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Saudi Arabian Airlines v.

CA
Under the factual antecedents obtaining in this case, there is no dispute that the interplay of events occurred
in two states, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Where the factual antecedents satisfactorily establish the existence of
a foreign element, we agree with petitioner that the problem herein could present a "conflicts" case.
A factual situation that cuts across territorial lines and is affected by the diverse laws of two or more states
is said to contain a "foreign element".
The forms in which this foreign element may appear are many. The foreign element may simply consist in
the fact that one of the parties to a contract is an alien or has a foreign domicile, or that a contract between nationals
of one State involves properties situated in another State. In other cases, the foreign element may assume a complex
form.
In the instant case, the foreign element consisted in the fact that private respondent Morada is a resident
Philippine national, and that petitioner SAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation. Also, by virtue of the employment
of Morada with the petitioner Saudia as a flight stewardess, events did transpire during her many occasions of travel
across national borders, particularly from Manila, Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and vice versa, that caused a
"conflicts" situation to arise.
As to the choice of applicable law, we note that choice-of-law problems seek to answer two important
questions: (1) What legal system should control a given situation where some of the significant facts occurred in two
or more states; and (2) to what extent should the chosen legal system regulate the situation.
Before a choice can be made, it is necessary for us to determine under what category a certain set of facts or
rules fall. This process is known as "characterization", or the "doctrine of qualification". It is the "process of deciding
whether or not the facts relate to the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule." The purpose of "characterization"
is to enable the forum to select the proper law.
Our starting point of analysis here is not a legal relation, but a factual situation, event, or operative fact. An
essential element of conflict rules is the indication of a "test" or "connecting factor" or "point of contact". Choice-of-
law rules invariably consist of a factual relationship (such as property right, contract claim) and a connecting factor
or point of contact, such as the situs of the res, the place of celebration, the place of performance, or the place of
wrongdoing.
Note that one or more circumstances may be present to serve as the possible test for the determination of
the applicable law. These "test factors" or "points of contact" or "connecting factors" could be any of the following:
(1) The nationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of sojourn, or his origin;
(2) the seat of a legal or juridical person, such as a corporation;
(3) the situs of a thing, that is, the place where a thing is, or is deemed to be situated. In particular,
the lex situs is decisive when real rights are involved;
(4) the place where an act has been done, the locus actus, such as the place where a contract has been
made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or a tort committed. The lex loci actus is particularly
important in contracts and torts;
(5) the place where an act is intended to come into effect, e.g., the place of performance of
contractual duties, or the place where a power of attorney is to be exercised;
(6) the intention of the contracting parties as to the law that should govern their agreement, the lex
loci intentionis;
(7) the place where judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted or done. The lex fori — the
law of the forum — is particularly important because, as we have seen earlier, matters of
"procedure" not going to the substance of the claim involved are governed by it; and because the lex
fori applies whenever the content of the otherwise applicable foreign law is excluded from
application in a given case for the reason that it falls under one of the exceptions to the applications
of foreign law; and
(8) the flag of a ship, which in many cases is decisive of practically all legal relationships of the ship
and of its master or owner as such. It also covers contractual relationships particularly contracts of
affreightment. (Emphasis ours.)
Considering that the complaint in the court a quo is one involving torts, the "connecting factor" or "point of
contact" could be the place or places where the tortious conduct or lex loci actus occurred. And applying the torts
principle in a conflicts case, we find that the Philippines could be said as a situs of the tort (the place where the
alleged tortious conduct took place). That certain acts or parts of the injury allegedly occurred in another country is
of no moment. For in our view what is important here is the place where the over-all harm or the totality of the
alleged injury to the person, reputation, social standing and human rights of complainant, had lodged, according to
the plaintiff below (herein private respondent). All told, it is not without basis to identify the Philippines as the situs
of the alleged tort.
Moreover, with the widespread criticism of the traditional rule of lex loci delicti commissi, modern theories
and rules on tort liability have been advanced to offer fresh judicial approaches to arrive at just results. In keeping
abreast with the modern theories on tort liability, we find here an occasion to apply the "State of the most significant
relationship" rule, which in our view should be appropriate to apply now, given the factual context of this case.
In applying said principle to determine the State which has the most significant relationship, the following
contacts are to be taken into account and evaluated according to their relative importance with respect to the
particular issue: (a) the place where the injury occurred; (b) the place where the conduct causing the injury
occurred; (c) the domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and place of business of the parties, and (d)
the place where the relationship, if any, between the parties is centered.

