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Public international law (PIL) refers to

the law that regulates the relations of
CONFLICT OF LAWS States and other entities possessing
international personality.


TOPICS UNDER THE SYLLABUS Nature Municipal or International
national in in character
A. Functions Transactions Private Generally
B. Difference between private and involved transactions affected by
public international law between public
individuals interest, or
those that
are of
interest only
I. INTRODUCTION to sovereign
Remedies Resort to May be
and municipal peaceful or
sanctions tribunals forcible
Private international law or conflict of Sources (See below) Custom,
laws is that part of the municipal law of treaty and
the State which governs cases involving a general
foreign element. principles of
Private International Law is not a recognized
separate, distinct branch of law; nor is it a by civilized
mere part of Civil Law but rather it nations and
traverses and concerns almost every juridical
department of law. decisions
(CJS) highly
1. Prescribe conditions under which a
court or agency is competent to
entertain a suit or proceeding involving
facts containing a foreign element;
1. Codifications
2. Specify circumstances in which foreign
judgment will be recognized a valid 2. Special Legislation
3. Multilateral Treaties and International
and binding in the forum; and
3. Determine for each class of cases the
particular system of law by reference 4. Bilateral Treaties
5. Case Law
to which the rights of parties must be
6. International Custom
7. Constitution

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Jurisdiction and Choice of Law


Jurisdiction over subject matter is fixed by
II. JURISDICTION law and cannot be conferred by consent of
A. Jurisdiction over the subject the parties or their voluntary submission.
B. Jurisdiction over persons To succeed in its motion for the dismissal
C. Jurisdiction over the res of an action for lack of jurisdiction over the
D. Choice of forum and the subject matter of the claim, the movant
principle of forum non must show that the court or tribunal
conveniens cannot act on the matter submitted to it
because no law grants it the power to
adjudicate the claims. (Hasegawa vs.
Kitamura, G.R. No. 149177, 2007)


It is the competence of a court to render
decision that will bind the parties to the


PROBLEMS It is the jurisdiction over the subject matter
of the controversy, regardless of the
1. Jurisdiction persons who may be interested therein. It
2. Choice of law may be classified as follows:
3. Recognition and enforcement of 1. Action in Rem purpose is to affect
judgments (Raytheon International v. the interests of all persons in a thing,
Rouzie, G.R. No. 162894, 2008) thus the court of the forum may render
judgment as long as it has jurisdiction
CONFLICT OF LAWS PROBLEM 2. Quasi in Rem purpose is to affect
interests of particular persons in a
1. Jurisdiction - where can or should thing, thus the court of the forum may
litigation be initiated? render judgment as long as it has
2. Choice of law - which law will the court jurisdiction over said persons.
apply? 3. Action in Personam purpose is to
3. Recognition and enforcement of impose personal liability upon the
foreign judgments - where can the defendant
resulting judgment be enforced?
(Hasegawa vs. Kitamura, G.R. No. NOTE: In all kinds of jurisdiction, due
149177, 2007) process requires that the State must have
a reasonable basis for exercising
A. JURISDICTION OVER THE jurisdiction; to be reasonable the
SUBJECT MATTER jurisdiction must be based on some
minimum contacts that will not offend
Power to hear and determine cases of traditional notions of fair play and
general class to which the proceedings in substantial justice (Salonga, Private
question belong. International Law, p. 44, 1995).

It is conferred by the sovereign authority,

which organizes the courts and defines it

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D. CHOICE OF FORUM known as the principle of

While the parties are free to select the
forum for resolving disputes by way of a
choice of forum clause, said clause END OF TOPIC
does not operate to deny or divest TOPICS UNDER THE SYLLABUS
jurisdiction from the State, (HSBC v.
Sherman, G.R. No. 72494, 1989). III. CHOICE OF LAW
A. Application of internal law
Specifically, this jurisdiction only refers to B. Foreign law
the courts jurisdiction over the subject 1. Proof of foreign law
matter in a judicial proceeding. It is fixed 2. Exceptions to the application of
by law and determined by the allegations foreign law
of the complaint irrespective of whether
the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the
claims asserted therein. (Hasegawa vs.
Kitamura, G.R. No. 149177, 2007)
1. Dismiss the case, either because of:
a. lack or jurisdiction;
b. refusal to assume jurisdiction Choice of law deals with the problem that
over the case on the ground that arises when two or more states have a
the controversy may be suitably connection to cases about which their
tried elsewhere (also known as respective laws differ. Each court must
the doctrine of forum non then choose which laws to apply based on
conveniens); or choice of law rules that themselves rest on
c. the Act of State doctrine public policy.
2. Assume jurisdiction over the case
and apply internal law of the forum Choice of Law seek to answer two
(i.e. lex fori); or important questions: (1) What legal
3. Assume jurisdiction over the case system should control a given situation
and take into account or apply the where some of the significant facts
law of some other State(s) (Salonga, occurred in two or more states; and (2) to
p. 44). what extent should the chosen legal
system regulate the situation (Saudi
PRINCIPLE OF FORUM NON Arabian Airlines v. CA, G.R. No. 122191,
A court, even though it has jurisdiction
over a conflict case, may refuse to A. APPLICATION OF INTERNAL
entertain a conflict case if it believes itself LAW
to be a seriously inconvenient forum and
force the parties to a more convenient THREE INSTANCES WHEN THE
1. When the application of internal law is
CONVENIENT FORUM: 2. Where there is failure to plead and
1. Whether the forum is one to which the prove foreign law; and
parties may conveniently resort to; 3. Where the case involves any of the
2. Whether it is in the position as to make exceptions to the application of foreign
an intelligent decision as to the law law.
and the facts; and
3. Whether it has or is likely to have
power to enforce its decision, also

