Utopia 2013 Introduction to Law Primer

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introduction to law



    Introduction to Law Primer

    2013 Edition


    For tomorrow shall cast a myriad of mighty storm that only those with firm determination and Utopian vision do survive.




    How to Read a Case - 1

    Recitation Tips - 2

    Dworkins Interpretative Theory 2

    Austins Theory of Law 5

    Hart: Law as Primary and Secondary Rules 6

    Hart: International Law - 7

    Parts of a Case - 10

    Philippine Legal History

    Colonial Setting: Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro

    Comprehensive Digest 12

    Case Primer 13

    Recitation Ready Digest 14

    War Period: Co Kim Cham v. Valdez Tan Keh

    Comprehensive Digest 14

    Case Primer 19

    Recitation Ready Digest 20



    People Power Revolution: Republic v. Sandiganbayan

    Comprehensive Digest 20

    Case Primer 24

    Recitation Ready Digest 24

    Law in Context

    Indigenous Peoples, Ancestral Domain, and the Environment: Cruz v. Secretary of DENR

    Comprehensive Digest 25

    Case Primer 26

    Recitation Ready Digest 27

    Bangsamoro People: Province of North Cotabato v. GRP Panel

    Comprehensive Digest 28

    Case Primer 32

    Recitation Ready Digest 33

    Definition of Law Terms - 34


    The Utopia Academics Team would like to thank Senior Brod Daniel Darvin for the

    guidance and motivation without which this primer would not have materialized. We

    consider his works as cornerstones for this reviewer now in your hands.


    Do not rely solely on the recitation-ready digests of this reviewer.

    This type of digest merely aims to give an overview and

    background of the cases for easy understanding and reference

    during recitation. This digest is not comprehensive. It is advised to

    read the full text of the cases and the comprehensive digests in case

    the professor asks additional questions





    What are the 3 main parts of a case?

    The (1) facts, (2) issues, and (3) held/ratio

    What are facts?

    Facts are events or circumstances that transpired. They are

    usually narrated at the beginning of the case.

    What is an issue?

    It is the matter in dispute in the case. It is usually in question

    form and begins with the phrase whether or not.

    Give an example of an issue.

    The prosecution argues that the accused is liable for murder

    while the defense contends that the accused is only liable

    for homicide. The issue is whether or not the accused is

    liable for murder or homicide.

    What are the two types of issues?

    (1) Substantive issues and (2) Procedural issues

    What are substantive issues?

    Issues which pertain to the rights of the parties.

    Give an example of a substantive issue.

    Whether or not the accused is liable for murder or


    What are procedural issues?

    Issues which pertain to the method or manner of carrying

    out a legal dispute.

    Give an example of a procedural issue.

    Whether or not the case is ripe for adjudication.

    How many issues are usually given in a case?

    There is usually more than one issue.

    Do we have to read all of the issues?

    No. Read only the issue relevant to the subject matter.

    A police officer, upon mere suspicion that Juans house is a drug den, entered Juans house without a warrant and in the course of the search, inflicted physical injuries upon Juan

    and destroyed his personal belongings. The issues

    presented in the case are whether or not the police officer

    (1) conducted a valid search, (2) is liable for physical

    injuries, (3) is liable for damages for destroying Juans property. Which issue should be studied?

    If the subject is Constitutional Law, study only the first issue

    since it deals with the Bill of Rights. If the subject is Criminal

    law, study only the second issue. And if the subject is Civil

    Law, study only the third issue.




    What if the subject matter is unknown? Which issue will we


    In subjects such as introduction to law, where the subject

    matter is general and unknown, it is advised to focus on the

    substantive issues.

    What is the held/ratio of the case?

    The courts decision on a particular issue. It includes the legal basis of the decision, analysis of facts, and conclusion

    of the case.


    1) Hold your ground and be polite. Remember, each

    recitation is a test not only of your knowledge, but of your

    composure and how well you keep your cool despite the

    stress. Never attempt to make jokes while reciting. There is

    always a chance that the professor might take this as a form

    of disrespect. Law school has a serious atmosphere.

