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Philippine IT Law Journal 1-2

Philippine IT Law Journal 1-2

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Published by lairaja
Publication of the e-Law Center, Arellano University School of Law.
Publication of the e-Law Center, Arellano University School of Law.

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Published by: lairaja on Apr 15, 2008
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05/09/2014

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n November 2003, aMemorandum of Agreement (MOA) wassigned by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Court Administrator Presbitero Velasco Jr. andMayor Jejomar Binary of the City of Makatifor the installation of the country's firstelectronic court.The electronic court (E-court) project is aninitiative of Sen. Pimentel, driven by his desireto allow the courts to maximize the use oftechnology in enhancing the court processes.For its initial budget, Sen. Pimentel allocatedP2 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund. A counterpart of P2 millionshall be provided by the city government ofMakati. The installation of E-courts in otherregional trial courts will depend on thewillingness of the local government units toprovide a counterpart amount to shoulder theinitial budget of said courts.
Features of the E-court
The E-courts will have three majorinnovations, namely: computer-aidedtranscription (CAT) facilities, caseadministration or case management systemand tele-video conference room.The computer-aided transcription facilities willallow courts to provide transcripts of theproceedings to be printed and distributed atthe end of every hearing. With these facilities,parties will not have to wait for weeks or evenmonths before they can be furnished withcopies of the transcripts of the proceedings.The introduction of this digital recording andtranscription system in our courts will best
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>>[ 3 ] E-Court
implement Section 16 of the Bill of Rightsproviding for the litigants' right to speedy disposition of cases. It is well recognized thatthe time spent by the parties in waiting for thetranscript of stenographic notes is a fact mostcontributory to the current 'at a snail's pace'disposition of cases. With the computerizationof the transcription, the parties will be assuredthat before they leave the courtroom, they will have the copies of the transcript of theproceedings with them.Moreover, for an enhanced casemanagement or case administration, theproject includes a computer linkage to theSupreme Court. This feature will allow theOffice of the Court Administrator to effectively monitor the cases pending in the trial courtand to check the letter's compliance with theguidelines and rules issued by the SupremeCourt as regards the disposition of the casesbefore it. Surely, this will be an effectivemeasure for the High Court to exercise itssupervisory functions over the lower courts.Perhaps the best feature of the E-court projectis the tele-video conference room. This is aclosed-circuit video room which allows childwitnesses to testify outside the courtroom butwithin its vicinity to prevent them from beingintimidated or influenced by the accused orother persons. This facility will certainly protectvulnerable witnesses especially childrenwhose appearance before the courts couldbe traumatic to them.To illustrate the advantage of the child witnessroom, Atty. Ivan John Uy, Chief of the
172128
 