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4. Naturalization and
B. APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW 5. Insolvency proceedings, and
6. other cases not herein provided for,
1. Proof of foreign law except by analogy or in a suppletory
character and whenever practicable and
In the Philippine jurisdiction, it is settled that convenient. (ROC, Rule 1, Sec. 4)
must be treated as a fact that must be
pleaded and proved by the party invoking it. Doctrine of processual presumption
where the foreign is not properly pleaded or
Foreign law may either be: written or proved, the presumption of identity or
unwritten. similarity arises, i.e., the foreign law is the
same as the domestic law.
Proof of Written Foreign Law - Written law
may be evidenced by (1) an official 2. Exceptions to the application of
publication thereof or (2) a copy attested by foreign law (PIMP-A-VIP)
the officer having legal custody of the record,
or by his deputy; and if the record is not kept 1. Enforcement of the foreign law would
in the Philippines, accompanied, with a run counter to an important public
certificate that such officer has the custody. policy;
2. Application of foreign law would
The certificate may be made by any of the infringe good morality as understood
following officers and must be authenticated in the forum;
by the seal of his office: 3. When the foreign law is penal in
1. secretary of the embassy or legation, nature;
2. consul general, 4. Where the foreign law is procedural in
3. consul, nature;
4. vice consul, or 5. When the question involves
5. consular agent or immovable property in the forum;
6. any officer in the foreign service of the 6. When the foreign law is fiscal or
Philippines stationed in the foreign administrative in nature;
country in which the record is kept. 7. Where the application of foreign law
(Rules of Court, Rule 132, Sec. 24) would involve injustice or injury to the
citizens or residents in the forum;
NOTE: This does not exclude presentation 8. Where the application of foreign law
of other competent evidence such as would endanger vital interests of the
testimony of witnesses skilled in that foreign State of the forum.
law (Williamette v. Muzzal, 61 Phil. 471,
1935) NOTE: With regard to procedural laws, the
general rule is that the forum applies its own
Proof of Unwritten Foreign Law the procedural law (lex fori) in resolving a conflict
following are admissible: (1) the oral case while the foreign law is limited to the
testimony of expert witnesses and (2) printed substantive aspects.
and published books of reports of decisions
of the courts of the State concerned if Exception: Prescription of actions is sui
proved to be commonly admitted in such generis in Conflict of Laws; it may be viewed
courts (Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd. v. CA, either as procedural or substantive,
G.R. No. 119602, 2000) depending on the characterization given
such a law.
Exceptions: The strict rules of evidence to
prove foreign law do not apply in: (CLENIO) Exception to the exception: The
characterization of a statute of limitation
1. Election cases, becomes irrelevant when the country of the
2. Land registration, forum has a "borrowing statute."
3. Cadastral,

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Nature of Conflicts Rules

Borrowing law or statute directs the State limitations to the pending claims based on a
of the forum to apply the foreign statute of
foreign law. In short, it has the practical
effect of treating the foreign statute of
limitation as one of substance Distinguish Internal Rule from Conflict
Rule as to their Legal Effects
One kind of borrowing statute provides that
an action barred by the laws of the place INTERNAL RULE CONFLICT RULE
where it accrued, will not be enforced in the Immediately solves Decides only which
forum even though the local statute has not the question raised law or jurisdiction
run against it. whether the will give the final
particular act is solution
An example is section 48 of the Philippine allowed,
Code of Civil Procedure1 which provides commanded or
that, If by the laws of the state or country prohibited
where the cause of action arose the action is
barred, it is also barred in the Philippines
1. Factual Situation takes the form of
NOTE: The courts of the forum will not factual events or operative facts; and
enforce any foreign claim (or statute) 2. Point of Contact or Test Factor
obnoxious to the forum's public policy. (Id.) prescribed the municipal law to which
the question should referred or
Thus in Cadalin v. POEA, the Court connected
ruled that even if Bahrains Amiri Decree Example: Article 16 of the Civil Code
No. 23 prescribes a one-year may be divided as follows:
prescriptive period for labor benefits 1. Real property as well as personal
claimed by the Filipino petitioners, to property (Factual Situation)
enforce such foreign law as regards the 2. Is subject to the law of the country
claims in question would contravene the where it is situated (or the situs of the
Philippines public policy on the res) (Point of Contact)
protection to labor.
END OF TOPIC 1. Nationality of a person, his domicile, his
residence, his place of sojourn, or his
2. Seat of a legal or juridical person;
IV. NATURE OF CONFLICTS RULES 3. Situs of a thing or the place where a
A. Characterization thing is, or is deemed to be situated.
B. Renvoi 4. Locus actus or the place where an act
has been done;
5. Place where an act is intended to come
into effect
6. Lex loci intentionis or the intention of the
IV. NATURE OF CONFLICTS contracting parties as to the law that
RULES should govern their agreement;
7. Lex fori or the place where judicial or
administrative proceedings are instituted
or done; and
Incidentally, Section 48 has not been 8. Flag of a ship (Saudia Arabian Airlines
repealed or amended by the Civil Code of the v. CA, G.R. No. 122191, 1998)
Philippines. (Cadalin v. POEA, G.R. No. L-
104776, 1994).