Aznar v. Garcia
The recognition of the renvoi theory implies that the rules of the conflict of laws are to be understood as
incorporating not only the ordinary or internal law of the foreign state or country, but its rules of the conflict of laws
as well. According to this theory 'the law of a country' means the whole of its law.
We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict of laws rule, while the rule applied in In re
Kaufman, Supra, its internal law. If the law on succession and the conflict of laws rules of California are to be enforced
jointly, each in its own intended and appropriate sphere, the principle cited In re Kaufman should apply to citizens
living in the State, but Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not domiciled in California but in other
jurisdictions. The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the domicile in the determination of matters with foreign
element involved is in accord with the general principle of American law that the domiciliary law should govern in
most matters or rights which follow the person of the owner.
Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the national law is
the internal law of California. But as above explained the laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its
citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that We
should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws
rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to go, as so
declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express
mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for residents therein, and its conflict-of-laws rule
for those domiciled abroad.
As explained in the various authorities cited, the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the
law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which authorizes the reference or return of the
question to the law of the testator's domicile. The conflict of laws rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely
refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the
case at bar. The court of the domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California; such action would
leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth
between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his domicile.
The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent, if the
question has to be decided, especially as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for
children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally
acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.

Gibbs v. GPI
It seems clear that the second paragraph of article 10 applies only when a legal or testamentary succession
has taken place in the Philippines and in accordance with the law of the Philippine Islands; and the foreign law is
consulted only in regard to the order of succession or the extent of the successional rights; in other words, the
second paragraph of article 10 can be invoked only when the deceased was vested with a descendible interest in
property within the jurisdiction of the Philippine Islands.
In the case of Clarke vs. Clarke (178 U. S., 186, 191; 44 Law ed., 1028, 1031), the court said:
It is principle firmly established that to the law of the state in which the land is situated we must look
for the rules which govern its descent, alienation, and transfer, and for the effect and construction of
wills and other conveyances. This fundamental principle is stated in the first paragraph of article 10 of
our Civil Code as follows: "Personal property is subject to the laws of the nation of the owner thereof;
real property to the laws of the country in which it is situated.
It is stated in 5 Cal. Jur., 478:
In accord with the rule that real property is subject to the lex rei sitae, the respective rights of husband
and wife in such property, in the absence of an antenuptial contract, are determined by the law of the
place where the property is situated, irrespective of the domicile of the parties or to the place where the
marriage was celebrated.
Under this broad principle, the nature and extent of the title which vested in Mrs. Gibbs at the time of the
acquisition of the community lands here in question must be determined in accordance with the lex rei sitae.
It is admitted that the Philippine lands here in question were acquired as community property of the
conjugal partnership of the appellee and his wife. Under the law of the Philippine Islands, she was vested of a title
equal to that of her husband.
It results that the wife of the appellee was, by the law of the Philippine Islands, vested of a descendible
interest, equal to that of her husband, in the Philippine lands covered by certificates of title Nos. 20880, 28336 and
28331, from the date of their acquisition to the date of her death.

Cadalin v. POEA
The courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign claim obnoxious to the forum's public policy. To enforce
the one-year prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as regards the claims in question would
contravene the public policy on the protection to labor.

Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr.


It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine
nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of
public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines,
provided they are valid according to their national law.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have
no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets.

