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JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT (ARTICLE VIII)

Traditional concept of judicial power


The traditional concept of judicial power refers only to the authority to settle justiciable
controversies or disputes involving rights that are enforceable and demandable before
the court of justice or the redress of wrongs for the violation of such rights.
New definition of judicial power
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. (Sec. 1,
Art. VIII)
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, Manila Hotel Corporation
Sec. 10 [2], Art. XII of 1987 Constitution, is a mandatory, positive command which is
complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules
for its enforcement. From its very words, the provision does not require any legislation
to put in operation. It is per se judicially enforceable. When our Constitution mandates
that in the grant of rights, privileges, and concession covering national economy and
patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it means just that
qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. (Filipino First Policy)
What are the constitutional safeguards that guarantee the independence of the
judiciary?
1. The members of the judiciary have security of tenure. (Sec. 11, Art. VIII)
2. The members of the Supreme Court can only be removed by impeachment.
(Sec. 2, Art. IX)
3. The Supreme Court is a constitutional body, hence, it may not be abolished by
the legislature. (Sec. 4 [1], Art. VIII)
4. The Supreme Court has administrative supervision over all other courts. (Sec. 6,
Art. VIII)
5. The Supreme Court has the exclusive power to discipline judges/justices of
inferior courts. (Sec. 11, Art. VIII)
6. The Supreme Court may not be deprived of minimum original and appellate
jurisdiction. Appellate jurisdiction may not be increased without its advice and
concurrence. (Sec. 2, Art. VIII)
7. The members of the judiciary may not be designated to any agency performing
quasi-judicial or administrative functions. (Sec. 12, Art. VIII)
8. The judiciary enjoys fiscal autonomy. (Sec. 3, Art. VIII)
9. The Supreme Court alone may initiate Rules of Court. (Sec. 5 [5], Art. VIII)

10. The Supreme Court alone may order temporary detail of judges. (Sec. 5 [3], Art.
VIII)
11. The Supreme Court can appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary. (Sec.
5 [6], Art. VIII)
12. Salaries of judges may not be reduced. (Sec. 10, Art. VIII)
Judicial Privilege
In the course of the impeachment trial of Former Chief Justice Renato Corona, the
Supreme Court said that judicial privilege refers to certain information contained in the
record of cases before the court are considered confidential and are exempt from
disclosure.
The Supreme Court leaned in favor of protecting judicial privilege and upholding the
principle of inter-departmental courtesy, holding that each branch of the government is
considered separate, co-equal, coordinate and supreme within its own sphere.
What is the limitation to the power of Congress under Sec. 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 be released.
Cases which shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc (Sec. 4 [2], Art. VIII)
1. All cases involving the constitutionality of (Code: TIEL)
a. A T-reaty
b. An I-nternational Agreement
c. An E-xecutive Agreement
d. A L-aw
2. All other cases which under the Rules of Court are reuired to be heard en banc.
3. All cases involving the constitutionality, application or operation of:
a. Presidential Decrees
b. Proclamations
c. Orders
d. Instructions
e. Ordinances
f. And all other regulations
What is the vote needed for cases or matters heard by the Supreme Court en
banc?
When the Supreme Court sits en banc, cases are decided by the concurrence of a
majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the
case and voted thereon. (Sec. 4 [2], Art. VIII)

What is the vote needed for cases or matters heard by a division?


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, and in no case, without the concurrence of at least three of
such Members. When the required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided
en banc; Provided, that 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. (Sec. 4 [3], Art. VIII)
Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court refers to the following cases:
1. Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls:
They are not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the receiving state except
if they waive their immunity. This is an accepted practice in international law and
among nations.
2. Petititons for (a) certiorari; (b) prohibition; (c) mandamus; (d) quo warranto;
and (e) habeas corpus:
All these are special civil actions which are specifically covered by the Rules of
Court.
Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court refers to the following cases:
Section 5 (2). 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.
What are the requisites of judicial review or inquiry? (Sec. 6, Art. VIII)
No constitutional question will be heard and decided by our courts unless the following
requisites are complied with:
1. There must be an actual case or controversy;
2. The question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party;

3. The constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity;


and
4. The decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the
determination of the case itself. (Macasino v. National Housing Authority)
What is the power of judicial review or judicial supremacy?
It is the assertion of the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to the Judiciary by the
Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to
establish for the parties in an actual controversy the right which that instrument secures
and guarantees to them. (Angara v. Elec. Committee)
What are the qualifications of the Supreme Court Justices?
Sec. 7, Art. VIII provides that a member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate
court, must be: (a) a natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (b) at least forty years (40)
of age; (c) have been for 15 years or more a judge of a lower court or engages in the
practice of law in the Philippines. In addition to these requirements, a member of the
Supreme Court must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and
independence.
What are the qualifications of judges of lower court?
They must be: (a) citizens of the Philippines; (b) members of the Philippines Bar; (c)
they must possess the other qualifications prescribed by Congress; and (d) they must
be persons of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.
What is the composition of the judicial and bar council?
As provided in (Sec. 8 [1], Art. VIII):
1. Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman
2. Secretary of Justice as ex officio member
3. Representative of Congress as ex officio member
4. Representative of the Integrated Bar
5. A Professor of Law
6. A Retired Member of the Supreme Court
7. Representatives of the Private Sector
Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council
The tenor of Sec. 8 [1], Art. VIII of the Constitution, is to treat each ex-officio member as
representative of one co-equal branch of government. The lone representative of
Congress is entitled to one full vote.
The scheme of splitting the vote into haves between two representatives of Congress is
disallowed. (Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council)

What is the procedure in the appointment of justices and judges?