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Nature of Conflicts Rules

finds that the matter is referred to back to

A. CHARACTERIZATION it, the court might conclude that the other
State has no rule of law applicable to the
Process of assigning a disputed question to situation, in such case, the court left is
its correct legal category with no other alternative but to apply its
own internal law;
THREE STAGES OF 4. Foreign Court Theory the law to be
CHARACTERIZATION applied by the court of the forum is that
1. Classification of the problem (e.g. law the court of the State referred would
whether the question relates to have applied.
contracts, property, torts, succession Double renvoi may arise, i.e., the
etc). court of the forum, in applying the
As a matter of convenience, the foreign court theory, finds that the
classification should be determined referred State accepts the renvoi. In
in accordance with the law of the which case, the court of the forum
forum. shall therefore apply what the court
2. Determination of foreign law based on of the State referred would have
point of contact test applied.
3. Selection, extent of application of the o Example: X was a citizen of State B
proper law but domiciled in State C. A left
immovables in State B. As the courts
B. RENVOI of State B follows the foreign court
theory, it will therefore decide the
A method of disposing a conflict problem case exactly as State C will decide.
by referring a matter for judgment or
consideration to another State. - Assuming the State Bs court
determines that State Cs court
TWO TYPES OF RENVOI would have referred the matter to
1. Remission reference is made back State Bs internal laws alone, State
to the law of the forum; B would therefore apply its own
2. Transmission reference is made to a (State B)s internal laws as State B
third State would. (No renvoi in this scenario)

FOUR THEORIES TO SOLVE THE - Assuming however that the State

RENVOI PROBLEM Bs court determines that State Cs
1. Rejection of Renvoi the reference of court would have referred the
the matter for judgment is confined matter to State Bs laws in its
exclusively to the internal law of the entirety;
other State;
2. Acceptance of Renvoi reference is to Then State C would have found
the entirety, including the conflicts rule of that State Bs conflict rules refers
the other State; and if the State of the the matter back to State Cs again
forum finds that the matter is referred to or a third State;
back to it, the court might conclude that
the reference to the other State has not Thus, State C, which adopts the
provided a direct solution, in such case, acceptance of the renvoi theory,
the court might accept the reference and would have therefore applied its
apply its own internal law (remission) or own laws or that of the third State.
the laws of the third State (transmission). The court of the forum, State B,
This is also called single renvoi. thus decides the case the way
3. Desistment or Mutual Disclaimer of State C would.
Jurisdiction reference is also to the
entirety, including the conflicts rule of the
other State; and if the State of the forum END OF TOPIC

