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1. Family Law

 Adopted from codified Catholic, Hispanic, and Roman laws;
 It is generally influenced by the naturalist school of thought.

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System

 The principles underlying the Family Law includes human dignity, social justice, right to life and family rights. Thus, when the Canon
Law was revised in 1983 by John Paul II to include psychological incapacity as a ground for marital nullity, the same was
adopted in the Family Code in 1987. The Family Code defines marriage as a “special contract of permanent union between a
man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life” (Article 1). Further, the
1987 Constitution provides that the family is an inviolable social institution.

2. Civil - the rules of civility such as on the property, marriage, succession, contracts and torts or private wrongs that result in damages.

 Adopted from codified Catholic, Hispanic, and Roman laws
 It generally follows naturalism.

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System

 The principle of abuse of rights is found under Articles 19 which states that “Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and
in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith.” This departs from
the classical theory that “he who uses a right injures no one”. The modern tendency is to depart from the classical and traditional
theory, and to grant indemnity for damages in cases where there is an abuse of rights, even when the act is not illicit. When a
right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal
wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held responsible.

 Philippine law is also derived from cases. The Civil Code provides that “judicial decisions applying to or interpreting the laws or the
Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines.”

3. Criminal Law - violation of public order through punishable acts or omissions

 Adopted from codified Catholic, Hispanic, and Roman laws;
 Church’s Canon Law was among the influences of the Spanish Civil Law enforced in the Philippines;
 It follows the naturalist theory;
 Influenced by Aquinas

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System

 Rendering justice does not necessarily mean same treatment, but equitable treatment on what the other deserves by natural or
contractual/positive right; that is, rendering each that “which is due to him according to equality of proportion.” This qualification on
justice justifies the doctrine of reasonable classification under the Equal Protection clause.

 Restitution is an act of commutative justice, where equality is re-established by giving back what is taken. Man is bound to give
restitution according to the loss he brought upon another, with damages for what the other could have obtained. Restitution can be made
by repayment of the equivalent of by compensation. Articles 104 to 107 of the RPC similarly provide for restitution with the value
to be determined by the court; reparation that takes into consideration the value of the property to the injured party; and

 The principle in which when a person violates the law, he or she violates the civil order and the common good. In the Philippine legal
system, the retribution through exemplary punishment must restore that order.

 The principles underlying the conditions of criminal liability, voluntariness and involuntariness of actions must be taken into account in
judging liability. The RPC follow the same principles. Article 3 punishes both acts and omissions that violate law, including faults
arising from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, and lack of skill, while Article 4 provides that a criminal act must be
performed, not only intended.

4. Mercantile – deals with artificial personalities such as corporations and the management of business; that which regulates commercial

 Copied from the English-American commercial systems and cases;

 Influenced by natural law theorists, positivists, and the formalist;


 Influenced by the medieval merchants as embodied in the lex mercatoria, a body of rules and principles to regulate fair deals.

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System:

 The assumption of good faith (uberrima fides) to and insurance claimant. This principle is enshrined in the Philippine Legal system
particularly the Insurance Law.

 The Free Enterprise System where private investors are free to open production and market them anywhere in the country or resort to
exportation. The 1987 Constitution, however, directs economic nationalism, including the “Filipino First Policy,” and
nationalization provisions of key industries and transactions.

 The commercial law in the Philippines is westernlike when compared with the surrounding countries. For example, the
Philippine Code of Commerce is based on the old Spanish Code of Commerce. This continental influence is evident, especially
when it comes to the structure and sources of the law. The sources of commercial law are very occidental paying attention to
the legislation, contracts made, commercial usages and practices, etc.

 The “incentive system,” where incentives are offered by various government agencies, depending on the type of industry or the place
where the business wishes to operate. Generally, the Philippine grants various incentives such as tax, non-tax, and industry incentive.

5. Remedial – prescribes the manner of administering, enforcing, and appealing, amending, and using legal rights and claims.

 Based on empirical and inductive methods;
 Influenced by philosopher Francis Bacon’s Inductive Jurisprudence;
 This is influenced by the realists and positivists

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System

 The influence of inductive method in remedial law, justifies the principle of precedents. Case repositories are treated as evidence of an
“unwritten law” from which, related cases are applied and logically turned into principles. In the Philippine legal system, this process
follows the stare decisis of case that grows by each new application and individual ruling.

 The principle of probability and improbability. This principle is embodied in Rule 131 of the Rules of Evidence gives us a list of
“disputable presumptions” that are assumed true until contradicted by other evidence. It is presumed that a person intends the
ordinary consequences of his voluntary act; that a person takes ordinary care of his concerns; that official duty has been regularly performed;
that private transactions have been fair and regular; that ordinary course of business has been followed; that a thing once proven to exist
continues as long as usual with the things of that nature; that the law has been obyed; etc. (Sec. 3.).

6. Political - concerned with the struts of government, the relationship between the individual and the State.

 Influenced by naturalism
 Inspired by the American and French constitutions and philosophies;
 The Malolos Constitution and the 1935 Philippine Constitution adopted many provisions of the American Bill of Rights and its liberal

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System:

 Man is by nature sociable and the social contract was made to further the common welfare, especially for others who may not b e able to defend
themselves. The fundamental basis for government and law in this system is the concept of the social contract, according to which human
beings begin as individuals in a state of nature, and create a society by establishing a contract whereby they agree to live together in
harmony for their mutual benefit, after which they are said to live in a state of society. This contract involves the retaining of certain
natural rights, an acceptance of restrictions of certain liberties, the assumption of certain duties, and the pooling of certain powers to be
exercised collectively. Such principle gives rise to the rights that would not otherwise exist without the promulgation of laws
brought about by the social contract called “civil rights,” such as the right to a trial.

 Reason, which is that law (of nature), teaches all mankind who will consult it that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm
another in his life, liberty or possessions.” This principle is enshrined in the constitution particularly in the Bill of Rights where it
provided that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty of property without due process of law.

 Sovereign power cannot be transferred to those whom the people did not entrust this power. This became known as the “doctrine of
non-delegation.” The Legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands. For it being but a delegated
power from the people, they, who have it, cannot pass it over to others.”

7. Labor
 In response to Socialist and Communist proselytism;
 It also influenced by the capitalist

Underlying Principles & the Philippine Legal System:

 The Labor Law is based on the principle of non-diminution of benefits which states that: “any benefit and supplement being enjoyed by
employees cannot be reduced, diminished, discontinued or eliminated by the employer.” This principle is founded on the
Constitutional mandate to “protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare,” and “to afford labor full protection.” Said
mandate in turn is the basis of Article 4 of the Labor Code which states that “all doubts in the implementation and interpreta tion
of this Code, including its implementing rules and regulations shall be rendered in favor of labor.”

 The laissez-faire approach to labor regulation characterized the Spanish era, that is, business owners had the power to contract freely
with workers and to solely manage their business as they saw fit without interference. The laissez-faire doctrine was progressively
diminished as various pieces of legislation encroached on management rights in the name of “social justice.” Thus, the
Philippine Constitution devotes on social justice, labor rights, agrarian reform, people’s organization, sectoral representation,
nationalist protection, patriotism, social welfare, and regulation of trade.