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Legal Research

Determine the objectives of the lawyer or client;
Identify and analyze factual material;
Identify the legal context in which factual issues arise;
Identify sources for investigating relevant facts;
Analyse a clients instructions and be able to identify the legal, factual
and other issues presented;
Present the result of research in a clear, useful and reliable form.
Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
The use of primary and secondary texts;
The methods of locating cases and statutes;
The use of treatises, periodicals, digests, and standard
practitioner texts;
The use of indexes and citators;
The use of computerized research tools.
Process of finding the laws, rules and regulations that govern activities in
human society.
Investigation for information necessary to support legal decision making.
Process, begins with analyzing the facts of a problem and concludes with
applying and communicating the results of the investigation.
To ascertain the legal consequence of a specific set of actual or potential
To provide competent representation.
Printed and electronic sources
The Three-Stage Model for Legal Research
1. Research Planning
a. Fact collection;
b. Legal knowledge
c. Problem identification;
d. Legal analysis;
e. Fact analysis;
f. Further fact collection;
g. Identification of avenues of research;
h. Generation of key search words

Research Implementation
Identification of problem(s) resolution;
Identification of relevant source materials;
Location of source materials;
Effective use of source materials;
Analysis of research findings;
Application of findings to problem(s);
Identification of further problems

3. Research Presentation
a. Identification of the recipients needs or requirements;
b. Selection of appropriate format, for example, letter, memorandum, report,
c. Use of clear and succinct language;
d. Use of appropriate language style, for example, informatory, advisory,
recommendatory, demanding.
Characteristics of Legal Material
Primary Sources

Recorded authoritative statements of legal rules by governmental

institutions to be enforced by the State. Most can be found in statutes
passed by the legislature, regulations and rulings of administrative
agencies and decisions of appellate court.
They are subdivided into:
Mandatory Authority, and
Authority that a given court is bound to follow.
conventions and treaties, judicial decisions, administrative
rules and regulations, ordinances and court rules.
Persuasive Authority
Law or reasoning which a given court may, but is not
bound to follow.
Case containing excellent analysis and may provide
guidance for the court.
Maybe because of cogency of its reasoning, the high
standing of the court deciding it, or the eminence of its
Like opinions of heads of administrative agencies, other
foreign judicial opinions having a significant effect on our
Secondary Materials
Materials which are not primary but annotate, discuss or analyze legal
Varying in purpose and quality depending on the prestige of their
authors or the quality of their scholarship.
Can assist in analyzing a problem and their footnotes provide
references to primary sources and other secondary materials.
Restatements of Law, Looseleaf Services, Legal Encyclopedias,
Hornbooks, Practice Manuals, Form-Books, Annotations, Case Digests,
Treatises and Textbooks, Bar Reviewers, Legal Periodicals, Legal
Finding Tools
Means to locate primary sources.
Necessary because of the growing mass of information available.

Indexes to reported cases, provides brief unconnected statements of
court holdings on points of law which are arranged by subject.
Reprint of headnotes found in the case reports.
Research aids which provide notational information on the status of a
particular case law or the current status of a statute.
Can be used to find other decisions similar to or dependent upon the
case under consideration.
Alphabetical lists of important words and concepts covered in a book, a
set of books or research sources that assists the researcher in locating
the primary or secondary sources.
Information about lawyers, law firms, etc
Alphabetical listings of case names or statutes with references to the
law reports or publications where the cases or law can be located.
Opinions of Legal Experts and Other State and Foreign Sources.



