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Introduction To Law

PHILIPPINE HISTORY AND LEGAL SYSTEM Executive department – The power shall be vested
upon the president and the vice president. The
The Philippine legal system is a mixture of civil law power given to president is to appoint, to ensure
and common law regimes. that the laws are faithfully executed, to be
commander-in-chief of the armed forces, to grant
 Civil law – introduce in British colonies and it
clemency and to contract foreign loans.
applies today territories such as India, Malaysia
and Singapore. Marcos v. Manglapus
 Common law – the French and the Dutch
spread civil law in territories such as Indochina - The case emphasizes that the power of the
and Indonesia. President is not limited of what implies in
the Constitution. Refer to the “residual
Fundamental difference of the two power”.

Civil law has comprehensive written codes, which Judicial department –The power shall be vested in
are designed to cover every area of law one Supreme Court and in such courts as may be
established by law. Judicial power is to settle actual
Common law systems are based on judge-made law,
controversies involving rights which are legally
which develop on a case-to-case basis.
demandable and enforceable they also have power
In re: Maxshoop to determine if there is abuse of discretion on the
part of any branch (legislative and executive) or
- The case emphasizes that a lawyer who instrumentality of the government.
practice law in the highest court in the United State
and he practice law for five year there he was In re Cunanan
allowed to practice law here in the Philippines
- The case emphasizes that only the
because based on the history our constitution was
Supreme Court or judicial department has
patterned in English law.
the right in any admission, suspension and
reinstatement of attorney-at-law in the
practice of profession and in any cases as
Branches of Government long as it’s a judicial in function.

Legislative department – the power shall be vested Prior to 1987 constitution, our legislative
upon the congress (Senate and House of the body was called the “Batasan Pambansa”
Representative) who has the power to make law and and before the laws became Republic Act
to amend, modify or repeal existing laws enacted by they call it “Batas Pambansa” or “B.P”
the previous congress before.

Government v. Springer Separation of powers – the principle of separation

of powers ordains that each of the three branches of
- The case emphasizes that the voting
government has exclusive cognizance of and is
power of all such stock owned by the
supreme in matters falling within own
government of the Philippine islands shall
constitutionality allocated sphere.
be vested exclusively in congress and in a
committee consisting of the governor Check and balance - The main purpose check and
general, senate president and speaker of balance is to prevent centralization of power
the house between the three branches.

Introduction To Law

THE CONSTITUTION AND ITS CONSTRUCTION as starting points, constituent parts of complex
arguments or concluding evocations.”
1. Textualism- constitutional interpretation
 A system of fundamental laws for the wherein it consist of only analysing and
governance and administration of a nation. examining the words alone. However,
 Supreme, imperious, absolute and reliance on mere text is insufficient because
unalterable except by the authority which it the words and phrases of the constitution
emanates. are not definitive, ambiguous, self-
 The fundamental and paramount law of the contradictory.
nation 2. Structural Analysis- reading across the
 Prescribes the permanent framework of a words. After reading the text, the text will
system of the government, assigns to the show you or make you understand the text
different departments their respective without the text directly saying it.
powers and duties. 3. Originalism- the intention of the lawmakers
 It is supreme law to which all other laws or applying the constitution only in the
conform and in accordance with which all ways that framers intended. Disadvatage:
private rights must be determined and all can be subjective; abstract rather than
public authority administered. concrete expectations.
 It is respected because it is an express 4. Normative and Pragmatic Approach-
declaration of the people’s will. getting the meaning through attempts to
discernwhich interpretation best accords
Constitutional Supremacy with the moral and political character or
If a law or contract violates any identity of a natin. Can be subjective.
norm of the constitution, it is null and void 5. Stare Decisis- judicial elaboration of the
and without any force and effect. decisional doctrine to derive answers to
constitutional questions. Judicial opinions
SINCE THE CONSTITUTION IS THE are second set of constitutional text.
FUNDAMENTAL PARAMOUNT AND SUPREME LAW 6. Deliberately Eclectic Combination-
combination of two or more modes
Procedure Created by the Supreme Court
Constitutional Construction
a. Verba Legis-when the meanings of
 Fundamental principle of constitutional the words are unclear, courts can
construction is to give effect to the intent of rely on extraneous aids of
the framers of the organic law and of the construction and interpretation.
people adopting it. Ex. Intent of the provision being
 The way we understand and interpret the construed.
-words must be given
Six Modes of Interpretation their ordinary meaning except for
technical terms
By: Lawrence H. Tribe
b. Ratio legis est anima- it is applied
The six modes of interpretations, stressing
when there is ambiguity in the
that “no one mode of interpretation can claim
text. Also, words of the
always to take priority or to be necessarily decisive

