Available Balance
What Do You Mean By The Term “Burden Of Proof”?
pilosopotasyo

   There is the basic legal maxim in Latin which says, “Allegata et probanda” which translated in English means “he who alleges must prove”.

The said statement assumes more importance particularly in the trial of any case in court, whether the case is civil case, criminal case or any other type of proceedings in court such as special proceedings or special civil action or other type of hearing.

It is but proper that the complainant has this burden or duty to prove all of his or her allegation in the complaint since the plaintiff is the one who initiate or begins the case in court.

In other words since the complainant is the one who invoke the aid of the court it is the duty of the plaintiff to come forward and to present all of the available evidence, whether this kind of evidence is thru the testimony of the witnesses in court or through some documents or object as the case maybe.

Secondly, the party who’s going to lose in the case is always the plaintiff since the case will for sure will be dismissed in the event of lack of proof or due to insufficiency of evidence on the plaintiff’s part.

The same is true with regards to criminal cases where the burden of proof is always on the part of the prosecution since it is always the duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt because the accused is always presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.

The rule on burden of proof is a very practical and common sense way of knowing who has the duty or obligation between the parties to any given case.

It must be noted that the rule with regards to the burden of proof differs between a civil cases and a criminal cases.

In civil cases, the burden of proof is always on the part of the plaintiff and the quantum of proof required is preponderance of evidence. While with regards to criminal cases the kind of proof required is proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not necessarily mean a 100% absolute certainty that a given accused has committed the crime or crimes. What is needed is simply moral certainty.

However in administrative cases or proceedings the burden of proof is also on the part of the complainant. However the quantum of evidence required in any  administrative cases is merely substantial evidence.

These basic concept of the burden of proof as part of procedural or remedial law comes in handy during the course of the trial and more importantly during the drafting of any decision with regards to the outcome of the case.

For in the final analysis, the ability to discharge this burden of proof in any given case, whether civil case or criminal case will determine either the victory or defeat of any party to the case.

That’s maybe the reason why the symbol of justice is that of the scale: to weight both the facts and the law and where the tip of the scale of justice lies.

The Importance Of The Criminal Justice System
pilosopotasyo

   There is no doubt that it is the duty and obligation of any State, government or society to combat, suppress , fight and enforce the full force of the law in connection and against the rising tides of crimes and criminality.

In the modern world the issue of crime and criminality is among the most important concerns. Take for example cyber-crime, international terrorism, drug and drug addiction, human trafficking and prostitution, child abuse and all other litany of crimes that one could ever think of.

That’s why there is a necessity to make the Criminal Justice System of any country works effectively so that there will be Law and Order not only domestically but as well as internationally.

If all the country in the world will not be able to fight the constant threat and menace of crimes then the world will be a hostage for these international syndicates.

 

The 5 Pillars Of The Criminal Justice System

   For any campaign against crimes to be effective there must be a coordination and cooperation between the 5 Pillars of any Criminal Justice System, namely: 1. Law Enforcement; 2. Prosecution; 3. The Court; 4. Probation and the Correction or Jail System; and 5. The Public.

As can be seen from the 5 Pillars of the Criminal Justice System, the first in the frontline is Law enforcement composed by the police and other law enforcement agency. Those apprehended for violating the law must be duly charged and prosecuted by the Prosecution so that the criminal guilt in court could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, effective and vigorous prosecution in court is needed.

The Court on its part must see to it that the guilty are always punished and that the proper penalty always imposed to the full force and extent of the law. While the Probation and the Penal System could greatly help if these convicted felons or criminals could have a chance for reformation so that any possibility of re-offending might be prevented.

The Public in general has also a role to play. The public must always be alert and conscious concerning its surroundings so that the incident of any crimes for taking place could be thwarted or prevented.

If we want a better place to live in, one that is free from crime and a safer place to be then we need to have a certain level of awareness or consciousness on how we could contribute to any crime prevention measures or on how could we properly report any crime or crimes that we witnessed by inviting the attention of the proper authorities without of course any detriment to ourselves in so doing.

The importance of this level of awareness with regards to crime consciousness and crime prevention assumes more importance with the occurrence of the recent terrorist attack in the Paris Orly Airport and the terrorist attack in London.

All things consider, we should and we must not allow any such incident to happen again—we must be alert at all times!
 

What Do You Mean By The Rule Of Law?
pilosopotasyo

One of the most laudable and praise-worthy legal principles is the Rule of Law in society.  What do you mean exactly by the word or term “Rule of Law”?

