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CHAPTER I - LAW, ITS CONCEPT AND CLASSIFICATION

Law
1.

2.

(Broad Sense) Any rule of action or norm of conduct applicable to all kinds of action
and to all objects of creations. It includes all laws, whether they refer to state law,
physical law, divine law and others.
(Strict Legal Sense) A rule of conduct, just and obligatory, laid down by legitimate
authority for common observance and benefit.
Elements of Law:
1. It is a rule of conduct.
2. Law must be just.
3. It must be obligatory.
4. Laws must be prescribed by legitimate authority.
5. Laws must be ordained for the common benefit.

Classification of Law (refer to Book, page 2 - 3); I suggest to use the classification of laws
based on Statutory Construction by Atty. Sualog
Sources of Law (based from the Book)
a. Legislation
b. Precedent
c. Custom
d. Court Decision
CHAPTER II - WORLD'S LEGAL SYSTEM
(See text, page 6 - 14)
a. Roman Law
b. Angelican or Common Law
c. Mohammedan Law
CHAPTER III - LAW AND ITS APPLICATION
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

When the law and its meaning is clear and unmistakable, there is no need to
interpret it any further;
When construction or interpretation is necessary, the court should interpret the law
according to the meaning the legislature intended to give it;
If there are two possible interpretations of a law, that which will achieve the ends
desired by Congress should be adopted;
Laws of pleading, practice and procedure are likely liberally construed in order to
promote their object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy, and
inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding; and
In case of doubt in interpretation and application of laws and when all other rules of
statutory construction fail, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right
and justice to prevail.

CHAPTER IV - THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND THE QUALIFICATIONS AND


PROCEDURE FOR ADMISSION TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW
1.

Before Admission to the Bar


a. Citizen of the Philippines;

b.
c.
d.

e.
f.

g.
h.
2.

Must at least be twenty-one (21) years of age;


He must be a resident of the Philippines;
Educational Qualification

completed a four-year high school course which is a prerequisite to a


bachelor's degree in arts or sciences;

completed a bachelor's degree with any of the following subjects as


major or field of concentration: Political Science, Logic, English,
Spanish, History or Economics;

completed a Bachelor of Laws degree in a law school or university


approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education
Must be of good moral character, and that no charges against him,
involving moral turpitude have been filed or are pending in any court in
the Philippines;
Must pass the Bar Examinations

Obtain a general average of 75%;

No grade lower than 50% in any subject.


Must take the Lawyer's Oath before the supreme court.
g. Must sign the roll of attorneys and receive from the Clerk of Court of
the Supreme Court a certificate of the license to practice.

After Admission to the Bar


a. Must be a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines;
b. Must regularly pay all IBP membership dues and other lawful
assessments;
c. Observe faithfully the rules and ethics of the profession; and
d. Be subject to judicial disciplinary control.

Bar Exam Schedule


First day: Political and International Law (morning); Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon)
Second day: Civil law (morning); Taxation (afternoon)
Third day: Mercantile Law (morning); Criminal Law (afternoon)
Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and Legal Ethics and practical exercises (afternoon)
Bar Examiners
1. 1 Justice of the Supreme Court

Act as a Chairman

Serve for a term of one (1) year.


2. 8 members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines

Serve for a term of one (1) year.


Results: Not later than February 15th after the examination, or as soon as thereafter as may be
practicable.
"The practice of law is not a matter of right. It is a privilege bestowed upon individuals who
are not learned in the law but who are also known to possess good moral character." (Tan v.
Sabandal, B.M. No. 44, February 24, 1992)

