Meaning and Application of Stare Decisis Doctrine

ART. 8 of the Civil code states:

Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines.

This article is the legal anchor of the doctrine of stare decisis in the Philippines.

Ting vs. Velez-Ting (GR 166562)

The principle of stare decisis enjoins adherence by lower courts to doctrinal rules established by this Court in its final decisions. It is based on the principle that once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument. Basically, it is a bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issues, necessary for two simple reasons: economy and stability. In our jurisdiction, the principle is entrenched in Article 8 of the Civil Code.

Ty vs.Banco Filipino (GR 188302)

G.R. No. 137533, as reiterated in G.R. Nos. 130088, 131469, 155171, 155201 and 166608, is binding and applicable to the present case following the salutary doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere, which means “to adhere to precedents, and not to unsettle things which are established.” Under the doctrine, when this Court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases, where facts are substantially the same; regardless of whether the parties and property are the same.  The doctrine of stare decisis is based upon the legal principle or rule involved and not upon the judgment, which results therefrom. In this particular sense, stare decisis differs from res judicata, which is based upon the judgment.

Lazatin vs. Desierto (GR 147097)

The doctrine has assumed such value in our judicial system that the Court has ruled that [a]bandonment thereof must be based only on strong and compelling reasons, otherwise, the becoming virtue of predictability which is expected from this Court would be immeasurably affected and the public’s confidence in the stability of the solemn pronouncements diminished. Verily, only upon showing that circumstances attendant in a particular case override the great benefits derived by our judicial system from the doctrine of stare decisis, can the courts be justified in setting aside the same.


Author: Born2drinkStuff

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