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JEFFREY EGAMEN DY

JURIS DOCTOR, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
May 30, 2018

“DIGITALIZED COURTS”

The Implementation of Electronic Court (E-Court) and Automated Systems in the Philippines as
being Supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and American
Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)

ABSTRACT

This paper intends to discuss the nature and effects of the implementation of electronic court and
automated systems in the Philippine sphere. It will answer the following questions:

1. Can this reduce docket congestion and court delays?
2. Can this strengthen the rule of law and streamline of the local judicial process?
3. Can this really helps the court employees in the discharge of their daily duties and
responsibilities?
4. Can this really helps parties to the case with regard to the filing of their pleadings and other
processes and papers in courts?

This paper will also discuss the origin of this program and its effectivity in the country. Its effects
in the Philippine Judicial System especially in the disposition of cases filed in court. It will also give insights
of the programs being developed by the Supreme Court for the enhancement of works in the judiciary.

1. Introduction

The judicial power iS vested in “one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established
by law.” This judicial power is exercised through the judiciary’s primary role of adjudication, which
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 1.

Article VIII, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the Supreme Court shall have
administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. In 2013, the Supreme Court registered
a 50% case disposal percentage as to Administrative and Bar Matters, with a total Case Output of 2,133
(1,993 by minute resolution and 140 by ponencia) as against a total Case Input of 4,232 (2,285 pending
cases as of December 31, 2012; 1,881 new cases; and 66 reinstated cases). There are only 2,099 pending
cases by the end of 2013.

Because of the clogging dockets in Philippine Courts especially in lower courts, the then Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court Maria Lourdes Sereno had adopted and started the e-court program and
automated systems in Quezon City courts in 2013. She promised for faster justice with e-courts. She
envisions a future where courts are fully digitalized and can dispense justice in a shorter amount of time.
During the 68th Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) meeting on January 25, 2017, she said
that Philippine courts will have a more digitalized system to ensure faster case resolutions. The e-court
program files cases in an information system that highlights the oldest and those requiring the most urgent
action. It notifies judges of deadlines, and provides them templates of resolutions, decisions and orders so
they can be issued more quickly. Sereno said that currently there 197 e-courts in 8 cities nationwide and

1
http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/pio/annualreports/2013%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%20I.pdf

Courts are often plagued with corruption. When it first began providing technical legal assistance in Central and Eastern Europe about 25 years ago. ministries of justice and a wide array of civil society organizations. As ABA ROLI expanded its rule of law programming to other regions.C. law schools. bar associations. Every activity in the hearing is captured in real time.devex. ABA ROLI is focused on improving court efficiency. challenges remain. 2 https://www. and expanding access to justice in the Philippines. assists in drafting and implementing codes of judicial ethics. the judiciaries of many nations in the region were in desperate need of reform. While.com/jobs/aba-roli-country-director-philippines-staff-520530 . the Public Attorney’s Office. 2. court administrators. She likewise said that these courts are able to adopt the Automated Hearing System. And while many judiciaries have made significant progress. ABA ROLI’s host country partners include judges. office.1 Judicial Reform As part of its judicial reform programs. a game-changing initiative previously deemed impossible in the Philippines. trial and appellate courts. lawyers. D. By continuously working with a broad coalition of local partners. combating corruption. 2. enabling the court to serve the counsel the written copy of the order of the judge in as little time as 15 minutes after the order is given in open court which previously unimaginable court experience. including human rights groups2. and a spectrum of civil society representative. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and American Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) The USAID is an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. increasing business sector confidence. According to her. ABA ROLI is building local capacity to champion and uphold the rule of law. it became apparent that similar obstacles existed in judicial systems throughout the world. the Supreme Court. accountability and transparency in judicial systems. the Philippine Judicial Academy. legislatures. the European Union has also pledged its support to take the e-court program to the National Capital Region (NCR). advancing human rights. promotes judicial education and training. universities. Insufficient judicial education and professional training. as well as a lack of emphasis on judicial ethics. ABA ROLI has nearly 500 professionals staff working abroad and in its Washington.expectedly there will be 297 e-courts spread across 10 cities by the end of 2017 using funds from the USAID and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). Region III and Region IV-A possibly by 2018. undermining often-fragile public trust in the fairness and efficiency of the judicial system. ABA ROLI is a non-profit organization that implements legal reform programs in roughly 50 countries around the world. insufficient professional guarantees and ill-defined judicial powers leave many judges and magistrates demoralized and marginalized in their own courtrooms and thus unable. Overwhelming caseloads—coupled with inadequate resource allocation and a lack of modern case- management systems—can result in procedural delays that undermine the administration of justice. law schools. Moreover. hamper the effectiveness of judiciaries and of individual judges in many countries throughout the world. or unwilling. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) support this program of the Chief Justice. to promote the rule of law. the Department of Justice. and helps to enhance court administration and efficiency. ABA ROLI promotes greater independence.

