SC initiates reforms for speedy resolution of cases

By , on August 28, 2015

Supreme Court of the Philippines (Photo courtesy of PCIJ)
Supreme Court of the Philippines (Photo from PCIJ)

MANILA – To expedite the resolution and decongest dockets of cases in courts nationwide, the Supreme Court (SC) under Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno took innovative steps, including the introduction of 82 e-Courts and the continuous trial system.

“A dramatic intervention is the e-court to increase efficiency in monitoring cases, enhance transparency,” Sereno said during the “CJ Meets the Press” at the Bayleaf Hotel in Manila.

Aside from speeding rulings on cases, the new e-Courts would also increase accountability in judiciary services and prevent corruption practices.

“The program seeks to reduce overall case dockets nationwide by 20 percent up to 2016,” Sereno said.

With regards to the continuous trial system, the Chief Justice was delighted to announce that it was already implemented in 52 Regional Trial Courts and six Metropolitan Trial Courts in Metro Manila.

“The continuous trial system is a system in which courts will conduct continuous trial for the speedy resolution of cases. Using existing rules of procedure but emphasizing a more determined effort to avoid delay by judges and litigants, the system prohibits motions for postponement, and setting fixed pre-trial and trial dates,” she explained, adding that the SC already had plans of deploying 635 trained decongestion officers in various courts all over the country.

Aside from these occurring reforms, Sereno has also called for ‘semimonastic’ lives for her fellow justices and judges to further discourage corruption and hints of biases in the SC.

“[I want to encourage] a semimonastic life, where companionship can already be derived from fellow judges, and we lessen our association with social clubs, especially political organizations, and also very complicated business entanglements,” she said.

“I am trying to create a culture where the norm is to live a simple lifestyle… If we can take away ostentatiousness and extravagance as a life goal for those aspiring to be members of the judiciary, and allow them to live a simple life, then I think we will have a more proactive system of inculcating the right values in the judiciary,” she added.