In any modern society the “law of force” or the “law of the jungle” has no place whatsoever. Gone are the days when might makes right or a person could be a law unto himself.

No society could ever exist in any modern society without any kind of order. This order in society could only be made possible through the existence of law duly passed by the competent body or the Congress or Parliament as the case maybe.

Without any semblance of law and order there would be chaos and anarchy and in such a situation it will for sure will lead to the destruction or annihilation of society itself.

The Rule of Law simply means that from the highest official of the country down to the lowliest person within its territory everyone must bow to the majesty of the law.

It also implies legal equality or equality before the law regardless of your race, color, religion, educational attainment, or socio-economic status. If the rule will be otherwise, then the power of reason will no longer exists in any given society and this will eventually lead to lawlessness.

Further, the modern concept of Rule of Law is a means or form of social control directed to everyone who is a member or who is part of any society.

It has been said that man apart from the law is the worst of animal. This statement may be true indeed with regards to those terrorist organization, organized crimes or gangs that does not respect or recognized no law except the law of force.

The Rule of Law is the triumph of reason over force. It is the victory of humanity over bestiality. It is the only way by which the International order may be preserve.

There is no society in the modern world that did not believe nor do not advocate the Rule of Law as part of its guiding principles.

Look for example the principles upon which the United Nations as an organization is founded. No doubt with all of its numerous, international convention, treaties, agreement and protocol it firmly believes and advocate in the concept of the Rule of Law.

Among the Community of Nations or the International Community the concept of the Rule of Law is always in the forefront. The United Nation Charter is a clear and concrete example of the adherence to the concept of the Rule of Law.

Without the observance of the concept of the International Rule of Law with regards to the international relationship of one country with regards to another country or with respect to one State toward another State then the possibility and probability of war will always be there among country, nation or State.

What is then the end of the Rule of Law?

The answer is basic and simple: Justice.

 

 

What Do You Mean By Judicial Trial?
pilosopotasyo

We often see on TV or on film or movies a court trial for any crimes that may have been committed. There is the judge, the jury, the prosecution, the defense counsel, the accused and the family of the victim.

You may ask the question what is a judicial trial. Why there is a need for a trial?

The modern judicial trial is part of any modern judicial system ever devised by man as part of the government machinery.

Judicial trial is part of the judicial system in the exercise of its judicial power to hear and decide cases, whether it is civil case or criminal case or any other type or kind of proceedings.

The primary purpose of any judicial trial is to know the truth—judicial truth. Those truths that are establish or proven in any court of law by the presentation of evidence and weighing these facts in the light of the interpretation or application of the applicable laws in any given set of fact or facts.

Usually a judicial trial is governed by the Rules of Court, which are the rules developed by the Court in its long experience of trying any cases.

Our modern system of judicial trial is said to be adversarial in nature. It simply means that ordinarily, in any given case there are always two or more parties either the complainant or the plaintiff and the defendant or the accused.

Each one of these party to the case or controversy must come forward to the court for purposes of presenting their own evidence in order to prove the allegation in the complaint or information.

That is the very purpose of any judicial trial to determine the facts of the case by the respective evidence presented by the parties in court. It is only through evidence duly presented in court that one may prove all of his or her allegation.

In the trial of civil cases the burden of proof or the duty to prove the allegations in the complaint is of course on the part of the plaintiff. If the plaintiff will not be able to prove his or her allegation in the complaint, then for sure the case will be dismissed in court for lack of merit.

The same is true with regards to criminal cases. If the prosecution fails to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt then by all means, the accused is always entitled to an acquittal.

You must always remember that a judicial trial is a formal type of trial since there are rules to be observed and followed as mentioned in the Rules of Court.

The specific or particular Rules of Court may vary from one country to another country or from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction.

Moreover, a judicial trial in court is a formal type of trial where the utmost respect and solemnity is strictly observed and enforce inside the court room.

This is part of the long standing judicial history and protocol. (to be continue)
 

 

 

The Importance Of Judicial Power In Society
pilosopotasyo

   In every modern democratic society the power of government is always classified and divided into: executive power, legislative power and judicial power.

The executive power is the power to enforce or execute existing laws. The legislative power is the power to make, amend, alter or pass laws. Finally, judicial power is the power to interpret and apply the law by settling actual case or controversy.

In any tripartite system of government the executive power is exercise by the Executive Department; the legislative power is exercise by the Congress or Parliament; and the judicial power is exercise by the Court.