ABA ROLI’s criminal justice programs provide technical assistance to governments. civil society organizations and justice sector professionals. Its programs improve criminal justice systems by helping justice sector professionals and institutions increase capacity and enhance skills. and  strengthening court administration. through bilateral agreements between the United States Government (USG) and the partnering countries’ national governments.pdf . These trainings also emphasize compliance with international and regional standards and best practices. especially those transitioning toward a more adversarial system. in turn.gov/documents/organization/244182. Each constraint was accompanied by a set of goals. PFG requires rigorous.S. including prosecutors. including El Salvador and the Philippines. policies. defense counsel. domestic violence and gender-based violence. will mitigate the effects of currently binding 3 https://www. 2. sustained. the Philippine and U. to Philippine economic growth. Programs that help delineate and strengthen the respective roles of judges. In the Executive Summary on the Final Report3 on the said agreement.2 The Partnership for Growth (PFG) Agreement In 2012.  promoting education and training for judges and court personnel. The countries of El Salvador. efficiency and transparency. money laundering. police. substantive trainings on a wide range of issues. Tanzania. on each country’s record of accomplishment in implementing ongoing Millennium Challenge Compacts (MCC). ABA ROLI provides trial advocacy training for criminal justice actors. The agreed-upon actions are designed to lead to goal and policy achievement. USG and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) signed a Joint Country Action Plan (JCAP) for a 5-year period for implementing two primary constraints. well-functioning judiciary is a central pillar of the rule of law.  facilitating dialogue on judicial reform and independence. ABA ROLI believes that an independent. it provides that: The Partnership for Growth (PFG) aims to achieve accelerated. and broad-based economic growth in partner countries. joint analyses of countries’ individual constraints to growth to develop joint action plans to address the most pressing of these constraints and to establish high-level mutual accountability for the goals and activities selected to alleviate them.state. governments entered into the Partnership for Growth (PFG) Agreement to address the most serious constraints to economic growth and development in the country. each with three subconstraints.  improving judicial ethics and accountability. Targeted. in part.S. magistrates and judges. Using principles set forth in President Barack Obama’s September 2010 Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development. A well-functioning criminal justice system protects and promotes individual rights. In November 2011. and Ghana were selected as the first group of countries in which the United States (U. which. we offer expert assistance in and provide resources for:  conducting assessments of judicial reform efforts. including organized crime. prosecutors and defense counsel promote fairness and a better balance of power between the state and the accused. accountable. with selection based. Its role in establishing and supporting public defender and legal aid centers helps to create improved and sustainable access to justice in many countries. helping them communicate and advocate more effectively. In some countries. the Philippines.) and partner governments would attempt to structure new PFG initiatives. terrorism financing. With this in mind. and actions to relieve them. further professionalize and empower criminal justice actors and help keep communities safe. Its contributions toward criminal procedure code reform have resulted in investigations and trials that are increasingly free from bias and that contain enhanced rights protections for the accused and victims alike at all stages of criminal investigations and proceedings.