Introduction To Law

constitution should be interpreted The court recognized that constitutional provisions

with the intent of the framers. with exemptions are mandatory in nature.
c. Ut magis valeat quam pereat-the
constitution must be interpreted Self-executing
as a whole.
 Provisions or laws that can be implemented
CONSTITUTION INTERPRETED AS A WHOLE without the help of the legislative.
 If the nature and extent of the right
One mandate should not be given more conferred and the liability imposed are fixed
importance over the other except where the primacy by the constitution itself.
of one over the other is clear.
USED Provisions or laws that needs the legislative before
being implemented.
Its words should be given their ordinary
meaning except where technical terms are used. Essential Parts of a Good Written Constitution

PROSPECTIVE APPLICATION 1. Constitution of Liberty e.g., Art III

2. Constitution of Government e.g., Art VI, VII,
The right to counsel must be made with the VIII, and IX
assistance of the counsel. However, this may not be 3. Constitution of Sovereignty e.g., Art XVII
applied retroactively in cases where extrajudicial
confession was made prior to the effectivity of the A. Definition and Nature of a Constitution
said constitution.
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS
LANGUAGE REQUIRES NO CONSTRUCTION Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy,
if a law or contract violates any norm of the
Where the words of the statute are clear,
constitution that law or contract whether
plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its
promulgated by the legislative or by the
literal meaning and applied without attempted
executive branch or entered into by private
persons for private purposes is null and void and
WHEN CONSTRUCTION IS REQUIRED without any force and effect. Thus, since the
Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and
A cardinal rule in statutory construction is supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written
that when the law is clear and free from any doubt in every statute and contract.
or ambiguity, there is no room for construction or
interpretation. There is only room for application. Nitafan v. CIR
The primary task in constitutional construction
MANDATORY AND DIRECTORY PROVISIONS is to ascertain and thereafter assure the
realization of the purpose of the framers and of
Directory in character if no consequential rights or
the people in the adoption of the Constitution It
liabilities depend on it and no injury can result from
may also be safely assumed that the people in
ignoring it. And if the purpose of the legislature can
ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by
be accomplished in a manner than that prescribed
the explanation offered by the framers.
when substantially the same result can be obtained.

B. Constitutional Construction

Introduction To Law

i. No need for construction when not by itself alone, but in conjunction with
the law is clear all other provisions of that great document.

Amores c. HRET v. Applicability of rules of statutory

A cardinal rule in statutory construction is construction to constitutional
that when the law is clear and free from any construction
doubt or ambiguity, there is no room for
construction or interpretation. There is only Macalintal v. COMELEC
room for application. Its basic principle in Constitutional
construction that the Constitution should
ii. Verba Legis be construed as a whole
(Plain meaning rule)

