Seeking Justice: The Way of Lawyers

We should all seek justice in what we do… [The Talmud states,] ‘Every judge who renders a fair decision is like a partner of the Holy One in the act of creation’ (Talmud, Shabbat 119b). The Talmud also promises that ‘a judge who decides a case in accordance with true equity causes the Shekhinah, God’s presence, to dwell in the midst of Israel.’

… By seeking justice, you share in the divine power. You can bring God into the world. Failing to bring justice into the world also has cosmic implications, for lawlessness drives God’s presence into exile.

Lawyers of judges can find God in their careers by discerning how God would want us to behave in this world

Lawyers or judges should know that their actions reflect upon God. If God cares about justice, then the way we administer justice implicates God.

(Jeffrey K. Salkin, Being God’s Partner)

Dismissing a Househelper

What are the requisites for and consequences of dismissing a househelper? Do you need to follow the twin-notice rule as in the case of business employees? In case the dismissal is unjust, is the employer liable for backwages until the househelper is reinstated? Is an unjustly dismissed househelper entitled to reinstatement? The answers to these questions may be found in Articles 149 and 150 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which state:

“Sec. 14. Indemnity for unjust termination of service. – If the period for household service is fixed, neither the employer nor the househelper may terminate the contract before the expiration of the term, except for a just cause. If the househelper is unjustly dismissed, he or she shall be paid the compensation already earned plus that for fifteen (15) days by way of indemnity.

If the househelper leaves without justifiable reason, he or she shall forfeit any unpaid salary due him or her not exceeding fifteen (15) days.

Art. 150. Service of termination notice. – If the duration of the household service is not determined either in stipulation or by the nature of the service, the employer or the househelper may give notice to put an end to the relationship five (5) days before the intended termination of the service.

Amending Corporate By-laws

During an annual stockholder’s meeting can the assembly there and then amend the by-laws? How many votes are needed? If successfully passed, will the amendment/s take effect immediately? Here are the answers:

Sec. 48. Amendments to by-laws. – The board of directors or trustees, by a majority vote thereof, and the owners of at least a majority of the outstanding capital stock, or at least a majority of the members of a non-stock corporation, at a regular or special meeting duly called for the purpose, may amend or repeal any by-laws or adopt new by-laws. The owners of two-thirds (2/3) of the outstanding capital stock or two-thirds (2/3) of the members in a non-stock corporation may delegate to the board of directors or trustees the power to amend or repeal any by-laws or adopt new by-laws: Provided, That any power delegated to the board of directors or trustees to amend or repeal any by-laws or adopt new by-laws shall be considered as revoked whenever stockholders owning or representing a majority of the outstanding capital stock or a majority of the members in non-stock corporations, shall so vote at a regular or special meeting.

Whenever any amendment or new by-laws are adopted, such amendment or new by-laws shall be attached to the original by-laws in the office of the corporation, and a copy thereof, duly certified under oath by the corporate secretary and a majority of the directors or trustees, shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission the same to be attached to the original articles of incorporation and original by-laws.

The amended or new by-laws shall only be effective upon the issuance by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a certification that the same are not inconsistent with this Code. (22a and 23a)

— Sec. 48, Corporation Code of the Philippines

How to Read the Constitution

Here is an excerpt from U. S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ Wriston Lecture to the Manhattan Institute, the gist of which is:

Let me put it this way; there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution — try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up. No matter how ingenious, imaginative or artfully put, unless interpretive methodologies are tied to the original intent of the framers, they have no more basis in the Constitution than the latest football scores. To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial.

Read the whole thing.

The Tourism Act of 2009

According to today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI)  editorial, one of the answers to the current economic crisis as well as a possible long-term solution to the problem of poverty may be the Tourism Act of 2009.

The development of the tourist industry would have a multiplier effect on the economy. The tourism master plan would create 30 million jobs over a 10-year period and earn about $10 billion in foreign exchange. When the number of tourist arrivals increases, there will be greater demand for food and services. A burgeoning tourist industry would benefit agriculture and the information technology industries. More factories would be needed to manufacture supplies for hotels and resorts.

Read the whole thing HERE.

Impeaching the Ombudsman

Fr. Joaquin Bernas, one of my top three favorite columnists (the other two are Justice Isagani Cruz and Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban) has a very informative article in the Phil Inquirer on Impeaching the Ombudsman. Here’s his conclusion:

Remember, impeachment is a numbers game. It is not always about guilt or innocence. In the Senate, it can also be about presidential elections.

You can read the whole thing HERE.

New Adoption Law

Two days ago President Arroyo signed Republic Act 9523, otherwise known as “An Act Requiring the Certification of the DSWD to Declare a ‘Child Legally Available for Adoption’ as a Prerequisite for Adoption Proceedings.” I’m still looking for an online copy of the text of said law. I’ll try to post a link to it here as soon as I find it. For the meantime you can read more about the new law HERE.