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Article VIII

JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

PREPARED BY:
MS. ANNALENE R. OLIT

SECTION 1
SECTION 1:
The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts
as may be establish by Law.
Judicial power include 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.

SECTION 1
JUDICIAL POWER
the State and private persons, or between individual litigants in cases properly brought before the judicial tribunals.
SCOPE OF JUDICIAL POWER
Adjudicatory power- duty of courts of justice.

a.

To settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable

b.

To be determine whether there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of excess of
jurisdiction(infra) on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.(Sec.1, par.2.)

Power of judicial review -power

2.

a.

To pass upon validity or constitutionality of the laws of the State and the acts of the other
departments of the government.

b.
3.

To interpret them To render binding judgements


Incidental powers

SECTION 1
Judicial power vested in one supreme Court and in Lower Courts

Judicial power, under the Constitution, is vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.
(Sec.1.). The judiciary composed of the courts is one of the three main divisions of power in our government.

Only the Supreme Court is a constitutional court in the sense of being a creation of the Constitution in the sense of being a

creation of the Constitution. All other courts, including Sandiganbayan are Stationary Courts in the sense they are creation of law.
Organization of courts
Regular Courts -the Philippine judicial system consists of a hierarchy of courts resembling a pyramid with the Supreme Court

1.

at the apex. Under the Judiciary Act of 1980, the other courts are:

a.

A Court of Appeals

b.

A Regional Trial Court presided

c.

A Metropolitan Trial Court


Special Courts

2.

a.

The Court of Tax Appeals

b.

The Sandiganbayan

c.

Quasi-judicial Agencies

SECTION 1
Importance of the judiciary
1.

In the language of Lord Bryce:


The more clearly touches the welfare and security of the average citizen than his sense that he can rely on
the certain and prompt administration of justice. Law is respected and supported when it is trusted as the shield of
innocence and the impartial guardian of every private civil right. But if the law be dishonestly administered, the salt
has lost its savour; if it be weakly or unfaithfully enforced, the guarantees of order fail, for it is more by the certainty
than by the severity of punishment that offenses are repressed. If the lamp of justice goes out in the darkness, how
great is that darkness.
According to Chancellor James Kent:
Where there is no judicial department to interpret and execute the law, to decide controversies, and to
enforce rights, the government must either perish by its own imbecility or the other departments of government must
usurp powers for the purpose of commanding obedience, to the destruction of liberty

3.

In the words of Mr. Justice Arthur Vanderbilt:


It is the courts and no in the legislature that our citizens primarily feel the keen cutting edge of the law.
If they have respect for the work of the courts, their respect for law will survive the shortcomings of any other
branch of the government; but if they lose their respect for the work of the courts, their respect for law and order will
banish with it to the great detriment of society.

SECTION 1
Independence of the Judiciary:
1.

Congress may not deprive the Supreme Court of the constitutional powers granted to it(Secs.2,5.)

2.

Congress cannot prescribe the manner in which the Supreme Court should sit, and determine the number of
Justices composing the court.(Sec.4[1])

3.

The Supreme Court is given the authority to appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary.(Sec. 5[6])

4.

The member of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts enjoy security of tenure.(Sec.11.)

5.

Their salaries cannot be decreased during their continuance in office.(Sec.10)

6.

The members of the Supreme Court can only be removed through the difficult process of impeachment.(Art.XI,
Sec.2)

7.

The judiciary enjoys fiscal autonomy.(Sec.3)

Section 2
SECTION 2:

The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive
the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 here-of.

No laws shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermine the security of tenure of its Members.

Power Vested to Apportion Jurisdiction of Various Courts Vested in Congress.

3 Limitations:

1. The Congress cannot adminish or otherwise impair the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
over cases.
2. No law shall be passed reorganizing the judiciary when it undermines security of tenure guaranteed in Sec 11.
3. No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court without its advice and concurrence.

Section 2
Jurisdiction of Courts
Jurisdiction- is the power and authority of a court to hear, try and decide a case.
It may be:
1.

General when it is empowered to decide all disputes which may come before it except those assigned to other
courts(e.g. Jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts)

2.

Limited when it has authority to hear and determine only a few specified cases(e.g. jurisdiction of special
courts, supra)

3.

Original when it can try and decide a case presented for the first time

4.

Appellate when it can take a case already heard and decided by a lower court to removed from the latter by
appeal

5.

Exclusive when it can try and decide a case which cannot be presented before any other court.

6.

Concurrent when any one of two or more courts may take cognizance of a case.

7.

Criminal that which exists for the punishment of crime.

8.

Civil that which exists when the subject matter is not of a criminal nature
(e.g. collection of debts)

Section 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 released.

Fiscal Autonomy

Section 3 seeks to insure the independence the judiciary. The appropriations for the judiciary may not be
reduced as provided above but they may be increased. The constitution takes into account the fact that the
administration f justice, in the past, has always been at the bottom list of priorities in government budgetary
appropriations. The prohibitation against reduction by Congress of the appropriation for the judiciary below the
amounts appropriated for the previous year assures, at least, that the minimal finding requirements of the judiciary
will be met.