Francisco v. HRET
The court must harmonize them, if AREAS OF LAW
practicable, and must lean in favor of a
Political Law
construction which will render every word
operative, rather than one which may make  Branch of public law which deals
the words idle and nugatory. with the organization and
operations of the governmental
iii. Ratio legis est anima
organs of the State and defines the
(The reason of the law is the soul
relations of the State with the
of the law)
inhabitants of its territory. (PEOPLE
Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary VS. PERFECTO, 43 Phil. 887).
It is a well-established rule in constitutional  Political law it regulates the
construction that no one provision of the relationship between the
Constitution is to be separated from all the government and certain public
others, to be considered alone, but that all officers and employees
the provisions bearing upon a particular (MACARIOLA V. ASUNCION A.M.
subject are to be brought into view and to No. 133-J)
be so interpreted as to effectuate the great
Civil Law
purposes of the instrument. Sections
bearing on a particular subject should be  Regulates the relations of
considered and interpreted together as to individuals for purely private ends.
effectuate the whole purpose of the  Civil law has been defined as "the
Constitution and one section is not to be mass of precepts w/c determine
allowed to defeat another, if by any and regulate the relations of
reasonable construction, the two can be assistance, authority and
made to stand together. obedience among the members of
a family, and those w/c exist
iv. Ut magis valeat quam pereat
among members of a society for
(Interpreted as whole)
the protection of private
Chiongbian v. De Leon interests." (Sanchez Roman.)
That said provision should function to the  Civil Code defined.-- A civil code is
full extent of its substance and its terms, a collection of laws w/c regulate
the private relations of the

Introduction To Law

members of civil society, 4. Must not impose cruel and unusual

determining their respective rights punishment or excessive fines.
and obligations, w/ reference to
persons, things, and civil acts.
Commercial Law/ Mercantile Law
(Tolentino) That issued by one merchant to another for
the purpose of attending to a commercial
Criminal Law transaction.
A branch of municipal law which defines
An instrument issued by a bank on behalf of
crimes treats of their nature and provides for their
one of its customers, authorizing an individual or a
firm to draw drafts on the bank or one of its
correspondents for its account under certain
It is that branch of public substantive law
conditions of the credit.
which defines offenses and prescribes their
penalties. It is substantive because it defines the
An engagement by a bank or other person
state’s right to inflict punishment and the liability of
made at the request of a customer that the issuer
the offenders. It is public law because it deals with
will honor drafts or other demands for payment
the relation of the individual with the state.
upon compliance with the conditions specified in the
credit. Through it, the bank merely substitutes its
 Every crime is made up of certain own promise to pay for the promise to pay of one of
acts and intent these must be set its customers who in return promises to pay the
forth in the complaint with bank the amount of funds mentioned in the letter of
reasonable particularly of time, credit plus credit or commitment fees mutually
place, names (plaintiff and
agreed upon.
defendant) and circumstances
 All criminal prosecutions the action
shall be instituted and tried in the DEFINED, - An alteration is said to be
court of the municipality or material if it alters the effect of the
province wherein the offense was instrument. It means an unauthorized
committed or any one of the change in an instrument that purports to
essential ingredients thereof took modify in any respect the obligation of a
place. (Hernandez v. Albano G. R.
party or an unauthorized addition of words
or numbers or other change to an
 there’s willfully, unlawfully,
feloniously, maliciously, and with incomplete instrument relating to the
intent to impeach the honesty, obligation of a party. In other words, a
virtue, and reputation (U. S. v. material alteration is one which changes the
TAYLOR G.R. 9726) items which are required to be stated under
Section 1 of the Negotiable Instruments
Limitations on the power of Congress to enact
penal laws (ON)
Law on Taxation
1. Must be general in application.
Branch of law which governs the power of
2. Must not partake of the nature of an ex post the State in relation to its power to tax. As a process,
facto law. it is a means by which the sovereign, through its law-
making body, raises revenue to defray the necessary
3. Must not partake of the nature of a bill of
expenses of the government. It is merely a way of
apportioning the costs of government among those

Introduction To Law

who in some measures are privileged to enjoy its Right to Self-organization

benefits and must bear its burdens.
The right to join, assist or form labor
As a power, taxation refers to the inherent organizations for collective bargaining and toengage
power of the state to demand enforced in lawful concerted activities for the same purpose
contributions for public purpose or purposes. or for their mutual aid andprotection.

