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THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY 1. The Supreme Court is a constitutional body.

It cannot be abolished nor may its membership or the manner of its meetings be changed by mere legislation 2. The members of the Supreme Court may not be removed except by impeachment 3. The Supreme Court may not be deprived of its minimum original and appellate jurisdiction as prescribed in Article VIII Sec. 5 of the Constitution 4. The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may not be increased without its advise and concurrence 5. Appointees to the judiciary are nominated through the Judicial and Bar Council, and no longer subject to the confirmation of Commission on Appointments 6. The Supreme Court has administrative supervision over all lower courts and their personnel 7. The Supreme Court has exclusive power to discipline judges of lower courts 8. The members of the Supreme Court and lower courts have security of tenure, which cannot be undetermined by a law reorganizing the judiciary 9. They shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions 10. The salaries of judges may not be reduced during their continuance in office 11. The judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy 12. The Supreme Court alone may initiate Rules of Court 13. Only the Supreme Court may order temporary detail of judges 14. The Supreme Court can appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary

The Supreme Court is a constitutional body. It cannot be abolished nor may its membership or the manner of its meetings be changed by mere legislation
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

Judicial Power and Duty of Courts of Justice - to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable - to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of ANY branch or instrumentality of the Government - vested in Supreme Court and in such lower courts COURTS OF JUSTICE Supreme Court only constitutional court Lower Courts statutory creations Court of Appeals Regional Trial Court Metropolitan Trial Court Municipal Circuit Trial Court (The above-mentioned are under the Judiciary Reorganization Law) Court of Tax Appeals Sandigangbayan Sharia courts JURISDICTION Appointees to the judiciary are nominated through the Judicial and Bar Council, and no longer subject to the confirmation of Commission on Appointments
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof.

Power vested in the Congress - power to define, prescribe and apportion jurisdiction - subject to constitutional limitations

APPOINTMENTS Appointees to the judiciary are nominated through the Judicial and Bar Council, and no longer subject to the confirmation of Commission on Appointments
Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees preferred by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation. For the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointment within ninety days from the submission of the list.

Term - Rotational scheme - No limit on the number of terms appointive members may serve - President is not bound by seniority rule Purpose of new process of appointment - de-politicize the courts of justice - ensure choice of competent judges - fill existing vacancies as soon as possible QUALIFICATIONS
Section 7. 1. No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. 2. The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of lower courts, but no person may be appointed judge thereof unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar. 3. A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.

JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL - Principal function: recommending appointees to the Judiciary - prepares a list of at least 3 nominees for every vacancy - gives the President enough leeway in exercise of his discretion - Screens the appointments for members of judiciary - Under supervision of the Supreme Court - May exercise other functions and duties as SC may assign to it - Replaced Commission on Appointments to avoid undue influence (political affiliation and loyalty rather than merit) Composition Regular Members - Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman - Secretary of Justice - Representative of the Congress Above are appointed by the President for a term of 4 years, and with consent of the Commission on Appointments Ex officio Members Representative of the Integrated Bar (4) Professor of law (3) Retired Member of the Supreme Court (2) Representative of the private sector (1) Secretary ex officio of the Council Clerk of the Supreme Court keeps a record of its proceedings.

Members of the Supreme Court - Natural-born Filipino citizen - At least 40 years of age - At least 15 years of experience to be a judge of lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines - Must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence SC qualifications may not be reduced nor increased by Congress through ordinary legislation; may only be changed through Constitutional amendment Judge of a Lower Court - Citizen of the Philippines - Member of the Philippine Bar - Must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence - Congress shall prescribe the qualifications Qualifications may be increased by Congress; above are only minimum requirements

1. Members of Supreme Court 2. Judges of lower courts No confirmation is needed

Appointed by the President

They shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions Temporary appointments are not allowed - Undermines independence of judiciary - Essentially revocable at will The judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. FISCAL AUTONOMY
Section 3. The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released.

- Ordinances - Other regulations Shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. DIVISION CASES Cases or matters heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon Concurrence of at least three of such Members When the required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc No doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a decision rendered en banc or in division may be modified or reversed except by the court sitting en banc.

Fiscal autonomy - guarantee of full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources - power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of compensation - pay plans of government - allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law COMPOSITION OF THE SUPREME COURT Composed of 1 Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices Fifteen members to enable the Court to cope more effectively with its mounting backlog of cases May meet: en banc, two, three or five divisions Any vacancy in the Court must be filled within ninety days from its occurrence President is required to fill vacancies in the control within the time frames provided

REQUISITES OF A JUDICIAL INQUIRY 1. There must be an actual case or controversy 2. Question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party 3. Question of constitutionality must be raised at earliest opportunity 4. Decision of constitutional question of must be necessary to the determination of the case itself Actual Case - Involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution - Appropriate for judicial determination - Must NOT be an opinion, moot, academic, hypothetical or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations - Must be real and substantive, admitting specific relief through a decree - When purpose is to solicit from the court a declaratory judgment involving interpretation of rights and duties Counselling by courts is contrary to separation of powers since advice will not have the force of law but mere suggestion that may be accepted or rejected