1987 Constitution | Article VIII - Judicial Department


(see summarized version below)
SECTION 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower
courts as may be established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving
rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there
has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
any branch or instrumentality of the Government.
SECTION 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the
jurisdiction of various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over
cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof.
No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of
its Members.
SECTION 3. The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the Judiciary may
not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and,
after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released.
SECTION 4. (1) The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen
Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in divisions of three, five, or seven
Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.
(2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement,
or law, which shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, and all other cases which under
the Rules of Court are required to be heard en banc, including those involving the
constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders,
instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, shall be decided with the concurrence of a
majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case
and voted thereon.
(3) Cases or matters heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a
majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case
and voted thereon, and in no case, without the concurrence of at least three of such Members.
When the required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc: Provided, that
no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a decision rendered en banc or in
division may be modified or reversed except by the court sitting en banc.
SECTION 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and
consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas
corpus.
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of
Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive
agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation
is in question.
(b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty
imposed in relation thereto.
(c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue.
(d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
(e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.
(3) Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require.
Such temporary assignment shall not exceed six months without the consent of the judge
concerned.
(4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights,
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the
Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a
simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for
all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.
Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless
disapproved by the Supreme Court.
(6) Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service
Law.
SECTION 6. The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the
personnel thereof.
SECTION 7. (1) No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower
collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the
Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or
more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.
(2) The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of lower courts, but no person
may be appointed judge thereof unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and a member of the
Philippine Bar.
(3) A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and
independence.
SECTION 8. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the
Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice,
and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated
Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the
private sector.

(2) The regular Members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four
years with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Of the Members first appointed,
the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three
years, the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.
(3) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall
keep a record of its proceedings.
(4) The regular Members of the Council shall receive such emoluments as may be determined
by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall provide in its annual budget the
appropriations for the Council.
(5) The Council shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary.
It may exercise such other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it.
SECTION 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be
appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and
Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.
For the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointments within ninety days from the
submission of the list.
SECTION 10. The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court, and of judges of lower courts shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office,
their salary shall not be decreased.
SECTION 11. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold
office during good behavior until they reached the age of seventy years or become
incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the
power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of
the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted
thereon.
SECTION 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law
shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.
SECTION 13. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision
en banc or in division shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a Member
for the writing of the opinion of the Court. A certification to this effect signed by the Chief
Justice shall be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case and served upon
the parties. Any Member who took no part, or dissented, or abstained from a decision or
resolution must state the reason therefor. The same requirements shall be observed by all
lower collegiate courts.
SECTION 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.
No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of the court shall be refused
due course or denied without stating the legal basis therefor.
SECTION 15. (1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be

decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme
Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate
courts, and three months for all other lower courts.
(2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the
last pending, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.
(3) Upon the expiration of the corresponding period, a certification to this effect signed by the
Chief Justice or the presiding judge shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to
the record of the case or matter, and served upon the parties. The certification shall state why a
decision or resolution has not been rendered or issued within said period.
(4) Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period, the court, without prejudice to
such responsibility as may have been incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve
the case or matter submitted thereto for determination, without further delay.
SECTION 16. The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the opening of each regular
session of the Congress, submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on the
operations and activities of the Judiciary.
1987 Constitution | Article VIII - Judicial Department
Summarized version
Sec. 1. JUDICIAL POWER
Scope:
1.

Judicial power is the authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes


involving rights that are enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or
the redress of wrongs for violations of such rights.

2.

Vested in the Supreme Court and such lower courts as may be established by law.

3.

Since the courts are given judicial power and nothing more, courts may neither
attempt to assume or be compelled to perform non-judicial functions. They may not
be charged with administrative functions except when reasonably incidental to the
fulfillment of their duties.

4.

In order that courts may exercise this power, there must exist the following:

An actual controversy with legally demandable and enforceable rights;

Involving real parties in interest;

The exercise of such power will bind the parties by virtue of the courts
application of existing laws.

5.

Judicial power cannot be exercised in vacuum. Without any laws from which rights
arise and which are violated, there can be no recourse to the courts.

6.

The courts cannot be asked for advisory opinions.

7.

Judicial power includes:

a.
b.

The duty of the courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable; and
To determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
government.

Political Questions:
a.

A political question is one the resolution of which has been vested by the
Constitution exclusively in either the people, in the exercise of their sovereign
capacity, or in which full discretionary authority has been delegated to a co-equal
branch of the Government.

b.