Taxation is a symbiotic relationship, Any employee, whether employed for a

whereby in exchange for the protection that definite period or not, shall beginning onthe first day
thecitizens get from the government, taxes are paid. of his/her service, be eligible for membership in any
labor organization.
Nature of Taxation
1. It is an inherent attribute of sovereignty Remedial Law
2. It is legislative in character
Remedial Law is that branch of law which prescribes
Labor Law the method of enforcing rights or obtaining redress
for their invasion. It is also known as Adjective Law.
The State shall promote a just and dynamic  Prescribes the methods of enforcing those
social order that will ensure theprosperity and rights and obligations created by
independence of the nation and free the people substantive law by providing a procedural
from poverty throughpolicies that provide adequate system for obtaining redress for the
social services, promote full employment, a rising invasion of rights and violations of duties
standard ofliving, and an improved quality of life for and by prescribing rules as to how suits are
all. filed, tried and decided by the
The State shall promote social justice in all  Provides or regulates the steps by which
phases of national development. one who commit a crime is to be punished.
 No vested rights
The State values the dignity of every human  Retroactive: governs acts and transactions
person and guarantees full respect for human/rights. which took place
 SC is expressly empowered to promulgate
The State recognizes the vital role of the procedural rules
youth in nation-building and shall promote and
protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, Legal Ethics
and social well-being. It shall in culcate in the youth
patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their Legal Ethics denotes that body of principles
involvement in public and civic affairs. by which the conduct of members of the legal
The State recognizes the role of women in profession is controlled. It is that branch of moral
nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental science which treats of the duties which an attorney
equality before the law of women and men. at law owes to his clients, to the courts, to the bar
and to the public. (G.A. Malcolm, Legal and Judicial
The State affirms labor as a primary social Ethics 8 (1949))
economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers
and promote their welfare.
The State recognizes the indispensable role
of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, Chapter 4 of Gatmaytan
and provides incentives to needed investments
Through the power of judicial review, the judiciary
 Labor laws are considered written in every enforces and upholds the supremacy of the
contract. (Mariveles Shipyard v. CA)
Constitution. The determination whether a specific
rule or set of rules issued by an administrative
Labor Relations

Introduction To Law

agency contravenes the law or constitution is within 1. An actual case or controversy

the jurisdiction if the regular courts. calling for the exercise of judicial
 Origins and Constitutional Basis  Actual Case or
 The Court has the power to review controversy- means an
discretionary acts by the other existing case or
branches of the government. controversy that is
 During the Marcos regime, the judicial appropriate or ripe for
system was doubted because of its lack determination, not
of answer to political questions. SC said conjectural or
that since it’s political, they don’t have anticipatory, lest the
authority to pass upon it. That’s why in decision of the court
the 1987 Constitution, the judicial would amount to an
branch has now more power in a advisory opinion. When
broader sense. (Political question “are an issue becomes moot, it
those which under the Constitution are is dismissed. It becomes
to be decided by the people in their moot when it cease to
sovereign capacity, or in regard to present a justiciable
which full discretionary authority has controversy that is of
been delegated to the legislative or concern by the judiciary.
executive branch of government”) 2. The person challenging the act
 As explained by the Supreme Court in must have “standing” to challenge
the case of Angara v Electoral it. As in he must have personal and
Commission, in cases of conflict, the substantial interest and might
judicial department is the only sustain direct injury as a result of
constitutional organ which can be enforcement.
called upon to determine the proper  Legal standing or locus
allocation of powers between the standi as described above.
several departments and among the To have standing, the
integral or constituent units thereof. citizen must establish that
 The judiciary is the final arbiter on the he has suffered actual or
question whether or not the branch of threatened injury as a
government or any of its officials has result of the allegedly
acted without jurisdiction, an excess of illegal conduct of the
it, or so capriciously as to constitute an government.
abuse of discretion. (Grave abuse of 3. The question of constitutionality
discretion is simply a whimsical exercise must be raised at the earliest
of judgement that is patent and gross possible opportunity.
as to amount to an evasion of positive  This means that the act of
duty or a virtual refusal to perform a questioning its
duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in constitutionality should
contemplation of law, as where the have been immediately
power is exercised in an arbitrary and raised in the proceedings
despotic manner by reason of passion in the court.
or hostility.) 4. The issue of constitutionality must
be thelismota or very cause of the
 Requisites for exercise of judicial review suit or action.
 This arises from the
presumption of validity