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

TOPIC UNDER THE SYLLABUS d. the interpretation and effect of a

conveyance, are to be determined;
A. Property 2. A foreign law on land ownership and its
B. Personal law, nationality and conveyance is asserted to conflict with a
domicile domestic law on the same matters.
C. Marriage, adoption and family Hence, the need to determine which law
relations should apply.
D. Succession
E. Contracts NOTE: Lex rei sitae is not applicable where
F. Torts and crimes the issue is the authority of a State official to
validly dispose of property belonging to the
State and the validity of the procedures
adopted to effect its sale. (Laurel v. Garcia,
G.R. No. 92013, 1990).
1. Succession - capacity to succeed, order
of succession, amount of successional
A. PROPERTY rights and intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions, shall be
Lex situs rule - the Civil Code gives regulated by the national law of the
exclusive importance to the lex situs, person whose succession is under
regardless of the nature of the property; consideration, whatever may be the
thus, it provides that real property as well as nature of the property (Arts. 16 and
personal property is subject to the law of the 1039)
country where situated. (Civil Code, Art.16) 2. Parties Contractual Obligations - where
the issue involves the rights and
1. IMMOVABLES liabilities of the parties inter se as a
matter of contractual obligation, even
SCOPE OF LEX SITUS RULE AS TO though the subject matter of the contract
IMMOVABLES is the land, the governing law is the law
1. Capacity to take and transfer that regulates the contract as a whole
immovables; 3. Principal Obligation Secured - validity
2. Formalities of conveyance; and effect of the principal obligation,
3. Essential validity and effect of the which the encumbrance secures are
transfer; determined by principles applicable to
4. Interpretation and effect of conveyance; contracts in general
5. Validity and effect of mortgages and 4. Contract to Transfer - while the validity
other encumbrances; of the transfer of immovable is governed
6. Marital interest in land; and by the lex situs rule, the validity of the
7. Equitable interest in land contract to transfer is determined by the
proper law of the contract
ELEMENTS OF A CONFLICT OF LAWS 5. When the property within the situes
PROBLEM AS TO IMMOVABLES: (C-FEI) belongs to a foreign State (Holy See v.
1. There is a dispute over the title or Rosario, G.R. No. 101949, 1994).
ownership of an immovable, such that:
a. the capacity to take and transfer 2. MOVABLES
b. the formalities of conveyance, a. Choses in possession (tangible)
c. the essential validity and effect of the
Tangible Law of the State in which

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

(Gen. rule) the tangible object is garnishee

located at the time of the Negotiable Depends on the question
transaction in question instrument raised:
determines the creation and i. Question on negotiability
transfer of interests of the instrument
Except: Depends on the particular depends on the rights
1. Goods in event at issue embodied in the
Transit i. Seizure and arrest instrument
since the transport is ii. Question on validity and
deemed discontinued effect of the transfer of
for the time being, the the negotiable instrument
law of the temporary lex contractus
resting place shall
govern Corporate Depends on the transfer
ii. Disposition of goods shares involved, if:
the law of any place i. It affects change in the
having substantial relation of the parties with
connection to the the corporation - the law
transaction shall govern of the place of
(Salonga, p. 494) incorporation governs
2. Means of i. Trains, motor cars and ii. Transfer affects the
Transport or aircrafts the place parties alone the law of
Conveyances where it generally has the place where the
some fixed station or transaction is mostly
resting place as if it was connected to governs
a resident
ii. Seagoing vessels the
law of the flag
b. Choses in action (intangible) 1. Personal Law
Also known as statuta personal refers to
CATEGORY GOVERNING LAW laws that concern persons, their legal
Voluntary This question remains condition and civil status.
assignment unsettled. However, there
of debts are 4 theories to resolve it, Two Approaches to Determine Personal
to wit: Law: (1) Nationality, and (2) Domicile.
i. Law of the domicile of the
obligee or owner of the 2. Nationality
right of action Refers to a personal and more or less
ii. Law of the place where permanent membership in a political
assignment is executed community.
iii. Quasi-situs or where the
debt is properly Under the conflicts rules of the Civil Code,
recoverable; and the national law of an individual regulates his
iv. Lex Contractus or the civil status and condition, his family rights
law of the contract or the and duties, the intrinsic validity of his will and
original action out of the rights of succession to his properties
which the chose in action (Arts. 15, 16 par. 2 and 1069).
arose Commented [AG1]: PLEASE STATE THAT THIS IS
Involuntary Law of the State where Determination of Nationality UNSETTLED AND THERE ARE FOUR THEORIES.
assignment jurisdiction is effectively As a rule, each State is free to determine by
of debts exercisable against the its own municipal law the persons it

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

considers as its nationals. Thus, any Ex. the Philippines may deprive
question as to whether a person is a national their citizens of nationality upon
of particular State shall be determined by the entry into the military service of a
municipal law of that State. (Hague foreign power.
Convention on Conflict of Nationality Laws in 3. Expiration of nationality may result
1930, Art. 2). from a long stay abroad without any
indication of a desire to return
The 1987 Constitution, thus provides, 4. Renunciation a person may repudiate
who are Filipino citizens: his nationality in favor of another.
1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines 5. Substitution loss of nationality ipso
at the time of the adoption of this facto by naturalization abroad or by
Constitution; marriage
2. Those whose fathers or mothers are
citizens of the Philippines; Instances when Dual or Multiple
3. Those born before January 17, 1973, of Nationalities Arise:
Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine 1. Concurrent application of jus soli and jus
citizenship upon reaching the age of sanguine at birth;
majority; and 2. Refusal of certain States to accept a full
4. Those who are naturalized in application of the doctrine of expatriation;
accordance with law (Phil. Const., Art. 3. Marriage; or
IV, Sec. 1) 4. Any formal or voluntary act of the

