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1st Week – Intro to Law

a. Discuss in re: Joaquin Borromeo

b. Discuss Department of Education Culture and Sports v. San Diego

c. What is law as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas?

“Law is an ordinance of reason promulgated by competent authority for the sake of common good.”

- Law is based upon reason and not upon custom, will, politics or power.

FOUR IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS OF A JUST LAW

A just law is an ordinance of reason – A good law must be reasonable; it must be a product of careful and
serious deliberation. (e.g. The law against driving under the influence of alcohol is based on concrete
findings that alcohol consumption causes loss of control and coordination.)

A just law is properly promulgated – For any law to be effective, it must be clearly communicated to all
the people concerned.

A just law is decreed by competent authority – Only persons with legitimate authority have the power
to create and implement laws for their respective communities. (They are knowledgeable enough.)

A just law ought to be for the sake of common good – A just law presupposes the promotion of a respect
for dignity and freedom of each person. It should foster the social being and authentic development of
the community. Lastly, it should promote true and lasting peace.

d. Define law (Sanchez Roman).

Law is defined as a rule of conduct just and obligatory, laid down by legitimate authority for common
observance and benefit.

e. What are the sources of law?

 LEGISLATION – Before the declaration of Martial Law, the power to legislate laws is vested in the
Congress which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. After Martial Law and
the dissolution of the old Congress, the power to legislate laws is vested in the President of the
Philippines. This is the reason why the Pres. Issued presidential decrees and letters of instruction.
 PRECEDENT – decisions of principles enunciated by a court of competent jurisdiction on a question
of law do not only serve as guides but also as authority to be followed by all other courts of equal
or inferior jurisdiction in all cases involving the same question until the same is overruled or
reversed by a superior court.
 CUSTOM – have the force of law only when they are acknowledged and approved by society
through long and uninterrupted usage.
Requisites before the court considers custom.
o Must be proved as a fact according to the rules of evidence.
o Must not be contrary to law.
o Must be a number of repeated acts and these repeated acts must have been
uniformly performed
o Must be a judicial intention to make a rule of social conduct
o Must be acknowledged and approved by society through long and uninterrupted
usage.
 COURT DECISION - Judicial decisions which apply or interpret the Const. and the laws are part of
the legal system in the Philippines but they are not laws, they are evidence of the meaning and
interpretation of the laws.

f. Discuss the hierarchy of laws.

CONSTITUTION -> STATUTES -> IMPLEMENTATION OF RULES AND REGULATIONS -> JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Constitution – supreme law of the land. It was made by the people for the people.

Statutes – Enacted by the Congress

IRR – Enacted by the Executive dept.

Judicial decisions

*We ONLY have ONE government with THREE branches.

** Judicial decisions are not laws. (judicial decisions shall form part….. -Art. 8 of Civil Code)

g. What are the parts of a law? Explain each.

 PREAMBLE - prefatory statement or explanation or a finding of facts, reciting the purpose,


reason, or occasion for making the law to which it is prefixed; Found after enacting clause and
before the body of the law.
 TITLE OF STATUTE - Every bill passed by Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be
expressed in the title thereof (Art 6, Sec 26 (1) 1987 Constitution)
 ENACTING CLAUSE - Written immediately after the title; States the authority by which the act is
enacted
 PURVIEW OR BODY OF STATUTE - that part which tells what the law is about; body of statute
should embrace only one subject; should only one subject matter, even there provisions should
be allied and germane to the subject and purpose of the bill; Statue is usually divided into
section. w/c contains a single proposition.
 SEPARABILITY CLAUSE - it states that if any provision of the act is declared invalid, the remainder
shall not be affected thereby. It is not controlling and the courts may invalidate the whole
statute where what is left, after the void part, is not complete and workable
 REPEALING CLAUSE – When the legislature repeals a law, the repeal is not a legislative
declaration finding the earlier law unconstitutional. The power to declare a law unconstitutional
does not lie with the legislature but with the courts.
 EFFECTIVITY CLAUSE – is the provision when the law takes effect. Usually, it states that it shall
take effect 15 days from the publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general
circulation.

h. Discuss the principle of the rule of law.

- Democracy assumes that in a society of rational beings, the judgment and experience of the many will,
in most instances, be superior to the judgment and experience of the few.
- The verdict of the majority will more likely be correct than that of the minority.

- No man is beyond or above the law. Laws must be obeyed by all and applied to everyone.

- Everyone is accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently
adjudicated and which are consistent with int’l human rights norms.