Judiciary Deserves Respect Despitemany Imperfections

Manila Bulletin, September 24, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Judiciary Deserves Respect Despitemany Imperfections

OTHER countries, including the more advanced democracies, may have to look up at the Philippine judicial reform movement to improve their own.

Not that our judiciary is a world-class model of excellence and efficiency but that it may be on the way compared with many other countries judicial practices.

This was the view expressed by foreign delegates who attended the recently concluded 21st Biennial Congress on the Law of the World held in Sydney and Adelaide, Australia last month.

They said they had much to learn from the Philippine experience.

The conference was sponsored by The World Jurist Association and participated in by justices, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law professors, legal practitioners, and interested persons from all nations.

The Philippine delegation was led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. who read a paper on Development and Reforms in the Judiciary: The Philippine Experience.

Interestingly, participants from the Philippines have noted that while the speakers approached their subjects from various perspectives and in different lights, they converged on the rule of law as a universal rapprochement for civilization and humanity in todays world.

Probably this is the reason there has been persistent concern for judicial reforms throughout the world.

Chief Justice Davide dwelt on this featuring what have been done in countries like Bulgaria, Venezuela, and Mexico, and the judicial reforms initiated in the United States, Canada, and Japan, among others.

And he called attention to the Philippines Action Program for Judicial Reforms (APJR), unveiling before the international gathering of lawyers and jurists the six-year program that promises to revolutionize the Philippine judiciary.

Davide, who portrayed the program as the harbinger of change explained that it was charted precisely to achieve independence, efficiency, excellence, transparency, and accountability of the Philippine judiciary.

This does not mean that the courts today do not possess and enjoy such ethical integrity and righteousness, but the hope is that they would be strengthened and further enhanced by a renewed culture of commitment and worthiness, and the full support of the government and the people.

The APJR has six components, namely, judicial system and procedures, institutions development, human resource development, institutional integrity development, and reform support system.

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