The Amici Curiae in Disqualification Case vs FPJ

Manila Bulletin, February 25, 2004 | Go to article overview
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The Amici Curiae in Disqualification Case vs FPJ


Byline: Jesus M Elbinias

THE grounds to justify the Supreme Court in availing itself of the views of, amici curiae should be made public prior to assuming their role in the Courts session. The practice was for their views to be submitted to the Court in writing by way of pleadings or memorandums, and published. Unlike what was done recently by simply naming those amici, the traditional practice from times of old was for any interested third parties to apply. They chose to be the Courts friends. Not the Court choosing them to be its friends.

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Amicus Curiae as defined by Bouviers Law Dictionary (West Pub. Co., 1914): "A friend of the court. One who... gives information of some matter of law in regard to which the court is doubtful or mistaken;... Any one as amicus curiae may make application to the court in which there is no jurisdiction, or ... quash a vicious indictment or verdict judgment...The intervention may be by affidavit... requested by the court occasionally to strangers suggesting the correction of errors in the proceedings." Such was the early practice, the latest 1914.

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Amicus curiae in the 1891-1991, Centennial Edition of Blacks Law Dictionary (West Pub. Co.), reads: "A Person with strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action, but not a party to the action, may petition the court for permission to file a brief,... Such... briefs are commonly filed in appeals concerning matters of broad public interest... In appeals such briefs may be filed only if accompanied by written consent of all parties, or by leave of court granted on motion or at the courts request except that consent or leave shall not be required when presented by the government."

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In relation to amici curiaes appointment requirements, nature of intervention, overall functions, etc., the Blacks dictionary did not include any statement about allowing compensation to them as cited by the Bouvers dictionary in the case of Ex parte Randolph, 2 Brock, 447, Fed. Cas. No. 11,558. Neither did Black make mention of abrogation regarding such compension.

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