5 rules re customs

The following are rules regarding customs under the Civil Code of the Philippines.

  1. There is a presumption that a person acts according to the custom of the place;
  2. A custom is presumed not to exist when those who should know, do not know of its existence (The Ship Success, 18 La. Am. 1);
  3. A general custom is that of a country; a custom of the place is one where an act transpires. In other words, it is a local custom;
  4. A custom may be propter legem (in accordance with law) or contra legem (against the law). It is unnecessary to apply the first, because it merely repeats the law; it is wrong to apply the second because, obviously, the law would be violated; and
  5. Customs extra legem (outside the law) are those which may constitute sources of supplementary law, in default of specific legislation on the matter. (Reyes and Puno, Outline of Civil Law, Vol. 1, p. 8).

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