Saturday, June 19, 2010

Elements of the State

A state as defined by political authority, is a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a fixed territory, and possessed of an independent government organized for political ends to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience.

For someone unfamiliar with the legal jargon, such sentence may seem confusing due to its length and the words within the sentence itself.  However, if we break it down, understanding the State would boil down to the elements that compose it. 

So lets tackle the sentence above piece by piece,

1. is a community of persons, more or less numerous, - this means that in a state, there has to be that certain number of inhabitants, or people that will be capable of prolonging themselves, and will be capable of keeping and maintaining the important socio-political activities up-and running. 

2. permanently occupying a fixed territory - obviously, this means that the inhabitants that we were talking about in the previous number would have to have some place to inhabit.  and this has to be in a fixed and generally continuous territory.  Therefore, even if you have the right number of people to make up a state, but they are inhabiting a ship, then they could never be considered as a state.

3. possessed of an independent government - this clause means that in order to be pronounced a state, its government must not be under the rule of another government. This is what we call sovereignty.

4. an independent government organized for political ends to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience. - this looks tricky but it ain't.  It simply refers to the government. The government is a political body composed of the elected or appointed leaders of the people in order to run the affairs of the state, keep its inhabitants protected, and to carry out the will of the people. 

So in summary, the elements of the State are : 1.) People 2.) Territory 3.) Sovereignty 4.) Government

Monday, May 31, 2010

Law 101 -why care about our laws?

Ignorantia lexis non excusat.  One of the most famous and most quoted legal maxims.  If this is your first time to encounter these words, it means 'ignorance of the law excuses no one'.  Which further means that it is your responsibility as a citizen to actually know the laws of your community  and your country, for the law will not accept your excuse of ignorance.  You see, if  these lame excuses were accepted, it would be tantamount to allowing abuses in our already abused political and legal system. 

Would you like it if some criminal who committed murder be released by just saying "what? there's a law against killing people? I didn't know that.. "

A proper law must be always above everyone.Whether they knew it or not, as long as due process is implemented.

And the list goes on for the reasons why you should have at least the basic knowledge.    One of which is to know what to do, who to look for and when to act if ever, and whenever your rights are already being abused.

And speaking of rights, one should also know what they are.  When does your right start? and when does it end?

Before delving into such matters, let us first understand the role of the state, the government and the people, how they should, and are interacting and how our rights, as enumerated in the 1987 Constitution can affect these relationships.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

hello, hello world!

Legal nuggets is a blogsite about a law student's journey through law school, plus uncomplicated explanations on legal basics. ^_^