Introduction To Law

accorded executive and No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary

legislative acts of our co- when it undermines the security of tenure of its
equal branches of the Members.
 Effects of declaration of unconstitutionality Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803)
An unconstitutional act is not a
 Law Facts: On his last day in office, President John Adams
 Confers no rights named forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen
 Imposes no dutied new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia
 No protection under the Organic Act. The Organic Act was an
attempt by the Federalists to take control of the
 No office
federal judiciary before Thomas Jefferson took
 Operative as if it were
 Partial Unconstitutionality; The separability The commissions were signed by President Adams
clause and sealed by acting Secretary of State John
-When a part of a statute is unconstitutional Marshall (who later became Chief Justice of the
and it is possible to discard that part Supreme Court and author of this opinion), but they
without affecting the valid ones, then only were not delivered before the expiration of Adams’s
that part would be discarded. There are term as president. Thomas Jefferson refused to
however some circumstances that an entire honor the commissions, claiming that they were
invalid because they had not been delivered by the
law may be invalidated if a part of it is
end of Adams’s term.
 When judicial review is not exercised William Marbury (P) was an intended recipient of an
-The function of the courts is to determine appointment as justice of the peace. Marbury
controversies between litigants and not to applied directly to the Supreme Court of the United
give advisory opinions. The power of States for a writ of mandamus to compel Jefferson’s
judicial review can only be exercised in Secretary of State, James Madison (D), to deliver the
connection with a bona fide controversy commissions. The Judiciary Act of 1789 had granted
the Supreme Court original jurisdiction to issue writs
which involves the statute to be reviewed.
of mandamus “…to any courts appointed, or persons
holding office, under the authority of the United
Constitution Article VIII States.”

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Issues

Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law. 1. Does Marbury have a right to the
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of 2. Does the law grant Marbury a remedy?
justice to settle actual controversies involving rights 3. Does the Supreme Court have the authority
which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to review acts of Congress and determine
to determine whether or not there has been a grave whether they are unconstitutional and
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of therefore void?
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or 4. Can Congress expand the scope of the
instrumentality of the Government. Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction
beyond what is specified in Article III of the
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to Constitution?
define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of 5. Does the Supreme Court have original
the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus?
Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in
Section 5 hereof.

