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LEGAL REASONING

David Kairys
Idealized model of legal process based on
notion that there is a legal mode of reasoning
that will lead to the determination of correct
rules, facts, results in cases / particular results
in specific cases
- Essential to legitimizing claim of
government by law (not by people)

STARE DECISIS
- Judicial subservience to precedents
- Restricting domain to law rather than
politics
- Integral to concept of judicial process
- Meaning and importance not fixed or
independent of social, historical events
- Law seen as active promoter of socially
desirable goals and conduct
- Serves a primarily psychological than
functional role
- Our institutional duty is to follow until
changed the law as it now is, not as
some members of the Court might wish
it to be.rationale for turnabout in one
case
o No explanation, elaboration made
- SC never really bound by precedent

HOW DO COURTS DECIDE WHICH
PRECEDENT TO FOLLOW?
- Examples
o Distinguishing precedents

NONE OF THESE CASES WAS OR COULD
BE DECIDED WITHOUT ULTIMATE
REFERENCE TO VALUES AND CHOICES
OF A POLITICAL NATURE
- Cases demonstrate central deception
of traditional jurisprudence
o Majority claims not only the status
of law but also that its judgment
is the product of distinctly legal
reasoning, neutral, objective
application of legal expertise
o Second sentence is false ^
- Law is simply politics by any other
means
- But this does not mean that judicial
values, priorities are unpredictable
- Stare decisis provides and serves to
disguise enormous discretion

SITUATIONS IN WHICH STARE DECISIS
SEEMS TO HAVE CONSIDERABLE
SIGNIFICANCE
1. If one regards it as a decision-
making process and accepts
traditional jurisprudence
2. Decision not to overrule based on
public perception and reaction to a
decision

OBJECTIVITY, EXPERTISE, SCIENCE AS
THE TRANQUILIZERS OF SOCIETY
WHEN JUSTICES FLIP-FLOP
Marites Danguilan Vitug
See last page of article

CHARACTER, CREDIBILITY AND
CONTRADICTION: RAPE LAW AND THE
JUDICIAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE
FILIPINA
Dan Gatmaytan
1. Womens Rights as Human Rights
- Intl law criticized as a thoroughly
gendered system that marginalizes
womens interests
- Women suffer [various] peculiar forms
of violence
- States compelled to end abuses as
they can no longer be ignored as
private matters immune to intervention
- Effective judiciary crucial in protecting
human rights

2. Rape Law in the Philippines
- Collection of contradictions
- Rape presumption of guilt against the
defendant + imposition of standards of
conduct for the Filipina [double
standard]
- Certain characteristics attributed to
Filipinas (good v. bad girls
impression is that the latter cannot be
raped)
- Problem: standards are so high that it is
very easy to fall out of grace

3. Courts and Construction
- Importance, high regard for virginity
- Double standard again: virginity for
females, virility for males

a. The Rules of Rape
- Absent proof of ill-motive on the
part of victim, her testimony is
given full faith and credit as long
as it is clear, convincing
- Certain rules were established: (1)
accusation can be easily made but
may be difficult to defend, (2)
testimony of complainant must be
scrutinized with caution, (3)
evidence of prosecution cannot be
allowed to draw strength from the
weakness of the evidence for the
defense

b. Construing the Filipina
- Assumption that can be gleaned:
(1) there is a typical Filipina, (2)
she has too much to lose in filing
rape case

c. The Social Costs of Filing Rape
Cases
- Making public of the ordeal that
she went through

d. Reacting to Rape
- Court seems to suggest only one
acceptable reaction to rape:
outrage on the part of the victim
- Victims do not always right away
go to the rooftop to denounce
assailants
- Silence should not be construed
against complainant
- Sweetheart defense


4. The Dangers of Defiance
a. The Atypical Filipina
- They could not be raped and are
therefore excluded from the
protection of the law
- Asking for it / loose morals
- Ugly / tomboy

5. Construing Others
a. The Defendant
- Stereotyping men
- Intimidation by wealthy men

b. The Spouse
- Natural reaction of husband would
have been immediate reprisal

c. The Other Members of the Family
- Social costs of filing case affect
credibility of relatives

6. Shunning Stereotypes
- Statistics not conclusive proof that
fitting the stereotypes determines
outcome of rape cases
- Rape case can be decided without
making any reference to a typical
Filipina

7. Conclusion
- SCs definition of typical Filipina is
engraved in its decisions
- Using stereotypes is dangerous
- SC: morals and chastity not elements
of rape
- However, there are contradictions in
the SC decisions

8. Epilogue: Two New Laws
- Anti-Rape Law of 1997 classification
of rape as crime against persons,
marital rape
- Rape Victim Protection and Assistance
Act of 1998 creation of rape crisis
centers, rape shield (evidence of
complainants sexual conduct shall not
be admitted unless such evidence is
material and relevant to the case)