Philippines and Republic

Regalia refers to the rights that the sovereign retains in private property. In Scotland, the sovereign (the Crown) reserves rights over precious metals (i. e. gold and silver), and by legislative fiat, over coal which belongs to the National Coal Board. All other minerals are said to belong to the owner of the land on which it is found. Included in the concept of minerals on property are rights to fish wild fish on riparian property, which Scots law considers as inherent in ownership.

On the other hand, in Philippine law, all minerals, even if found on private property, belong to the State. Article XII, Section 2 provides, “All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. ” As such, there is no distinction between precious metals and other metals that may be retrieved from the soil.

There is no parallel concept in Louisiana law, or in American law in general. The holding of private land under Scots law is based on the Regalian Doctrine, which mandates that all land belongs to the King, and each landholder’s right derives from a grant made by the King, with the grant of such land referred to as a ‘feu’. However, there originally was no limit to the number of new grants that may be made by the feu-holders. Therefore, the actual possessors of the land were many stages removed from those feu-holders who received the grant from the King.

This feudal nature of the system persisted until the passage of Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. This mandated not only the registration of property, but also enabled those who actually possessed the land to purchase the same. As regards recording title to land, title registration is governed by Land Registration (Sc. ) Act 1979, which establishes a title registration system and the Land Register of Scotland, administered by the Keeper of the Registers.

Decisions of the Keeper as regards registration may be appealed to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland, whose decisions in turn may be appealed to the Court of Session. However, this registration is not compulsory on the interest-holder in land, and the holding of title is not compulsory and as such, entry of the transaction into the Register of Sasines,  which is equivalent to symbolic delivery in Scots law, is sufficient to transfer title by symbolic delivery.

As such, registration with the Land Register of Scotland does not, by itself, conclusively establish title in a person. Philippine law recognizes the Regalian doctrine as part of its Spanish heritage. However, as the Philippines is a Republic, all lands not covered by title are considered as belonging to the sovereign, which in this case, is the State. In the Philippines, title registration confers rights on the title-holder such as indefeasibility of title.

As regards land control use and development, Scots law grants greater power to Parliament to expropriate property for public use because of the nature of the power vested in Parliament. In Large’s words, “courts lack the power to declare statutes unconstitutional as takings of property, Parliament has much greater power to effect its purposes relating to land use without worrying about whether the Act will be voided because it impinges unduly on property values. ”

On the other hand, in Philippine law, expropriation is governed by the Philippines Constitution which mandates that just compensation must be paid upon the taking of private property, and that the judiciary has the power of judicial review over all acts of government, including the taking of private property. As such, the courts may set aside expropriation acts that may be found to be unjust or illegal. Section 4 of the Louisiana Constitution similarly provides for the payment of just compensation for any taking of private property for public purpose:

Property shall not be taken or damaged by the state or its political subdivisions except for public purposes and with just compensation paid to the owner or into court for his benefit. Property shall not be taken or damaged by any private entity authorized by law to expropriate, except for a public and necessary purpose and with just compensation paid to the owner; in such proceedings, whether the purpose is public and necessary shall be a judicial question. In every expropriation, a party has the right to trial by jury to determine compensation, and the owner shall be compensated to the full extent of his loss.