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[STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION] LLB 401

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J UNE 22, 2013
Class Started: 2:30 pm
Class Ended: 2:55 pm
Mode of Teaching:
Lecture Type and Socratic Method
Oral Recitation will be done in random. Students shall be chosen from the pile of index cards through draw lots. Students will be asked
to explain, discuss or elaborate a given point or topic assigned for the day. A student who is asked to recite during the current
session/meeting can still be included in the oral recitation of the next session or the following week.
It is important that you come to class prepared.
***The training is rigid and you have to accept the risk that comes with being in LAW School
Grading System
Midterm Grade = Midterm Exam (70%) + Oral Recitation (30%)
Final Grade = Midterm Grade (40%) + Final Exam (40%) + Oral recitation after midterm (20%)
StatCon Instructor: Maricris Bathan-Lasco, CPA
Statutory Construction
is not a Bar subject but is very useful when you practice law
is the act or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and the intention of the authors of the law with respect to its
application to a given case where the intention is rendered doubtful among others by reason of the fact that the given case is
not explicitly provided in the law. It is a way of trying to interpret or trying to draw a conclusion from a law as applied from a
given set of facts where the law is doubtful (or when there is ambiguity). When there is no ambiguity, there is no need for
Statutory Construction. As you go along with your study in Law, you will realize that there are many laws that are unclear.
There is no need to use statutory construction if the law is clear
INTERPRETATION vs. CONSTRUCTION
- these two terms are not synonymous
Construction
Drawing of conclusion with respect to subjects that are
beyond the direct expression of the text from the
elements known and give in the text
To make conclusion out of the law but not using the
language used in the law. There is a use of external or
extrinsic considerations
Interpretation
Process of discovering the true meaning of the
language used
Intrinsic and is limited to exploring the written text
Purpose: Ascertain and give effect to the Legislative Intent
(remember that the law would be useless if you wont give effect to it)
Legislative Intent is the intent of the one making the law.
However, when we speak of Statutory Construction, it involves both processes. Interpretation involves looking into the four
corners of the statute ie. words being used, placement of punctuations, and how it affects the meaning of the law. Construction
which is extrinsic, on the other hand, includes the studying of the reason behind the creation of a specific law.
Flow of statutory construction: begin with the intrinsic, if unclear proceed to extrinsic. If it remains unclear, proceed to
presumptions.
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There are certain presumptions that you have to use in order to interpret and construe a statute.
SITUS (place) OF INTERPRETATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE LAW J UDICIAL
EXECUTES AND IMPLEMENTS THE LAW EXECUTIVE
CREATES THE LAW LEGISLATIVE
Before Statutory Construction is done/ used by the J udicial Department, there are requisites:
1. There must be an actual case or controversy brought before them
2. There must be ambiguity in the law involved in the controversy because if there is no ambiguity, the first and major duty of
the court is to apply the law as it is.
AMBIGUOUS LAW - when a law is susceptible to two or more interpretations
Topic 2: LAW, ITS CONCEPT AND CLASSIFICATION
J une 29, 2013
Law
Broad sense (generic sense) refers to the whole body or system of law
Strict sense (concrete sense) a rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory
Rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as bending or enforced by a controlling authority as a command or
provision enacted by a legislature or as something authoritatively accorded binding or controlling effect in the administration of justice
it includes statutes enacted by the legislature, presidential decrees and executive orders issued by the president in the exercise of his
ordinance power, rulings of the supreme court construing the law, rules and regulations promulgated by administrative or executive
officers pursuant to a delegated power, and ordinances passed by sanggunians of local government units.
Elements of a Law
1. Rule of conduct that shall serve as guide for individuals
2. J ust and fair to approximate ultimate end/aim of law which is justice
3. Obligatory and should be enforced
4. Promulgated by competent authority/ Prescribed by legitimate authority so that people be obliged to follow
5. Ordained for common good of constituents and should be equally applied to all regardless of ones political beliefs,
religion or status in life. In accordance with Salus Populi Suprema Lex EstoLet the good of the people be the supreme
law.
