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THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

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
1. Judicial Power

Courts are given judicial power, nothing


more

It is the measure of the allowable scope of


judicial action.

The right to determine actual


controversies arising between adverse
litigants, duly instituted in courts of proper
jurisdiction

The authority to settle justiciable


controversies or disputes involving rights
that are enforceable and demandable
before the courts of justice or the redress
of the wrongs for violation of such rights

Requisites: real parties come to court and


controversy can be settled by application
of existing laws

Goes beyond the mere promulgation of


final decisions (Echegaray vs Secretary of
Justice)
o Power to control execution of
decision is an essential aspect of
jurisdiction
2. Intrinsic limit on judicial power

Courts may neither assume nor be


compelled to perform non-judicial functions

There is no inherent power in the


executive or legislature to charge the
judiciary with administrative functions
except when reasonably incidental to the
fulfillment of judicial duties

Correlative with the duty of congress not to


charge courts with non-judicial power is
the duty not to emasculate judicial power
o Does not prevent congress from
offering alternative modes of
settling disputes
o When a law says that disputes
between government
departments shall be settled
administratively, the
administrative decision shall have
same effect as final decisions of
courts of justice
o When a law prohibits courts from
issuing injunctions in cases
involving infrastructure projects of
the government, such prohibition

can only refer to administrative


acts involving facts or the
exercise of discretion in technical
cases.
o Court can come in when agencies
violate constitutional rights or
commit grave abuse of discretion
or acts in excess of jurisdiction
Moot case: one that ceases to present a
justiciable controversy by virtue of
supervening events, so that a declaration
thereon would be of no practical use or
value
General rule: judicial power not exercised
to address moot questions. However,
courts will decide cases, otherwise moot
and academic, if:
a. There is a grave violation of the
constitution
b. The exceptional character of the
situation and the paramount
public interest is in involved
c. Constitutional issue raised
requires formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, bar,
public
d. Case is capable of repetition yet
evading review

3. Grave abuse of discretion

Does not eliminate the fact that truly


political questions are beyond the pale of
judicial review
o Ex: internal discipline of congress
hat do not involve impairment of
private rights

Not every abuse of discretion can be an


occasion for the court to come in by virtue
of the second sentence of section 1. The
abuse of discretion must be patent and
gross as to amount to an evasion of
positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform
a duty enjoined by law.
o It is grave abuse of discretion for
the Sandiganbayan to contravene
earlier decisions of the SC
(PCGG vs Cocofed)
o It is grave abuse of discretion for
COMELEC to award the subject
contract in violation of law and
with disregard to its own bidding
rules and procedure (Infotech
foundation v COMELEC)

Grave abuse of discretion:


a. When an act is done contrary to
the constitution, law or
jurisprudence
b. It is executed whimsically,
capriciously or arbitrarily out of
malice, ill will or personal bias

There must be WILLFUL and


UNREASONING action