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Notice and Proof of Law

A. Extent of Judicial Notice
 It is the party whose cause of action or defense depends upon foreign
law that has he burden of proving the foreign law.
 Foreign law is treated as a question of fact. A judge cannot take
judicial notice of a foreign law and is presumed to know only domestic
o Judge can only act upon the evidence before his court in the
actual case.
o Delgado v. Republic: Judicial notice may be taken of a foreign
law with which the court is evidently familiar.
(Spanish/American or previously ruled)
B. Proof of Foreign Law
Insert Rules of Court
 Any public document executed abroad to be used in the Philippines
must be duly authenticated by the Philippine Consul attaching his
consular seal.
 In some cases, it may be necessary to take depositions of non-


In Re: Estate of Johnson

 Emil Johnson, native of Sweden, naturalized citizen of the US, died in Manila
leaving a will.
o Holographic instrument signed by 2 witnesses. Law requires 3.
 Admitted to probate – US citizen, duly executed in accordance with the laws
of Illinois.
 Opposed by an alleged daughter: not a resident of Illinois and not in
accordance with Illinois law.

Issue: WON will should be admitted to probate. YES.

 WON the will was executed in conformity with Illinois law
o No witness was presented / examined with reference to the law of
o But Starr and Curtis’ Annotated Illinois Statute – assumed that he
could take judicial notice of the laws of Illinois. WRONG.
 Civil Code of Procedure provides that JN pwede if Acts of the Congress of the
US; not of the particular states.
 Proper Rule: Statutes of States in the US require proof whenever their
provisions are determinative of the issues in any action litigated in the
Philippine courts.
 Nevertheless, the petition does not state eny fact from which it would appear
that the law of Illinois is different from what the court found.

 In the absence of proof

C. Exceptions to the Application of Foreign Law
1. The Foreign Law is Contrary to an Important Public Policy of the
2. The Foreign Law is Procedural in Nature
3. Issues are Related to Property (Lex Situs)
4. The Issue Involved in the Enforcement of Foreign Claim is Fiscal or
5. The Foreign Law or Judgment is Contrary to Good Morals (Contra
Bonos Mores)
6. The Application of Foreign Law will Work Undeniable Injustice to the
Citizens of the forum
7. The Foreign Law is Penal in Character
8. The Application of the Foreign Law Might Endanger the Vital Interests
of the State