Introduction To Law

Holding and Rule (Marshall) ordinary act, must govern the case to which
they both apply.
1. Yes. Marbury has a right to the commission. 4. No. Congress cannot expand the scope of
the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction
The order granting the commission takes beyond what is specified in Article III of the
effect when the Executive’s constitutional Constitution.
power of appointment has been exercised,
and the power has been exercised when the The Constitution states that “the Supreme
last act required from the person Court shall have original jurisdiction in all
possessing the power has been performed. cases affecting ambassadors, other public
The grant of the commission to Marbury ministers and consuls, and those in which a
became effective when signed by President state shall be a party. In all other cases, the
Adams. Supreme Court shall have appellate
2. Yes. The law grants Marbury a remedy.The jurisdiction.” If it had been intended to
very essence of civil liberty certainly leave it in the discretion of the Legislature
consists in the right of every individual to to apportion the judicial power between
claim the protection of the laws whenever the Supreme and inferior courts according
he receives an injury. One of the first duties to the will of that body, this section is mere
of government is to afford that protection. surplusage and is entirely without meaning.
If Congress remains at liberty to give this
Where a specific duty is assigned by law, court appellate jurisdiction where the
and individual rights depend upon the Constitution has declared their jurisdiction
performance of that duty, the individual shall be original, and original jurisdiction
who considers himself injured has a right to where the Constitution has declared it shall
resort to the law for a remedy. The be appellate, the distribution of jurisdiction
President, by signing the commission, made in the Constitution, is form without
appointed Marbury a justice of the peace in substance.
the District of Columbia. The seal of the 5. No. The Supreme Court does not have
United States, affixed thereto by the original jurisdiction to issue writs of
Secretary of State, is conclusive testimony mandamus.
of the verity of the signature, and of the
completion of the appointment. Having this To enable this court then to issue a
legal right to the office, he has a mandamus, it must be shown to be an
consequent right to the commission, a exercise of appellate jurisdiction, or to be
refusal to deliver which is a plain violation necessary to enable them to exercise
of that right for which the laws of the appellate jurisdiction.
country afford him a remedy.
3. Yes. The Supreme Court has the authority It is the essential criterion of appellate
to review acts of Congress and determine jurisdiction that it revises and corrects the
whether they are unconstitutional and proceedings in a cause already instituted,
therefore void. and does not create that case. Although,
therefore, a mandamus may be directed to
It is emphatically the duty of the Judicial courts, yet to issue such a writ to an officer
Department to say what the law is. Those for the delivery of a paper is, in effect, the
who apply the rule to particular cases must, same as to sustain an original action for
of necessity, expound and interpret the that paper, and is therefore a matter of
rule. If two laws conflict with each other, original jurisdiction.
the Court must decide on the operation of
each. If courts are to regard the Disposition
Constitution, and the Constitution is
superior to any ordinary act of the Application for writ of mandamus denied. Marbury
legislature, the Constitution, and not such doesn’t get the commission.

Introduction To Law

Angara v. Electoral Commission, supra (Got it from competent jurisdiction. The following are
Boss’ case digest. Held lang to which is the gist of requisites for res judicata to apply:
the whole issue)  The former judgement or order
must be final.
The Electoral Commission is an independent  The judgement or order must be
constitutional creation with specific powers and on merits
functions to execute and perform. Thus, in cases of  It must have been rendered by a
conflict between the several departments and court having jurisdiction over the
among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the subject matter and parties
Supreme Court as the final arbiter, is the only  There must be between the first
constitutional mechanism devised finally to resolve and second actions, identity of
parties, of subject matter and of
the conflict and allocate constitutional
cause of action.
boundaries. Constitution has provided for an
 Law of the case- provides that whatever is
elaborate system of checks and balances to secure
once irrevocably established as the
coordination in the workings of the various
controlling legal principle or decision,
departments of the government. continues to be the law of the case
between the same parties in the same case,
whether correct on general principles or
VI. Case Law and Precedent Chapter 5 of not, so long as the facts on which such
Gatmaytan decision was predicated continue to be the
facts of the case before the court.
 Court decisions as law  The difference between
-Judicial decisions assume the same res judicata and law of the
authority as statutes because these show case- In law of the case
how the courts interpret the law. They are applies only to the same
case whereas res judicata
laws by their own means. Lower court
forecloses parties or
decisions bind the parties to specific cases
privies in one case by
alone while Supreme Court decisions are
what has been done in
universal in their scope and application and
another case.
equally mandatory in character. The latter Furthermore, law of the
will always have the last word on what the case relates entirely to
law is. questions of the law while
 Stare Decisis- means that like case should res judicata is applicable
be decided alike. This is a principle that to the conclusive
respects precedent imperatives. A determination of issue of
judgement reached in one case should be fact.
applied to successive ones in which facts  Problems with precedent
are substantially identical even though the  Inconsistencies- Supreme Court
parties may be different. The issues must be decisions do not always clarify
the same unless otherwise it is not issues.
considered stare decisis.  Judicial FIlip-flopping- wherein the
 Res Judicata- means a matter adjudged; a inconsistency in Supreme Court
thing judicially acted upon or decided; a decisions is one involving a single
thing or matter settled by judgement. case. The Supreme Court Justices
Parties are not allowed to litigate the same cannot seem to agree on what is
issue when it is determined by a court of the correct interpretation of the
law should be.