Treaties and International Agreements

Statutes Enacted by the Legislature
Administrative Rules and Regulations
Rules of Court

Former constitutions of the Philippines:

The 1986 Freedom Constitution: promulgated by Presidential Proclamation,
March 25, 1986.
The 1973 Constitution: as Amended in October 16-17, 1976, on January 30,
1980, and April 7, 1981.
The 1973 Constitution: draft presented to President Marcos by the 1971
Constitutional Convention on December 1, 1972; deemed ratified by Citizens
Assemblies held from January 10 to 15, 1973, proclaimed in force by
Proclamation by President Marcos, January 17, 1973.
The 1943 Constitution: as approved by the Preparatory Committee on
Philippine Independence, September 4, 1943 and ratified by the KALIBAPI
Convention, September 7, 1943.
The 1935 Constitution: as amended on June 18, 1940, and on March 11,
The 1935 Constitution: as approved by the 1934 Constitutional Convention on
February 8, 1935, certified by the President of the United States on March 25,
1935, and ratified by plebiscite on May 14, 1935.
The Jones Law of 1916: enacted into law by the United States Congress on
August 29, 1916.
The Philippine Organic Act of 1902: enacted into law by the United States
Congress on July 1, 1902
The 1899 Malolos Constitution: approved by the Malolos Congress on
November 29, 1898, draft returned by President Aguinaldo on December 1,
1898 for amendments, which the Congress refused; approved by President
Aguinaldo on December 23, 1898; formally adopted by the Malolos Congress
on January 20, 1899, promulgated by President Emilio Aguinaldo on January
21, 1899.


1935 Constitution.
The discussions of the provisions of 1935 Constitution can be located in the
following sources:
Feb. 8, 1935. 11 V. ( House of Representative, 1965)
- V. Francisco (ed.). Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the
Philippines. 5v. (1961-65).
- Philippine Lawyers Association. THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION;
- G.A. Malcolm, Philippine Constitutional Law (1946)
- V.G. Sinco, Philippine Political Law (11th Ed., 1962)
- L.M. Tanada & E.M. Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines Annotated.
1947. 2 v.

1973 Constitution
There are no records of the 1971 Constitutional Convention because of
the imposition of martial law.

However, the University of Philippines Law Library collected the papers

of twenty Constitutional Convention delegates, the most complete
papers of which belong to Dr. Augusto Caesar Espiritu.
Known as Con-Con Archives
Among the notable books on the 1973 Constitution:
J.G. Bernas, S.J. , The 1973 Constitution Notes and Cases 2v. (1983).
E.M. Fernando, The Constitution of the Philippines, 2d. Ed. (1977).
L.M. Taada & Carreon, Political Law of the Philippines. 2v.
H.S. De Leon and E.M.S. Lugue, Textbook on the New Constitution (1982).

1987 Constitution
Discussions on the Provisions of the 1987 Constitution are found in the fivevolume Records of the Constitutional Commission and its three volume
House of Representatives, Index of the Journal of the Constitutional
Commission, prepared by the Office of the Secretary General Special Task
Force published in April 2003.
Background information: The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines,
Draft proposal of the 1986 U.P. Law Constitutional Project submitted to the
constitutional Commission on June 5, 1986 in 2 volumes.
Commentaries and interpretations on the 1987 Constitution are:
o Joaquin Bernas, commentary on 1987 Constitution
o Isagani Cruz. Constitutional law (2003)
o Hector de Leon. Philippine Constitutional Law (2003-2004) 2v.
o Ambrosio B. Padilla, The 1987 Constitution, With Comments and Cases. 2v.
o Vicente V. Mendoza, Judicial Review of Constitutional Questions; Cases and
Materials. 360p. (2002)


Treaties- are pacts between two or more sovereign nations.
If the treaty is between two nations, it is called a bilateral agreement.
While a treaty between three or more nations is a multilateral agreement.
The official text of treaties entered into by the Philippines is published in the
Official Gazette (O.G.).
Treaties entered into by the Philippines are registered with the U.N. Secretary
and Published in the United Nations Treaty Series.
Statutes proper is a term to designate legislation enacted by national
legislature in the ordinary course of law-making.
4,275 Laws- the Phil. Commission and the Phil. Legislature (19001935).
733 Statutes- Commonwealth Period.
6635 R.A.s July 4, 1946-Sept. 21, 1972.
2035 P.D.s President from 1972-Feb 2, 1986.
891 batas Patasang Pambansa from July 23, 1984-Feb. 1, 1986.
302 E.O.s President Aquino under the Freedom Constitution.
+3510 more R.A by Congress to date.
18,381 statute since 1900.
Published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
Laws are also published since 1946 by the Government Printing Office in the
multi-volume set, Laws and Resolution.
Another official Source is the Philippine Permanent and General Statutes
published by the UP law Center in seven (7) volumes.
Secondary Sources:
Vital Legal Documents published by Central Lawbook Company
CD-ROMS of Lex Libris
Access law
Legislative History

