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I.

LEGAL PHILOSOPHIES Plato

The good life is possible only in and through society (State). Society is a natural institution. Man is essentially a social and political animal. The State exists for the sake of the good life. Now according to Plato, the aim of the good society is neither freedom, nor economic well-being. Rather, the aim of the good society is justice. A true State, therefore, must be conformed to justice. And so the state does not decide what is just. Justice is an object of knowledge, that is, it is one of the forms. That is why the Statesman must be a Philosopher. If not, he will only lead the state downwards toward selfdestruction. Justice in the state is analogous to justice in the individual, and the state must be structures after the pattern of justice in the individual.

Productive, which represents the abdomen. (Workers) the labourers, carpenters, plumbers, masons, merchants, farmers, ranchers, etc. These correspond to the "appetite" part of the soul. Protective, which represents the chest. (Warriors or Guardians) those who are adventurous, strong and brave; in the armed forces. These correspond to the "spirit" part of the soul. Governing, which represents the head. (Rulers or Philosopher Kings) those who are intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, well suited to make decisions for the community. These correspond to the "reason" part of the soul and are very few.

Aristotle
A disciple of Plato, in his Nichomachean Ethics, said that all supreme good is happiness, the product of virtue. The State regulates the lives of the citizens by means of laws. The content of laws is justice as is applied in various ways. In the Platonic Minos, his definitions of law are partial. They are always relative to the problem before him, and the aspect of law which they emphasize constantly shifts in order to permit different consequences to be drawn. In the Rhetoric to Alexander, it is pointed out that in a democracy the final appeal is to reason. A self-governing community is directed along the best path by its public law, and so as king, as the embodied of reason, guides along the path of their advantage those who are subject to this rule. In a clumsy attempt to bring the two ideas together, law then is defined as the common consent of the community, regulating action of every kind. And later, in the same treatise, law is defined as the common agreement of the state enjoining in writing how men are to act in various matters.

Thomas Aquinas
The natural law school of legal philosophy was advocated by the Catholic Church and its theologians, foremost among whom was St. Thomas Aquinas. The Catholic Church dominated the medieval period and it had the best opportunity to develop the philosophy of natural law during such period. St. Thomas wrote the voluminous Summa Theologica. He described natural law as the participation of man in eternal or divine law thru his gift of reason. A law which is contrary to divine law is no law at all. A law is obeyed because of the persuasion of reason (reasonableness test). St. Thomas adopted and christianized the thoughts of Aristotle, a great Greek philosopher. The precepts of natural law are inherent in man and are written by God and reason in his heart, e.g. the quest for justice, dignity, compassion, freedom, truth, love, equality, and peace.

Thomas Hobbes
Hobbes is frequently referred to as the father of legal positivism and a defender of absolute sovereignty, he thought that the proper construction of legal order required fidelity to a series of determinate legal principles. These include the related ideas that no person may be judge and party to the same cause, and that all disputes must be submitted to an impartial arbitrator. Hobbes developed these principles into constraints on the constitution of judicial authority claiming that judges are not free to decide matters arbitrarily and must exercise their adjudicative authority impartially. For example, judges cannot have an interest in the outcome of a dispute, and they must treat like cases in a like manner. Hobbes was a supreme pessimist. To him, people were inherently selfish; they struggled constantly against one another for survival. "The life of a man," he wrote in his master-work, Leviathan, "is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Thus, people could not survive on their own in the state of nature. This foundation led him to a theory of the law: only by submitting to the protection of a sovereign power could individuals avoid constant anarchy and war. The sovereign's authority would have to be absolute. Law derived from this authority rather than from objective truth, which he argued did not exist. All citizens of the state were morally bound to follow the sovereign's authority; otherwise, law could not function. Hobbes chose the leviathan (a large sea animal) to represent the state, and he maintained that like a whale, the state could only be guided by one intelligence: its sovereign's. From Hobbes Leviathan, we get the Social Contract Theory of Law. Society is a population beneath an authority, to whom all individuals in that society covenant just enough of their natural rights to the authority to be able to ensure internal peace and common defense. Positive Law in a theory of jurisprudence focusing on man-made laws. Law is established by governmental authority, especially that which has been codified into a written form (statutory law) -Those in power make and enforce the laws, separate and apart from strict moral/ethical considerations.