Pilapil v. Ibay-Somea
It is indispensable that the status and capacity of the complainant to commence the action be definitely
established and, as already demonstrated, such status or capacity must indubitably exist as of the time he initiates
the action. It would be absurd if his capacity to bring the action would be determined by his
status before or subsequent to the commencement thereof, where such capacity or status existed prior to but ceased
before, or was acquired subsequent to but did not exist at the time of, the institution of the case. We would thereby
have the anomalous spectacle of a party bringing suit at the very time when he is without the legal capacity to do so.
We are convinced that in cases of such nature, the status of the complainant vis-a-vis the accused must be
determined as of the time the complaint was filed. Thus, the person who initiates the adultery case must be an
offended spouse, and by this is meant that he is still married to the accused spouse, at the time of the filing of the
complaint.
In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal
Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as
private respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the matter of status of
persons.

Llorente v. Llorente
Validity of the Foreign Divorce
In Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. we held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil
Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces, the same being considered
contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. In the same case, the Court ruled that aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, provided they are valid according to their national law.
Citing this landmark case, the Court held in Quita v. Court of Appeals, that once proven that respondent was
no longer a Filipino citizen when he obtained the divorce from petitioner, the ruling in Van Dorn would become
applicable and petitioner could “very well lose her right to inherit” from him.
In Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, we recognized the divorce obtained by the respondent in his country, the Federal
Republic of Germany. There, we stated that divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar
as respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the status of persons.

Garcia-Recio v. Recio
A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is valid
according to the national law of the foreigner. However, the divorce decree and the governing personal law of the
alien spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and
judgments; hence, like any other facts, both the divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and
proven according to our law on evidence.
Philippine law does not provide for absolute divorce; hence, our courts cannot grant it. A marriage between
two Filipinos cannot be dissolved even by a divorce obtained abroad, because of Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code.
In mixed marriages involving a Filipino and a foreigner, Article 26 of the Family Code allows the former to contract a
subsequent marriage in case the divorce is “validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to
remarry.” A divorce obtained abroad by a couple, who are both aliens, may be recognized in the Philippines, provided
it is consistent with their respective national laws.
A comparison between marriage and divorce, as far as pleading and proof are concerned, can be made. Van
Dorn v. Romillo Jr. decrees that “aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines,
provided they are valid according to their national law.” Therefore, before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized
by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law
allowing it. Presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient.

Republic v. Iyoy
At the time she filed for divorce, Fely was still a Filipino citizen, and pursuant to the nationality principle
embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, she was still bound by Philippine laws on family rights
and duties, status, condition, and legal capacity, even when she was already living abroad. Philippine laws, then and
even until now, do not allow and recognize divorce between Filipino spouses. Thus, Fely could not have validly
obtained a divorce from respondent Crasus.

Republic v. Orbecido
The twin elements for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows:
1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a
foreigner; and
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to
remarry.
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but their
citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
In this case, when Cipriano’s wife was naturalized as an American citizen, there was still a valid marriage
that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano. As fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently
obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application of Paragraph 2 of
Article 26 are both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the “divorced” Filipino spouse, should be allowed to remarry.
Accordingly, for his plea to prosper, respondent herein must prove his allegation that his wife was
naturalized as an American citizen. Likewise, before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our own courts,
the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it.
Such foreign law must also be proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Like any other fact,
such laws must be alleged and proved. Furthermore, respondent must also show that the divorce decree allows his
former wife to remarry as specifically required in Article 26. Otherwise, there would be no evidence sufficient to
declare that he is capacitated to enter into another marriage.

