Updated: Jul 4
By: Archiebald Faller Capila
While the Philippine Bar examination in Criminal Law only covers three sub-topics (Book 1 of the Revised Penal Code, Book 2 of the Revised Penal Code, and Special Penal Laws), a candidate must not be deceived by the same. Even though the said exam only comprises three branches, it still covers a lot of topics which include codal provisions and decided cases applicable to them.
In addition, questions in Criminal Law, more often than not, require an examinee to not only be familiar with respective provisions and doctrines but as well as on how to apply them in certain sets of facts and instances.
With which, in order to fully grasp the concepts under Criminal Law, one must choose materials which are easy to memorize. Memory-work is vital in criminal law. The application of elements and requisites of a particular crime tops the list of priorities when one will study the said subject.
Among the materials you could use for Criminal Law, in preparation for the Bar exam, are the following:
· Criminal Law Reviewer Volume I and II by Judge Marlo B. Campanilla
· Prosec. Garcia Notes
Criminal Law Reviewer Volume I and II by Judge Marlo B. Campanilla
Judge Campanilla is one of the most sought-after bar reviewers in the country. His claim to fame is his know-how in the application of legal concepts in criminal law.
Whether the question is from the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws, Judge Campanilla has a way of answering the same in a manner that students would remember. Accordingly, his methods in teaching are reflected as well in his books, particularly that of the Criminal Law Reviewer, Volume I and II.
Aside from mere enumeration of the law’s basic elements and requisites, Judge Campanilla dissects these components into simpler terms for one’s understanding. With such a method, a reader would not only be able to understand any underlying concept but may unconsciously memorize them as well. In addition, up-to-date special laws, revisions, and legal doctrines arising from recently decided cases are also present in these reviewers—concepts that some reading materials lack.
Difficult questions of law as well as complex doctrines related to this subject are carefully presented in a simple and plain manner. It makes the reviewers easy to read and comprehend—useful not only to all bar candidates but to students taking up review classes as well.
Prosec. Garcia Notes
Popular to the majority of students within the University Belt, Prosec. Garcia Notes serves as one of the most reliable reviewers out there in Criminal Law. This resource includes the transcribed lectures of Prosecutor Garcia who teaches criminal law around the Metro and serves as a bar reviewer for different law centers as well.
Basically, the notes present a rigid yet simple explanation of codal provisions and related doctrines. Aside from enumerating the different requisites in a manner best understood, the notes also offer several hypothetical questions.
Because these are transcribed lectures, the points made are direct to the point and easy to understand. Only landmark cases are included as well, which makes the notes easy to understand and memorize. Accordingly, these cases are presented not in a ‘case digest’ manner. The elements of each respective case are broken into parts.
First, a question containing the facts is asked which will then be followed by a string of sub-questions. Here, the sub-questions are not only from the actual case from which the question was lifted. These sub-questions include other doctrines from other cases which may in fact be related to what was recently asked. With which, candidates using these notes will be able to correlate criminal law concepts in a manner that is broad yet understandable at the same time. More importantly, being transcribed lectures, the Prosec. Garcia notes always stay up-to-date whenever there are changes, revisions, or updates pertaining to laws and doctrines in criminal law.
To be able to master criminal law, one must have materials that are crafted for understanding and memorization. Given the length of the circumstances presented in Book 1, all the crimes presented in Book 2, and all important factors in every special penal law there is, it is a must to have the reviewers which would fit the criteria of being effective and simple at the same time.