Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Conflicts of Law Terms

Provided hereinbelow are some terms and their definition/discussion commonly used in Conflicts of Law:

Lex Domicilii - law of the domicile; in conflicts, the law of one's domicile applied in the choice of law questions

Lex Fori - law of the forum; that is, the positive law of the state, country or jurisdiction of whose judicial system of the court where the suit is brought or remedy is sought is an integral part. Substantive rights are determined by the law where the action arose (lex loci) while the procedural rights are governed by the law of the place of the forum (lex fori)

Lex Loci - law of the place

Lex Loci Contractus - the law of the place where the contract was made or law of the place where the contract is to be governed (place of performance) which may or may not be the same as that of the place where it was made

Lex Loci Rei Sitae - law of the place where the thing or subject matter is situated; the title to realty or question of real estate law can be affected only by the law of the place where it is situated

Lex Situs - law of the place where property is situated; the general rule is that lands and other immovables are governed by the law of the state where they are situated

Lex Loci Actus  - law of the place where the act was done

Lex Loci Celebrationis - law of the place where the contract is made

Lex Loci Solutionis - law of the place of solution; the law of the place where payment or performance of a contract is to be made

Lex Loci Delicti Commissi - law of the place where the crime took place

Lex Mereatoria - law merchant; commercial law; that system of laws which is adopted by all commercial nations and constitute as part of the law of the land; part of common law

Lex Non Scripta - the unwritten common law, which includes general and particular customs and particular local laws

Lex Patriae  - national law

Renvoi Doctrine - doctrine whereby a jural matter is presented which the conflict of laws rules of the forum refer to a foreign law which in turn, refers the matter back to the law of the forum or a third state. When reference is made back to the law of the forum, this is said to be "remission" while reference to a third state is called "transmission."

Nationality Theory - by virtue of which the status and capacity of an individual are generally governed by the law of his nationality.  This is principally adopted in the RP

Domiciliary Theory - in general, the status, condition, rights, obligations, & capacity of a person should be governed by the law of his domicile.

Long Arm Statutes - Statutes allowing the courts to exercise jurisdiction when there are minimum contacts between the non-resident defendant and the forum.

What is the Doctrine of Proper Submission

Doctrine of Proper Submission

Amendments cannot be submitted to the people in a piecemeal fashion wherein the other amendments are to follow. The people should have a frame of reference from which to read the amendments being proposed. (Tolentino vs COMELEC)


I. Nature of the Constitution

Purposes of  the Constitution:

1.     to prescribe the framework of a system of government
2.     to assign to the several departments their respective powers and duties
3.     to establish certain fixed principles on which government is founded

Classification of the Constitution:

1.     written
2.     conventional
3.     rigid

Essential Qualities of the Written Constitution:

1.     broad
2.     brief
3.     clear

Essential Parts of the Written Constitution:

1.     constitution of liberty
2.     constitution of government
3.     constitution of sovereignty

2 steps in the amendment or revision of our Constitution:

1.     Proposal
1.     Constituent Assembly (vote of ¾ of Congress)
2.     Constitutional Convention (call by 2/3 vote of Congress, or thrown to people by majority vote of Congress)
3.     People's Initiative [Amendment only] (12% of registered voters with 3% of registered voters in each legislative district)

2.     Ratification (majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite; 60-90 days)

Judicial Review of Amendments

The amending process, both as to proposal and ratification, raises a judicial question (Sanidad vs COMELEC)

Doctrine of Proper Submission

Amendments cannot be submitted to the people in a piecemeal fashion wherein the other amendments are to follow. The people should have a frame of reference from which to read the amendments being proposed. (Tolentino vs COMELEC)

What is a Public Office

Public Office is the right, authority, and duty created and conferred by law, by which for a given period, either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the appointing power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public.

Essential elements

1.    Created by Constitution or by law or by some body or agency to which the power to create the office has been delegated (enabling law)
2.    Invested with authority to exercise some portion of the sovereign power of the State
3.    Powers/Functions defined by the enabling law
4.    Duties are performed independently without control unless those of an inferior
5.    Continuing / permanent in nature

Distinctions between Public Official and Public Officer and Employee

Public Official is an officer of the Government itself, as distinguished from the officers and employees of instrumentalities of government.

Officer is distinguished from an employee in the greater importance, dignity and independence of his position, being required to take an official oath, and perhaps give an official bond and in the liability to be called to account as a public offender for misfeasance or nonfeasance in office.

Eligibility for Public Office

Eligibility is the state or quality of being legally fitted or qualified to be chosen. Qualification refer to the act which a person, before entering upon the performance of his duties is by law required to do such as the taking, and often, of subscribing and filing of an official oath, and, in some cases, the giving of an official bond.

