George Arthur Malcolm
|17th Associate Justice|
of the Philippine Supreme Court
October 11, 1917 –February 1, 1936
|Appointed by||Woodrow Wilson|
|Preceded by||Grant T. Trent|
|Succeeded by||Jose P. Laurel|
|Born||November 5, 1881|
|Died||May 16, 1961 79) (aged|
Los Angeles, California
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
George Arthur Malcolm (November 5, 1881 — May 16, 1961) was an American lawyer who emerged as an influential figure in the development of the practice of law in the Philippines in the 20th century. At age 35, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, where he would serve for 19 years. His most enduring legacy perhaps lies in his role in the establishment of the College of Law at the University of the Philippines.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, counselor at law, solicitor, chartered legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
Born in Concord, Michigan, Malcolm obtained his degree in law from the University of Michigan in 1906. While at the university, he was among the founding members of the Acacia Fraternity.
Concord is a village in Jackson County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,050 at the 2010 census. The village is located at, west of Spring Arbor, Michigan.
The University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
Following his graduation, Malcolm proceeded to the Philippines, which was then a colony of the United States. Malcolm served in several minor positions in the colonial government, starting as a clerk in the Bureau of Health, then subsequently in the Bureau of Justice. He rose quickly in rank, and by 1911, he was acting attorney-general for the Philippines.
It was through Malcolm's efforts that the first English language law classes were established in the Philippines. The Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines had initially resisted Malcolm's proposal for the establishment of a law college within the University. Malcolm thus arranged for the Manila YMCA to offer law courses, which commenced in 1910. Malcolm acted as the Secretary of these law courses. Within a year, the Board of Regents relented and the University of the Philippines adopted these classes by formally establishing the College of Law on January 12, 1911.
The University of the Philippines is a state university system in the Philippines, and is the country's national university. Founded by the American colonial government on June 18, 1908 for the Filipinos, it was established through the ratification of Act No. 1870 of the 1st Philippine Legislature to provide "advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to give professional and technical training" to eligible students regardless of "age, sex, nationality, religious belief and political affiliation". UP has institutional autonomy as the country's national university as mandated by Republic Act No. 9500.
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), sometimes regionally called the Y, is a worldwide organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, with more than 64 million beneficiaries from 120 national associations. It was founded on 6 June 1844 by Sir George Williams in London and aims to put Christian principles into practice by developing a healthy "body, mind, and spirit".
The University of the Philippines College of Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines Diliman. Formally established in 1911, it is the third oldest continually-operating law school in the Philippines and is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious in the country. Since 1948, it has been located in UP Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship of the University of the Philippines System's eight constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of the college were conducted in UP Manila. Beginning in 2016, classes are also being held at the UP Bonifacio Global City campus in Taguig, which is an extension campus of UP Diliman.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Sherman Moreland had initially been designated as the acting dean of the college, while Malcolm was appointed as the College Secretary. Almost immediately, Moreland turned over his office to Malcolm, who served as acting dean while the University tried in vain to recruit American law professors to become the permanent dean of the college.While there was some resistance in the idea of appointing Malcolm as the first permanent Dean of the College of Law, Malcolm was finally appointed to the post on October 11, 1911.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines or referred to as simply by its colloquial term Korte Suprema, is the highest court in the Philippines. The Court was established by the second Philippine Commission in June 11, 1901 through the enactment of Act No. 136, an Act which had abolished the Real Audiencia de Manila.
Sherman Moreland was an American lawyer and politician from New York and the Philippines.
Malcolm served as dean for the next six years. He also taught courses in constitutional law and in legal ethics. Three students who graduated during his deanship would eventually become Presidents of the Philippines — José P. Laurel, Manuel Roxas, and Elpidio Quirino. Several other of Malcolm's students would later serve in the Supreme Court, including also Laurel, who would actually succeed to Malcolm's seat on the Supreme Court in 1936.
Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the parliament or legislature, and the judiciary; as well as the basic rights of citizens and, in federal countries such as the United States and Canada, the relationship between the central government and state, provincial, or territorial governments.
