You are on page 1of 2

The requisites for res judicata are: (1) court of 0substantially the same; regardless of whether the

competent jurisdiction; (2) final judgment or order on parties and property are the same.[71] The doctrine
the merits; and (3) identities of parties, subject of stare decisis is based upon the legal principle or
matter, and cause of action (San Diego v. Calderon, rule involved and not upon the judgment, which
70 Phil. 281, 283). results therefrom. In this particular sense, stare
decisis differs from res judicata, which is based upon
Res judicata refers to the rule that a final judgment the judgment.[72]
or decree on the merits by a court of competent
jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or
their privies in all later suits on all points and matters
determined in the former suit. Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts

The elements of res judicata are as follows: (1) the A higher court will not entertain direct resort to it
former judgment or order must be final; (2) the unless the redress cannot be obtained in the
judgment or order must be on the merits; (3) it must appropriate courts.
have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction This is an ordained sequence of recourse to courts
over the subject matter and the parties; (4) there vested with concurrent jurisdiction, beginning from
must be, between the first and the second action, the lowest, on to the next highest, and ultimately to
identity of parties, of subject matter and cause of the highest. This hierarchy is determinative of the
action.6 venue of appeals, and is likewise determinative of
For res judicata to apply, all the above essential the proper forum for petitions for extraordinary writs.
requisites must exist. This is an established policy necessary to avoid
inordinate demands upon the Court‘s time and
The elements of res judicata are (1) the judgment attention which are better devoted to those matters
bring sought to bar the new action must be final; (2) within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to preclude the
the decision must have been rendered by a court further clogging of the Court‘s docket.
having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the
parties; (3) the disposition of the case must be based The SC is a court of last resort. It cannot and should
on a judgment or order on the merits; and (4) there not be burdened with the task of deciding cases in
must be identity of parties, subject matter and the first instances. Its jurisdiction to issue
causes of action as between the prior and the extraordinary writs should be exercised only where
subsequent actions. absolutely necessary or where serious and important
reasons exist.
The principle of stare decisis enjoins adherence
by lower courts to doctrinal rules established by this Petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs
Court in its final decisions. It is based on the against first level courts should be filed with the RTC
principle that once a question of law has been and those against the latter with the CA. A direct
examined and decided, it should be deemed settled invocation of the SC‘s original jurisdiction to issue
and closed to further argument.[49] Basically, it is a these writs should be allowed only where there are
bar to any attempt to re-litigate the same issues,[50] special and important reasons therefore, clearly and
necessary for two simple reasons: economy and specifically set out in the petition.
stability. In our jurisdiction, the principle is The doctrine of hierarchy of courts may be
entrenched in Article 8 of the Civil Code. It is an disregarded if warranted by the nature and
established rule to abide by former precedents importance of the issues raised in the interest of
where the same points come again in litigation.” As speedy justice and to avoid future litigations, or in
the rule evolved, early limits to its application were cases of national interest and of serious implications.
recognized: (1) it would not be followed if it were
“plainly unreasonable”; (2) where courts of equal Sec. 9[1], BP 129; Sec. 5[1], Art. VIII, Constitution of
authority developed conflicting decisions; and, (3) the Philippines, By “hierarchy of courts” is meant that
the binding force of the decision was the “actual while the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and
principle or principles necessary for the decision; not the Regional Trial Courts have concurrent original
the words or reasoning used to reach the decision.” jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition,
mandamus, quo warranto and habeas corpus, such
Under the doctrine, when this Court has once laid occurrence does not accord litigants unrestrained
down a principle of law as applicable to a certain freedom of choice of the court to which application
state of facts, it will adhere to that principle, and therefore maybe directed. The application should be
apply it to all future cases, where facts are filed with the court of lower level unless the
importance of the issue involved deserves the action
of the court of higher level.
The Constitution says: “No treaty or international
agreement shall be valid and effective unless
concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members
Difference between Res judicata and Stare of the Senate.” However, the Supreme Court has
decisis explained that “executive agreements” are not
Res judicata means "a thing adjudicated"; "a case subject to that requirement. “Treaties are formal
already decided"; or "a matter settled by a decision documents which require ratification by the Senate,
or judgment". while executive agreements become binding through
executive action without the need of a vote by the
Stare decisis means "to stand by decided cases", "to Senate or by Congress.”
uphold precedents", "to maintain former
adjudications", or "not to disturb settled law". Those
things which have been so often adjudged ought to A full-fledged treaty is required only when an
rest in peace. agreement involves changes in Philippine national
Res judicata and Stare decisis are members of the policy, and the agreement must therefore be
same family. Both relate to adjudication of matters. submitted to the Senate for ratification. On the other
Both deal with final determination of contested hand, when an agreement merely implements
questions and have the binding effect in future already existing treaty obligations, laws or policy, an
litigation. Both the doctrines are the result of executive agreement will suffice.
decisions of a competent court of law and based on
public policy.

There is, however, distinction between the two.

Whereas res judicata is based upon conclusiveness
of judgment and adjudication of prior findings, stare
decisis rests on legal principles.

Res judicata binds parties and privies, while stare

decisis operates between strangers also and binds
courts from taking a contrary view on the point of law
already decided.

Res judicata relates to a specific controversy, stare

decisis touches legal principles.

Res judicata presupposes judicial finding upon the

same facts as involved in subsequent litigation
between the same parties. Stare decisis applies to
same principle of law to all parties.

The Supreme Court has long held that under

international law, executive agreements and treaties
are practically the same in their ability to bind the
Philippine government to an agreement with another
government. “[T]here is no difference between
treaties and executive agreements in their binding
effect upon states concerned,” the court said.

Treaty v. Executive Agreement

A treaty needs the concurrence of the Senate in

order to be valid while an executive agreement
needs only the signature of the President or his
representative without need of Senate concurrence.
The Edca was signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire
Gazmin and wasn’t submitted for Senate ratification.