TRAIL - The Rizal Academy for Innovation and Leadership


Supreme Court of the Philippines

Submitted to the Presencing Institute – MIT by Godofredo Eala and Marisol Lopez Consultants, The Rizal Academy for Innovation and Leadership, TRAIL-ELIAS PH Fellows 2010

BIG IDEA : Supreme Court - Addressing Case Congestions and Delays in the Lower Courts Changing the (100-year old!) System for Hearing and Deciding Cases

Our courts are few and disproportionately distributed
Average cases for city courts number 1,000 -2,000 cases; They hear 30 to 60 cases a day.
Inventory of Pending Cases as June 30, 2010
Regional Trial Courts
Metropolitan Trial Courts
Municipal Trial Courts
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
Shari’s Circuit Courts
Court Management Office-OCA
Questions Posed before the Committee
1. Is our system of hearing and adjudicating disputes working for us?
2. Do we have too many intersections to crawl through in our system?
3. What is our model for hearing and deciding cases? What are the features of our model?
The Multi-Stakeholders LOWER COURT CLIENTS
• Plaintiffs and defendants
• Petitioners in special proceedings
• People of the Philippines
• Accused, detained or not
• Private lawyers
• Public attorneys
• Public prosecutors
• Witnesses
• Bonding companies
The Multi-Stakeholders Sectors with interest
• Public in general
• National government
• Local government
• Law enforcement agencies
• Big business
• Medium and small business
• Investors, domestic or foreign
• Civil society legal groups
• Academe
Who are we? What is our WORK?
• From the data gathered during the sensing journey, members of the Committee came together for conversations and to crystallize what the future was asking of them.
• As a result, they agreed to pilot hearing of cases using the Arbitration process.
Staffers: “It should be true to its nature, whether on land, at sea, or on air, as it was originally meant to function.”
Face-to-face Trial of Issues
In 2012, court hearings applying the Arbitration process were piloted in selected salas in Quezon City. Factual issues were tried face-to-face with the judge and the different parties seated in a manner that would facilitate the exchange of questions and answers.
The use of Judicial Affidavits also allowed the court to already see what issues the parties agree on and what issues were under dispute.
During the court hearings, witnesses shall simultaneously be sworn to the truth of their testimonies. The Judge than issues a written judgment within 90 days.
Given the successful pilot, the new way of hearing court cases was approved by the Supreme Court in January 2013. Only one lawyer in the whole judicial system submitted his objections.
Key Learning Elements:

Download PDFSupreme Court.pdf