The Supreme Court voted 15-0 to dismiss the petitions challenging President Rodrigo Duterte’s unilateral withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It’s one of those types of decisions – the ruling is to dismiss the petitions, but the reasoning contains a lot for “positive” takeaways. Lawyers call the reasoning just obiter dictum, or an opinion that doesn’t have legal weight.
What makes reasoning an obiter is debatable, said Professor Andre Palacios, who teaches Public International Law at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law and chairs the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) international law committee.
For him, the decision’s citation of the domestic International Humanitarian Law (IHL) affects the ongoing ICC case “positively” because the IHL requires the Philippines to surrender suspects to international tribunals.
The decision also laid out three rules for presidents to withdraw from a treaty.
The language of the decision says there’s still “much leeway” for the president, but Palacios said it’s not too much discretion because it actually limited presidential power.
“Previously, the idea is that the president is the sole architect of foreign policy with unlimited powers, so now it’s clarified that the power is shared and the power is limited, and very detailed limitations,” said Palacios.
Listen to this episode as we dissect the decision for its legal and practical impacts.
For past podcast episodes:
- Episode 1 Part 1: Supreme Court’s most controversial decisions
- Episode 1 Part 2: Department of Justice’s evolving definition of warrantless arrests
- Episode 2: The rule of law in the time of the coronavirus
- Episode 3: Pandemic and the great wall of free speech
- Episode 4: Will petition to disclose Duterte health work?
- Episode 5: Legal difficulties of a prisoner mass release
- Episode 6: Breaking down the ABS-CBN franchise legal and political issues
- Episode 7: ABS-CBN and the 3 tangled branches of government
- Episode 8: Are extraordinary writs still effective in the time of Duterte?
- Episode 9: Dissecting anti-terror bill and threats to freedoms
- Episode 10: The problems with the Cybercrime Law
- Episode 11: Can we trust the gov’t panel probing drug war deaths?
- Episode 12: Why press freedom is legally protected
- Episode 13: What is People’s Initiative and will it work for ABS-CBN?
- Episode 14: The new push for death penalty
- Episode 15: A State of terror
- Episode 16: GCTA’s thorn – Do bad men deserve good things?
- Episode 17: Policies beyond body count of Duterte’s drug war
- Episode 18: Can we really bring Xi Jinping to the ICC?
- Episode 19: Philippine courts and the death of baby River
- Episode 20: Deep dive into anti-terror law IRR
- Episode 21: Supreme Court and the SALN challenge
- Episode 22: Where PH stands in fight for climate justice
- Episode 23: How to legally fight red-tagging
- Episode 24: Hope for the Rule of Law with Dino de Leon
- Episode 25: Summary of anti-terror law petitions
- Episode 26: May it please the Court – the anti-terror law orals
- Episode 27: Investigating Duterte’s drug war using hard data
- Episode 28: Your Honors, they are killing lawyers
- Episode 29: Choosing who sits on the Bench
- Episode 30: Lugaw, RA 11332, and common sense policy
- Episode 31: Understanding electoral protests
- Episode 32: Captain Ri and all the president’s men
- Episode 33: The law of NTF-ELCAC
- Episode 34: Lawyering under threat
- Episode 35: Duterte’s ICC prospects
- Episode 36: Plunderers and how to get them
- Episode 37: Can Duterte run for VP?
If you have tips and suggestions for episodes, email the host at firstname.lastname@example.org. – Rappler.com