    2) Nothing beats preparation. So make sure you read all the

    cases and can provide a summary of the readings from the

    top of your head. Try to dramatize the facts in your head to

    easily recall the flow.

    3) When you are inevitably called, observe good posture

    and be confident. Do not dance around your spot. Make

    an impression on the professor, and build on the fact that

    you have prepared beforehand. Look at the professor

    straight in the eye. Failure to observe this might give the

    professor an impression that you came unprepared for


    4) It is best to frame your answers this way:

    a) Be responsive first, meaning answer yes or no, or

    true or false, etc., when it is called for.

    b) Then provide the source for your answerwhether

    its a law or a case. Discuss the case or the law briefly,

    then apply to the situation at hand.

    c) Provide a short conclusion.


    In Dworkins Interpretive Theory, what role will morality play if legal interpretation play if properly carried out?

    Morality will exercise some significant influence over the

    way rules are to be understood.

    According to Dworkin, what does the law consist of?

    The law consists of the 1) explicitly adopted rules plus 2) the

    best moral principles that can be understood to lie behind

    those rules. These principles serve as a legitimate basis of

    legal decisions, as well as help guide the interpretation of

    legal rules in hard cases in which the right legal answer is





    What are the two degrees of fit between some proposed principle and the rules?

    Fit as a matter of logical consistency and Fit as a matter of

    helping one justify or provide a rational for the rules.

    What does fit as a matter of logical consistency mean?

    Any viable candidate for an underlying principle must be

    logically consistent with most of the rules. Total consistency

    is not required, only a high degree.

    I. Fitting the Fourth Amendment: Privacy

    Can the government search your house without a warrant or

    probable cause?

    The fourth amendment states, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, so, no, the government cannot search it without a warrant or probable


    II. Olmstead and beyond.

    Should laws be interpreted while keeping in mind modern

    technology even though these said technologies did not

    exist during the time of those who wrote and ratified the


    Yes, modern technology should be considered while

    interpreting laws.

    What happened in the Olmstead case?

    The Supreme Court decided that because wiretapping was

    not an act of physical intrusion and confiscation, the fourth

    amendment rule did not apply to it.

    What was Dworkins approach to a case like Olmstead?

    He would look at the moral principle that fits the Fourth

    Amendment rule against unreasonable searches and


    Using Dworkins framework, would wiretapping be covered by the fourth amendment?

    Yes, because according to Dworkin, privacy has two

    aspects: 1) physical space and 2) informational aspect. The

    Olmstead case ignores the informational aspect.

    III. The Role of Morality

    What happens when in using Dworkins method, there happens to be several competing privacy principles that fit

    the fourth amendment rule?

    Then one must decide which of them can be a legitimate

    basis for legal decision making.

    What is the right way of understanding the law in order for

    us to find the right legal answers to cases in which the

    explicit rules do not provide a single clear answer?

    Dworkins solution is to look to morality. The law consists of the rules explicitly adopted by the political community plus

    the best principles that fit those rules.




    How does one reconcile the fact that each person may have

    a different opinion on what is morally best?

    People will, of course, disagree over what is morally best,

    but each person decides for him or herself what is morally

    best. According to Dworkin, a judge who will make a good-

    faith effort to determine what is morally best is fully

    authorized to make her legal decisions.

    IV. The Challenge of Skepticism

    What is External Skepticism?

    These are the questions about moral obligations which have

    no right answer because there is nothing objective in the

    world that can make a statement about our moral obligations

    true or false.

    How does Dworkin counter external skepticism?

    Dworkin claims that external skepticism rests on the false

    premise that moral judgment must correspond to

    perceivable facts in order for us to reasonably assert that

    some such judgments are right and others are wrong.

    However, he fails to come to grip with the fact that there are

    many different, conflicting ways of conducting moral


    What is Internal Skepticism?

    This theory views our legal system as fundamentally unjust

    and oppressive. It states that the system promotes the

    interests of the wealthy and privileged at the expense of the

    rest of society. It holds that there is no consistent set of

    moral principles that underlies our laws.

