Constitutional Law 1

Topics: Law, Constitution, Human rights Pages: 15 (3489 words) Published: September 8, 2013
Constitution of the Philippines (Justice Malcolm)
The written instrument enacted by direct action of the people by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, limited and defined, and by which those powers are distributed among the several departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the body politic.

Essential Parts of the Written Constitution

Constitution of Liberty – consists of a series of prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil and political rights of the citizens and imposing limitations on the powers of the government as a means of securing the enjoyment of those rights (Articles II, III, IV, V, and XII)

Constitution of Government – consists a series of provisions outlining the organization of the government, enumerating its powers, laying down certain rules relative to its administration, and defining the electorate (Articles VI to XI)

Constitution of Sovereignty – consists of provisions pointing out the mode or procedure in accordance with which formal changes in the fundamental law may be brought about (Article XVII)


Self-executing provision – a rule that by itself is directly or indirectly applicable without need of statutory implementation

Non-self-executing provision – one that remains dormant unless it is activated by legislative implementation

Gen. Rule – Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the provisions of the constitution should be considered self-executing, as a contrary rule would give the legislature discretion to determine when, or whether, they shall be effective.

Article II – Mainly not-self-executory

Oposa vs. Factoran
-While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that is less important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter.

-Such a right belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation – aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners – the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, xxx

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS
-A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the Constitution is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature

-*Constitutional Supremacy – The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials of the land must confer.

Tanada vs. Angara
-Declaration of Principles Not-Self-Executing – By its very title, article II of the Constitution is a “declaration of principles of state policies” xxx These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws.

Effect of Declaration of Unconstitutionality of a Law

Orthodox View - an unconstitutional act is not...
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