Thus, while courts can determine questions of legality with respect to governmental
action, they cannot review government policy and the wisdom thereof, for these
questions have been vested by the Constitution in the Executive and Legislative
Departments.

Sec. 2. ROLES OF CONGRESS


1.

Defining enforceable and demandable rights and prescribing remedies for violations
of such rights; and

2.

Determining the court with jurisdiction to hear and decide controversies or disputes
arising from legal rights.

3.

Thus, Congress has the power to define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of
various courts.
1.
2.

BUT, Congress cannot deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over
cases provided for in the Constitution.
Creation and abolition of courts:
1. The power to create courts implies the power to abolish and even reorganize courts.
2. BUT this power cannot be exercised in a manner which would
undermine the security of tenure of the judiciary.
3. If the abolition/re-organization is done in good faith and not for political
or personal reasons, then it is VALID. (same rule applies for civil
servants)

Sec. 3. FISCAL AUTONOMY


1.
2.
3.

The entire judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy.


Annual appropriations for the judiciary cannot be reduced below the amount
appropriated for the previous year.
Once approved, appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.

Secs. 4-7; 12 JUDICIARY


Composition of the Supreme Court:

1. Chief Justice and


2. 14 Associate Justices
Note: Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be
designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.
Qualifications of members of the SC:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Natural born citizen of the Philippines


At least 40 years old
At least 15 years of experience as a judge or in the practice of law in the Philippines
Person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.

Qualifications of members of lower collegiate courts (CA, CTA, Sandiganbayan)


1.
2.
3.
4.

Natural born citizen of the Philippines


Member of the Philippine bar
Possesses other qualifications prescribed by Congress
Person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.

Qualifications of judges of lower non-collegiate courts:


1.
2.
3.
4.

Citizen of the Philippines (may be a naturalized citizen)


Member of the Philippine Bar
Possesses other qualifications prescribed by Congress
Person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.

Section 8. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL


1. The Judicial and Bar Council is under the supervision of the SC.
A. Is under the supervision of the Supreme Court and is composed of:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Chief Justice, as ex-officio chairman


Secretary of Justice, as an ex-officio member
Representative of Congress, as an ex-officio member
Representative of the Integrated Bar
A professor of law
A retired member of the SC; and
Private sector representative

Note: The last four re the regular members of the JBC. Regular members are appointed by
the President with CA approval. Regular members serve for 4 years, with staggered terms.
B. Functions of JBC
1.
2.

Principal function: recommend appointees to the Judiciary


Exercise such other functions as the SC may assign to it.

C. Appointments to the Judiciary


1.

President shall appoint from a list of at least 3 nominees for each vacancy, as

2.
3.
4.

prepared by the JBC.


No CA confirmation is needed for appointments to the Judiciary.
Vacancies in SC should be filled within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy.
Vacancies in lower courts should be filled within 90 days from submission to the
President of the JBC list.

Sec. 10. SALARIES


1.
2.
3.

Salaries of SC Justices and judges of lower courts shall be fixed by law.


Cannot be decreased during their continuance in office, but can be increased.
Members of the Judiciary are NOT exempt from payment of income tax.

Sec. 11. TENURE/DISCIPLINARY POWERS OF SC


1.

Members of the SC and judges of the lower courts hold office during good behavior
until
a. The age of 70 years old; or
b. They become incapacitated to discharge their duties.

2.

Disciplinary action against judges of lower courts:


a. Only the SC en banc has jurisdiction to discipline or dismiss judges of
lower courts.
b. Disciplinary action/dismissal: Majority vote of SC Justices who took part
in the deliberations and voted therein.

3.

Removal of SC Justices:
a. Only by IMPEACHMENT.
b. Cannot be disbarred while they hold office.

Secs. 4-6, 13. THE SUPREME COURT


Hearing of cases:
1.
2.

En banc; or
Divisions of 3, 5, or 7.

Cases required to be heard en banc:


1.

All cases involving constitutionality of a/an:


a. Treaty
b. International or executive agreement or
c. Law.

2.

All cases required to be heard en banc under the Rules of Court:


a. Appeals from Sandiganbayan; and
b. From the Constitutional Commissions

3.

