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Policy Dialogue Series 2004

Academe Meets the New Government (on Judicial Reforms)
20 January 2005, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Claro M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center

Owing to its specialized positions not being open for popular elections and its so-called “independent” status, the Philippine judiciary has traditionally not enjoyed much attention compared to the two other branches of government. However, the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, has been receiving increasing attention since 1986 as a result of its growing role in political and economic matters. During the Estrada impeachment trial and People Power 2 when the executive and legislative branches of government had very low public approval, the Judiciary was considered as the only branch of government that still enjoys some level of confidence from the public. Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s decision to declare as unconstitutional the impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice added to its growing judicial activism.

However, the judiciary is not without its critics. One of the most important criticisms focuses on the slow and inefficient administration of justice. There are charges that the courts are riddled with graft, corruption, incompetence, and bias against the poor. For its part, the Supreme Court is aware of these problems. In fact, in recent years, the Supreme Court has initiated a number of reforms to address the above-cited problems. However, these ongoing reforms are not well-known to the public.

The forum is expected to present the Philippine judiciary’s own views about the causes of slow and inefficient administration of justice, its efforts towards instituting reforms that try to address the current problems, and the efforts of other concerned sectors to address these problems. The following general questions will serve as guide to the forum:

  • What are the causes of the delay in the administration of justice?
  • What are the current reforms to address the problems in the administration of justice? What are the results of such reforms?
  • What other reforms are necessary?

Speakers

Main Speaker:
Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr.

Reactors:
Secretary Raul Gonzales, Department of Justice
Atty. Percida Acosta, Public Attorney's Office
Retired Justice Ameurfina Herrera, Philippine Judicial Academy
Representatives from academe


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