JUSTICE Project is a five-year project started in 2012 focusing on strengthening the rule of law and streamlining the local judicial process. the private sector and civil society organization to help put the Philippines on an accelerated growth trajectory that benefits the majority of its population. Government is working with the Government of the Philippines. a bilateral initiative. JUSTICE is producing notable results in Quezon City. an ABA ROLI continues to strive to meet. The project aligns with the goal and PFG intervention themes of good governance anchored on rule of law and regulatory quality. The main objective of the PFG is progress toward a more transparent. constraints and. 000 cases were inventoried and 30 percent is now in the process of rolling out these interventions in eight additional growth hubs of the country. The quality of justice is. inclusive economic growth. and 3. predictable. adversely affected. USAID and Philippines started with the project called Judicial Strengthening to Improve Court Effectiveness (JUSTICE). In three years’ time from its launch. Judges need time to study. some cases have incredibly taken as long as a generation to resolve. Initial assessments show that the median case processing times of trials across all types of courts were reduced by 60 percent to 78 percent. analyze and research to come up with persuasive decisions that may somehow even convince the losing party to accept the adverse decision and forego an appeal thereby lightening the docket of the appellate court. therefore. The cases pending in all levels of the judicial system keep piling up at an alarming rate. Installation of e-Court system. The slow or delayed processing of earlier cases affects the progress of other following cases. June 1. the largest and most congested court district in the county. therefore. Reformed judicial processes will reduce business costs and facilitate efficient and reliable adjudication. Hundreds of thousands of cases remain pending for further action or resolution. Diliman. Massive case decongestion effort that systematically identifies long-standing cases for resolution. This three-pronged strategy is fully implemented in Quezon City. As a consequence.83%. helping the Philippines further develop. The project carefully introduced three interventions all intended to enhance court efficiency: 1.S. JUSTICE supports reforming court procedures to improve judicial efficiency. . Docket Congestions and Court Delays It is discussed in the Term Paper entitled Unclogging the Court Dockets4 that Court dockets are heavily and unjustifiably congested as a result of the indiscriminate filing and delayed processing of cases in the courts of justice. The average judicial disposal of cases annually is only 85. decongest court dockets and reduce court delay. In the area of docket decongestion. This project aims to remove improper filing practices. instate case timeliness and strengthen contract enforceability in order to achieve judicial accountability and efficiency. The Partnership for Growth (PFG) agreement represents a partnership between the Philippines and the United States to promote broad-based and inclusive growth. accelerate and sustain the Philippines’ rate of broad-based. 1999 at INNOTECH. a computerized case tracking and management tool. Commonwealth Avenue. Court docket congestion deprives the courts of the essential element of time. 2. and consistent legal and regulatory regime and strengthening the rule of law. The U. over 31. The situation is believed to become worst and the backlog will continue to grow rather than diminish unless judges are enabled to dispose of more cases through a systematic and sustained judicial reform program. Quezon City. 3. Streaming of trial rules to reduce opportunities for delay. 4 Paper presented in the Symposium on Economic Policy Agenda for the Estrada Administration.

