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Torculas, Joyce Liezel Q.

Topic: Sources of International Law; General Principles

Corfu Channel Case

ICJ Reports ; 09 April 1949

On 22 October 1946 in the Corfu Strait, two British destroyers struck mines in Albanian waters and
suffered damage, including serious loss of life. On 22 May 1947, the Government of the United Kingdom
filed an Application instituting proceedings against the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania
seeking a decision to the effect that the Albanian Government was internationally responsible for the
consequences of the incident and must make reparation or pay compensation. Albania, for its part, had
submitted a counter-claim against the United Kingdom for having violated Albanian territorial waters. On
9 April 1949, the Court found that Albania was responsible for the explosions and for the resulting damage
and loss of human life suffered by the United Kingdom. The Court also found that the later minesweeping
by the United Kingdom had violated Albanian sovereignty. On 19 December 1949, the Court ordered
Albania to pay the United Kingdom compensation.

Whether or not Albania is responsible under international law for the explosions.

YES. Albania is responsible under international law for the explosions.

Part one of the “Internationally Wrongful Act of a State” under its general principles “Every
Internationally wrongful act of a State entails the International responsibility of that State.” It states the
basic principle underlying the articles as a whole, which is that a breach of international law by a State
entails its international responsibility.

The Court therefore reached the conclusion that Albania is responsible under international law for the
explosions which occurred in Albanian waters, and for the damage and loss of human life which resulted
from them, and that there is a duty upon Albania to pay compensation to the United Kingdom.

The General Principals of Law recognized by civilized nations form part of the law to be applied by
the permanent forum of family nations, the International Court of Justice. General principles of law
recognized by civilized nations or more appropriate: the community of nations the manifestation of
international law.
Torculas, Joyce Liezel Q. JD 2C
Topic: Doctrine of Incorporation

Poe-Llamanzares vs. COMELEC

G.R. No. 221697; 08 March 2016

Poe filed her COC for the Presidency for the May 2016 Elections. In her COC, the petitioner
declared that she is a natural-born citizen and that she resides in the Philippines for ten (10) years and eleven
(11) months counted. Poe attached to her COC an “Affidavit Affirming Renunciation of U.S.A.
Citizenship”. Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or cancel her candidacy on the ground
particularly, among others, that she cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen since she cannot
prove that her biological parents or either of them were Filipinos, thus, considering her as a foundling. The
COMELEC en banc cancelled her candidacy on the ground that she was in want of citizenship and residence
requirements, and that she committed material misrepresentations in her COC.

Whether or not Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

YES. Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

Foundlings are citizens under international law as this is supported by some treaties, adhering to the
customary rule to presume foundlings as having born of the country in which the foundling is found.

In this case, the Court ruled that a foundling is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines as there is
no restrictive language which would definitely exclude foundlings as they are already impliedly so

Doctrine of Incorporation - Generally accepted principles of international law, by virtue of the
incorporation clause of the Constitution, form part of the laws of the land even if they do not derive from
treaty obligations. Generally accepted principles of international law include international custom as
evidence of a general practice accepted as law, and general principles of law recognized by civilized nations.
International customary rules are accepted as binding as a result from the combination of two elements: the
established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States; and a psychological element known
as the opinion juris sive necessitates (opinion as to law or necessity).
Torculas, Joyce Liezel Q. JD 2C
Topic: Interpretation

Saguisag vs. Ochoa

GR No. 212426; 12 January 2016

Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is an executive agreement between the
Philippines and America wherein it authorizes the U.S. military forces to have access to and conduct
activities within certain "Agreed Locations" in the country. After eight rounds of negotiations for two years,
the Secretary of National Defense and the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines signed the agreement on 28
April 2014. President Benigno S. Aquino III ratified EDCA on 6 June 2014. It was not transmitted to the
Senate on the executive’s understanding that to do so was no longer necessary. Petitioners claim this Court
erred when it ruled that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines
and the US was not a treaty. In connection to this, petitioners move that EDCA must be in the form of a
treaty in order to comply with the constitutional restriction.

Whether or not EDCA is a treaty.

No. EDCA is not a treaty.

The Court ruled that the EDCA is not a treat. The very nature of EDCA, its provisions and subject
matter, indubitably categorize it as an executive agreement – a class of agreement that is not covered by the
Article XVIII Section 25 restriction – in painstaking detail. To partially quote the Decision: Executive
agreements may dispense with the requirement of Senate concurrence because of the legal mandate with
which they are concluded.

Interpretation (Verba Legis Rule) - Under the principles of constitutional construction, of paramount
consideration is the plain meaning of the language expressed in the Constitution, or the verba legis rule. It
is presumed that the provisions have been carefully crafted in order to express the objective it seeks to
attain. It is incumbent upon the Court to refrain from going beyond the plain meaning of the words used in
the Constitution. It is presumed that the framers and the people meant what they said when they said it, and
that this understanding was reflected in the Constitution and understood by the people in the way it was
meant to be understood when the fundamental law was ordained and promulgated.