The CALESA Project aims to contribute to the upgrading of the legal research capacities of the Philippine partner institutions and one of the most important outputs of the project in this regard is the translation of relevant legal material from Spanish to English.

 The project was able to provide partners with the translation of Legal Materials on:

  1. Obligations on Teoría general del Contrato and Teoría general de las obligaciones. 
  2. Obligations on Contratos en particular; teoría general de los cuasicontratos and  teoría general del derecho de daños. 
  3. Introducción al Derecho Turístico
  4. Propuesta de modernización del Anteproyecto de Ley de Modernización de obligaciones y contratos (Part of Spanish Civil Code)
Beside those books, which were widely disseminated in the Philippines, two other important legal materials were translated to support the implementation of capacity building events and to assist Filipino partners in their internal teaching training and academic activities:

1. Legal Education and Innovation: Practical Advice and Immersive Experiences – This book has been translated from Portuguese into English by University NOVA de Lisboa, as one of its main areas of expertise and contribution to the project in terms of capacity building revolved around the Bologna process, Legal education innovation, research legal methodology and Quality of legal education. 

2. Safe Space Act  – This Act was translated from English to Chavacano in order to improve the academic activities implemented by AdZU’s Legal Clinic in the area, facilitating the communication between students and professors and members of the native linguistic community that lives in the region and improving their access to legal knowledge and legal aid. 

Why would translations help CALESA achieve its objective?

1 – There is a deep connection between Spanish and Filipino Law – Philippine and Spanish laws have deep connections since the prior was largely inherited from latter due to the historical link between  both countries, which dates back to more than 300 years ago.

Filipino jurists also maintained their connection to Spanish tradition until 1960s, mainly through their Supreme Courts. For example, CASTAN, who was the president of the Spanish Supreme Court, is one of the authors who has most influenced modern Philippine private law.

Until that date it was equally common for Philippine professors to move to Spain to write their doctoral theses.

2 – Language Barriers: overcoming obstacles for a closer cooperation – After 1960s, Spanish was no longer used as a language to discuss the rulings of the Philippine Supreme Court, so the link between both countries was weakened until it was almost completely lost.

As a consequence, there were two legal systems with symmetrical legal texts, albeit in different languages; but with a complete disconnection between them.

The 60-year gap and this language alteration led the new generation of Filipino jurists to hardly know the foundations of their private and criminal law.

3 – University Models: enhancing legal research capacity 

Also, the university model chosen for the Law Schools in the Philippines is the American one, in fact the Schools are called “professional”, with the professional aspect taking precedence over the researcher.

Moreover, the vast majority of the professors who teach in Philippine law schools are part-time, as they are prestigious professionals who practice law.

While this is an advantage in some respects, it is also a disadvantage in others as it prevents law school faculty from spending time on research.

In fact, very few professors in Philippine law schools hold doctoral degrees.

The end result is that there is a decreased research capacity in academia that does not facilitate the updating of the law. 


Within this scenario, it is  important to provide Filipino academics with the tools to improve the quality of legal research and re-stablish academic contact with Europe in the legal field.

As most of the texts that could support these tasks are written in Spanish, due to the remarkable parallelism between Philippine and Spanish legal texts, one of the main objectives of the CALESA Project is to translate key legal texts of Spanish civil and criminal law, so that they can serve as a tool to promote and accelerate legal research and the updating of private and criminal law in the Philippines.

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