NOTE: a person having two or more NOTE: If the litigation arises in a third
nationalities may be regarded as a national country, the forum may recognize
by each of the States whose nationality he exclusively in its territory the nationality of
possesses (Art. 3, Hague Convention on the State with which the circumstances he
Conflict of Nationality Laws). appears to be in fact most closely
connected (Hague Convention on Conflict
Modes of Acquisition of Nationality of Nationality Law, Art. 5).
1. Birth Special Treatments affecting Nationality
a. Jus Sanguinis of Persons in Mixed Marriages involving
b. Jus Soli Filipinos
2. Naturalization grant of citizenship upon Foreign woman married to a Filipino -
application by some act which would becomes ipso facto a Filipino provided
qualify an individual for a new nationality. she is not disqualified to be a citizen of
3. Repatriation recovery of original the Philippines under its naturalization
nationality upon fulfillment of certain law.
4. Subjugation - when a State is defeated However, to settle the matter of the
or conquered, all the citizens acquire the wifes citizenship once and for all, the
nationality of the conquering State. Court deemed it proper to adopt the
5. Cession - When a State has been ceded procedure followed in the Bureau of
in another State, all the people of the Immigration, to wit:
territory acquire the nationality of the
State in which their territory has been The wife must file a petition for the
merged cancellation of her alien certificate of
registration alleging, among other
Modes of Losing Nationality (ReDRES) things that:
1. Release a citizen may apply for 1. She is married to a Filipino citizen;
release from citizenship of his State and
2. Deprivation the State concerned may 2. She is not disqualified from acquiring
deprive their citizens of nationality her husband's citizenship pursuant

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

to the Naturalization Law, as

3. Upon the finding that that the 1. Every person must have a domicile;
petitioner does not belong to any of 2. A person cannot have two simultaneous
the groups disqualified from domiciles;
becoming naturalized Filipino citizen, 3. Every natural person, as long as he is
the Bureau of Immigration shall free and sui juris, may change his
conduct an investigation and domicile;
thereafter promulgates its order or 4. A domicile once acquired is retained
decision granting or denying the unless a new one is obtained.
petition. 5. The presumption is in favor of the
4. If granted, the Commissioner of continuance of an existing domicile.
Immigration shall cancel the Thus, the burden of proof is on the one
petitioner's registration as an alien who alleges that a change of domicile
(Mo Ya Lim Yao v. CIR, G.R. No. L- has taken place.
21289, 1971).
What Law Determines Domicile? The
Filipinos married to aliens retain their forum determines domicile according to its
citizenship unless by their act or own standards.
omission they are deemed under the
laws to have renounced their citizenship KINDS OF DOMICILE
(1987 Phil. Const., Art. IV, Sec. 4). 1. Domicile of origin the domicile of a
persons parents at the time of his birth
3. Domicile 2. Constructive domicile the domicile
In other jurisdictions, domicile serves as the established by law after birth in case of
necessary connection to determine an persons under legal disability, regardless
individuals personal law. of their intention or voluntary act.
3. Domicile of choice is the place
Domicile is the place with which a person voluntarily chosen by a person sui juris
has a settled connection for legal purposes, as his home and to which, whenever he
either because: he resides there or it is the is absent he has the intention of
place assigned to him by law. returning.

Importance of Domicile in the Philippines ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF DOMICILE

1. Inadequacy of nationality principle in OF CHOICE
determining personal law of: 1. Capacity
stateless persons, 2. Freedom of Choice
persons of multiple nationality, 3. Residence or physical presence in the
and place where domicile is alleged to have
persons belonging to countries been acquired;
of composite system of law on 4. Intention to make the place of residence
territorial basis the permanent place of abode, or simply
2. Personal status of individuals from home (animus samper manendi).
States following the domiciliary principle
may be the subject of litigation in the The primary intention required is
Philippines; intention to make a home rather than an
3. Occasional reference by Philippine law intention to acquire a domicile.
to the lex domicilii in determining the Otherwise, persons could choose to be
validity of certain acts domiciled in a State of low burdens and
Example: high benefits irrespective of where they
Formal validity of a will (NCC, actually happened to live.
Art. 816) or As a rule, the motive or reason
Revocation of a will outside the prompting a person to make a given
Philippines(NCC, Art. 829) place his home is immaterial.