imperative that alternative measures of unclogging court dockets should be explored to help minimize litigation expenses of the business sector. including all the courts where E-Courts is targeted to be implemented.ph/doingbusiness/reference/downloads/Summit/forupload/RDEC/EC_REFERENCE6_ Key_Updates. the largest and most congested court district in the country. we are building a modern court system for the people of Tacloban. As part of EISP. Strengthening the rule of law and local judicial process The project carefully introduced three interventions all intended to enhance court efficiency: 1) installation of e-Court system. To date. building back better. but also courts which handle many commercial cases. in a sense. Out of the rubble. To the business sector. the Judiciary is prioritizing not only the courts with the highest caseloads.org. identifies over 20 software application systems to speed-up the adjudication of cases. This three-pronged strategy is fully implemented in Quezon City. We want to improve the investment climate in these key economic corridors by ensuring speedy dispute resolution using modern tools like E-Courts. Court modernization must be complete and its benefits must reach all litigants. over 31.pdf . the Judiciary is building two major data centers and around a dozen regional data centers and establishing network and connectivity in major locations. and improve court management. while Makati hosts the country’s main financial district. Starting 2015. it produced a notable results in Quezon City. such delays in processing of cases would increase their business cost due to high litigation expenses. approved in 2009. Davao and Cebu Cities are main commercial hubs in Central and Southern Philippines. By the end of 2016. 4.1 Implementation of the Enterprise Information Systems Plan5 The EISP. high litigation expenses is minimized because of the speedy disposition of the cases. In implementing E-Courts. In 2016. is implementing its Enterprise Information Systems Plan (EISP). with appropriations coming from the national government. international code name Hainan. With the help of automated hearing. In the area of docket decongestion. Davao City.competitive. E-Courts will be further rolled out to the 120 courts of the capital city of Manila. which will allow us to extend E-Courts beyond the 287 courts already targeted. orders are now released in open court and received by the parties present in the hearing. By implementing E-Courts in Tacloban. the Judiciary.000 cases were inventoried and 30 percent of these were disposed by June 2015. Pasig City and Mandaluyong City. This year E-Courts will reach 94 more courts in Tacloban City. 2) massive case decongestion effort that systematically identifies long-standing cases for resolution. even outside the centers of population and commerce. 4. Pleadings and motions that have to be acted upon are now resolved on time because of the notification that will pop up in the monitor of the Branch Clerk of Court and the Judge that the same are due for resolution. Assessment shows that the median case processing times of trials across all types of courts were reduced by 60 percent to 78 percent. and Makati City. we are. Cases that are submitted for decision are likewise decided on time because of the E-Court System. With the implementation of E-Court System and Automated Hearing. Tacloban was the city ravaged by typhoon Yolanda. which destroyed court facilities and wiped out almost all their records. E-Courts will be in 287 trial courts handling about 30% of the total caseload of the Philippine court system. But the Judiciary will move beyond these 287 identified courts. and 3) streamlining of trial rules to reduce opportunities for delay. a computerized case tracking and management tool. which is the Judiciary’s 5-year ICT master plan. This will be the backbone of our ICT infrastructure. courts have become more aware of the aging of cases. It is. The project is in the process of rolling out these interventions in eight additional growth hubs of the country. increase personnel productivity. The bidding for connectivity and network security is expected to start in June 2015. Cebu City. The EISP was 5 http://www. The opening of bids for the two major data centers is scheduled on 16 June 2015. It is reported that three years from its launch. therefore.

court researchers and other court personnel. the trial courts outside the 3 pilot sites]”.judiciary. Also included in the 2015 priority list is the Legal Resource Management System. Whereas. but also secure court records against disasters like Hainan. and (iii) that the needed data centers are ready for use. Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. due to these assumptions. This web-based legal resource database has been in place since 2004. 14-09-06-SC which provides: Whereas. which will cut red tape and protect the integrity of public funds by removing human intervention in the assessment and payment of court fees. Whereas.gov. however. which destroyed almost all the court records in Tacloban City. Court of Tax Appeals (up to 2009.reviewed and updated in 2013-2014 in order to ensure the readiness of the Judiciary to implement the EISP and identify project implementation gaps and risks that need to be addressed before embarking on big ticket ICT projects. The eLibrary will be integrated into the Legal Resource Management System. giving information to both courts and the public on lawyers authorized to practice law. This will also facilitate the security aspect of the eFiling System and regularly update the courts and litigants alike of a lawyer's current status whether suspended. there is already an eLibrary7 which all judges. the 2009 EISP does not include a budget for a judiciary-wide technical infrastructure (including a modern data center and disaster recovery site). which should be developed for the Judiciary’s ICT Capability. Sandiganbayan. (ii) “the EISP estimation excludes the implementation services and hardware (servers and workstations) for the roll-out sites [i. About P1.ph/ . The eLibrary contains the decisions of the Supreme Court. plus three Lower Courts as pilot sites”. on the following assumptions. but subject to updating). “which provides the Judiciary with the functional. The Supreme Court issued A. regulations case. Aside from the ICT infrastructure mentioned in the preceding section.M. At present. laws and regulations. The updated EISP was approved by the Supreme Court on 21 October 20146. For instance.44 billion has been made available in 2015 to jumpstart the implementation of the EISP.9 billion budget of the 2009 EISP is based. disbarred. are pre-requisites to the nationwide implementation of the EISP and on-going ICT projects like the E-Courts. No. the digitization of court records and the Document. but subject to updating). which will not only speed up court processes by allowing quick access to specific pleadings and documentary evidence.e. the work plan and the P2. The Lawyer Information System will also be integrated into the E-Courts system. in a resolution dated 23 June 2009. Other application systems. Bidding for these projects is expected to start in the 3rd quarter of 2015. Supreme Court issuances. The Judiciary expects that the national government will provide 6 AM NO. law) accessible to judges. the Court approved the Enterprise Information Systems Plan (EISP). technical and structural specifications for selected systems. executive issuances. 14-09-06-SC 7 http://elibrary. including an upgraded financial system that is part of the integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System are included in the priority list for 2016. nationwide connectivity and network security. An updated financial system will pave the way for electronic payment of court fees. treaties and other legal references. which. which will facilitate knowledge transfer and make legal materials (laws. Court of Tax Appeals). Court of Appeals (up to 2009. or in good standing. a number of EISP software components have been identified for prioritization in 2015 because they are complementary to the E-Courts. Records and Archive Management System will pave the way for eFiling and the electronic storage and access of court documents. among others: (i) the plan’s scope only considers its “implementation to the Supreme Court and Appellate Courts (Court of Appeals-Manila. thus eradicating fake practitioners from the system. court lawyers and legal researchers can access and use for research and decision writing.