Section 4
SECTION 4:
1. The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associates Justices. It may sit en
banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven members. Any vacancy shall be filled with ninety
days from the occurrence thereof.

2. All cases involving the constitutionally of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law, which
shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application,
or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations,
shall be decided 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.

3. 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.

Section 4
Composition of the Supreme Court:
The new constitution retained the membership of the supreme court of 15 members including the Chief Justice under the 1973
Charter to cope with continuing increase in the number of cases brought about by a growing population.
Sitting Procedure:
The Supreme Court may sit en banc or in division of three(3), five(5), or seven(7) members. It is now the Supreme Court that
decides whether or no it will sit in divisions. On the basis of fifteen(15) members, the number of division swill be five(5), three(3), or
two(2), meeting separately. In case of two(2) divisions, there will be eight(8) members including the Chief Justice in one division,
and seven(7) in other division.
Cases to be Heard or Decided En Banc and Vote Acquired:
1.

All classes involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law shall always be heard and decided
by the Supreme Court en banc.

2.

All other cases including those involving the constitutionality, application or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders,
instructions, ordinances and other regulation which under the rules of courts are required to be heard en banc shall be decided with
the concurrence also of the number provided above(Ibid).

3.

In administrative cases where the decision is for the dismissal of a judge of a lower court, the same majority vote is necessary to
order such dismissal.

Section 4
3.

Cases heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence likewise of the same majority of the
members who are at least three(3) in number but if such required number is not obtained, the cases shall be
decided en banc

4.

Cases modifying a doctrine or principle of law laid down by the Court in a decision rendered en banc or in
division shall be decided by the Court sitting en banc.

Executive Agreement is an agreement entered by the President on behalf of the Philippines with the government of
another country and is effective and binding upon the Philippines even without the concurrence of Congress.
Classes of Executive Agreements
5.

Those who made purely as executive acts

6.

Those entered into the pursuance of acts of Congress

Power of the Judicial Review- is the power of the courts, ultimately of the Supreme Court, to interpret the
Constitution and to declare any legislative or executive act invalid because it is in conflict with the fundamental
law.

SECTION 4
Imitation on Exercise of Power of Judicial Review
1.

There must be concurrence of at least a majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberations on the
issues in the case and voted thereon(Sec.4[2,3])

2.

A law must be sustained unless clearly repugnant to the Constitution in view of the presumption of validity.

3.

The question of wisdom, propriety, or necessity of a law, etc., is no open to determination by the court.

4.

Political question are generally addressed o the political branches of the government and are, therefore, not
justifiable.

Section 5
SECTION 5:
Judiciable Question Distinguish from Political Question :
1.

Judicial Question is one which affects personal or property rights accorded to every member of the
community in cases properly brought before the judicial tribunals.

2.

Political Question is one which under the Constitution.

SECTION 5: The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:


1.

Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public minister and consuls, and
over petitions for certiorari, prohibitation, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.

2.

Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may
provide, final judgment 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.

Section 5
3.

Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such temporary
assignment shall not exceed six months without the consent of the judge concerned.

4.

Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

5.

Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the
underprivileged.

6.

Appoints all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service Law.

Original Jurisdiction of Supreme Court Over Petition for Certiorari


7.

Certiorari

8.

Prohibitation

9.

Mandamus

10.

Quo Warranto

Exclusive Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court


11.

by Appeal

12.

by Certiorari

13.

A Question of Law

Section 5
Rule-Making Power of the Supreme Court
1.

Protection and Enforcement of Constitutional Rights

2.

Pleading

3.

Practice of Law

4.

Procedure

5.

Admission to the Practice of Law or to the Bar

6.

Integrated Bar
General purpose of Integrated Bar
a. To elevate the standards of the legal profession
b. To improve the administration of justice
c. To enable the bar too discharge its public responsibility more effective.

7.

Legal Assistance to the Underprivileged

Limitation on the Rule-Making Power of the Supreme Court


8.

Rule shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases.

9.

They shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade

10.

They shall no diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.

Section 6
Substantive and Procedural Law/Rights Distinguished
1.

Substantive Law part of the law creates, defines and regulates rights concerning life, liberty, or property, or the
powers of agencies or instrumentalities for the administration of public affairs.

2.

Substantive Rights rights which substantive law declares or rights concerning life, liberty or property.

SECTION 6: The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel
thereof.
Administrative Supervision over Lower Court
The Supreme Court exercises administrative supervision over all courts from the Courts of Appeals down to the
lowest Courts and the personnel thereof. This is one fundamental changes introduced in respect of the judicial
system by the 1973 constitution

Section 7
SECTION 7:
1.

No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a
natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age,
and must have for fifteen years or more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the
Philippines.

2.

The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of lower courts, but no person may be appointed
judges of thereof unless he is a citizen of the Philippine Bar.

3.

A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.

Qualification for Member of the Supreme Court and any lower Collegiate Court:
4.

He must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines

5.

He must be at least forty years of age

6.

