CONCOM EYES THREE HIGH COURTS

Last May 21, the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution proposed a tribunal of high courts together with specialized courts in order to “speed up the process of delivering justice”.

According to the Consultative Committee, the three tribunals are the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Constitutional Court, and the Federal Administrative Court. These division of courts are expected to “unclog” the present Supreme Court since they handle an average of 9,000 cases a year.

The differences among the tribunal are stated in the table below:

 

FEDERAL SUPREME COURT

FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

FEDERAL ADMINISTRATIVE COURT

COMPOSITION AND APPOINTMENT

One Chief Justice, 8 associate justices

 

  • Three, including Chief Justice, to be appointed by the President
  • Three to be appointed by the Federal Constitutional Court en banc
  • Three to be appointed by the Commission on Appointments (Congress)

 

One Presiding Justice, 8 associate justices

 

  • Three recognized experts on constitutional law to be appointed by the President
  • Three Justices of the Supreme Court to be appointed by the Federal Administrative Court en banc
  • Three to be appointed by the Commission on Appointments (Congress)

 

One Presiding Justice, 8 associate justices

 

  • Three, including Presiding Justice, who are recognized experts on administrative and election laws, to be appointed by the President
  • Three to be appointed by the Federal Supreme Court en banc
  • Three to be appointed by the Commission on Appointments (Congress)

 

JURISDICTION

Exercise original jurisdiction over:

  • Cases involving conflicts between branches and agencies within the Federal Government, conflicts between the Federal Government and the Federated Regions, and conflicts between Federated Regions
  • Cases involving ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls
  • Petitions for certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto
  • Review on appeal or certiorari:
  • Final judgments and orders of lower courts except those within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Constitutional Court and Federal Administrative Court
  • Issues of jurisdiction of any lower court
  • Criminal offenses in which the penalty is life imprisonment or death

Disputes involving the constitutionality of:

  • a law, treaty, international or executive agreement
  • Presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances and other regulations, administrative issuances of the Federal Government, or any of its departments and agencies
  • Laws passed by the legislative assemblies of the Federated Regions, acts and issuances of their Executive
  • Any matter involving pure questions of constitutionality
  • To try cases of impeachment against all impeachable officials (Congress to initiate and prosecute)
  • When sought by Congress, to provide advisory opinion on the constitutionality of crucial legislation o When sought by other courts of general jurisdiction, rule on any constitutional issue that may arise during trial and affect outcome

 

Exclusive jurisdiction to review on appeal or certiorari the decisions. judgements, final orders or resolutions of quasi-judicial bodies.

Lastly, the committee intends to fix the impeachment process under the proposed constitution, given its prevalence in the Philippine political environment in the past few years.

The Federal Constitutional Court will serve as the impeachment court but the congress will initiate and serve as prosecutor in the trials. There will be a Joint Impeachment Committee wherein the Senate President will be serving as the Presiding Officer who will only vote in case of a tie. The committee will be composed of 12 members from each House that are selected through proportional party representation. The Joint Impeachment Committee begins its job once they receive an impeachment complaint that determines sufficiency in form and substance vis-à-vis its probable cause.

 

 

 

 

 

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