markings of evidence. minutes of the hearing conducted. That means an additional one month every year for decision- making. f. b. which compromise the raffle. Bolsters transparency and serves as anti-corruption tool. courts conduct a two-week manual inventory of cases in order to generate reports on caseloads. a judge and her staff need to know the incidents that have transpired in the cases that are in the court calendar. As soon as all case information is encoded in the E-Courts system. and case incidents that require court action. The raffling of cases is now done electronically. It also impacts how the public interacts with the court system by increasing transparency and access to information.an additional P1. People who are not IT literate can go to the Office of the Clerk of Court and get assistance to access the information on the status of their cases within a few minutes. every activity is captured electronically. Hearings are suspended during these inventory periods. including orders issued by the judge. It will also be an access to justice tool for litigants unassisted by counsels. which the litigants and lawyers can observe from computer monitors at the Office of the Clerk of Court. Adopts templates and forms for greater access and efficiency. the inevitable postponements due to our present reliance on the snail mail system. By freeing more time for research and decision writing. The Automated Hearing System transforms the entire courtroom into an automated trial forum. Below are some of the major impacts of the E-Courts: a. it frees up valuable time on the part of the judge and the court staff as they now . which could have been utilized for research and decision-writing. Piloted in Branch 85 in February 2014. Every semester. This means that during trial. Going through the pages of case files just to find out what has happened to a case eats up hours. as well as by the judges and court personnel. Removing human intervention in the raffle of cases removes the possibility of underhanded schemes. It transforms the way the courts do their tasks by facilitating better workflows. and most importantly. The E-Courts provides judges with a dashboard that tracks the status of a case on the judge’s docket and provides information like the aging of cases.455 billion in the 2016 General Appropriations Act to support the sustained implementation of the EISP. The system does away with the delay in the preparation of open court orders. d. c. all 58 Quezon City trial courts. These templates are ready for uploading on the E-Courts system for ready access and use by litigants and lawyers. Increases public access to information. The public can find out the status of cases through computers in public kiosks that are found at the entrance lobby of court houses. have been equipped with the infrastructure and the skills to conduct Automated Hearings. Adopts the Automated Hearing System. The electronic raffle is done immediately upon filing. e. E-Courts will use templates of both court-bound and court-issued forms. and. Cuts case backlogs. Speeds up decision-making through automated monitoring of cases. the E-Courts is expected to drive-up productivity and case disposition output. g. Every hearing. right there and then. Following the innovation of the Small Claims Courts Project. judges' notes on testimony taken. The information gives the judges a more precise picture of the status of their dockets – they can prioritize cases that have been delayed and issue needed orders/action on or before deadlines. issuance of writs and other court processes. which the parties now will be able to get prior to leaving the courtroom. The use of templates and ready forms will drastically reduce the time consumed by the courts to act on interlocutory and final case incidents. both first level and second level courts. deadlines. courts will do away with such manual inventories as reports can be automatically generated and electronically submitted. Saves more time for making decisions. if not days.

