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Gesmundo outlines SC’s priorities in 1st media briefing as Chief Justice

CHIEF Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Friday vowed to resolve aging cases along with incoming cases before the Supreme Court (SC) in the next 24 months.

During his first media briefing since his appointment as Chief Justice last April, Gesmundo acknowledged that there are numerous cases languishing in the docket for several years now.

Gesmundo said, he intends to focus on two things during his term – case decongestion and a technology-driven judiciary.

With regard to case decongestion, he and his fellow magistrates have agreed to adopt a case decongestion program, which would require justices to prioritize the resolution of aging cases in the next 24 months.

“Likewise, my fellow justices and I have resolved to decide all petitions, cases, or matter that have been filed before the Supreme Court after April 5, 2021 strictly within the said 24 month period from date of submission pursuant to Section 15 (1), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, and to strictly observe requirements for the proper exercise of its power of judicial review,” the Chief Justice said.

Furthermore, Gesmundo said the Court has issued a resolution approving several amendments to Internal Rules of the SC that are intended to ease the Court’s docket.

These include changing the total period of continuances in the deliberation of cases in the SC; prescribing a period of one month within which the members of the Court should submit reflection, comments, or suggestions, and a period of two weeks to resolve thereafter; shortening the period for distribution to the other members of the Court of the Member-in-Charge’s report on a case prior to its scheduled agenda date to at least three working days; and imposing a limit on the nature of administrative cases that can be elevated to the Court en banc.

He added that the hiring of more law clerks for the offices of the justices to help eliminate aging cases or those already beyond the 24-month constitutional period for deciding cases is now in the pipelines.

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