A first: U.S. judges honor Chief Justice Gesmundo


CHIEF Justice Alexander Gesmundo has made history after receiving the 2023 Chief Justice Richard W. Holmes Award of Merit, the first from a foreign jurisdiction, which recognizes outstanding judges in the United States for their contribution to the judiciary.

Chief Justice Gesmundo received the recognition during the Awards Luncheon of the 2023 Annual American Judges Association  (AJA) Awards in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 12, 2023.

He also served as one of the featured speakers at the 2023 American Judges Association 62nd Annual Conference.

“It is with humility that I receive this honor, not just for myself and the Supreme Court I represent, but also for my country—this award, I understand, having been first bestowed on a person from a foreign jurisdiction, in recognition of efforts to institute judicial reforms,” Chief Justice Gesmundo said in his speech.

The Chief Justice also shared during the event the Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI),  a blueprint for judicial reforms to address institutional challenges using four guiding principles : the judiciary’s delivery of justice  will be (1) timely and fair; (2) transparent and accountable, (3) equal and inclusive, and (technology adaptive).

With the implementation of SPJI, CJ Gesmundo expressed optimism that “the justice that has eluded many, most especially the marginalized, will be at arms’ reach.”

Chief Justice Gesmundo shared the award with his colleagues in the Philippine Supreme Court, judicial officers, Court officials and employees, and members of the Bar.

He expressed  his gratitude to the  development partners—international agencies and judicial organizations for their valuable assistance and support.

“While it may have been my singular pride to be at the helm of the Court at this time of great transformation, it is only through our concerted efforts that we can overcome the challenges afflicting the administrative and adjudicative operations of our courts,” he said.

The chief magistrate also gave assurances that he would dedicate his remaining years in the judiciary “to the realization of the ideal that justice is for all and, to be meaningful, must be rendered on time. “

“It is only through this that courts become institutions for peace, order, unity, and equality,” he added.

Image credits: Supreme Court PIO