Classification of Law
1. Natural Law derives its force and authority from God. It is completely superior from all other laws
a. Physical Law universal law of action that governs the conduct and movement of things which are non-free and
material
b. Moral Law set of rules which establishes what is right and wrong as dictated by the human conscience
c. Divine Law
i. Divine Positive Law eg. The 10 Commandments
ii. Divine Human Positive Law commandments of the church promulgated by church authorities
2. Human Positive Law - is promulgated by competent human authority for common good and usually carries with it
provisions providing sanctions in case of violations
a. In accordance to force and effect
i. Mandatory and/ or Prohibitory or those that to be complied with because they are expressive of public
policy. Disobedience is punished
ii. Permissive or Suppletory Law are those that may be deviated from if the individual so desires and is not
obligatory
b. According to scope or content of Law
i. Public Law is that which governs the relationship of individuals to the state or the ruler or the community
as a whole
1. Constitutional public
2. Administrative Administrative considerations/ Govt
3. International How we deal with other states
ii. Private Law is that which regulates the relations of the members of a community with one another
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1. Substantive Law
2. Procedural Law
Sources of Law
a. Legislation - (or "statutory law") is law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a legislature or other governing body,
or the process of making it. Crafted and made by Congress
b. Precedent
a. Doctrine of stare decisis
A doctrine or policy of following rules or principles laid down in previous judicial decisions unless they
contravene the ordinary principles of justice
If the verdict/judgment is erroneous, it should be abandoned and the right judgment must be followed
b. Article 8, New Civil Code
Art. 8. J udicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of
the Philippines. (n)
c. Custom
a. Must be repeatedly done
b. Proven as fact
c. Must not be contrary to law
d. Must be acknowledged and approved by society
d. Court Decisions
Statutes
is an act of the legislature as an organized body, expressed in the form, and passed according to the procedure, required to constitute
it as part of the law of the land. Enacted by Congress
Statutes enacted by the legislature are those passed by the Philippine Commission, the Philippine Legislature, the Batasang Pambansa
and the Congress of the Philippines
Other laws with the same category are presidential decrees issued during the martial law and executive orders issued by the President
under the revolutionary period.
Bill vs. Statute
A bill is a proposed legislative measure introduced by a member or members of Congress for enactment into law.
Bill is the draft of a proposed law from the time of its introduction in a legislative body through all the various stages in both houses.
It is enacted into law by a vote of the legislative body. An Act is the appropriate term for it after it has been acted on and passed by
the legislature. It then becomes a statute, the written will of the legislature solemnly expressed according to the form necessary to
constitute it as the law of the state.
Statute Law is a term often used interchangeably with the word statute. Statute Law, however, is broader in meaning since it
includes not only statute but also the judicial interpretation and application of the enactment.
HOW DOES A BILL BECOMES A LAW STEPS
A bill before it becomes a law must pass the strict constitutional requirements explicit both in the 1973 Constitution and the 1987
Constitution.
Passage of a bill in a parliamentary system (unicameral assembly):
a. A member of the National Assembly may introduce the proposed bill to the Secretary of the National Assembly who
will calendar the same for the first reading.
b. In the first reading, the bill is read by its number and title only.
c. After the first reading, the bill is referred by the Speaker to the appropriate committee for study. At this stage, the
appropriate committee will conduct public hearings. Then after the public hearings, the committee shall decide
whether or not to report the bill favorably or whether a substitute bill should be considered. Should there be an
unfavorable report of the committee, then the proposed bill is dead.
d. Upon favorable action by the committee, the bill is returned to the National Assembly and shall be calendared for the
second reading.
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e. In the second reading, the bill is read in its entirety.
f. Immediately after the second reading, the bill is set for open debates where members of the assembly may propose
amendments and insertions to the proposed bill.
g. After the approval of the bill in its second reading and at least three (3) calendar days before its final passage, the
bill is printed in its final form and copies thereof distributed to each of the members.
h. The bill is then calendared for the third and final reading. At this stage, no amendment shall be allowed. Only the
title of the bill is read and the National Assembly will then vote on the bill. Under the present 1987b Constitution,
after the third and final reading at one House where the bill originated, it will go to the other House where it will
undergo the same process.
i. After the bill has been passed, it will be submitted to the Prime Minister (President) for approval. If he disapproves,
he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the National Assembly (House where it originated), and if
approved by two-thirds of all its members, shall become a law. Under the present set-up, if the originating house
will agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections to the other house by which it shall be
likewise be considered and must be approved by two-thirds of the votes. Every bill passed by Congress shall be
acted upon by the President within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof. Otherwise, it shall become a law.
CONSTITUTIONAL TEST IN THE PASSAGE OF A BILL
Three (3) very important constitutional requirements in the enactment of statute:
1. Every bill passed by Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. The purposes of
this constitutional requirements are:
a. To prevent hodge-podge or log-rolling legislation;
b. To prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature; and
c. To fairly apprise the people, through such publications of legislative proceedings as is usually made, of the subjects
of legislation that are being considered, in order that they may have opportunity of being heard thereon by petition
or otherwise, if they shall so desire.
2. No bill passed by either House shall become law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies
thereof in its final form have been distributed to each member three days before its passage.
3. Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. The executive approval and
veto power of the President is the third important constitutional requirement in the mechanical passage of a bill.
Are there laws originating from the House of Representatives? Yes, eg. Appropriation Bill, Bills of Local Appropriation Laws,
Laws on Tariff
PARTS OF STATUTE
Title the heading on the preliminary part, furnishing the name by which the act is individually known. It is usually prefixed to the
statute in the brief summary of its contents.