All cases involving the constitutionality, application or operation of


a. Presidential decrees
b. Proclamations
c. Orders

d.
e.
f.

Instructions
Ordinances; and
Other regulations.

4.

Cases heard by a division where required majority of 3 was not obtained.

5.

Cases where SC modifies or reverses a doctrine or principle of law laid down by the
SC en banc or by a division.
Administrative cases to discipline or dismiss judges of lower courts; and
Election contests for President and Vice-President.

6.
7.

Cases heard by division


1.
2.

Must be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the members who took part in
the deliberations and voted thereon.
Majority vote in a division should be at least 3 members.

Powers of the SC
1.

SC has ORIGINAL jurisdiction over


a. Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls.

Note: This refers to foreign ambassadors, etc., stationed in the Philippines.


b.
2.

Petitions for certiorari, prohibiton, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas


corpus.

SC has APPELLATE jurisdiction over final judgments and orders in the following:
a.

All cases involving the constitutionality or validity of any


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

b.

All cases involving the legality of any


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

c.
d.

treaty
international or executive agreement
law
presidential decree
proclamation
order
instruction
ordinance, or
regulation;

tax
impost
assessment or
toll or
any penalty imposed in relation thereto;

All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue


Criminal cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher;

e.
3.

and
All cases where ONLY errors or questions of law are involved.

Temporarily assign lower court judges to other stations in the public interest.

Note: Temporary assignment shall not exceed 6 months without the consent of the judge
concerned.
4.

Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

5.

Promulgate rules concerning:


a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

The protection and enforcement of constitutional rights;


Pleading, practice and procedure in all courts;
Admission to the practice of law;
The Integrated Bar; and
Legal assistance to the underprivileged.

Limitations on Rule Making Power


a.
b.
c.
6.
7.

It should provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy


disposition of cases.
It should be uniform for all courts of the same grade.
It should not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.
Appoint ALL officials and employees of the Judiciary, in accordance with
Civil Service Law.

Exercise administrative supervision over ALL courts and the personnel thereof.

Decisions of the Supreme Court:


1.

Reached in consultation before being assigned to a member for the writing of the
opinion.

2.

A certification to this effect must be signed by the Chief Justice and attached to the
record of the case and served upon the parties.

3.

Members of the SC who took no part, or who dissented or abstained must state the
reasons therefore.

Note: This procedure shall also be observed by all lower collegiate courts (CA, CTA, and the
Sandiganbayan).
JUDICIAL REVIEW
1.
2.
3.

Judicial Review is the power of the SC to declare a law, treaty, ordinance etc.
unconstitutional.
Lower courts may also exercise the power of judicial review, subject to the appellate
jurisdiction of the SC.
Only SC decisions are precedent, and thus, only SC decisions are binding on all.

Requisites:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

An ACTUAL CASE calling for the exercise of judicial power


The question involved must be RIPE FOR ADJUDICATION, i.e. the government
act must have had an adverse effect on the person challenging it.
The person challenging the governmental act must have STANDING, i.e. a
personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will
sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement.
The question of Constitutionality must be raised in the first instance, or at the
earliest opportunity.
Resolution of the issue of constitutionality is unavoidable or is the very lis mota.

Effect of a declaration of unconstitutionality:


1.
2.
3.

Prior to the declaration that a particular law is unconstitutional, it is considered as an


operative fact which at that time had to be complied with.
Thus, vested rights may have been acquired under such law before it was declared
unconstitutional.
These rights are not prejudiced by the subsequent declaration that the law is
unconstitutional.

Sec. 14. DECISIONS


1.
2.
3.
4.

Decisions MUST state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
based.
Refusal to give due course to petitions for review and motions for reconsideration
must state the legal basis for such refusal.
Memorandum decisions, where the appellate court adopts the findings of fact and
law of the lower court, are allowed as long as the decision adopted by reference is
attached to the Memorandum for easy reference.
These rules only apply to courts. They do not apply to quasi-judicial or
administrative bodies nor to military tribunals.