Index to the annual Congressional Record or Congressional Journal, or

the History of Bills and Resolutions of either the HR or Senate.
Look for the original number of the House or Senate Bill at the Laws and
Resolutions volume or the Official Gazette.

Administrative Rules and Regulations

o An administrative regulation is a subsidiary law designed to explain or carry
out the details of statutes that govern an administrative agency.
o Rule- agency statement of the general applicability that implements or
interprets a law, fixes and describes procedures in, or practice requirements
of an agency, including its regulations; including memoranda or statements
concerning the internal administration or management of an agency not
affecting the rights of, or procedure available to the public.
o agency means any department, bureau, office, commission, authority, or
officer of the National Government authorized by law or executive order to
make rules, issue licenses, grant rights or privileges, occupation or business,
and officials in the exercise of disciplinary power as provided by law within
the framework of its authority, each agency issues regulations which when
properly published in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation
have the force and effect of law.
o Administrative Code of 1987 (Nov. 23, 1989)- each rule as provided in Section
4, Book VII of the Code shall become effective fifteen (15) days from the date
of filing with the University of the Philippines Law Center unless a different
fixed by law, or specified in the rule in cases of imminent danger to public
health, safety and welfare, the existence of which must be expressed in a
statement accompanying the Rule.
o Rules establishing an offense or defining an act which pursuant to law is
punishable as a crime or subject to a penalty shall, in all cases, be published
in full text.
o Filed with UP Law Center:
o Statements of general applicability which implement or interpret law;
o Statements of general applicability which fix and describe the
procedure in, or practice requirements of an agency;
o Amendments or repeal of any prior rule;
o Regulations affecting private rights, privilege, occupation, or business;
o Administrative disciplinary action and the governing rules of procedure.
o Need not be filed:
o Those which are interpretative regulations and those merely internal in
nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative
agency and not the public;
o Instructions on the case studies made in petitions for adoption;
o Rules laid down by the head of a government agency on the
assignments or workload of his personnel or the wearing of uniforms;
o Rules and regulations affecting only a particular or specific sector and
circularized to them;
o Instructions by administrative supervisors concerning the rules and
guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of
their duties;
o Memoranda or statements concerning the internal administration or
management of an agency not affecting the rights of, or procedure
available to, the public;
o Memoranda or circulars merely disseminating any law, executive order,
proclamation and issuances of other government agencies.
o The National Administrative Register (NAR) a quarterly bulletin setting forth
the text of rules duly filed together with a complete index and appropriate
o UP Law Center
o Department of Justice Rules and Regulations (2003)
o Rules of Procedure of Administrative Agencies (2003-2006), fourvolume