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he e-Law Centerwould like to publicly express itsdeepest appreciation to the ArellanoUniversity School of Law and the Arellano Law Foundation, particularlyto Dean Mariano Magsalin Jr. and Mr.Florentino Cayco III, for theirunwavering commitment to make thelaw school at the forefront of cyber laweducation, research, advocacy in thecountry. With their continuing support, the e-Law Center was able to cause thepublication of this IT Law Journal, nowon its second issue. In my capacity asExecutive Director of the Center, I wasalso fortunate to participate in the2004 Internet Law Program of theBerkman Center for Internet andSociety of the Harvard Law School lastMay 2004. The websitewww.lawphil.net is fast becoming theleading repository of on-line legalresources and jurisprudence in thecountry.On a personal note, I also wish tocommend the dedication andinvaluable contributions of Arellanolaw students who compose the IT LawSociety headed by Michael Vernon M.Guerrero. I recognize that their taskof helping the Center in the realizationof its vision and various activities entailsa lot of personal sacrifice consideringthe fact that almost all of them areworking students, not to mention therigors of their law studies. Very few people in our country realizehow global developments ininformation technology have sharplyincreased during the last decade. Theobservation that information technologywould affect the way people live is acertainty, and not a mere fallaciousstatement. As the demand forinformation technology increases, theneed to address related legal concernsand issues also grow in the sameproportion. Hence, there is no iota ofdoubt that the vision set by the lawschool in 1997 to produce technologyoriented lawyers and professorsappropriately responds to globaltrends. Expect the e-Law Center to beat the forefront in the realization ofthis vision.In this issue, the banner story is theelectronic court (e-Court) projectinitiated by Senator Aquilino PimentelJr. in cooperation with Supreme Court Administrator Presbitero Velasco Jr.and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay.The issue also carries an article oncyberterrorism, or as the author putsit: “Web as a Means of Destruction”(WMD). The recent decision of the USSupreme Court in the case of “Ashcroftvs. ACLU” on the constitutionality ofthe Child On Line Protection Act(COPA) is also discussed in this journal.The case presented a constitutionalclash between the government’s rightto regulate Internet content and theright of the people to free speech. Forthe legal web section, this issue featuresthe website of the Philippine SupremeCourt, accessible atwww.supremecourt.gov.ph.
C
HAIRMAN
 Atty. Jaime N. Soriano, CPA, MNSA 
M
EMBERS
 Ailyn L. CortezCharilyn A. DeeJhonelle S. EstradaPeter Joseph L. FauniCarlyn Marie Bernadette C. Ocampo-GuerreroMichael Vernon M. GuerreroMa. Cristina A. Ramos
Editorial BoardEditorial
For subscriptions, contact:
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HILIPPINEHILIPPINEHILIPPINEHILIPPINEHILIPPINE
UARTERLY UARTERLY UARTERLY UARTERLY UARTERLY 
It Law Journal
e-Law Center
2/F Heilbronn Hall Arellano University School of LawTaft Avenue corner Menlo StreetPasay City 1300 PhilippinesTels. +63 2 404-3089, 404-3090, 404-3091http://www.arellanolaw.netitlawjournal@arellanolaw.net
 Volume 1, Issue 2
The
Philippine Quarterly IT LawJournal
is the official publication of the e-Law Center and the IT Law Society of the Arellano University School of Law. It ispublished quarterly.Contributions to the Philippine Quarterly ITLaw Journal express the views of their authorsand not necessarily the views of the ArellanoUniversity School of Law.
Philippine IT Facts and Figures
Women’s Internet Usage
1
in the PhilippinesWomen as % of Internet Users,200051.0Total Women Internet usersin 000s76.5Total number Internet usersin 000s150Internet users as % of totalpopulation0.6Female professionals andtechnical workers as % of total65.1Female literacy rates94.3
Source:
1
Hafkin and Taggart (2001)
©
2004. All Rights Reserved.
Reconstituted November 2006. Proportionsmay differ slightly from original printed copy.
 
