Prof. Ruben F. Balane


Professor Ruben F. Balane is widely considered as the foremost authority on civil law in the Philippines. He has been a Professor of Law at the University of the Philippines (U.P.) since 1970 and the Ateneo de Manila University (Ateneo) since 1982. He held the Justice J.B. L. Reyes Professorial Chair in Civil Law in U.P. from 1977 to 1984 and at the Ateneo from 2003 to the present, and has been the Chairman of the Department of Civil Law of the Philippine Judicial Academy from 2006 to the present. He is also a member of the Academy’s Corps of Professors.



Professor Ruben F. Balane is widely considered as the foremost authority on civil law in the Philippines. He has been a Professor of Law at the University of the Philippines (U.P.) since 1970 and the Ateneo de Manila University (Ateneo) since 1982. He held the Justice J.B. L. Reyes Professorial Chair in Civil Law in U.P. from 1977 to 1984 and at the Ateneo from 2003 to the present, and has been the Chairman of the Department of Civil Law of the Philippine Judicial Academy from 2006 to the present. He is also a member of the Academy’s Corps of Professors.

He was the Examiner in Civil Law of the 1986 bar examinations and was also a member and coordinator of the Philippine Civil Code revision Project of the U.P. Law Center from 1979 to 1987.

In 2007, he received the Ramon Ozaeta Award for Academic Excellence in law from the Philippine Bar Association and the Outstanding Professional Award in the Field of Law from U.P.

Professor Balane has written JOTTINGS AND JURISPRUDENCE IN CIVIL LAW (SUCCESSION), now in its fourth (2010) edition. It received the Centenary Book Award from the Supreme Court in 2001. He was also the editor of JBL IPSE LOQUITUR: A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS AND LECTURES BY JUSTICE J.B.L. REYES.

He has written numerous legal monographs, such as: “Preterition: Provenance, Problems, and Proposals” (50 Philippine Law Journal No. 5, December 1975), “The Spanish Antecedents of the Philippine Civil Code” (UP Law Center Legal History Series, 1979),  “Contract Law in the Philippines: An Overview” (Soka University, Japan. 30th Anniversary Special Edition 19-34 [1999] ), “Family Courts and Significant Jurisprudence in Family Law” (27 Journal of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines 1st and 2nd Quarters  21-59 [2001]), “Legitimes: Concepts, Problems and Solutions” (28 Journal of the Integrated bar of the Philippines 3rd and 4th quarters 1-24 [2002]), “Defective Contracts in Philippine Civil Law” (30 Journal of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines 3rd and 4th quarters 79-104 [2004]) and “Adoption and the Right to Succeed: A Brief Overview” (80 Philippine Law Journal No. 2, December 2005.)

Attorney Balane has also received awards for his fiction, such as second prize in the 1975 Focus Magazine Literary Awards edited by the renowned writer Kerima Polotan Tuvera for his short story “Agua de Mayo”, a story which is included in the anthology UNDERGROUND SPIRIT: Philippine Short Stories in English 1973-1989, Vol. 1,1973-1982,  edited by Gemino A. Abad and published by the University of the Philippines Press. He won the Focus second prize again for “Isla de Gusanos” in 1978, which story is also anthologized in “A HARVEST OF GREEN AND GOLD, An Anthology of Short Stories”, Far Eastern University, 2004. Philippine Graphic magazine has also published “Terza Rima” (13 September 2004), “Echoes of Evensong” (17/24 January 2005), and “Nocturne” (19 September 2005).  Sarabihon, A Journal of Sorsogon Studies also published “The Victor” in 1985. His poem “The Day the Vultures Came” appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine in 1969. He has also written literary criticism and non-legal essays such as “Reflections on the First Encyclical of Pope John Paul II and “What is Literature”.

Professor Balane graduated salutatorian and cum laude from the U.P. College of Law in 1966 and was ranked second in the bar examinations of the same year.  He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities from the Ateneo, and has graduate units in literature also from the same university.

He was a Founding Partner of Balane Tamase Alampay Law office from 1985 to 2010.

When not teaching, torturing his students with convoluted exam questions, writing, doing legal research, lecturing and practicing law, Professor Balane likes to cook, travel, and kibitz with family and friends. He collects watches.