Filing of pleadings and papers by the parties and e-court’s main function to courts E-filings making courts accessible. religion. bias or prejudice based on race. or anyone dealing with the Judiciary. the high court has . Court personnel shall not recommend private attorneys to litigants. SECTION 7. Court personnel shall not be required to perform any work or duty outside the scope of their assigned job description. SECTION 4. In performing their duties and responsibilities. including annexes. 6. and all public officers and employees must at all time be accountable to the people. national or ethnic origin. destroy or mutilate any record within their control. correction or expungement of records or documents pursuant to a court order. Court personnel shall carry out their responsibilities as public servants in as courteous a manner as possible. SECTION 3. The Constitution declares that a public office is a public trust. falsify. An e-mail account has been set up by the Supreme Court to accommodate the first-ever electronic filing (e-filing) and paperless system in the country's judiciary. The Supreme Court requires parties to submit. loyalty and efficiency. 03-06-13-SC or the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel provides. They shall commit themselves exclusively to the business and responsibilities of their office during working hours. orders are now issued in open court and clerks need not send them through registered mail to the parties which is a good indication that their work load is being lessen. Court personnel shall at all times perform official duties properly and with diligence. 5. court personnel serve as sentinels of justice and any act of impropriety on their part immeasurably affects the honor and dignity of the Judiciary and the people’s confidence in it. digital copies either through e- mail or by compact discs. gender or political affiliation. Court personnel shall not alter. SECTION 2. and lead modest lives. SECTION 6. act with patriotism and justice. An example of the positive result of automated hearing is that. manifest. no longer have to do these court orders after the hearing and can already devote themselves to the more important task of adjudication. with the annexes in PDF format. SECTION 5. to wit: PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES SECTION 1. court personnel shall not discriminate nor. by word or conduct. E-Court and automated hearing may be an additional burden to the employees of courts but it appears based on the reports that these programs helped them in the speedy disposition of cases. serve them with utmost responsibility. The dispensation of justice is the basic duty and responsibility of the judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution. aside from the printed copies of their pleadings. Court personnel shall expeditiously enforce rules and implement orders of the court within the limits of their authority. In performing official duties. Employees’ duties and responsibilities CANON IV of Administrative Matter No. For the e-filing system. in time for the implementation of the Efficient Use of Paper Rule. This provision does not prohibit amendment. prospective litigants.

May 1. which are considered confidential9. The user can look for cases by entering the case number. Ting said that only Quezon City and Angeles City have functioning public information kiosks. Without this. which is usually the amount of time it takes before the orders of the courts reach the parties through official mail.judiciary. the parties are still burdened to go to court to follow up their cases. The issuance of orders in open court during the day of the hearing itself is facilitated by the E-Courts through the templates of court orders.com/news/scitech/technology/288497/sc-sets-up-e-mail-for-new-paperless-filing- system/story/ 9 http://cnnphilippines. The Court Decision function provides information of the decision. may no longer be made. a computer mounted on a booth. Conclusion 8 http://www. both located at the lobby of their respective Halls of Justice. resolution and order rendered by the Judge. the parties and their counsels are immediately notified of the courts’ orders.com/news/2017/03/30/200-ecourts-transparency. and the dates of the next hearing. The absence of human intervention ensures that the assignment of cases is not manipulated to favor particular parties10. The automated hearings cut 2-4 weeks of waiting time. As of publishing time. The judge can track the status of the case in the Case Incidents feature of E-Court. It is a transparency tool as well as a safeguard against corruption as once an order or decision is made. 7. The dashboard reminds them that there is a task or order which due date is approaching or is overdue. Since the orders are issued during the day of the hearing itself.designated the e-mail address efile@sc. The Case incidents feature provides for a timeline of the events that occur in a case during a particular stage.ph to which parties can send soft copies of their pleadings8. such as family cases or those involving minors. In the Outgoing Document module of E-Court there are templates that the Judge can use to write a draft and release court orders. and any such alterations is automatically and electronically traced to the author. which can assist the judge in writing the judgment.html 10 Updated on Judicial Sector Reforms that Impact on Enforcement of Contracts. or name into the search bar and clicking "Find. calendar and case incidents features. The public does not need to physically visit the individual branches to request for or follow up the status of their cases. it is uploaded and “published” such that alterations. Hearings are scheduled in E-Court by encoding it into the system as Incoming Document needing a court action and by making entries through case incidents tab. case title. status of the case. Thus. except in certain instances. The hearing schedule can then be generated automatically after the above information have been input into the system. save those upon parties’ motion or as allowed by the Rules of Court. Tasks to be performed by the Court or orders to be complied with by a party will appear on the Judge’s dashboard. In the evidence.gov. The eCalendar function of E-Court allows a user to set a limit as to the number of hearings the trial court will schedule each day and can record in the calendar the Holidays and no-hearing days or recess period. The public can access e-Courts through the Public Kiosk Inquiry System. the period within which to comply with the court orders begins on the date of the orders’ issuance instead of the date of receipt by official mail under the old practice. The parties and their counsels can observe the electronic raffle of the cases through a computer monitor within minutes from completing the filing of the cases and payment of court fees. 2015 . Templates of orders/judgments are also available for the use of judges.gmanetwork. The templates of court orders are uploaded in the E-Courts and can easily be replicated and issued while hearings are on- going under the Automated Hearing System." The results will show the case number. which are uploaded into the system. case title. branch handling the case. the judge can view what transpired in the case. It is evident now that E-court plays an important role in the Philippine legal system because it provides easy access to the case filed in court.

