish.
Three type of executive interpretations:
Doctrine of necessary implication
This doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as 1. Construction by an executive or administrative officer
much a part thereof as that which is expressed. Every directly called to implement the law, expressed or
statute is understand by implication to contain all such implied, expressed such as circular, directive, or
provision as may be necessary to effectuate to its object regulation;
and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers,
2. By the Secretary of Justice in his capacity as the chief
legal adviser of the government, in the form of opinions
issued upon the request of the executive; and

3. Interpretation handed down in an adversary

proceeding in the form of a ruling by an executive officer
exercising quasi-judicial power.