Such division of powers is known as the principles of separation of powers. This is a very wise and practical arrangement in order to prevent the too much concentration of governmental powers in the hands of one department to the damage, detriment and prejudice of the people themselves if not the very destruction of the society itself.

This separation and allocation of powers is usually embodied and stated through the express provisions of any written constitution so that one department of the government cannot usurp the power given to the other branches of the government.

The Court As Repository Of Judicial Power

   As already mentioned the judicial power in any society is given to the Court. From the low level court or lower court to the Court of Appeal up to the Supreme Court the structure of the judicial system is clearly delineated.

Thus the power to hear and decide actual case or controversy is within the exclusive power of the court to exercise. The same cannot be exercise by the executive department or by the law making body.

In every modern judicial system there is the concept of system of court hierarchy. The function of the lower court is to try or to hear and decide cases whether that case is civil case, criminal case or special proceedings or special civil action or any other type of cases.

Usually the power of any given court in the court hierarchy or structure in the judicial system to hear and decide cases is always based upon its jurisdiction which is always granted or given law.

In other words, there must be an existing law defining or enumerating therein all the type or cases which a given court may hear and decide, which is technically called jurisdiction.

If a court has no power to hear and decide a particular case or controversy then any decision that the court may issue in connection with that case will be null and void and without any legal force and effect.

Usually it is the lower court that hear and try all the cases, whether civil or criminal case and decide that case based upon the evidence presented during the course of trial in court.

If any party to a litigation is not satisfy or happy with any decision or judgment of the court, then it may elevate or appeal the case to the Court of Appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court, which is said to be the court of last resort since it has the last say on any given case or controversy. (to be continue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is The Bill of Rights?
pilosopotasyo

In almost any democratic, republican and free society there is the concept or idea of the Bill of Rights.

When we hear or read the word “bill of rights”, what comes to mind is the Bill of Rights in the Constitution or the American Constitution. Almost every country that has a constitution, particularly a written constitution in contrast with the unwritten constitution has this concept of bill of rights embodied or is part of that very Constitution of that country.

Now every written constitution of any country has three (3) basic parts, namely: a.) constitution of sovereignty; b.) constitution of rights; and c.) constitution of government.

The constitution of sovereignty is that part of the constitution which concerns about the freedom and independence of the people that is ordaining or promulgating the constitution from outside or external control.

The constitution of rights is the part of any written constitution which recognized and guaranteed all the people’s rights against government abuse, control or unwarranted interference.

And finally, the constitution of government is that part of the constitution which concern on how the people what to be govern themselves by establishing or setting up the form or type of government that will best serve and advanced their interest.

Bill Of Rights As Indispensable Part Of Any Written Constitution

   No modern constitution could exist without providing for and recognizing the rights of its people or citizens in the part or portion of its constitution known as the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights as the name implies, are those enumerated rights of the people that already exist even before the making or drafting or the promulgation of any written constitution.

It must be noted and remember that the State or the government did not give or grant these set of rights to the people but rather the State or government merely recognize the existence of these rights, advance and promote this rights.

The people did not owe the Bill of Rights to their government but these Bill of Rights were first and foremost formally embodied or incorporated in the formal document known as the constitution as a check and limitation upon government powers.

Without the existence of the Bill of Rights, the government will become too powerful enough to be legally and constitutionally omnipotent. If there is no constitutional and legal limitation to the power of the government then there is a greater tendency that such particular government will be abusive, oppressive and despotic.

In other words our rights as these are embodied and are formally enumerated in the Bill of Rights are our own very birthright the moment that we are born as a member of any given society.

An analysis of the interplay between governmental powers on the one hand and the rights of the citizens on the other hand is always a conflict between governmental authority and the rights of citizens.

As to whether authority will prevail over rights or those rights will prevail over authority or whether there will be a sense of balance between rights and authority will depend upon so many factors. (to be continue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Mean By Due Process of Law?
pilosopotasyo

Most often than not we hear or hear this term or word “due process of law”, especially in the phrase “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”.

Maybe you may ask what do you mean by the term “due process”? What is due process of law all about?

Every modern society, no matter what form of government it has in place has a Legal System that is being followed by all of the members of that given or particular society in relation to each other. Likewise the government of any society must conform to its own Legal System in its relation and transaction with all the members of that society.

Definition of Due Process Of Law

   A process is something that a person follows from the start until the end of his or her conduct, whether that person is a natural person or a juridical person like the State or government or corporation or company.