Considering that this program enhances the judicial system in the Philippines based on the reports provided by the Supreme Court. which the litigants and lawyers can observe from computer monitors at the Office of the Clerk of Court. Supreme Court has been set up along the American model. clogging dockets are now minimized and cases are monitored and resolved on time. especially those who work for lower courts more than 20 years. That means an additional one month every year for decision-making. . judges' notes on testimony taken. and case incidents that require court action. she said that the leader of the 15-member High Court shared the story of a long-time detainee "released right then and there" after the order of release was "immediately encoded and printed and served on him and his counsel. issuance of writs and other court processes. which the parties now will be able to get prior to leaving the courtroom. those employees who work for less than 20 years said that this program can help them very much because of its paper less feature. both first level and second level courts. including orders issued by the judge. People who are not information technology literate can go to the Office of the Clerk of Court and get assistance to access the information on the status of their cases within a few minutes. considering all the foregoing. Thus. With the USAID and ABA ROLI. courts in the Philippines are now becoming digitalized and electronically operated. The public can now find out the status of cases through computers in public kiosks that are found at the entrance lobby of court houses. it frees up valuable time on the part of the judge and the court staff as they now no longer have to do these court orders after the hearing and can already devote themselves to the more important task of adjudication. This means that during trial. every activity is captured electronically." "It was so unprecedented that the accused and his family were in tears. Piloted in Branch 85 in February 2014. having actually witnessed justice real time”. deadlines. The electronic raffle is done immediately upon filing. markings of evidence. courts will do away with such manual inventories as reports can be automatically generated and electronically submitted. E-court also increases the public access to information. court employees are now getting familiarized with the functions of this program. The raffling of cases is now done electronically. On the other hand. The Automated Hearing System indeed transforms the entire courtroom into an automated trial forum. E-Court and Automated Hearing as adopted in foreign countries have a good effect in the Philippine Judicial System. have been equipped with the infrastructure and the skills to conduct Automated Hearings. As soon as all case information is encoded in the E-Courts system. One of the positive comments made by the family of the detainee was mentioned during the interview of the then Chief Justice Sereno. the inevitable postponements due to our present reliance on the snail mail system. The Judge and BCC can now track the status through the dashboard which provides information like the aging of cases. The system does away with the delay in the preparation of open court orders. and most importantly. There are comments regarding the implementation of E-Court and Automated Hearing. right there and then. Through the help of trainings conducted by the USAID and ABA ROLI. Some of the court employees. thought that this cannot help them because they are not used to it and in fact they don’t have knowledge about the running of the application. all 58 Quezon City trial courts. minutes of the hearing conducted. Another good thing with this program is that employees of the courts are being guided on what action should be done because of the E-Court dashboard for the Judge and Branch Clerk of Court.