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3. Question Presented
Art. 8. Judicial decisions applying or 4. Rule of Law
interpreting the laws or the Constitution 5. Application of Law to the Fact
shall form a part of the legal system of the 6. Holding
Philippines. 7. Disposition

Per curiam decision

DECISION - One where there is no ponente – does not

require formal certification
- Settlement of a controversy by a court of - Opinions of the court are unsigned and
law. decided by “the court”.
- Goes into roots of controversy - More authoritative


1. Statement of case - Those which adopt by reference the
2. Statement of facts findings of fact and conclusion of law
3. Court Ruling inferior tribunal.
4. Issues or assignment of errors - States the nature of the case, summarize
5. Disposition / Dispositive portion the facts with reference to the record, and
o Determines and settles the contain a statement of the applicable laws
right of the parties and the and jurisprudence and the tribunal’s
questions presented therein. / assessment and conclusion on the case.
o If no facts = Assailed decision
o Guides as enlightenment to Forms of decision in appealed cases – shall
determine the ratio decidendi be clear and distinctly state the findings of
(the reason for the decision) fact and the conclusion of law on which it is
o Definite, clear, unequivocal based.
without need for
interpretation. MINUTE RESOLUTIONS
- Not bound to render signed decisions all the
>There is ambiguity
time and has discretion on its evaluation of
>Extensive and Explicit
a case.
discussion and settlement of
- Helps the court in alleviating its heavy
the issue is found in the body
of decision.
>There the inevitable Decrees them as final and executor where:
conclusion from the body of
the decision is so clear the * Case is patently without merit
there was a mistake in the * The issues raised are factual in nature
* Decisions is supported by substantial evidence and
dispositive portion, the body
is in accord with the facts of the case and the
of the decision will prevail. applicable laws
* Clear from the records
Components of decision:

1. Facts
2. Procedural History

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Introduction To Law

Minute Decision Decision SC issued Administrative Circular No. 1 prompting all

Doesn’t require that Requires that the judges “to make complete findings of facts in their
the facts and the facts and the law on decisions, and scrutinize closely the legal aspects of
law on which the which the judgment the case in the light of the evidence presented. They
judgment is based is based must be
should avoid the tendency to generalize and form
must be expressed expressed clearly
clearly and distinctly and distinctly conclusions without detailing the facts from which
A minute resolution Must be judges such conclusions are deduces.”
is signed only by the
Clerk of Court by Constitution and ROC
authority of Justices
Does not require the Need of certification 2 essential parts of judgment:
certification of the
Chief Justice Body – clearly and distinctly states
Not published in Published in its findings of fact and of law, which is decision
Philippine Reports Philippine Reports based. Where finding of facts are stated.
The SC lays down The SC lays down
doctrines or doctrines or Decretal portion – controlling part
principles of law principles of law
which constitute which constitute THE SYLLABUS
binding precedent in binding precedent in
a decision duly a decision duly - Work of the reporter who gives
signed by the signed by the understanding of the decision.
members of Court members of Court
and certified by the and certified by the CERTIFICATION
Chief Justice Chief Justice
- Mean to ensure the implementation of the
constitutional requirement that decisions of
Res judica – depends whether a minute resolution of the Supreme Court and lower collegiate
the SC is adjudication on the merits of the petition. courts are reached after consultation with
members of the court sitting en banc or in a
division before the case is assigned to a
- Impose proper penalty and civil liability member thereof for decision-writing.

Constitutional Mandate

- Comply with form, procedure and DISSENTING OPINION

substantive requirements.
- Guarantee the freedom of expression of the
ROC Civil Procedure minority
- Do not provide doctrine
Rendition of judgments and final - It affirms or overrules no claim, right, or
orders – personally wrote, and prepared by the obligations and neither disposes of, nor
judge awards, anything. Merely expresses the
views of the dissenter.
ROC Criminal Procedure - The majority can never suppress the
dissent. It is a constitutional right and
Form and contents of judgments –
must be in official language, must be clear.