EN BANC CASES All cases involving the constitutionality of: - Treaty - International or Executive Agreement - Law All other cases which under the Rules of Court are required to be heard en banc: constitutionality, application, or operation of: - Presidential decrees - Proclamations - Orders - Instructions

Proper Party - One who has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining injury as a result of the act complained of - Actual or potential injury must be established Earliest Opportunity - Issue must be raised in the pleadings Exceptions: - In criminal cases, constitutional question can be raised at anytime in the discretion of the court - In civil cases, constitutional question can be raised at any stage if it is necessary to the determination of the case itself - In every case, except where there is estoppel, constitutional question can be raised at any stage if it involves the jurisdiction of the court Effects of a Declaration of Unconstitutionality Orthodox View - Creates no office, affords no protection - Total nullity; Considered never to have existed at all Modern View - Does not annul or repeal statue - Decision affects parties only, persons outside or excluded from suit are not bound by judgment - No judgment against the statue Partial Unconstitutionality - Salvages the valid portions of statute Two Conditions: 1. Legislature is willing to retain valid portion; usually through separability clause 2. Valid portions can stand independently POWERS OF SC The Supreme Court may not be deprived of its minimum original and appellate jurisdiction as prescribed in Article VIII Sec. 5 of the Constitution Original Jurisdiction - Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls

Petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus

Appellate Jurisdiction The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may not be increased without its advise and concurrence - Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in: (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question. (b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto. (c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue. (d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher. (e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved. - Right to appeal is not embraced in due process of law - Appeals allowed are from final judgments and decrees only of lower courts or judicial tribunal; Administrative decisions (ex. Court martial) are not included Temporary Assignment of Judges Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such temporary assignment shall not exceed six months without the consent of the judge concerned. Provision is to eliminate pernicious practice of transferring judges at will to suit motivations of President

Change of Venue or Place of Trial Order a change of venue or change of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice. The power may be exercised in civil cases.

Besides removal, such other disciplinary measures as suspension, fine, and reprimand can be meted out by the SC on erring judges. CONSULTATIONS OF THE COURT

Rule-making Power Authorizes the SC to promulgate rules: - on legal assistance to the underprivileged - concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights - for a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases Limitations on the rule-making power of the Supreme Court: - Rule must be uniform for all courts of the same grade - Rules must not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights Appointment of Court Personnel Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service Law. The power extends to all the officials and employees of the judiciary itself.

The SC is required to reach its conclusions after an exchange of ideas and full deliberation among its members. The primary purpose of a collegiate court is precisely to provide for the most exhaustive deliberation before a conclusion is reached. Once agreement is arrived at by the required majority, a member is assigned as the ponente of the Court. Other members may write separate concurrent opinions, but a separate opinion is required from any dissenting justice, who should state the reasons for his dissent. A justice who takes no part or abstains must also explain his non-participation as it is not permitted for a member to refuse to act except for valid reasons. DECISIONS OF THE COURT

No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing thereinclearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal basis therefor." - Merely directory - Merely requires that the decision rendered makes clear why either party prevailed under the applicable law to the established facts. - Applicable only to a decision - Intended to inform the parties of the factual and legal considerations employed to support the decision of the court. - Above provision is NOT applicable to decisions of the COMELEC and of military tribunals, which are not courts of justice. SALARIES OF JUDGES

Administrative Supervision of Courts The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. TENURE OF JUDGES
Sec. 11, Art. 8 of the Constitution guarantees the security of tenure of the judges until they reach the retirement age of seventy.

Members of the judiciary may be removed only after charges have been filed and proved against them in a proper administrative proceeding conducted or ordered by the Supreme Court. Power to remove judges lies in the Supreme Court with the concurrence of a majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberations and voted on the issues in the case.

The salary of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the SC, and of judges of lower courts are fixed by the law. Diminution of the salaries of judges during their continuance in office is prohibited Salaries of the judges MAY be raised by the legislature PERIODS FOR DECISION

Sec. 15, Art. 8 of the Constitution is MANDATORY. Maximum Periods: SC = 24 Months Lower collegiate courts = 12 Months Other lower courts = 3 Months **Period shall start from the filing of the last pleading, brief or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself. Although decision within the maximum period is now mandatory, failure to arrive at the same will not divest the court of jurisdiction, without prejudice to any responsibility that may attach to the judge. The court must still resolve the case without further delay ANNUAL REPORT

The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the opening of each regular session of the Congress, submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on the operations and activities of the Judiciary. - The annual report can be the basis of the appropriate legislation and government policies intended to improve the administration of justice and strengthen the independence of the judiciary.