Calalang vs. Williams

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The classic case of Calalang vs. Williams, 70 Phil. 726 (1940), tackled the issue of police power for public welfare, but is remembered because it contains a definition of social justice.

Contents

Facts

A traffic regulation in Manila banned calesas from some streets in Manila during certain afternoon hours. A citizen challenged this regulation.

Issue

Was the regulation valid?

Ruling

Yes. The Supreme Court upheld the regulation as a valid exercise of police power in the interest of public welfare.

This case is known primarily for the words of Justice Jose P. Laurel defining social justice: :

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width="20" valign="top" style="color:#B2B7F2;font-size:{{#switch:20px 10px=20px 30px=60px 40px=80px 50px=100px 60px=120px Social justice is neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy, but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to ensure economic stability of all the component elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est supremo lex. width="20" valign="bottom" style="color:#B2B7F2;font-size:{{#switch:20px 10px=20px 30px=60px 40px=80px 50px=100px 60px=120px
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Citation

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