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

Philippine Conflict Rule on Formal and

NOTE: The husband and the wife shall fix Substantive Validity of Marriage
the family domicile but in case of Art. 26 of the Family Code: All marriages
disagreement, the court shall decide (FCP, solemnized outside the Philippines, in
Art. 69) accordance with the laws in force in the
country where they were solemnized, and
SUMMARY OF RULES ON DOMICILE OF valid there as such, shall also be valid in this
CHOICE country.
1. To acquire a fresh domicile, residence
and intention must concur; 4. Substantive validity of marriages
2. To retain an existing domicile, either General Rule: lex loci celebrationis
residence or intention to remain must be Exceptions:
present; 1. Substantive validity of marriages of
3. To abandon a domicile, residence in the Filipino nationals who marry abroad
new place and intention to abandon the before Philippine consular or
old place must concur. diplomatic officials - governed by
Philippine law.
C. MARRIAGE, ADOPTION AND 2. Marriages prohibited under
FAMILY RELATIONS Philippine Law will not be upheld as
valid in this country even if the lex
1. Personal status loci celebrationis considers it valid
It is the legal position of an individual in his (Art. 26 par. 2 of the Family Code).
It includes such matters as the beginning CONTRACTED ABROAD
and end of legal personality, capacity to 1. Existence of the foreign law as a
have rights in general, family relations and question of fact; and
its various aspects such as: birth, 2. Alleged foreign marriage by convincing
legitimation, adoption, emancipation, evidence (Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee,
marriage, divorce, and sometimes even 43 Phil. 43, 1922)
5. Annulment of marriages
NOTE: Personal status is ordinarily not a. Jurisdiction to Annul acquired by
terminable at a persons own will. the following forums:
(i) where the spouses are domiciled
2. Capacity to contract marriage in; and
It refers to his power to acquire and exercise (ii) in which either parties are
rights. nationals
b. Governing Law on Annulment or
In Conflict of Laws, the inquiry is to ascertain Nullity -lex loci celebrationis
what system of law will determine a persons determines the cause or ground for
capacity to enter into a legal transaction annulment.
when there is conflict between the law of the
place where the transaction is entered into Recognition of Foreign Divorce Decrees
and some system of law, such as the law of 1. Between Filipino citizens not entitled to
the domicile or the nationality, which can recognition because of the local policy
claim to regulate that persons act. against absolute divorce
2. Between alien spouses entitled, if valid
3. Formal validity of marriages by their national law
FORMAL VALIDITY OF MARRIAGES - If 3. Mixed marriages entitled, provided that
the marriage is valid by the law of the place the divorce was validly obtained by the
of celebration or lex loci celebrationis, it is alien spouse. (FCP, Art. 26)
also valid in other places.

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CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

CATEGORY GOVERNING LAW descendible interest of the decedent

Personal Status Personal law (national (Gibbs v. Government 59 Phil. 293,
law or law of domicile) 1933).
Capacity to Personal law
contract Whatever public policy or good customs
marriage may be involved in our system of
Formal validity Lex loci celebrationis legitimes, Congress has not intended to
of marriages extend the same to the succession of
Substantive Lex loci celebrationis foreign nationals. For it has specifically
validity of Except: chosen to leave, inter alia, the amount of
marriages 1. Consular marriages successional rights, to the decedent's
2. Prohibited marriages national law (Cayetano v. Leonidas, 129
under the saving clause SCRA 522, 1984)
of Article 26, FCP.
Annulment Lex loci celebrationis 2. Wills the following rules govern:
determines the cause or
ground for annulment a. Formal Validity of Wills the laws
governing the formal validity of wills
involving a foreign element are the
D. SUCCESSION following:
i. For Filipinos in a foreign country
1. Successional Rights authorized to make a will in any of
The national law of the decedent the forms established by the law of
governs whatever may be the nature of the country in which he may be (lex
the property and regardless of the loci celebrationiis) (NCC, Art. 816).
country wherein said property may be Except: Joint wills (NCC, Art. 819,
found. This includes: NCC).
a. Order of succession ii. For Aliens abroad his will
b. Amount of successional rights produces effect in the Philippines if
c. Intrinsic validity of testamentary made:
provisions (NCC, Art. 16 par. 2) and a. with the formalities prescribed by the
d. Capacity to Succeed (NCC, Art. law of the place in which he resides
1039) (lex domicilii), or
b. according to the formalities observed
in his country (lex nationalii), or
NOTE: When the factual situation involves c. in conformity with those which the
property, there must be an initial Civil Code prescribes (NCC, Art.
characterization of property. As a rule, lex rei 817).
sitae shall initially govern. Intrinsic validity of
rules on succession arises only when the lex NOTE: The formal validity of wills depends
rei sitae characterizes such property as a upon the observance of law in force at the
descendible interest of the decedent. time it is made (NCC, Art. 795).

Thus, the nature and extent of the title of

b. Revocation of wills
the spouse at the time of the acquisition
and the dissolution of the community
If made by non-domiciliary outside the
lands must be determined in accordance
Philippines validity of revocation
with the lex rei sitae. In the Philippines,
depends on the:
upon death of the decedent, the property
a. law of the place where the will was
relationship of the spouses dissolves
made be (lex loci celebrationiis), or
and the properties are to be treated as
b. according to the law of the place in
conjugal properties to be distributed
which the testator had his domicile at
between the estate of the decedent and
the time (lex domicilii)
the surviving spouse and not as a

Page 16 of 491
CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

If done in the Philippines when it is in a. law of the place where

accordance with the provisions of the the will was made be (lex
Civil Code (NCC, Art. 829). loci celebrationiis)
b. law of the testators
c. Probate domicile at the time (lex
It is the court process of proving the domicilii)
validity of the will. Hence, lex fori applies.
If done in the Philippines
d. Administration of Estate Philippine law
Lex fori applies, that is, the law of the Probate Lex fori
State where appointment is sought. Administration Lex fori