John Locke
Locke maintained that people are naturally tolerant and reasonable, but that without a governing force, a certain amount of chaos and other inconvenience will occur. In his view people are basically pacific, communitarian, and good-natured. This belief contrasts with that of philosopher Thomas Hobbes, which is that if left to their own devices, people will live in violent, selfish anarchy. For Locke all people are inherently equal and free to pursue "life, liberty, health, and property." To do this they engage in a social contract in which they consent to give up a certain amount of power to a government dedicated to maintaining the well-being of the whole. They also give up one right, the right to judge and punish other persons, which is permitted in the state of nature. Apart from that concession to government, Locke argued, a person's individual right to freedom of thought, speech, and worship must be preserved. In addition, a person's private property must be preserved by the government. This compact between the people and their rulers legitimizes the government and explains the source of the rulers' power. Locke believed that the people's consent to give up some power is the essential element of the social contract. Government is the trustee of the people's power, and any exercise of power by government is specifically for the purpose of serving the people. By extending the trust analogy, Locke legitimized the concept of revolution. If their trust is abused by their governors, the peoplethe grantors of the trusthave a right to revoke the trust. Once the trust has been revoked, the people can assume the reins of government themselves or place them in new hands.

Charles de Montesquieu
Charles de Montesquieu was a political philosopher and social critic whose ideas were an unusual combination of conservatism and progressivism. Montesquieu's motto was "Liberty is the stepchild of privilege," the idea that liberty cannot exist where inherited privilege also cannot exist. Montesquieu believed that power in society should be separated among the three French classes: the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the commons (general populace). Montesquieu called said that such a system provided "checks and balances," a phrase he coined and which would become common in America because his ideas about dividing power would be so influential. According to Montesquieu, if the administrative powers of the executive, legislative, and judiciary were divided among the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the commons, then it would be possible for each class to check the power and self-interest of the other classes, the limiting the growth of corruption. It is worth noting the very obvious absence of one particular class from Montesquieu's equation: the clergy. He did not assign them any power at all and no formal ability to check the power of others in society, the effectively separating church from state. In Spirit of Laws, he argued that large states could only be sustained if power became concentrated in a central government.

Jean Jacques Rousseau


The Social Contract, Rousseaus, book opens with the famous sentence, "Man was born free, but he is everywhere in chains." Rousseau believed that society and government created a social contract when their goals were freedom and the benefit of the public. Government became the supreme ruler, but its existence depended on the will of the people. The social order was based on the general will, a shared belief in a common set of interests, which he believed was the natural choice of rational people. The general will was also a form of freedom, and the purpose of law was to combine the general will with the desires of the people. Rousseau was convinced that laws could not be unjust if the general will of the people was followed. The Social Contract was suffused with the belief that freedom and civil liberty are essential to a just society. Society should not be ruled by elites but by the general will of all people. Rousseau, like the English philosopher John Locke, provided justification for the idea of a liberal society based on popular will that would be embraced by the American colonists in the years leading up to the U.S. Revolution. The American colonists believed that the social contract with England had been broken. Rousseau's belief in the primacy of the individual, however, has proved to be an idea that found its greatest acceptance in the United States.

Immanuel Kant
Kant was an advocate of the natural law theory. An advocate of human dignity (man as end in himself), supremacy of reason and free will (as God-given and inherent in man), equality, freedom, and mutuality of rights, and universal law of morality. It is reason that makes law and obeys law. Man knows what is natural right or natural law because he is rational and the precepts of natural law are inherently written in his heart and mind (conscience). "Practical reason" (the "good will" in man; the "empirical imperative") that makes law and compels the conscience of man to obey the law. Duty (to obey and revere the law and to do good to fellow men) is the highest virtue. Doing an act not out of "duty" (good will) is immoral, though it may be legal. His ideal society is one where all men possess the virtue of duty to do good. Man is a moral individual. He is not a chattel. Moral rightness is a matter of "motives" and legal rightness refers to "external acts." In his Metaphysics of Ethics, Kant wrote, "Every action is right which in itself, or in the maxim on which it proceeds, is such that it can co-exist with the freedom of the will of each and all, according to a universal law." Kant criticized Rossaeu's social contract theory because Kant believed that human rights are not contracted but are inherent in man (dignity, freedom, equality). In a sense, Kant and St. Thomas agree that law is based on reason for the common good; that law is universal; and that natural law is inherent in the heart of men.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


