Report on Conflict of Laws

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Conflict of law on torts and damages

Text of Report on Conflict of Laws



  • TORTIs a wrongful act or legal wrong committed upon the person or property independent of contract.

    It may be:1. a direct invasion of some legal right of an individual. 2. infarction of public duty by which special damage accrues to the individual 3. Violation of some private obligation by which like damage accrues to the individual.

  • DAMAGESA compensation or indemnity which may be recovered in the court by any person who has suffered loss or injury to the person, property, or rights through the unlawful act or omission or negligence of another.

    As distinguished from DAMAGE which refers to the loss, injury or deterioration caused by negligence, design or accident of one person to another in respect to the latters person or property.

  • DAMAGES ARISE FROM THE FOLLOWING:DELICT > wrong, injury, offense or violation of private or public duty.QUASI-DELICT > fault or negligence with no pre-existing contractual relationship between parties.NEGLIGENCE > omission to do something which a reasonable and prudent man would ordinarily do.


    Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.


    Every person, who contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.


    Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict.


    Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith.


    There must be a legal right or dutyThe right is exercised in bad faithIt is for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.


    The tort is not penal in nature.If the enforcement of the tortuous liability is not in contravention to public policy.If our judicial machinery is adequate for such enforcement.

  • LAWS GOVERNING TORTSPRINCIPLE OF LEX LOCI DELICTIthe law of the place where the wrong doing takes place determines the liabilities or whether a person sustained a legal injury.

    the general principle of law applied in torts.

    to maintain an action of tort, it is vital that the cause of action is actionable by the place where it is done.

  • GENERAL PRINCIPLES:As between the place where the injury is afflicted and the place where the resulting death occurred, the general rule is consistent that the law of the place where the injury was afflicted governs.

    Some courts however departs from this general principle of law on torts by adopting the CENTER OF GRAVITY THEORY or GROUPING OF CONTACTS. (thus abandons the lex loci delicti rule as a general principle of law in torts)


    The law of the place where the injury or wrong took place.the traditional governing rule where 2 states are involved where the damage or injury occurred in one country and the action is filed in another country.Example: WildValley Shipping Co. vs CA.

  • Wildvalley Shipping Co. vs CA.


    A Philippine owned vessel, The President Roxas, was in Puerto Ordaza in Venezuela. As it leaves the port, a Venezuelan pilot who has better experience and knowledge of the river was designated by the port authority to navigate the vessel after the vessels own captain admitted to have limited knowledge of the river. The vessel ran aground thereby obstructing the ingress and egress of vessels. As a result of the blockage, Wildvalley Shipping was unable to sail out of the port. Claiming for damage as a result, it filed an action for damages against the President Roxas in the RTC of Mla. The RTC found Pres. Roxas liable but the decision was reversed by the CA and absolved the defendant from liability.

  • Issue: Whether or not Venezuelan law or Philippine law should be applied to the case.

    Held: The Venezuelan law requires extraordinary diligence on the navigation of vessels by its captain while Philippine law requires only ordinary diligence of a good father of a family. The defendant was able to prove that it exercised the degree of diligence as required by the Philippine law. Had the plaintiff was able to properly pleaded the foreign law of Venezuela, the defendant would have been guilty for damages. However, under the rules of private international law, a foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. Otherwise, the foreign law of another state will be presumed to be the same as our domestic law applying the DOCTRINE OF PROCESSUAL PRESUMPTION.

    The plaintiff merely presented a xerox copy of the Venezuelan law certified by the Asst. Harbor Master and Chief of Pilots of Puerto Ordaza which is not the proper pleading of a foreign law as contemplated by the rules of private international law.

  • STATE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP RULEa.k.a. center of gravity doctrine or the grouping of contacts rule.

    applicable where the acts constituting the cause of action occurred in 2 or more states which ripens into a cause of action in another state.

    GENERAL RULEthe rights and liabilities of the parties with respect to the issue of tort are determined by the local law of the state which has the most significant relationship to the occurrence and the parties.

  • CONTACTS CONSIDERED:The place where the injury occurredThe place where the conduct causing the injury occurredThe domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and place of business of the partiesThe place where the relationship, if any, between parties is centered.

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines vs CA- involves action for damages involving foreign elements wherethe doctrine of the state of the most significant relationship was applied. Facts:Plaintiff Morada is a Filipino flight attendant of SAUDIA. While on a lay-over in Jakarta she went to a disco with fellow attendants Thamer and Allah who are both Saudi nationals. She filed an attempted rape against Thamer with Allah as an accomplice. When SAUDIA legal officer negotiated for their release, plaintiff refused to cooperate. Through the intercession of the Saudi govt. the two accused were released after two weeks of detention. She was then requested by her superior to meet with the legal officer of Saudia in Jeddah. She was brought to the police where they took her passport and questioned her about the Jakarta incident. She was pressured to drop the case against the accused and not until she agreed that her passport was returned to her. One and a half year later in Manila, she was ordered to take a flight to Jeddah to meet with the same legal officer of Saudia and was brought before a Saudia court to sign papers in Arabic allegedly necessary to close the case. It turns out she signed a notice to appear before a court.

  • She was later summoned to report to Jeddah once again and she did so after the assurance of Saudias Manila manager that it is just a routine investigation that will cause no harm to her. She was interrogated in the Saudia court and was not allowed to go back to Manila and took her passport. The following month she was then brought to same court where to her astonishment a decision was rendered against her for being guilty of adultery, violating the Islamic law for going to a disco and socializing with the male crew in contravention to Islamic tradition. She was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment and 286 lashes. SAUDIA refused to give her assistance. The Prince of Makkah dismissed the case because she was wrongfully convicted and shortly before her return to Manila she was terminated from services by SAUDIA.

    Plaintiff filed an action for damages before the RTC of Quezon City. Defendant SAUDIA contends the court has no jurisdiction and the law of Saudi Arabia should apply since the claims of the plaintiff arose there which involves foreign elements. Plaintiff asserts her claim is based on damages under Art. 19 of the Civil Code where a domestic law is applicable.

  • Issue: Whether or not foreign elements are involved

    Held: The foreign element consisted in the fact that the plaintiff is Philippine national and SAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation (registered to do business in the Phils.). Events also transpired during her many occasions of travel across national borders from Manila, Jeddah and Saudi Arabia, causing conflicts of situations to arise.

    The court finds no necessary difficulties to SAUDIA if Phil. Court takes cognizance of the case because plaintiff no longer maintains substantial connection in Saudi Arabia and to refuse to hear the case would cause fundamental unfairness to her. Applying the doctrine on the state of the most significant relationship there is basis to claim that the over-all injury occurred in the Phils. The relationship between the plaintiff and respondent is centered in the Philippines where the complainant is a resident of the Philippines and the wrongdoer is doing business in the country. Thus, the acts complained is actionable in the Philippines even if all acts constituting the tort took place in Saudi Arabia.

  • AGREEMENT OF PARTIES AS TO APPLICABLE LAWGeneral Rule:Parties may stipulate on what law will govern in case of disputeEXCEPTION: - When the stipulation is against public policy.

  • Other Principles Applied in Tort