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Introduction To Law

- Delivered by dissenting Justices in public Intended to define with greater precision
- Offers an intriguing prism on the way that the scope of an opinion or otherwise inform the
dissents provide alternative sources of parties and other audiences of what the writer
believes are important points.
democratic legitimacy and important
pathways towards democratic
- Functions as ideal window
- Should be performed / recited RATIO DECIDENDI
- Ultimate issue directly before the Court,
VALUE AND FUNCTIONS OF DISSENT expressly decided in the course of
consideration of the case.
- Those who do not concur with the - Constitutes the binding precedent.
majority’s opinion express their - Rationale; orders nothing
disagreement by writing dissenting opinions - As a general rule, binding on courts of lower
and later jurisdiction—through the doctrine
- To emphasize the limits of a majority
of stare decisis
decision that sweeps, so far as the
dissenters are concerned, unnecessarily OBITER DICTUM
broadly – sort of “damage control” - Not binding but it can be helpful in
mechanism establishing the legal principles in the case under
PRINCIPLES - Dispositive portion; conclusion, orders
*Both parties have to know all the views of the - Lacks the force of adjudication.
collegiate court
*If the separate opinions are not appended to the RULINGS PRO HAV VICE “for this one particular
main opinion, the parties will have difficulty reason”
understanding the dissertation in the ponencia of - Decisions are made only when they are
the majority that addressed the points raised and “extremely peculiar circumstances”
resons presented in the separate opinions, more - Made to bypass procedural lapses by
particularly in the dissenting opinion. litigants in order to address merits of
important cases.
- Applied to administrative matters such as
Per Curiam Resolution request for the audio coverage of oral
- The SC’s majority opinion claimed that the arguments before the Supreme Court
internal deliberations of the Court included
the Separate Opinions of the Justices and
were within the purview of judicial AUTHORITIES
privilege, despite its promulgation and
publication. - Anything that a court can rely on in
- Majority’s decision amounted to censorship reaching its conclusion
designed to suppress information regarding - Legal resources.
the events taking place away from public 1. Constitutions
awareness. 2. Statutes
3. Regulations
Motion for Reconsideration 4. Reported Cases
Purpose: Allow the adjudicator another
opportunity to review the case and to re-examine PRIMARY AUTHORITY
the issues, deciding anew a question that was - Any law that the court can rely on in making
previously raised its decisions.

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Introduction To Law

- Issued by a branch of government acting in same judicial system that is superior to the
its lawmaking capacity court that wrote the opinion
2. Written by the court from another judicial
- Non-Law source that the court can rely on
in reaching its conclusions. FOREIGN DECISIONS
- Usually commentaries that explain how the - When a statute has been adopted from
law came to be, and contain analyses or another state or country and it has
critiques of the law. previously been construed bu the courts of
such state or country, the statute is deemed
MANDATORY AUTHORITY to have been adopted with the construction
- Whatever the court must rely on in given.
reaching its conclusion.
- The organic act shall define the basic
OPINION AS MANDATORY AUTHORITY structure of government for the region
1. Analogous consisting of the executive department and
2. Written by a court that is superior to the legislative assembly, both of which shall be
court elective and representative of the
constituent political units.
- What the court relies on when it is not
required to do so.
- Law/ non-law authority that a court decides
to follow because of it persuasiveness

*A prior court opinion that the court is not
required to follow but does so because it
finds the opinion persuasive
*Any secondary authority that the court is
not required to follow but does so because
it finds the secondary authority persuasive

- Non-Authority is:
*Primary or secondary authority that is not
“on point”
*Invalid primary authority
*Book/ Digested case

 Enacted by law
 Intention of the authors
 Does not violate other law


Does not have to follow an opinion if EITHER of the

following exists
1. Written by an inferior court and is now
being considered by a court within the

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