Immanuel Kant influenced Hegel in his philosophy of law. Like Schelling and Fichte, Hegel was an "speculative idealist" and an advocate of rationalism: "Whatever is rational is real and whatever is real is rational." To him, reason is the ultimate essence of the world or absolute reality. Every concept leads to its opposite (thesis-anti thesis-synthesis) and that there is an unending progress from thesis to antithesis and to synthesis, the latter being the reconciliation of thesis and antithesis on a higher level. This is called the "dialectical method" (the triadic process). To Hegel, ethics culminates in the state and the state is the ethical idea and reason turned into reality: "In the organization of the state, ... the divine enters into the real." The state is a manifestation of the divine will. He wrote that all history is an evolutionary process whose ultimate goal is true liberty, and that liberty is only possible in a state, where man reaches his dignity as an independent person. He agreed with Roussaeu that in the "true state" it is the "universal" (the law) that governs and "the individual of his own free will subjects himself to its rule." It is part of the concept of man that he is free, Hegel wrote. The paradox was that in his latter years, he opposed the democratic or republican form of government because of its "subjectivism and atomism." He preferred the authoritarian state. Hegel justified war or revolution based on and as an application of the dialectical method (struggle of ideas).

II.

LEGAL PHILOSOPHIES ON CURRENT ISSUES

a. Scarborough Shoal The Philippines has taken China to a United Nations arbitration tribunal to challenge Beijings claim to most of the South China Sea (which the Philippines refers to as the West Philippine Sea) and compel it to respect the Philippines right to its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and stop Chinese incursions into areas in the disputed waters claimed by the Philippines. According to Hegels view of law in philosophy, "whatever is rational is real and whatever is real is rational." He believes that reason is the ultimate essence of the world or absolute reality. The Philippines contends that the rocks at Scarborough Shoal fall under Article 121(3) of UNCLOS and are not entitled to EEZ or continental shelf, therefore the EEZ beyond 12 nautical miles from them belongs to Luzon Island, regardless of the question of sovereignty over them. This is the rational part, it is guided by law and therefore must be real. Chinas nine-dash line outlining its claim to
most of the South China Sea, including waters and islands close to its neighbors, as invalid and illegal and therefore, irrational.

b. Framework Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Thomas Hobbes pointed out the three basic passions: 1) fear; 2) the search for security, appetite, material goods, honor or pride; and 3) the search for glory, status or recognition of ones merits or rights. In relationships between and among peoples of faiths, the first two types of passions (fear and security) are present everywhere, and the third (status/recognition) is particularly important. The denial of these passions often leads to anger. And when there is perceived or real injustice, the relationships become explosive or at least volatile. The search for a peace formula in the Southern Philippines is also a passionate search for identity. Within this context, the identity Bangsamoro should be understood. The Framework Agreement between the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is yet another step forward to the realization of the Bangsamoro peoples desire to achieve selfrule on their local affairs, particularly over their ancestral domain. The real bottom lines in all the attempts to self-rule are the well being of ALL the constituents, actual developments on the ground and responsible and transparent self-governance. c. Cybercrime Prevention Act The online world is an open area, free for all people. It is where you can express yourself freely, share your thoughts, insights and ideas, it is also a world with unlimited access to information just a click away. But despite all the good things about the Online World, it is also used by people with foul intentions. Due to its free for all access, it is also a world used from certain crimes such as hacking, identity theft, pornography, scamming, libel, etc. As a result, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) was passed punishing these cybercrimes. Some agree with the law but some are against it. RA 10175 is believed to have violated the Freedom of Expression as guaranteed by the Constitution. In the law, you would be held liable for acts of libel for sharing, or even LIKE-ing (liking) a libelous post. The Social Contract, Rousseaus, book opens with the famous sentence, "Man was born free, but he is everywhere in chains." Rousseau believed that society and government created a social contract when their goals were freedom and the benefit of the public. The Web is free for all, but it must be regulated. The concept of freedom must be realized along with the concept of security and equality. For example, our freedom to say you smell bad is an exercise of Freedom of Expression, but to the cost of hurting another. Punishing such criminal acts in the World Wide Web would result to the full enjoyment of our freedom to use the Internet. Freedom must be exercised to the benefit of the public, not to the benefit of some and to the cost of others.

d. Freedom of Information Bill Under the FOI Bill, compulsory disclosure shall be done by posting the government documents on government websites for easy access, aside from providing these documents upon a person's request. However, information on national security and records of minutes, advice or opinions expressed during decision-making or policy formulation proceedings of all branches of government shall not be barred for public consumption. The bill also exempts requests for information pertaining to the personal information of a person other than the requesting party to protect their right to privacy, unless he or she has consented, in writing, to the disclosure of information.