Decisions of foreign courts

When a statute has been adopted from some other state of country and such statute has previously been construed by the courts of such state or country, the statute is usually deemed to have been adopted with the construction so given it. The Employers’ Liability Act having been adopted from the Massachusetts act, which in turn (as well as similar statutes in some other States of United States) was adopted from the English act, decisions of the high courts in those jurisdictions construing and interpreting the Act should receive the careful attention of the Supreme Court in the application of our own law. (G.R. No. 10107, February 4, 1916)

Republic Act No. 875 is patterned after the labor relations legislation in the United States of America, particularly, the Federal Labor Relations Act, including the labor relations acts of the different States. Naturally, American authorities interpreting said American labor legislation are applicable and may be considered by us with profit. (G.R. No. L-10091, January 29, 1958)

According to Azucena (pg. 18, 2013), citing Article 8 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, "numerous Labor Code provisions, such as those relating to employer-employee relations, unfair labor practices, bargaining unit, duty to bargain, and strikes and lockouts, are substantially similar to those of the Industrial Peace Act. It follows that the court rulings construing the pertinent Industrial Peace Act provisions are still applicable to the Labor Code provisions, unless there is substantial statutory departure. It should be remembered in this regard that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution (shall) form part of the legal system of the Philippines."
Let it be admonished that decisions or the Supreme Court "applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution . . . form part of the legal system of the Philippines," and, as it were, "laws" by their own right because they interpret what the laws say or mean. Unlike rulings of the lower courts, which bind the parties to specific cases alone, our judgments are universal in their scope and application, and equally mandatory in character. Let it be warned that to defy our decisions is to court contempt.

We further held in said case that Article 8 of the Civil Code enjoins adherence to judicial precedents. The law requires courts to follow a rule already established in a final decision of the Supreme Court. Contrary to the petitioner's view, the decisions of the CTA are not given the same level of recognition. (G.R. No. 203249, July 23, 2018)

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