Unless otherwise stated in the ordinance or resolution approving the local
ordinances shall take effect after ten (10) days from the date a copy thereof
is posted in a bulletin board at the entrance of the PROVINCIAL CAPITOL,
CITY, MUNICIPALITY OR BRGY. HALL as the case may be and in at least two (2)
other conspicuous places in the local government unit concerned.
Rules of Court
The Rules of Court govern the pleading, practice and procedure before all
courts in the Philippines. These Rules consists of five major parts dealing with
Civil actions, special proceedings, Criminal procedure, evidence and legal
CASE LAW simply means court opinions.
The second major category of primary sources of law in the Philippines after
the statutes.
It is divided into two categories:
CONVENTIONAL DECISIONS- which are enforce all rulings rendered by
regularly or specially constituted courts of justice
SUBORDINATE DECISIONS- which include all the rulings made by
administrative and legislative tribunals.
The Doctrine of Precedent
Decided cases are usually considered to be the primary source of law. Hence,
past judicial decisions are generally binding for the disposition of factually
similar present controversies.
Art. 8, NCC
Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws of the
Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines
Stare Decisis and Res Judicata
Stare Decisis literally means, the stand on what has been decided, is the
principle that the decisions of a court is a binding authority on the court that
issued the decisions and on lower courts for the disposition of factually
similar controversies.
Effects of Supreme Court Decisions:
Res Judicata as an authoritative settlement of the particular
controversy before it; and
Stare Decisis as a precedent for future cases.
Reversal and Overruling
Reversal- setting aside of the lower courts judgment.
Overrule one of the Supreme Courts past decision, the conclusiveness of
the earlier decision as a settlement of its particular controversy is not
affected but the overruled decision is no longer an authoritative precedent for
other cases that might arise in the future.
Ratio Decidendi and Obiter Dictum
Ratio decidendi
The holding of the principle of law on which a case is decided.
Sets the precedent and is binding on courts in the future.
Considered in conjunction with their facts of the case.
Obiter dictum
Language in a decision that is not necessary to the decision.
to say, said by the way
Not binding on future cases but might be persuasive.
Binding and Persuasive Authority

Case law authority is divided into:

Binding or mandatory
Comes from the decisions of the Supreme Court and it is the ratio
decidendi of the case.
Dicta that may have persuasive value specially if it comes from
respected Justices.
Decisions of appellate courts in other jurisdictions.

Form of Decisions
Court decisions are complied chronologically in volumes called case reports.
After the title of a case, there is a syllabus which summarizes the rules of law
enunciated in the case arranged by subject which is prepared by the court
reporter, in consultation with the PONENTE or author of the decision.
By majority vote or unanimous.
May affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the lower courts.
Members who will concur are listed.
Others who agree with the decision but not with the opinion may write a
separate concurring opinion.
Justice who disagrees may dissent, with or without writing an opinion.
Per curiam (by the court)- unsigned
Case Law Materials
Decisions Proper
Supreme Court Decisions
The official text of the Supreme Court decisions are
printed initially as advance decisions or popularly
known as G.R.s (General Registry).
They are available at the OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF
Subsequently, decisions are published in the
Philippine Reports and in the Official Gazette.
The latest Decisions are also available in the
Supreme Court website www.supremecourt.gov.ph
Unofficial secondary sources:
Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) by the
Central Book Store
Lawyers Review
Supreme Court Advaned Decisions (SCAD) by the
Rex Printing Co.
CD ROMS by Lex Libris, Phil Juris etc.
Court of Appeals Decisions
Appellate Court Reports, Vol. 2 (Jan.4-June 30,
Court Appeals, 2d series, Vol. 1 (1961 Decisions) up
to Vol. 25 (1980 Decisions).
Court of Appeals Reports Annotated (CARA), Central
Lawbook Publishing Vol. 1-10 (January 1986-June
Official Gazette
Only one volume, Sandiganbayan Reports
(December 3, 1979 February 29, 1980).
Court of Tax Appeals
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over tax and custom
Official Gazette.
Court of Tax Appeals Digest of Customs and Real
Property Tax Cases, Court of Tax Appeals Digest of
Internal Revenue Code by Colon.
RTC, MeTCs, MTCs and MCTCs

Not been published in official reports or in books of

secondary authority.
Records and decisions are found in the respective
courts themselves.
Subordinate Decisions
Senate Electoral Tribunal and HRET
Administrative Agencies Exercising Quasi-Judicial Powers
Publications of Administrative Agencies Exercising QuasiJudicial Functions
Computerized Legal Research Services