In terms of law, it is the very procedure that the law itself commands to be followed in any given or particular situation as a guide to any human action. When we hear or read the term “due process”, what comes to mind is always the “procedural aspect” of the law rather than its substantive aspect.

It has been remark and characterize that due process of law is one that hears before it condemns, one which proceeds from inquiry, and render judgment only after trial.” In other words, no one in society may be deprived of his or her life, liberty or property without observing the proper procedure lay down by the very law itself.

Take not that the three primary subjects which is connected with the term or phrase “due process of law” is no less than the three most important thing which makes one’s existence worth living for: “life”, “liberty” or “property”.

Let us analyze for a moment the two basic component or the twin requirements of due process which are: notice and hearing.

There can be no due process of law without any notice. There can also be no due process without any hearing. In fact, one cannot do without the other. Both the elements of notice and hearing must be observed so that it can be truly said that there is “due process of law”.

The very purpose of due process of law is to know the truth and obtain justice in a case to case and in a situation to situation basis. Its very aim is the elementary and cardinal rule of justice, fair play and to level the playing field.

Common sense and reason tell us that no one is accountable or answerable for anything unless that very person has done or committed that thing.

Elements of Notice And Hearing

The twin requirements of the due process of law as already stated are notice and hearing.

What is “notice” one may ask. The rule on notice and hearing assumes greater importance in any given case or controversy, whether that case or controversy is pending before any court, body, or any administrative tribunal.

Notice simply means to be informed whether verbally or in writing of any complaint or accusation. However, in our modern day, most often than not, notice is almost always needs to be in writing. (to be continue)

 

 

 

What Do You Mean By Law?
pilosopotasyo

We often encounter the word or term “law” in our day to day life. We often hear it in the news, read it in books and newspaper, magazines and other kind of publication.

Law has a daily application in practically every human activities or every aspect of human life that is or may become the subject of any law for that matter. From birth to death and all the things in between these two periods of life, it can be safely said that there is an applicable laws.

In fact, even before one’s birth or at the very moment of one’s conception there is an applicable laws on this point or matter.

We also often hear the word or the statement “it is against the law?”, “is it lawful?” or “do not take the law into your own hands”. From these words we can say that law is indeed inseparable from man. Man is use in this blog in its generic sense which include woman as well.

So one may ask the question, what is law? or how do you define law? or how can you say that a particular human act or act is lawful or unlawful?

Definition of Law

   The field of law as part of the academic subject or a part of human knowledge is very broad. Many legal scholar, jurists, lawyer or academician or social scientist has attempted to define what the law is depending on one’s analysis, perspectives and philosophy with regards to law as an idea or concept.

It its simplest term, law may be define as a rule of conduct promulgated by competent authority for common observance.

From our simple definition we can say that the term law has three main particular elements or components, namely: a.) Law is a rule of conduct; b.) Law is promulgated by competent authority; and c.) Law is for common observance.

In our modern society every members of the society knows and recognize the existence of law. In fact, the very basis of the existence of any State or society or government for that matter is based upon the law.

Law As A Rule Of Conduct

   The primary subject of law is human action or human conduct. That’s why law is characterized in our definition as a “rule of conduct”. A rule is something that we use to measure or that we use as a standard or something that any human conduct must conform.

The term human conduct always involves human actions and when we say human action it includes acts (something that we do) or omission (something that we failed to do). Any acts or omission produce an effect or result in the outside world or the world beyond our self.

So in this sense, law is prescriptive in nature since it prescribes a particular action or conduct that a person must do or observe to serve as a rule for his or her conduct.

If a person perform an act in accordance with the prescribe rule of conduct then it can be said that his or her act is “lawful”, otherwise if his or her conduct is not in accordance with the prescribe rule, then it is said to be “unlawful”. (to be continue)

 

 

Justice Delayed Is Justice Deny: Part 12
pilosopotasyo

   This is another example of unreasonable delay in the disposition of criminal cases covering a period of around 10 years and 2 months and 7 days from the time that the accused Fernando Ranche Havana was arrested by the police authorities on November 4, 2005 for alleged sales of prohibited drugs known as “shabu” until he was finally acquitted by the Supreme Court on January 11, 2016.

Case Of Alleged Illegal Sale Of “Shabu”

Fernando Ranche Havana was arrested for the alleged sales of illegal drugs known as “shabu” on November 4, 2005 by the police authorities and subsequently charged in an Information for “Violation of Section 5, Art. II, of R.A. 9165, otherwise known as “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002”.

When arraigned the accused has entered a plea of not guilty.