Preamble part of statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objects sought to be accomplished. Usually, it starts
with whereas.
Enacting clause part of statute which declares its enactment and serves to identify it as an act of legislation proceeding from the
proper legislative authority. Be enacted is the usual formula used to start this clause.
Body the main and operative part of the statute containing its substantive and even procedural provisions. Provisos and exceptions
may also be found.
Repealing Clause - announces the prior statutes or specific provisions which have been abrogated by reason of the enactment of the
new law.
Saving Clause restriction in a repealing act, which is intended to save rights, pending proceedings, penalties, etc. from the
annihilation which would result from an unrestricted repeal.
Separability Clause provides that in the event that one or more provisions or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall still be
in force.
Effectivity Clause announces the effective date of the law.
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KINDS OF STATUTES
Kinds of Statutes
3. Private statute is one which applies only to a specific person or subject
4. Public statute is one which affects the public at large or the whole community
a. General or one which applies to the whole state. It affects the community at large. That which affects all people of
the state or all of a particular class.
b. Special or one which relates to particular persons or things of a class. Designed for a particular purpose, or limited in
range or confined to a prescribed field of action on operation.
c. Local is one with operation confined to a specific law or locality. Relates or operates over a particular locality instead
of over the whole territory of the state.
According to duration, a statute may be:
1. Permanent one whose operation is not limited in duration but continues until repealed
2. Temporary statute with duration limited on the time fixed on the statute itself or whose life ceases upon the happening of
an event
Others:
Remedial Statute providing means or method whereby causes of action may be affectuated, wrongs redressed and relief obtained.
Curative Statute a form of retrospective legislation which reaches back into the past to operate upon past events, acts or transactions
in order to correct errors and irregularities and to render valid and effective many attempted acts which would otherwise be ineffective
for the purpose intended.
Penal Statute defines criminal offenses specify corresponding fines and punishments.
Prospective Law applicable only to cases which shall arise after its enactment.
Retrospective Law looks backward or contemplates the past; one which is made to affect acts or facts occurring, or rights occurring,
before it came into force.
Affirmative Statute directs the doing of an act, or declares what shall be done in contrast to a negative statute which is one that
prohibits the things from being done, or declares what shall not be done.
Mandatory Statutes generic term describing statutes which require and not merely permit a course of action.
CONCEPT OF VAGUE STATUTES
Statues or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards those men of common intelligence must necessarily
guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.
Statute is repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects:
1. It violates due process for failure to accord persons fair notice of conduct to avoid; and
2. It leaves law enforcers unbridled discretions.
The Supreme Court held that the vagueness doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld---
not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude. Flexibility, rather than meticulous specificity, is permissible as long as the metes
and bounds of the statute are clearly delineated
TOPIC III. AIDS IN INTERPRETATION AND CONSTRUCTION
J uly 13, 2013
Legislative Intent vital part and essence of a law. It is the spirit which gives life to legislative enactment. It is the intent of the
one making the law
- Intent is sometimes equated and used interchangeable with spirit, meaning and/or purpose
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AIDS
INTRINSIC AIDS
- The term intrinsic means internal or within. Intrinsic aids, therefore, are those aids within the statute.
- Intrinsic aids are resorted to only if there is ambiguity. In resorting to intrinsic aids, one must go back to the parts of the
statute: the title, the preamble, context or body, chapter and section headings, punctuation, and interpretation.
- Different Kinds of Intrinsic Aid
a. Title
- Serves as aid in terms of doubt in language, to its construction and in ascertaining legislative will.
- The rule that the title of a statute may properly serve as a guide to ascertaining legislative intent carries more
weight in this jurisdiction because of the constitutional requirement that every bill should embrace only one
subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof
- What may be inadequately omitted in the text may be supplied or remedied in the title
b. Preamble
- Part of the statute written immediately after its title, which states the purpose, reason or justification for the
enactment of the law.
- Usually expressed in the form of whereas clause
- While a preamble,, strictly speaking is not part of the statute, it may when the statute is ambiguous, be resorted
to clarify the ambiguity
- A Preamble is the key of the statute, to open the minds of the lawmakers as to the purpose to be achieved, the
mischief to be remedied and the object to be accomplished by the provisions of the statute
- Whenever there is ambiguity, the preamble may decide the proper construction to be given to the statute since
it sets out the intention of the legislature.
c. Words, Phrases and Sentences, Context
- The best source from which to ascertain the legislative intent is the statute itself in relation to one another
- Legislative intent should be ascertained from a consideration of the whole context of the statute and not form an
isolated part or provision
- Each section, provision or clause of the statute must be expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive
at the effect contemplated by the legislature
d. Punctuation
- Punctuation marks are aids of low degree and can never control against the intelligible meaning of written
words. Punctuation marks are not part of the statute. However, when an ambiguity is partially or wholly solved
by punctuation, it is considered in the construction of the statute.