Perkins v. Dizon
Section 398 of our Code of Civil Procedure provides that when a non-resident defendant is sued in the
Philippine courts and it appears, by the complaint or by affidavits, that the action relates to real or personal property
within the Philippines in which said defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent, or in which the
relief demanded consists, wholly or in part, in excluding such person from any interest therein, service of summons
maybe made by publication.
We have fully explained the meaning of this provision in El Banco Español Filipino vs. Palanca, wherein we laid
down the following rules:
(1) In order that the court may validly try a case, it must have jurisdiction over the subject-matter and over
the persons of the parties. Jurisdiction over the subject-matter is acquired by concession of the sovereign
authority which organizes a court and determines the nature and extent of its powers in general and thus
fixes its jurisdiction with reference to actions which it may entertain and the relief it may grant. Jurisdiction
over the persons of the parties is acquired by their voluntary appearance in court and their submission to its
authority, or by the coercive power of legal process exerted over their persons.
(2) When the defendant is a non-resident and refuses to appear voluntary, the court cannot acquire
jurisdiction over his person even if the summons be served by publication, for he is beyond the reach of
judicial process. No tribunal established by one State can extend its process beyond its territory so as to
subject to its decisions either persons or property located in another State. It is now fully established that a
personal judgment upon constructive or substituted service against a non-resident who does not appear is
wholly invalid. This doctrine applies to all kinds of constructive or substituted process, including service by
publication and personal service outside of the jurisdiction in which the judgment is rendered; and the only
exception seems to be found in the case where the non-resident defendant has expressly or impliedly
consented to the mode of service.
(3) The general rule, therefore, is that a suit against a non-resident cannot be entertained by a Philippine
court. Where, however, the action is in rem or quasi in rem in connection with property located in the
Philippines, the court acquires jurisdiction over the res, and its jurisdiction over the person of the non-
resident is non-essential. In order that the court may exercise power over the res, it is not necessary that the
court should take actual custody of the property, potential custody thereof being sufficient. There is
potential custody when, from the nature of the action brought, the power of the court over the property is
impliedly recognized by law. "An illustration of what we term potential jurisdiction over the res, is found in
the proceeding to register the title of land under our system for the registration of land. Here the court,
without taking actual physical control over the property, assumes, at the instance of some person claiming to
be owner, to exercise a jurisdiction in rem over the property and to adjudicate the title in favor of the
petitioner against all the world."
(4) As before stated, in an action in rem or quasi in rem against a non-resident defendant, jurisdiction over
his person is non-essential, and if the law requires in such case that the summons upon the defendant be
served by publication, it is merely to satisfy the constitutional requirement of due process. If any be said, in
this connection, that "may reported cases can be cited in which it is assumed that the question of the
sufficiency of publication or notice in the case of this kind is a question affecting the jurisdiction of the court,
and the court is sometimes said to acquire jurisdiction by virtue of the publication.

Philsec Investment Corp v. CA


Nor is the trial court's refusal to take cognizance of the case justifiable under the principle of forum non
conveniens. First, a motion to dismiss is limited to the grounds under Rule 16, §1, which does not include forum non
conveniens. The propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle requires a factual determination, hence, it is
more properly considered a matter of defense. Second, while it is within the discretion of the trial court to abstain
from assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it should do so only after "vital facts are established, to determine
whether special circumstances" require the court's desistance.

Raytheon International v. Rouzie, Jr.


Recently in Hasegawa v. Kitamura, the Court outlined three consecutive phases involved in judicial
resolution of conflicts-of-laws problems, namely: jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and enforcement of
judgments. Thus, in the instances where the Court held that the local judicial machinery was adequate to resolve
controversies with a foreign element, the following requisites had to be proved: (1) that the Philippine Court is one
to which the parties may conveniently resort; (2) that the Philippine Court is in a position to make an intelligent
decision as to the law and the facts; and (3) that the Philippine Court has or is likely to have the power to enforce its
decision.
On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where the case is filed in a Philippine court
and where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter, the parties and the res, it may or can proceed to try the
case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. This is an exercise
of sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed.
Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an action is conferred by the Constitution and the law and
by the material allegations in the complaint, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or
some of the claims or reliefs sought therein.
As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the trial court acquired jurisdiction over herein respondent (as
party plaintiff) upon the filing of the complaint. On the other hand, jurisdiction over the person of petitioner (as
party defendant) was acquired by its voluntary appearance in court.
Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court, in conflicts-of-laws cases, may refuse impositions on its
jurisdiction where it is not the most “convenient” or available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking
remedies elsewhere. Petitioner’s averments of the foreign elements in the instant case are not sufficient to oust the
trial court of its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. No. 1192-BG and the parties involved.
Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum non conveniens requires a
factual determination; hence, it is more properly considered as a matter of defense. While it is within the discretion
of the trial court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it should do so only after vital facts are
established, to determine whether special circumstances require the court’s desistance.