After the trial, the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 58 has rendered a decision convicting the accused for illegal sale of drugs “shabu” and imposing upon him the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of 500,000.00 Philippine Pesos.

They appeal their conviction before the Court of Appeal, contending among other things that the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 58 had erred in convicting him since according to the accused the prosecution has failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The Court of Appeal however has sustained the judgment of conviction of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 58 in its entirety per its decision dated May 31, 2010.

Thus, they bring the ruling of the Court of Appeal before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on January 11, 2016, has reverse and set aside the judgment of conviction of the Court of Appeal and acquitted the accused for the crime of “Violation of Sec. 5, Art II, of R.A. 9165” otherwise known as “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” and further order their release from the Bureau of Correction.

Unreasonable Delay In The Disposition Of Criminal Case

   It took almost 2 years and 3 months and 24 days from the time that the accused were arrested on November 4, 2005 until the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 58 has rendered a decision dated February 28, 2007.

On appeal from the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 58 to the Court of Appeal, it took almost 3 years and 3 months and 3 days before the Court of Appeal has ruled on his appeal on May 31, 2010.

From the ruling of the Court of Appeal up to the elevation of the case to the Supreme Court, it took almost 5 years and 7 months and 11 days before the latter court has finally rendered a favorable judgment of acquittal to the accused.

Indeed this is another case of justice delayed is justice deny situation.

How many people accused of criminal case are awaiting the illusive dream of obtaining justice in the near future? Until when must they wait?

Case reference: People of the Philippines vs. Fernando Ranche Havana G.R. No. 198450 http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=/jurisprudence/2016/january2016/198450.pdf

 

 

Justice Delayed Is Justice Deny: Part 11
pilosopotasyo

   This is another example of unreasonable delay in the disposition of criminal cases covering a period of around 12 years and 7 months and 22 days from the time that the accused Enrique Miranda y Pana @ “Erika” and Alvin Alga y Miranda @ “Alvin” were arrested by the police authorities on October 7, 2003 for alleged sales and possession of prohibited drugs known as “shabu” until they were finally acquitted by the Supreme Court on June 29, 2016.

Case Of Alleged Illegal Sale And Possession of “Shabu”

Enrique Miranda and Alvin Alga were arrested for the alleged sales and posession of illegal drugs known as “shabu” on October 7, 2003 by the police authorities and subsequently charged in a two (2) separate Information for “Violation of Section 5 and Section 11, Art. II, of R.A. 9165, otherwise known as “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002”.

When arraigned the two accused has entered a plea of not guilty.

After the trial, the Regional Trial Court of Malolos City Branch 76 has rendered a decision convicting the accused for illegal sale and possession of drugs “shabu” and imposing upon them the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of 500,000.00 Philippine Pesos for sale of drugs and imprisonment from 12 years and 1 day as minimum to 13 year as maximum and a fine of 500,000.00 Philippine Pesos for possession of illegal drugs.

They appeal their conviction before the Court of Appeal, contending among other things that the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City Branch 25 had erred in convicting them since according to the accused the prosecution has failed to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The Court of Appeal however has sustained the judgment of conviction of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos City Branch 76 in its entirety per its decision dated June 27, 2012.

Thus, they bring the ruling of the Court of Appeal before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on June 29, 2016, has reverse and set aside the judgment of conviction of the Court of Appeal and acquitted the accused for the crime of “Violation of Sec. 5 and Sec. 11 Art II, of R.A. 9165” otherwise known as “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” and further order their release from the Bureau of Correction.

Unreasonable Delay In The Disposition Of Criminal Case

   It took almost 6 years and 1 month and 22 days from the time that the accused were arrested on October 7, 2003 until the Regional Trial Court of Malolos City City has rendered a decision dated December 7, 2009.

On appeal from the Regional Trial Court of Malolos City Branch 76 to the Court of Appeal, it took almost 2 years and 6 months and 20 days before the Court of Appeal has ruled on his appeal on June 27, 2012.

From the ruling of the Court of Appeal up to the elevation of the case to the Supreme Court, it took almost 4 years and 2 days before the latter court has finally rendered a favorable judgment of acquittal to the accused.

Indeed this is clear case of justice delayed is justice deny situation.

How many people accused of criminal case are awaiting the illusive dream of obtaining justice in the near future?

Case reference: People of the Philippines vs. Enrique Miranda, Jr y Pana @ “Erika” and Alvin Alga y Miranda @ “Alvin” G.R. No. 215192 http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=/jurisprudence/2016/june2016/206880.pdf