STUDYING Law is no easy task, but one journal is trying to extend some help.

The UST Law Review (ULR), the official law journal of the University of Santo Tomas, hopes to make the subject more understandable by publishing articles from legal luminaries, legislators, and law students.

“The goal of the ULR is to bring the [civil] law closer to the people with our policy, as much as possible, and to avoid [legalese] because the legal profession has its own jargon,” said editor in chief Lamberto Santos III.

“What ULR is trying to do is to make the language easily understood by common and ordinary men, so they would know what their rights are and what legal issues to confront,” he added.

The journal interprets the sides, the positive and negative facets, and then publishes articles that would make the technicalities of law more understandable for those outside of the profession.

“ULR tackles legal issues and the rudiments of law, so anything that has anything to do with law or any aspect in your life, be it marriage, business, so long it has significance in law, will be included in the ULR in a scholarly-written academic paper,” said Santos.

Establishment

Founded in March 1950 by former Chief Justice Andres Narvasa, the UST Law Review started as a quarterly publication. Financial constraints forced it to fold up in 2000, but it staged a comeback three years later. It has since been an annual publication.

Since its restoration, the ULR has been cited many times in several judicial cases, the first one coming in April 2008 in the case of Carlos S. Romualdez and Erlinda R. Romualdez versus the Comelec and Dennis Garay (G.R. no. 167011).

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Besides Narvasa, ULR alumni include Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, former dean and solicitor general Alfredo Benipayo, and justice undersecretary Ernesto L. Pineda.

ULR is distributed not only in the three branches of government and UST, but also in top law firms in the Philippines through subscription.

The ULR is also the first law review journal to establish a website.

Fostering political awareness

The 63-year-old publication also influences the law-making processes of the government by bringing the sentiments of people into recognition through scholarly written discourse, and interpreting the law’s technicalities.

“We carry what the opinions, historical backgrounds, current sentiments of the people are,” said Santos.

ULR’s writers correlate their opinions based from the sentiments of the people with the issues of law being discussed by writing scholarly articles.

“Although each article is the opinion of the writer, we respect it but we make sure that in every article, there is a background, a more expanded and validated discussion on various facets on the matter,” Santos said.

It is virtually new for law review journals to draw a parallel on law and opinion—integrating public opinion and mixing other disciplines to the said matter wherein in the past, it was strict political and legal discourse.

“Now there is a multidisciplinary approach which intends to correlate Law with other disciplines like medicine, journalism and even literature,” said Santos. Alfredo N. Mendoza V

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