ei  l  i   p pi  ne Quat  el   y I  aw J  ounal   :  :  V ol  ume , Nume
3
<<[ 1 ] E-Court
Management Information SystemOffice (MISO) of the Supreme Court,gave as an example the examinationof a child who was allegedly raped by her father or uncle. With the present procedure in ourcourts, the child will have to exposeherself to an embarrassing andtraumatic experience connected withthe litigation of the rape case as shewill have to narrate before the courtthe rape incident with the accused infront of her and with all the relativesand neighbors attending the hearing."It is already such a trauma being avictim; you're all again a victim thesecond time when you have to narrateit in front of that kind of audience. Foran adult, it is already traumatic. "whatmore for a child?" said Atty. Uy.Certainly, this is what the child witnessroom seeks to prevent-the traumaticeffect on the child brought about by testifying in front of the judge, theaccused and other people. Aside fromthe features mentioned above, the E-court will also have a website fordissemination of information to thepublic regarding the cases filedtherein.Currently, the project is lodged beforethe Urban Development Division of theCity of Makati- The division ispreparing for the specifications of thefacilities to be submitted to theprocurement office of the Departmentof Budget and Management.
Not a paperless court
The MISO Chief clarified that the E-court project is not a court where Atty. Uy discussed the possible set-upof a paperless court. He said that biglaw firms would be allowed to enrollin the digital court system so that they will have an access to the system.There would be a virtual terminalwherein the documents (pleadings,motions, etc.) from the enrolled lawfirms will be sent to the Supreme Courtand it will be the Supreme Court whowill send the document to the trialcourts. He said that for authenticationpurposes a centralized processing ofdocuments must be had. Otherwise,there would be difficulties in themanagement of traffic and in thevalidation of the legitimacy of the lawfirm.Moreover, the MISO Chief stressed thatit would be very expensive if thejudiciary will install multiple servers lieuof a central processing office. With thecountry's dwindling resources, thejudiciary will just have to make the bestout of its finances. With the current efforts of the SupremeCourt, the optimistic outlook of Atty. Uy,the assistance of the likes of Sen.Pimentel, and the cooperation of thelocal government units, full automationof the judiciary will soon be realized.There will be expediency in thedisposition of cases. The rights of bothparties will be observed. They will beaccorded with protection fromemotional harm. Justice will be the endin view. When that time comes, it willnot just be a victory of a party in acase. Rather, it will be a victory of allthe party litigants as the best interestof justice is served.
*Based on the interview with Atty. IvanJohn Enrile Uy (MISO Chief, SupremeCourt of the Philippines)
everything will be digitized so that itwould be a paperless court. Theproject, as conceptualized, does notinclude a system that allows electronicfiling of pleadings."The concept of the E-court is toprovide technological facility availablenow that is most cost-effective and yetwill have significant impact on thecourtroom," Atty. Uy said. As the project is intended to beimplemented the soonest possible time,only those things that are workable ina short period were considered,placing special emphasis on the budgetconstraints.Doing a paperless court whereeverything is digitized requires solvinga lot of other issues. First, a lot of ruleshave to be changed; Second, apaperless court in which everything isdigitized has a huge fundingrequirement; Third, most of the judgesin the trial courts do not want to readthe text of the cases in the computermonitor. They still prefer to read themon paper. Most probably, therefore,despite the e-filing, judges would stillask to have the e-filed motions,pleadings and other orders and noticesprinted on paper. Taking these factorsinto consideration, a paperless courtis not feasible at this point in time,according to the MISO Chief.
Towards a digital court
Optimistic as he is, Atty. Uy said thatthe High Court would probably start itsinitiative towards a paperless court infive years' time. However, he foreseesthat full automation of the courtroomwill be selective at first.
“M
 Y 
 
HOPE
 
IS
 
TO
 
PUSH
 
THIS
 
COMMON
 
SENSE
 
 ALONG
. I
HAVE
 
BECOME
 
INCREASINGLY 
 
 AMAZED
 
BY 
 
THE
 
POWER
 
OF
 
THIS
 
IDEA OF
 
INTELLECTUAL
 
PROPERTY 
 
 AND
,
 MORE
 
IMPORTANTLY 
,
ITS
 
POWER
 
TO
 
DISABLE
 
CRITICAL
 
THOUGHT
 
BY 
 
POLICY 
 
 MAKERS
 
 ANDCITIZENS
. T
HERE
 
HAS
 
NEVER
 
BEEN
 
 A 
 
TIME
 
IN
 
OUR
 
HISTORY 
 
 WHEN
 
 MORE
 
OF
 
OUR
CULTURE
 WAS
 
 AS
OWNED
 AS
 
IT
 
IS
 
NOW 
. A 
ND
 
 YET
 
THERE
 
HAS
 
NEVER
 
BEEN
 
 A 
 
TIME
 
 WHEN
 
THE
 
CONCENTRATION
 
OF
 
POWER
 
TO
 
CONTROL
 
THE
 
USES
 
OF
 
CULTURE
 
HASBEEN
 
 AN
 
UNQUESTIONINGLY 
 
 ACCEPTED
 
 AS
 
IT
 
IS
 
NOW 
.” (P
ROF
. L
 AWRENCE
L
ESSIG
,
IN
 
HIS
 
BOOK
“F
REE
C
ULTURE
: H
OW 
B
IG
M
EDIA 
U
SES
T
ECHNOLOGY 
 
 AND
 
THE
L
 AW 
 
TO
L
OCK
D
OWN
C
ULTURE
 
 AND
C
ONTROL
C
REATIVITY 
.”)

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