Accordingly, administration extends only

to the assets of the decedent found in E. CONTRACTS
the State where the letters of
administration was granted.
1. Extrinsic Validity lex loci
celebrationis or lex loci contractus
Hence, there may be two (2) or more
(NCC, Art. 17, par. 1)
administrators of an estate:
2. Intrinsic Validity lex contractus or
i. principal administrator granted to the
the proper law of the contract whether:
person(s) in the jurisdiction of the
1. Expressed or lex voluntatis
decedents last domicile;
2. Implied from the contract or lex
ii. ancillary administrator granted in any
loci intentionis
other jurisdiction. It is the general
theory that the ancillary administrator
No conflicts rule on essential validity of
must remit the balance of the estate in
contracts is expressly provided for in our
his territorial jurisdiction to the principal
laws. The rule followed by most legal
systems, however, is that the intrinsic
validity of a contract must be governed by
CATEGORY GOVERNING LAW the lex contractus or proper law of the
Order of National law of decedent contract. This is the law voluntarily
succession agreed upon by the parties (the lex loci
Amount of National law of decedent voluntatis) or the law intended by them
successional either expressly or implicitly (the lex loci
rights intentionis) (Phil. Export and Foreign Loan
Intrinsic validity National law of decedent Guarantee Corp. v. V.P. Eusebio
of testamentary Construction Inc. G.R. No. 140047, 2004).
Capacity to National law of decedent NOTE: In the absence of an effective
Succeed choice of law or lex contractus, the law
Formal validity Filipinos in a foreign which has the closest and most
of wills country law of the substantial connection shall govern,
country in which he may specifically, the center-of-gravity or
be (lex loci celebrationis) grouping of contracts approach is used.
Exception: Joint wills
Center-of-gravity Approach takes into
Aliens abroad account the various legal systems with the
a. law of his residence contract and applies the law of the place
(lex domicilii) where the transaction has its center of
b. national law (lex gravity or the most important connection.
c. Civil Code Example: Details of performance, e.g. the
Revocation of Made by non-domiciliary rules on manner of demand, days of
wills outside the Philippines grace, notice of dishonored, should be

Page 17 of 491
CONFLICT OF LAWS Characterization

governed by the law of the place where

the contract is to be performed. MODERN THEORIES IN TORT
3. Capacity - lex nationalii (NCC, Art. 1. Doctrine of Elective Concurrence -
16 par. 1) either the laws of the state where the
actor engaged in his conduct and
4. Choice of forum or Jurisdiction where the injury was incurred may be
valid invoked.
2. Theory of Most Significant
Where the relationship between the Relationship the applicable law shall
parties is affected with public interest and be the law of the country which has
multiple and substantive contacts of the the most significant relationship to the
contract are with Philippine Law, situation.
Philippine courts and agencies may not be
ousted of their jurisdiction (Pakistan In determining the state which has the
International Airlines v. Ople, 190 SCRA most significant relationship, the
90, 1990). following points of contact are to be
taken into account:
Choice of seat of arbitration the 1. place where the injury occurred
parties are free to agree on the place of 2. place of conduct causing the
arbitration (Alternative Dispute Resolution injury
Act, Sec. 30). 3. domicile, residence, nationality
place of incorporation and place
NOTE: Courts of the forum will not of business of the parties
enforce any foreign claim obnoxious to the 4. place where relationship between
forums public policy. Here in the the parties is centered (Saudi
Philippines, employment agreements are Arabian Airlines v. CA, 297 SCRA
more than contractual in nature (Triple 469, 1998)
Eight Integrated Services v. NLRC, G.R. 3. State-interest Analysis This
No. 129584, 1998). principle provides for the following
CATEGORY GOVERNING LAW i. Separate false or spurious
Extrinsic Lex loci celebrationis or conflicts (i.e. only one State has
validity lex loci contractus an interest in applying its tort law)
Intrinsic Lex contractus or the apply the law of such interested
validity proper law of the contract State.
whether: ii. If there is a true conflict (i.e. more
a. Express (lex voluntatis) than one State has interest)
b. Implied (lex loci apply the law of such State which
intentionis ) has greater interest in upholding
Capacity National law its tort law.
4. Cavers Principle of Preference
F. TORTS AND CRIMES where a State does not have a
statutory question of tort liability in
1. Tort conflict cases, the following guidelines
may be used.
Governed by the lex loci delicti commissi or a. The State of Injury sets a higher
the law of the place of wrong governs the standard for protection against the
nature and extent of tort liability. injury compared to the State of
conduct - the laws of the State of
Obligation Theory the tort committed Injury applies
anywhere in the world gives rise to an b. The State of Conduct and Injury sets
obligation which follows the defendant a lower standard than the home
wherever he may be found. State of the injured person - the

