Concept & sources of remedial law

According to the late Dean Riano, remedial law is a traditional term which refers to the rules which prescribe the procedure for the protection and enforcement of all claims arising from rights and duties created by law. This definition is in line with Section 1 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution regarding judicial power:

"Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government."
Note that remedial law operates when there is a right to be protected or enforced, a duty to be mandated or there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of the government. If substantive law is the product to be processed, remedial law is the process.

The Supreme Court has also given a definition to remedial law, also called "adjective law" or "procedural law." It is that branch of law which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtaining redress for their invasion. (G.R. No. L-2068. October 20, 1948)

Substantive law is that part of the law which creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulates the rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action; that part of the law which courts are established to administer; as opposed to adjective or remedial law, which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtains redress for their invasion. (36 C. J., 27; 52 C. J. S., 1026.)

It used to be that the rule-making power was shared between Congress and the Supreme Court. However, under the 1987 Constitution, this power is now exclusively the domain of the latter.

Remedial law is mostly in the Rules of Court. Circulars of the Supreme Court implementing the Rules of Court are also sources of remedial law. An example of such circular is the Rules on Summary Procedure.

According to Dean Riano, the Rules of Court do not originate from Congress and, as such, cannot be called laws in the strict sense. However, since they are promulgated by authority of law, they have the force and effect of law, if not in conflict with positive law. The rule is subordinate to the statute, and in case of conflict, the statute will prevail. (G.R. No. L-286 (1946) and G.R. No. 18940)

It is important to note that, in this jurisdiction, "law" is a general term to mean the body of rules promulgated by authority. Hence, rules issued by the Supreme Court can actually be called laws. Laws issued by Congress and signed by the President are called "statutes."