- If the punctuation gives the statute a meaning which is reasonable and in apparent accord with the legislative
will, it may be used as an additional argument for adopting the literal meaning of words as thus punctuated
- But an argument based on punctuation alone is not persuasive
e. Headings and Marginal Notes
- Headings, headnotes and epigraphs are convenient index to the contents of its provisions. They are prefixed to
sections or chapters of a statute for ready reference or classification
f. Legislative Definition and Interpretation
- The intent or spirit of the law is the law itself.
- Legislative intent or spirit of a statute is the controlling factor, the leading star and the guiding light in the
interpretation and application of a statute
- The intent or spirit of the statute is that which is expressed in the words thereof, which should be discovered
within its four corners aided, if necessary by its legislative history
- If not expressed in some manner, the courts cannot by interpretation speculate as to the intent and supply the
meaning
EXTRINSIC AIDS
- These are existing aids from outside sources or outside the four corners of the statute. Extrinsic aids are resorted to after
exhausting all the available intrinsic aids and still there remain some ambiguity in the statute.
- Different Kinds of Extrinsic Aids
a. Contemporaneous Circumstances
- Contemporaneous circumstances may be defined as the circumstances or state of affairs leading to the passage
of the act. They are the "mischief" or defect in the law intended to be cured.
- Contemporaneous circumstances fall into two categories.
o The general history of the times
o The specific problem or "mischief" that brought about the particular legislation.
b. Policy
- The policy of law once ascertained should be given effect by the judiciary. That is, to give a statute of doubtful
meaning a construction that will promote public policy.
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c. Legislative History of the Statute
- When there is ambiguity in the language, there is no better way of ascertaining the will and intention of the
legislature than that which is afforded by the history of thee statute
- Refers to all its antecedents from its inception to its enactment into lawand include:
1. Presidents message to the legislature
This usually contains proposed legislative measures and indicates the Presidents thinking on the
proposed legislation which, when enacted into law, follows his line of thinking into the matter.
2. Explanatory note
A short exposition of explanation accompanying a proposed legislation by its author or proponent.
It contains statements of the reason or purpose of the bill, as well as arguments advanced by its
author in urging its passage.
3. Legislative debates, views and deliberations
Where there is doubt as to what a provision of a statute means, that meaning which was put to the
provision during the legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill may be adopted.
4. Reports of commissions
In construing the provisions of the code as thus enacted, courts may properly refer to the reports of
the commission that drafted the code in aid of clarifying ambiguities therein.
5. Prior laws from which the statute is based
Legislative history will clarify the intent of the law or shed light on the meaning and scope of the
codified or revised statute.
6. Change in phraseology by amendments
Courts may investigate the history of the provisions to ascertain legislative intent as to the meaning
and scope of the amended law.
7. Amendment by deletion
The amendment statute should be given a construction different from that previous to its
amendment.
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d. Contemporaneous and Practical Construction
- Constructions placed upon statutes at the time of or after their enactment by the executive, legislature or judicial
authorities as well as by those who, because of their involvement in the process of legislation are knowledgeable
of the intent and purpose of the law
- Contemporanea exposition est optima et fortissimo in lege the contemporary construction is strongest in law
e. Executive Construction
- Contemporaneous construction placed upon the statute by an executive or administrative officer called upon to
execute or administer such statute
- Executive and Administrative officers are the very first official to interpret the law
- Types:
o Construction by an executive or administrative officer directly called to implement the law. May be
expressed or implied (implied means applying in a particular manner)
o Construction by the Secretary of J ustice in his capacity as the chief legal adviser of the government. It
is in the form of opinion issued upon request of administrative or executive officials who enforce the
law.
o Interpretation handed down in an adversary proceeding in the form of a ruling by an executive officer
exercising quasi judicial power
f. Legislative Construction
- The fact that the interpretation of a statute is primarily a judicial function does not preclude the legislature from
indicating its construction of a statue it enacts into law
- It may thus provide an interpretative or declaratory clause prescribing rules of construction or indicating how its
provision should be construed
- It may also define terms used, enact a declaratory act construing a previous law or pass a resolution indicating
its intention
- Or legislative interpretation may take the form of an implied acquiescence to, or approval of an executive or
judicial construction of a statute
g. J udicial Construction
- The interpretation of a statute by the Supreme Court forms part of the statute itself and of the legal system and
comes from that branch of the government entrusted with the duty to construe or interpret the law
h. Construction by the Bar and Legal Commentators
- Always received with great respect and consideration and may be resorted to for the purposes of determining
the meaning of a statute