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INTRODUCTION TO LAW

LAW (GENERALLY)

rule of action
system of uniformity

GENERAL DIVISION OF LAW


1) Law in the strict legal sense (state law)
2) Law in the non-legal sense
a) Divine law the law of religion and faith
b) Natural law mans inner sense of justice, fairness and righteousness
c) Moral law totality of norms of good and right conduct growing out of
a collective sense of right and wrong of every community
d) Physical law laws of science and nature
LAW a rule of conduct, just, obligatory, promulgated by legitimate authority,
and of common observance and benefit
Sources of Law
1. Constitution
-

The written instrument by which the fundamental powers of the


government are established, limited and defined, and by which these
powers are distributed among the several departments for their safe
and useful exercise for the benefit of the people

2. Legislation
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Consists of the declaration of legal rules by a competent authority.

3. Administrative or executive orders, regulations and rulings


-

They are those issued by administrative officials under legislative


authority

4. Judicial decision or jurisprudence


-

Decisions of the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, applying or


interpreting the laws or the Constitution which form part of the legal
system of the Philippines

Doctrine of precedent or stare decisis the decisions of a superior court


on a point of law are binding on all subordinate courts.
5. Custom
-

It consists of those habits and practices which through long and


uninterrupted usage have become acknowledged and approved by
society as binding rules of conduct.

Classifications of Law
1) As to purpose
a) Substantive law the body of law creating, defining, and
regulating rights and duties which may be either public or private in
character

b) Adjective (remedial or procedural law) law prescribes the


manner or procedure by which rights may be enforced or their
violations redressed.
2) As to subject matter
c) Public law the body of legal rules which regulates the rights and
duties arising from the relationship of the state to the people
d) Private law the body of rules which regulate the relations of
individuals with one another for purely private ends.
TYPES OF LEGAL SYSTEM
1. Common Law
A common law legal system is characterized by case
law developed by judges, courts, and similar tribunals, when
giving decisions in individual cases that have precedential effect on
future cases.
The body of past common law binds judges deciding later cases to
ensure consistent treatment and so that consistent principles applied
to similar facts yield similar outcomes. In common law cases, where
the parties disagree on what the law is, the court is usually bound to
follow the reasoning used in past decisions of relevant courts. If the
court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from
previous cases, judges have the authority and duty to make law by
creating precedent. Thereafter, the new decision becomes precedent,
and will bind future courts.
Stare decisis, the principle that cases should be decided according
to consistent principled rules so that similar facts will yield similar
results, lies at the heart of common law systems, but connotations of
the term "common law" vary according to context, both in present-day
use and historically.
The basis for common law is tradition, past practices, and legal
precedents set by the courts through interpretation of statutes, legal
legislations, and past rulings. Common law seeks interpretations
through the past decisions of higher courts which interpret the same
statures or apply established customary principles of law to a similar
set of facts.
2. Civil Law
Civil law, or Code law, is based on an all-inclusive system of
written rules (codes) of law. Under civil or code law, the legal system is
generally divided into three separate codes: commercial, civil and
criminal. The civil law system, also called a codified legal system, is
based on a detailed set of laws that make up a code.
It is a legal system originating in Europe, intellectualized within the
framework of late Roman law, and whose most prevalent feature is that
its core principles are codified into a referable system which serves as
the primary source of law. This can be contrasted with common
law systems whose intellectual framework comes from judgemade decisional law which gives precedential authority to prior court

decisions on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently


on different occasions (doctrine of judicial precedent, or stare decisis).
3. Theocratic or Religious Law
This system is based on religious teachings, as they are enshrined in the
religious scriptures. Islamic law (or the Sharia law) is the most widely
practiced religious legal system in the world.