The Manila Hotel Corp v. NLRC


I. Forum Non-Conveniens
The NLRC was a seriously inconvenient forum.
We note that the main aspects of the case transpired in two foreign jurisdictions and the case involves purely
foreign elements. The only link that the Philippines has with the case is that respondent Santos is a Filipino
citizen. The Palace Hotel and MHICL are foreign corporations. Not all cases involving our citizens can be tried here.
The employment contract.-- Respondent Santos was hired directly by the Palace Hotel, a foreign employer,
through correspondence sent to the Sultanate of Oman, where respondent Santos was then employed. He was hired
without the intervention of the POEA or any authorized recruitment agency of the government.
Under the rule of forum non conveniens, a Philippine court or agency may assume jurisdiction over the case if
it chooses to do so provided: (1) that the Philippine court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort to; (2)
that the Philippine court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts; and (3) that the
Philippine court has or is likely to have power to enforce its decision. The conditions are unavailing in the case at bar.
Not Convenient.-- We fail to see how the NLRC is a convenient forum given that all the incidents of the case -
from the time of recruitment, to employment to dismissal occurred outside the Philippines. The inconvenience is
compounded by the fact that the proper defendants, the Palace Hotel and MHICL are not nationals of the
Philippines. Neither are they “doing business in the Philippines.” Likewise, the main witnesses, Mr. Shmidt and Mr.
Henk are non-residents of the Philippines.
No power to determine applicable law.-- Neither can an intelligent decision be made as to the law governing
the employment contract as such was perfected in foreign soil. This calls to fore the application of the principle of lex
loci contractus (the law of the place where the contract was made).
The employment contract was not perfected in the Philippines. Respondent Santos signified his acceptance by
writing a letter while he was in the Republic of Oman. This letter was sent to the Palace Hotel in the People’s
Republic of China.

Bank of America v. American Realty Corporation


In the case at bar, petitioner BANTSA only has one cause of action which is non-payment of the
debt. Nevertheless, alternative remedies are available for its enjoyment and exercise. Petitioner then may opt to
exercise only one of two remedies so as not to violate the rule against splitting a cause of action.
In a long line of decisions, this Court adopted the well-imbedded principle in our jurisdiction that there is no
judicial notice of any foreign law. A foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. Thus, if the foreign
law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local
or domestic or internal law. This is what we refer to as the doctrine of processual presumption.
In the instant case, assuming arguendo that the English Law on the matter were properly pleaded and proved in
accordance with Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court and the jurisprudence laid down in Yao Kee, et al. vs. Sy-
Gonzales, said foreign law would still not find applicability.
Thus, when the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and established public policy of the
forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall not be applied.
Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object
public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or
by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country.
The public policy sought to be protected in the instant case is the principle imbedded in our jurisdiction
proscribing the splitting up of a single cause of action.
Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to the
citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice is the most important function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or
contract that is obviously unjust negates the fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws.

Yao Kee v. Aida Sy- Gonzales


The Court has held that to establish a valid foreign marriage two things must be proven, namely: (1) the
existence of the foreign law as a question of fact; and (2) the alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence.
Well-established in this jurisdiction is the principle that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign laws. They must be alleged and proved as any other fact.
Accordingly, in the absence of proof of the Chinese law on marriage, it should be presumed that it is the
same as ours. Since Yao Kee admitted in her testimony that there was no solemnizing officer as known here in the
Philippines when her alleged marriage to Sy Kiat was celebrated, it therefore follows that her marriage to Sy Kiat,
even if true, cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction.

Recto v. Harden
The third objection is not borne out, either by the language of the contract between them, or by the intent of
the parties thereto. Its purpose was not to secure a divorce, or to facilitate or promote the procurement of a divorce.
It merely sought to protect the interest of Mrs. Harden in the conjugal partnership, during the pendency of a divorce
suit she intended to file in the United States. What is more, inasmuch as Mr. and Mrs. Harden are admittedly citizens
of the United States, their status and the dissolution thereof are governed - pursuant to Article 9 of the Civil Code of
Spain (which was in force in the Philippines at the time of the execution of the contract in question) and Article 15 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines - by the laws of the United States, which sanction divorce. In short, the contract of
services, between Mrs. Harden and herein appellee, is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or
public policy.