Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why SCoRP Owes UP Law Faculty a Debt of Gratitude

The Supreme Court Decision alleged to contain plagiarized passages  Vinuya vs. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 162230 (28 April 2010) has not become final and executory because a Motion for Reconsideration on the substance of that Decsion has not been ruled upon.  Of course in A.M. 10-7-17-SC (the administrative matter In Re Del Castillo) the Court has basically ruled that there was no INTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM in the preparation of that Decision, indeed no plagiarism at all but merely "editing errors" by an unnamed assistant of the ponente, Associate Justice Mariano C. del Castillo.

I am prepared to concede this ruling simply because the Decision has not been promulgated as final and executory.  There is only the potential of plagiarism being committed if it is promulgated AS IS, without the so-called "editing errors" being corrected or properly acknowledged.

In a way, the Supreme Court has painted itself into a corner. By insisting there is NO PLAGIARISM in their April 28 Decision, they would have no reason to change anything relating to those passages not properly attributed without admitting that the Decision is invalid as it stands for the particular kind of FORM VIOLATION recognized internationally as plagiarism.

By a parity of reasoning however, if the Supreme Court allows the Decision to stand as is, and promulgates Vinuya v. Romulo as final and executory,  a part of the Law of the Land, an official ACT of the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines (SCoRP), then they could deservedly be accused of committing INTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM.

There is another interesting aspect of this.  By filing a Motion for Reconsideration and supplementing that with the criticism that plagiarism objectively exists in the assailed Decision, Petitioners have actually given the Supreme Court an opportunity to correct the very grievous form violations of internationally accepted norms in using the intellectual works of others.

For imagine if there had been no Motion for Reconsideration and the Decision had passed into Law with finality and executory power, then the plagiarism was discovered!

I would say the Supreme Court owes the UP Law Faculty a debt of gratitude.


Anonymous said...

Sir, please take a look at the dissenting opinion of Chief Justice Corona (back then he was still Associate Justice Corona).

It looks like he copies from the book of Justice Isagani Cruz and Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion in Romer v. Evans!

Chief Justice Corona’s dissent

The party-list system is an innovation of the 1987 Constitution. It is essentially a tool for the advancement of social justice with the fundamental purpose of affording opportunity to marginalized and underrepresented sectors to participate in the shaping of public policy and the crafting of national laws.

Original Source

“The party-list system is an innovation of the 1987 Constitution and has yet to be tested for wisdom and efficacy,”

Source: Isagani Cruz, Philippine Political Law (1989)

Chief Justice Corona’s dissent

If we effectively and unduly expand such congressional determination, we will be dabbling in policy-making, an act of political will and not of judicial judgment.

Accordingly, I respectfully vote to dismiss the petition.

Original Source

Striking it down is an act, not of judicial judgment, but of political will. I dissent.

Source: Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion in Romer v. Evans, 517 US 620 (1996)

Jef Menguin said...

Before: a justice committed plagiarism.

Now: SC committed intellectual dishonesty.

What is next?