Legal ethics, principles of conduct that members of the legal profession are expected to observe in their practice. They are an outgrowth of the development of the legal profession itself.
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The President leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The President is directly elected by the people, and is one of only two nationally elected executive officials, the other being the Vice President of the Philippines. However, four vice presidents have assumed the presidency without having been elected to the office, by virtue of a president's intra-term death or resignation.
Following the relocation of the university campus to Diliman, Quezon City after World War II, the building that housed the College of Law was named "Malcolm Hall" after Malcolm, a name that is carried as to this day.
In 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson appointed Malcolm to sit on the Philippine Supreme Court. At age 35, he was the youngest person ever appointed as Justice to the High Court. He would serve in the Court until 1936, when he was forced to retire upon the enactment of the 1935 Constitution, which limited Supreme Court membership to Filipinos. Upon his retirement after 19 years, Malcolm had written 3,340 opinions for the Court.
Several of Malcolm's opinions for the Court remain influential to date. In Villavicencio v. Lukban, 39 Phil. 778 (1919), he spoke for the Court in granting the writ of habeas corpus to counter the deportation of prostitutes to Mindanao as ordered by Manila mayor Justo Lukban. In Villaflor v. Summers, 41 Phil. 62 (1920), Malcolm wrote that a judicial order compelling a woman to submit to a physical examination to determine if she was pregnant did not violate the constitutional proscription against self-incrimination. In Borromeo v. Mariano, 41 Phil. 329 (1921), and Concepcion v. Paredes, 42 Phil. 499 (1921), Malcolm authored opinions that shielded the members of the judiciary from the diminution of their powers by legislative action. In Alejandrino v. Quezon, 46 Phil. 83 (1924), the Court through Malcolm ruled it had no power to reverse the suspension of a senator by his colleagues in the Senate. In Government v. Springer, Malcolm refused to affirm the law that granted the Senate President and Speaker of the House the right to vote shares in a government corporation, citing that such authority did not fall within the functions of the legislature. Malcolm's opinion would be affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States upon appellate review, 277 U.S. 189 (1928), though the dissent therein of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. proved more memorable in time, with its eloquent pronouncement that "[t]he great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white. Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from one extreme to the other."
Malcolm's majority opinion in Rubi v. Provincial Board, 33 Phil. 660 (1919), remains controversial to date. The Court therein affirmed a provincial government resolution directed at the Mangyan ethnic minority, requiring the confinement of members of "non-Christian tribes" to a specially created reservation. Likening the plight of the Mangyan to that of Native Americans, the Court classified the Mangyan as "wards of the Filipino". "By the fostering care of a wise Government, may not these unfortunates advance in the "habits and arts of civilization?" Would it be advisable for the courts to intrude upon a plan, carefully formulated, and apparently working out for the ultimate good of these people?"
In Baguio City housing the summer quarters of the Supreme Court, the city square on Session Road near the public market is named Malcolm Square in his honor, and a bronze bust of Malcolm is located in the square.
After his retirement from the Philippine Supreme Court, Malcolm was appointed as a legal adviser to U.S. High Commissioners Frank Murphy and Paul V. McNutt. In 1939, he was appointed as Attorney General of Puerto Rico. However, he would later fall into dispute with Governor Rexford Tugwell, and he ended up being fired in 1942.As a sign of great respect for him by the Philippine legal community, he was granted honorary Philippine citizenship by the Philippine Congress in 1955.
Malcolm later settled back in the United States, though he would make occasional visits to the Philippines and to the law school housed in the building named after him.He died aged 79 in Los Angeles on May 16, 1961. His daughter, Mary MacKenzie Malcolm Leydorf, died in 2013 at the age of 79. He is survived by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Malcolm was a godfather to Ameurfina Melencio-Herrerawho, in 1979, became the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
A collection of Malcolm's papers, including series relating to his service in the Philippines and in Puerto Rico, is housed at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan and open for research.
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Grant T. Trent
| Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines |
José P. Laurel
| Dean of the U.P. College of Law |
Jorge C. Bocobo