    V. Assessing Dworkin

    What is a problem of Dworkins interpretive version of natural law?

    His theory posits an important and necessary connection

    between law and morality, but avoids the problems

    afflicting the approaches of Aquinas and Fuller.

    What is the difference between Dworkins theory and Aquinas theory?

    Unlike Aquinas theory, Dworkins theory does not hold that unjust rules are invalid laws.

    What is the difference between Dworkins theory and fullers theory?

    Unlike Fullers theory, it does not hold that the principles of legality are by themselves sufficient to create a prima facie

    moral obligation to obey the rules of any system of positive


    Is Dworkin right in saying that judges can decide based on

    their own moral judgments?

    No, because judges should refer to widely accepted

    judgments in society as well.

    Legal Positivism: Overview

    What is Legal Positivism?

    This theory rejects the natural law idea that genuine law is

    necessarily just law and also rejects the links between

    positive law and morality posited by Fuller and Dworkin.




    Austins Theory of Law (Legal Positivism)

    According to Austin, what are Rules?

    Rules are a species of command. Laws are rules laid down

    by superiors to guide the actions of those under them.

    What is Positive Morality?

    Positive morality is a set of moral values and rules informally

    accepted by a given society. (no punishment/enforced by

    general opinion)

    What is Positive Law?

    It consists of general commands laid down and enforced by

    the sovereign.

    How does Austin view the sovereign?

    In his view, the sovereign is defined solely in terms of

    power, not in terms of justice or any other moral concept.

    The power that makes some person or group of persons

    sovereign has no moral qualifications whatsoever attached

    to it.

    What are some of the key differences in Positive Law vs.

    Positive Morality?

    1.) It is What is the law? vs. What ought to be the law. and 2.) There is no necessary connection between legal and

    moral obligation.

    So does Austin mean that there is no connection between

    positive law and morality?

    No, in fact, Austin believes that positive morality is an

    important source of positive law: the general commands of

    the sovereign often reflect the rules of positive morality.

    Are moral obligations imposed by Gods commands the same as legal obligations imposed by the commands of a

    political sovereign?

    No, the two must never be confused.

    What is Austins stand regarding international law?

    Austin rejects the idea that international law is a properly

    understood law because there is an absence of a global

    sovereign to issue and enforce commands

    According to Hermann Jahrreis (lawyer for Nuremberg

    defendants); what is the legal obligation of the individual?

    It is to obey the dictates of the sovereign, notwithstanding

    international or natural law.

    II. Assessing Austin

    What is Austins approach to the law?

    Austins approach presents a clear and systematic alternative to the natural law approach.

    What are some problems with Austins approach?

    1.) He avoids the question, Is a rule enforced as a law by the courts a valid law if it is contrary to natural law or




    morality? and 2.) Austins argument that traditional natural law theory invites anarchy is questionable.

    What are some of the criticisms of Austins version of positivism?

    Some say that Austins account of law in terms of the general commands of the sovereign is fundamentally mistaken.

    Hart: Law as Primary and Secondary Rules

    I. Types of Legal Rules

    Why does Hart say that Austins command theory of law fails to account for important aspects of a legal system?

    Certain types of legal rules cannot be adequately

    understood as commands. Thus, some legal rules do not

    prohibit or require but rather empower individuals to do

    things that would otherwise be impossible for them to do.

    (not all laws are prohibitions or mandatory rules).

    What are power-conferring rules?

    Legal rules that empower individuals, e.g. contract law

    empowering individuals to enter legally binding


    What is a command?

    A command seeks to alter the world by getting someone to

    do something. A power-conferring rule seeks to alter it by

    empowering persons to do things that they would otherwise

    be unable to do.

    II. Legal Obligation: Government and Gunman

    Why does Hart say that Austins analysis that an individual risks having some sanction inflicted on him should he fail to

    comply to some general command of the sovereign is


    Hart argues that this analysis makes it impossible to

    correctly distinguish a government from a gunman. The

    gunmans threat Your money or your life forces an individual to obey with the use of undesirable

    consequences should he fail to comply. Hart points out that

    being obliged to do something is not the same as being



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