ABCs of Political Law

Updated: Jul 4

Compiled by: Archiebald Faller Capila


Barrista Solutions lists important terms in Political Law. This will help Bar Reviewees memorize key concepts in the subject.




1. ACT OF STATE DOCTRINE


· The act of state doctrine is one of the methods by which States prevent their national courts from deciding disputes which relate to the internal affairs of another State, the other two being immunity and non-justiciability.


2. ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY


· An actual case or controversy is one that involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot or academic or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a court of justice.






3. AD INTERIM APPOINTMENT


· It is an appointment made by the President while Congress is not in session or during recess.


4. ADMINISTRATIVE RES JUDICATA


· It refers to the rule which forbids the reopening of a matter once judicially determined by competent authority applies as well to the judicial and quasi-judicial facts of public, executive or administrative officers and boards acting within their jurisdiction as to the judgments of courts having general judicial powers. It has been declared that whenever final adjudication of persons invested with power to decide on the property and rights of the citizen is cognizable by the Supreme Court, upon a writ of error or a certiorari, such final adjudication may be pleaded as res judicata.


5. AMENDMENT


· Amendment of the Constitution, on the other hand, envisages a change or only a few specific provisions. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the entire constitution or of considering that possibility. The intention rather is to improve specific parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete, or dangerous, or misleading in their effect.


6. BELLIGERENT OCCUPATION


· The international law of belligerent occupation must therefore be understood as meaning that the occupying power exercises provisional and temporary control over foreign territory. It follows from this that measures taken by the occupying authorities should avoid far-reaching changes in the existing order.


7. DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES


· The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies states that one should avail all the means of administrative processes provided by law before seeking the intervention of the court. This is applied in the exercise of quasi-judicial power of administrative agency.


8. DOCTRINE OF INCORPORATION


· The Doctrine of Incorporation, as expressed in Section 2, Article II of the Constitution, provides that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law and international jurisprudence as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, cooperation, and amity with all nations.





9. DOCTRINE OF INDELIBLE ALLEGIANCE


· The doctrine that an individual may be compelled to retain his original nationality notwithstanding that he has already renounced or forfeited it under the laws of the 2nd state whose nationality he has acquired.


10. DOCTRINE OF NECESSARY IMPLICATION


· The doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as much a part thereof as that which is expressed. Every statute is understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms.


11. DOCTRINE OF PRIOR RESORT


· When a claim originally cognizable in the courts involves issues which, under a regulatory scheme are within the special competence of an administrative agency, judicial proceedings will be suspended pending the referral of these issues to the administrative body for its view.


12. DOCTRINE OF QUALIFIED POLITICAL AGENCY


· The doctrine of qualified political agency essentially postulates that the heads of the various executive departments are the alter egos of the President, and, thus, the actions taken by such heads in the performance of their official duties are deemed the acts of the President unless the President himself should disapprove such acts.


13. DOCTRINE OF TRANSFORMATION


· The doctrine requires that an international law principle be transformed into domestic law through a constitutional mechanism, such as local legislation. The transformation theory is applied in the Philippines through treaty-making power of the President. Through this power, rules and principles embodied in a treaty in force would be transformed into Philippine Law and shall become valid and effective upon the concurrence of 2/3 of all members of the Senate.


14. DOUBLE JEOPARDY


· The rule on double jeopardy means that when a person is charged with an offense and the case is terminated either by conviction or acquittal, or in any other manner without the consent of the accused, the latter cannot again be charged with the same or identical offense.


15. EMINENT DOMAIN


· The government has the inherent power of eminent domain, defined as the right of a nation or sovereign state to take or authorize the taking of private property for public use, without the owner's consent, subject to payment of just compensation.


16. EQUIPOISE DOCTRINE


· The "equipoise doctrine" is the rule which states that when the evidence of the prosecution and the defense are so evenly balanced the appreciation of such evidence calls for tilting of the scales in favor of the accused.






17. EXCLUSIONARY PRINCIPLE (FRUIT OF THE POISONOUS TREE)


· The Exclusionary Rule Principle mandates that evidence obtained from an illegal arrest, unreasonable search or coercive investigation, or in violation of a particular law, must be excluded from the trial and will not be admitted as evidence.


18. EXECUTIVE IMPOUNDMENT


· It refers to the refusal of the President, for whatever reason, to release funds appropriated by Congress. It is the failure to spend or obligate budget authority of any type.


19. EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE


· The power of the government to withhold information from the public, the courts, and the Congress.


20. FACIAL CHALLENGE


· A facial challenge is a challenge to a statute in which the plaintiff alleges that the legislation is always unconstitutional, and therefore void. It is contrasted with an as-applied challenge, which alleges that a particular application of a statute is unconstitutional.


21. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION


· Grave abuse of discretion has been defined as a "capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment that is patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law."