Whenever there is a vacancy, the Judicial and Bar Council submits to the President a
list of at least three nominees. The President may or may not appoint anyone
mentioned in the said list. In fact, the President may even ask for another list. But once
the appointment is issued by the President, and accepted by the nominee, the
appointment needs no confirmation.
In the case of judges of lower courts, the Judicial and Bar Council also submits a list of
its nominees and the President is given 90 days from submission within which to issue
the appointment. (Sec. 9, Art. VIII)
Is there a difference as to the period when the President shall fill up a vacancy in
the Supreme Court and in the lower Courts?
Yes. In the Supreme Court, any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the
occurrence thereof. (Sec. 4, Art. VIII). For the lower courts, the President shall issue
the appointment within ninety days from the submission of the list. (Sec. 9, Art. VIII)
What specifically is the guarantee under Section 11? (Security of tenure)
Section 11 states that the members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts
shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy (70) years or
become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.
The phrase shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy
(70) years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office means that
justices of the Supreme Court shall continue in office for as long as they are not held
guilty of any offense which is a constitutional ground for impeachment, or until they
reach the age of seventy (70) years.
How about the judges of lower courts, do they also enjoy security of tenure?
Judges of lower courts also enjoy security of tenure by express provision of Sec. 11 and
they shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy (70)
years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. This time,
however, the Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower
courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the members who actually took
part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.
What are the three requirements provided in Sec. 13 that provides for the
procedure and the mechanics in the issuance of decisions of the Supreme Court
and all over collegiate courts?
There are three requirements provided in Sec. 13, thus:

1. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision en
banc or in division shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to
a member for the writing of the opinion of the court.
2. Once the decision is reached, a certification to the effect signed by the Chief
Justice shall be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case and
served upon the parties.
3. Any member who took no part, dissented, or abstained from a decision or
resolution must state the reason therefor.
The foregoing requirements are the same requirements to be observed by all
lower collegiate courts.
Within what period must cases be decided or resolved?
The maximum period within which cases must be decided or resolved is stated in the
following (Sec. 15, Art. VIII):
Supreme Court
Within twenty four (24) months from date of submission which means upon the filing of
the last pleading, brief or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court
itself.
Lower Collegiate Courts
Within twelve (12) months unless reduced by the Supreme Court, counted from the date
of submission which means upon the filing of thea last pleading, brief, or memorandum
required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.
Lower Courts
Within three (3) months unless reduced by the Supreme Court, counted from the date of
submission which means upon filing of the last pleading, brief or memorandum
required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.
Security of tenure of Justices
Justices shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy (70)
years and they shall continue in office as long as they are not held guilty of any offense
which a constitutional ground for impeachment. (Sec. 11, Art. VIII)
Security tenure of Judges of Lower Courts
Judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of
seventy (70) years and they shall continue in office as long as they are not ordered
dismissed, or subject to disciplinary action, by a vote of the majority of the members of

the Supreme Court who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case
and voted thereon. (Sec. 11, Art. VIII)
Additional Double or Indirect Compensation
An elective or appointive public officer and employee may receive an additional, double
or indirect compensation if he is specifically authorized by law to receive the same and
provided that for any instance the law requires the consent of Congress.
Effect of a statue which is declared unconstitutional
When the Courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall
be void and the latter shall govern, (Art. 7, Civil Code). Hence, under the orthodox view,
an unconstitutional act, whether legislative or executive, is not a law, confers no rights,
imposes no duties and affords no protection.
Specific constitutional basis of issuing a writ of Amparo
There is no specific constitutional provision which specifically allows the issuance of a
writ of amparo but under Sec. 5 [5], Art. VIII of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is
clothed with powers to promulgate rules concerning the enforcement and protection of
constitutional rights, pleadings and procedure in all courts.
Where and When a petition for issuance of a writ of Amparo may be filed
It may be filed in the Supreme Court, Regional Trial Court, Court of Appeals, or in any
justice of said courts, on any day at anytime.
Reliefs that may be granted on account of a petition for a writ of Amparo
If on the face of the petition, the court, justice or judge has deemed it necessary to grant
the remedy prayed for, a writ of amparo may be issued and the following interim reliefs
may be granted: (1) TRO (Temporary Restraining Order); (2) IO (Inspection Order); (3)
PO (Protection Order); (4) WPO (Witness Protection Order) and (5) Contempt Order
against a respondent who refuses to make a return or who makes a false return, or any
person who otherwise disobeys or resists a lawful process or order.
Writ of Amparo
It is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security has been
violated or is threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official
or employee, or of a private individual or entity.

Writ of habeas data


The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in
life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public
official or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering,
collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person, family, home and
correspondence of the aggrieved party.
Writ of Kalikasan
It is a legal remedy under Philippine Law which provides for the protection of ones right
to a balance and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,
as provided in Sec. 16, Art. II of the Philippine Constitution.