Damages due to breach of contract

[Civil Law: Obligations and Contract; Rescission]

Sandoval Shipyards, Inc., Petitioner, vs.
Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), Respondent
GR No. 188633, April 10, 2013

FactsThe PMMA entered into Ship Building Contract with Sandoval Shipyards, Inc. with the latter obliging itself to construct two units of lifeboats to be used by the students of PMMA for training.  The parties agreed on the specifications of the boats, the date of delivery and the amount of payment as stated in the contract.  However, upon inspection by the PMMA, it found that the construction being done by the petitioner was not in conformity with the approved plan.  Because of this, respondent’s dean submitted a report and recommendation for ratification of the contract to its President.  A meeting was held in order to settle the issue.  Sandoval asked for extension of the time of delivery of the lifeboats which was granted by PMMA.  However, Sandoval was not able to comply with the agreed specifications for the boats and the agreed time of delivery despite repeated demands from PMMA.  As a result, PMMA filed a Complaint for Rescission of Contract with damages against the petitioners.

The RTC held that although the caption for the complaint filed by PMMA was for Rescission for Contract, the allegations in the body were for breach of contract. Thus, the respondents were made jointly and severally liable for actual damages plus attorney’s fees plus cost of suits.  The petitioners appealed the case to the CA where it found that indeed the petitioners committed a clear substantial breach of contract which warranted its rescission.  However, since rescission requires mutual restoration of benefits received, the respondents cannot be compelled to return what it does not possess - the lifeboats which the petitioners failed to deliver.  A motion for reconsideration was filed by the petitioners but was denied by the CA hence the petition for certiorari filed under rule 45.

Issue:  Whether or not the case is for rescission and not for damages due to breach of contract.

Ruling: No, the case is for damages due to breach of contract.  It held that the RTC was correct in determining whether there was a breach of contract and if such breach would warrant rescission and or damages.  In this case, it found that the breach was found to be substantial and sufficient to warrant a rescission of the contract.  However, since rescission entails a mutual restitution of benefits received and the factual circumstances rendered this mutual restitution impossible, an injured party who has chosen rescission is also entitled to the payment of damages.  

Case on Contract to Sell

[Civil Law: Obligation; consignation; judicial in character]

Spouses Nameal and Lourdes Bonrostro, Petitioners,   
Spouses Juan and Constancia Luna, Respondents.
G.R. No. 172346, July 24, 2013

Facts:  Constancia Luna, as buyer, entered into a contract to sell with Bliss Development Corporation involving a house located in Quezon City. A year after, Luna sold it to Lourdes Bonrostro under the ff. terms:
The stipulated price of P1,250,000.00 shall be paid by the VENDEE to the VENDOR in the following manner:
(a)  P200,000.00 upon signing x x x [the] Contract To Sell,
(b)  P300,000.00 payable on or before April 30, 1993,
(c)  P330,000.00 payable on or before July 31, 1993,
(d)  P417,000.00 payable to the New Capitol Estate, for 15 years at [P6,867.12] a month,
x x x [I]n the event the VENDEE fails to pay the second installment on time, [t]he VENDEE will pay starting May 1, 1993 a 2% interest on the P300,000.00 monthly.  Likewise, in the event the VENDEE fails to pay the amount of P630,000.00 on the stipulated time, this CONTRACT TO SELL shall likewise be deemed cancelled and rescinded and x x x 5% of the total contract price [of] P1,250,000.00 shall be deemed forfeited in favor of the VENDOR.  Unpaid monthly amortization shall likewise be deducted from the initial down payment in favor of the VENDOR. After execution of the contract, Bonrostro took possession of the property. However, except for P200,000.00 downpayment, she failed to pay subsequent amortization. Luna then filed before the RTC a Complaint for Rescission of Contract and Damages. This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision of CA affirming with modification the decision of RTC in favor herein respondents.

Issue:  Whether or not delay in the payment of installment is a substantial breach of obligation as to warrant its rescission.

Ruling:   No, in a contract to sell, payment of the price is a positive suspensive condition. Failure of which is not a breach of contract warranting rescission under Article 1191 of the Civil Code, but rather just an event that prevents the supposed seller from being bound to convey title to the supposed buyer. The contract to sell entered by the parties refers to real property on installment basis, in which Art. 1191 cannot apply since they are governed by the Maceda Law. However, there being no breach, Bonrostro is still not excused from being made liable for interest on the installments due from the date of default until fully paid. Tender of payment, a manifestation by the debtor of a desire to comply with or pay an obligation, asserted by Bonrostro for the accrual of interest to be suspended is not a valid defense because for a tender of payment to take effect it must be accompanied by the means of payment and debtor must take immediate step to make a consignation, the deposit of the proper amount with a judicial authority, then interest is suspended from the time of such tender.