22. HEARSAY EVIDENCE


· Hearsay evidence is defined as "evidence not of what the witness knows himself but of what he has heard from others." The hearsay rule bars the testimony of a witness who merely recites what someone else has told him, whether orally or in writing.


23. HECKLER’S VETO


· Heckler's veto is a form of curtailment of one's freedom of expression. In the free speech context, a heckler's veto is either of two situations in which a person who disagrees with a speaker's message is able to unilaterally trigger events that result in the speaker being silenced.


24. HIERARCHY OF RIGHTS


· Under the doctrine of Hierarchy of Rights, even if the three areas are protected by the Constitution, nonetheless, not all rights are created equal. Under this doctrine, property rights rank lower than civil liberties and political freedoms.






25. INQUIRIES IN AID OF LEGISLATION


· The phrase "inquiries in aid of legislation" refers to inquiries to aid the enactment of laws, inquiries to aid in overseeing the implementation of laws, and even inquiries to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in executive departments.


26. INVERSE CONDEMNATION


· A taking of property by inverse condemnation occurs when the government acquires or appropriates private property without following eminent domain procedures and without paying just compensation.


27. JUDICIAL POWER


· Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.


28. JUS POSTLIMINIUM


· When a foreign power occupies a state and exercises the powers of government, the political laws of the said state are deemed automatically suspended but the former government automatically comes to life and will be in force and in effect again upon the re-establishment of the former government.


29. JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY


· A justiciable controversy is a definite and concrete dispute touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests, which may be resolved by a court of law through the application of a law.


30. LEGAL STANDING OR LOCUS STANDI


· Legal standing" or locus standi has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged.






31. LEGISLATIVE VETO


· The legislative veto, as a practical matter, allows Congress to prevent a countervailing attempt by the executive branch to implement a law in a manner contrary to the legislative intent. Congress can override the veto via a two-thirds vote with both houses voting separately, after which the bill becomes law.


32. LIFEBLOOD THEORY


· The lifeblood theory constitutes the theory of taxation, which provides that the existence of government is a necessity; that government cannot continue without means to pay its expenses; and that for these means it has a right to compel its citizens and property within its limits to contribute.


33. LIS MOTA


· Lis mota is a Latin term meaning the cause or motivation of a legal action or lawsuit. The literal translation is "litigation moved".


34. MINISTERIAL ACT


· A purely ministerial act or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority, without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done.


35. MOOT AND ACADEMIC QUESTIONS


· An issue or a case becomes moot and academic when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy so that a determination thereof would be without practical use and value. In such cases, there is no actual substantial relief to which the petitioner would be entitled to and which would be negated by the dismissal of the petition.


36. NATIONAL TERRITORY


· The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.






37. NATURALIZATION


· It is the process by which a foreigner acquires voluntarily or by operation of law, the citizenship of another state.


38. OPEN COURT DOCTRINE


· Civilians cannot be tried by military courts if the civil courts are open and functioning.


39. PARENS PATRIAE DOCTRINE


· Parens patriae refers to the public policy power of the State to intervene against an abusive or negligent parent, legal guardian, or informal custodian, and to act as the parent of any child or individual who is in need of protection. On the other hand, in the juvenile justice legal system, parens patriae allows the State to step in and serve as guardian for children, the mentally-ill, the incompetent, the elderly or disabled persons who are unable to care for themselves.






40. POLICE POWER


· Police power is the plenary power vested in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution, for the good and welfare of the people.


41. POLITICAL QUESTION


· Political questions refer "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of government."


42. PRINCIPLE OF AUTO-LIMITATION


· The principle of auto-limitation of sovereignty emphasizes a situation wherein the state through the legislature imposes self-limitation on the exercise of its power out of respect for the relations that it created.


43. PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION


· A privileged communication is one made bona fide upon any subject matter in which the party communicating has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty.


44. QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER


· Quasi-judicial power refers to the authority to hear and decide on cases in the performance of duty and to enforce its decisions according to the law; the function of adjudication.


45. REGALIAN DOCTRINE


· It is a legal principle that holds that all natural wealth – agricultural, forest, timber and mineral lands of the Public Domain and all other natural resources belong to the State.






46. REVISION


· Revision is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. It may result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution, or the greater portion of it, or perhaps some of its important provisions. But whatever results the revision may produce, the factor that characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the Constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one.


47. TAXATION


· The power by which the sovereign, through its law-making body, raises revenue to defray the necessary expenses of the government.


48. THREE STRIKE RULE


· A nomination or appointment which has been bypassed 3 times shall be reported out by the standing committee concerned to the commission for its appropriate action in the next plenary session. Under this rule, nominees can only be bypassed 3 times; after which, the Commission on Appointment should vote on the approval or rejection of the nominee. If rejected, the President should no longer reappoint the official.


49. VOID-FOR-VAGUENESS DOCTRINE


· The void-for-vagueness doctrine holds that a law is facially invalid if men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.


50. WRIT OF AMPARO


· The Petition for a Writ of Amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.