Page 18 of 491
CONFLICT OF LAWS Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgment

laws of the State of Conduct and TOPIC UNDER THE SYLLABUS

Injury applies
established special controls over OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT
conduct of the kind in which the A. Distinction between recognition
defendant was engaged when and Enforcement
caused the injury - the benefits of the B. Requisites
laws of the State of Conduct should C. Degree of Conclusiveness
be accorded to plaintiff; D. Grounds for refusal of
d. The State in which a Relationship recognition and enforcement of an
has its Seat has imposed a standard arbitral award
of conduct on one party to that
relationship for the benefit of the
other party which is higher compared
to that of the State of injury the
laws of the seat of the relationship VI. RECOGNITION AND
1. The tort is not penal in character
2. The enforcement of the tortious liability
will not contravene the enforcing States A. DISTINCTION BETWEEN
3. The enforcing States judicial machinery
is adequate for such enforcement RECOGNITION ENFORCEMENT
When foreign When, in addition to
2. Crimes judgment is given a the foreign judgment
res judicata effect being recognized, a
Principles of criminal liability that is has in the party is given
1. Territorial Principle crimes are State where it was affirmative relief to
punishable by the State in whose rendered which the judgment
territory they are committed; entitles him
2. Nationality Principle a State has Examples:
power to enact criminal laws which apply 1. Declaratory
even to violations committed thereof by judgment
its citizens in other States; 2. Judgment
3. Protective Principle determines without
jurisdiction by reference to the national affirmative
interest injured by the offense; relief, e.g.
4. Universality Principle determines dismissal of
jurisdiction by reference to the custody of complaint;
the person committing the offense; 3. Judgment
5. Passive Personality Principle - which
determines jurisdiction by reference to determines
the nationality or the national character parties interest
injured by the offense in a thing or
status (quasi in
NOTE: The Philippine conflict rule on rem action),
criminal liability follows territoriality principle e.g. divorce,
with a mixture of protective principle (RPC, adoption,
Art. 2). quieting of title


Page 19 of 491
CONFLICT OF LAWS Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgment

B. REQUISITES FOR RECOGNITION 5. clear mistake of law or fact. (ROC, Rule

1. Foreign judgment was rendered by a RECOGNITION AND
judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal which ENFORCEMENT OF AN ARBITRAL
has jurisdiction over the parties and the AWARD:
case in the proper judicial proceedings;
2. The judgment must be valid under the 1. At the request of the party against
laws of the court that rendered it; whom it is invoked (IV-NU-DICS)
3. The judgment must be final and
executory to constitute res judicata in 1. The parties to the agreement were
another action; under some incapacity, or the said
4. The State where the foreign judgment agreement is not valid under the law to
was obtained allows recognition or which the parties have subjected it or,
enforcement of Philippine judgments failing any indication thereon, under
(reciprocity requirement); the law of the country where the award
5. The judgment must specify the was made; or
performance or delivery (e.g. in a suit for 2. The party against whom the award is
collection of money, the award must be invoked was not given proper notice of
a fixed sum) the appointment of the arbitrator or of
6. The judgment must not be contrary to the arbitration proceedings or was
the public policy or good morals of the otherwise unable to present his case;
country where it is sought to be or
enforced; 3. The award deals with a difference not
7. The judgment must not have been contemplated by or not falling within
obtained by fraud, collusion, mistake of the terms of the submission to
fact or law. arbitration, or it contains decisions on
matters beyond the scope of the
NOTE: The fraud available against a foreign submission to arbitration, provided
a judgment is extrinsic fraud. that, if the decisions on matters
submitted to arbitration can be
C. DEGREE OF CONCLUSIVENESS separated from those not so
OF JUDGMENT submitted, that part of the award which
contains decisions on matters
1. Judgment in Rem - conclusive upon the submitted to arbitration may be
title of the thing recognized and enforced; or
2. Judgment in Personam presumptive 4. The composition of the arbitral
evidence of a right as between the authority or the arbitral procedure was
parties and their successors in interest not in accordance with the agreement
by a subsequent title. of the parties, or, failing such
agreement, was not in accordance
NOTE: Philippine conflict rules on foreign with the law of the country where the
judgments follow the Anglo-American arbitration took place; or
system of limited or qualified recognition, 5. The award has not yet become binding
to wit: on the parties, or has been set aside
or suspended by a competent
The judgment or final order of foreign authority of the country in which, or
country may be repelled by evidence of: under the law of which, that award was
(JN-C-FM) made.
1. want of jurisdiction,
2. want of notice to the party, 2. Based on the finding of the
3. collusion, competent authority in the country
4. fraud, or

Page 20 of 491
CONFLICT OF LAWS Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgment

where recognition and enforcement

is sought

1. The subject matter of the difference is

not capable of settlement by arbitration
under the law of that country; or
2. The recognition or enforcement of the
award would be contrary to the public
policy of that country (New York
Convention on the Recognition and
Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral
Awards, Article V).


Page 21 of 491