He must have for fifteen years or more been a judge of a lower house or engaged in the practice of law in the
Philippines

7.

He must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.

SECTION 7
Qualification of Judges of Lower House
1.

Constitutional
a. He must be a citizen
b. He must be a member of the Philippine Bar
c. He must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence

2.

Statutory congress is given the authority to prescribe additional qualification for judges of lower courts.

Administration of Justice
3.

Nature compared to other public functions and duties, the dispensing of justice, being extremely important, is
both delicate and singular.

4.

Character and Fitness of judges the possession f the legal qualifications prescribed for appointment to the
judiciary and the existence of constitutional safeguards to protect judicial independence are no assurance that the
appointee will discharge the duties of his office impartially, free from all outside pressure and influence.

5.

Judicial standards more exacting there is no place in the judiciary for those who cannot meet the exacting
standards of judicial competence and integrity.

Section 8
SECTION 8:
1.

A judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief
Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of
law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.

2.

The regular members of the council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four years with the consent
of the Commission of Appointments.

3.

The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep record of its
proceedings.

4.

The singular Members of the Council shall receive such emoluments as may be determined by the Supreme Court

5.

The council shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It may exercise such
other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it.

Section 9
SECTION 9:
The Member of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at
least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy, Such appointments need no confirmation.
Appointment of Members of the Supreme Court and Judges of Lower Court
1.

Non-political process of selection appointment the appointing power is vested alone in the President.

2.

List of at least three years nominees- the President shall appoint from a list of at least 3 nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar
Council for every vacancy.

3.

Judicial and Bar Council instead of leaving its creation to legislation, the Constitution itself creates the council providing at the
same time its composition, appointment of the members, their term of office, their emoluments, and their functions.

SECTION 10
SECTION 10:
The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, and of judges of
lower courts shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office, their salary shall not be decreased.
Compensation of Members of the Judiciary
The salary of the members of the Supreme Court and of judges of lower courts shall be fixed by law. Until
Congress shall provide otherwise, the initial annual salary of the Chief Justice is P240,000 and each Associates
Justice, P204,000. after Congress has fixed the compensation f any of them, it may not reduce the same during his
incumbency.

Section 11
SECTION 11:
The Member of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good
behaviour until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their
office. 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.
Tenure of Office of Members of the Judiciary
1.

Importance of security of tenure section 11 insures the security of tenure of the members of the Supreme
Court and the judges of lower courts.

2.

Retirement age the retirement age in 1973 Constitution was reduced from the original seventy(70) to sixtyfive(65) years which is the retirement age of other non-elective government officials and employees and restored
again to seventy(70)

3.

Termination of rights to hold office the constitution provides for the impeachment of the members of the
Supreme Court

4.

Abolition of office well-known rule that valid abolition of offices is neither removal nor separation of
incumbents.

Section 12
SECTION 12:
The Member of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be designated to
any agency performing quasi-judicial or administration.
The following reason may be given for the prohibitation:
1. Such designated violates the doctrine of separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches of
the government.
2. It may compromise the independence of the members in the performance of their judicial functions
3. With so many cases pending in courts, the practice will result in further delay in their disposition.

Section 13-14
SECTION 13:
The conclusion 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. A certification to this 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. Any Member who took no part, or
dissented, or abstained from a decision or resolution must state the reason therefore. The same
requirements shall be observed by all lower collegiate courts.
SECTION 14:
No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the
facts and the law on which it is based.
No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of court shall be refused due
course or denied without stating the legal basis there for.
Decision is the judgement rendered by court of justice other competent tribunal after the presentation of the
respective positions of the parties in an ordinary or criminal case or upon a stipulation of facts upon which the
disposition of the case is based.

Section 15
SECTION 15:
1. All cases or matters filed after the affectivity of this constitution must be decided or resolved within twentyfour months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and unless reduced by the Supreme Court,
twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other lower courts
2. A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon filing of the last pleading, brief,
or memorandum required by the Rules of Courts or by the court itself.
3. Upon expiration of the corresponding period, a certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice or the
presiding shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case or matter, and served
upon the parties, the certification shall state why a decision or resolution has no been rendered or issued
within said period.
4. Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period, the court, without prejudice to such responsibility
as may have been incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the case or matter submitted
thereto for determination, without further delay.

Section 15
Maximum Periods for Rendition of Decision
1.

Supreme Court within twenty-four(24) months

2.

The Court of Appeals and other collegiate appellate courts- within 12 months unless reduced by the Supreme
Court

3.

Lower Court- within 3 months unless reduced by the Supreme Court

Time Limitation Mandatory


The time limitation established above are mandatory. They are intended to ease up the clogging of court
dockets or matter, and served upon implement the right of party litigants to speedy justice under the familiar
aphorism that justice delayed is justice denied. Under Section 5(5), the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court
shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases.

Section 16
SECTION 16:
The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the opening of each regular session of the
Congress, submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on the operation and activities of the
Judiciary.

The above provision requires the Supreme Court to submit to the President and Congress an annual report
on the operations and activities of the Judiciary.