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Environment Courts Slides Updated

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Presentation of Atty. Fermin Nestor Gadrinab, Supreme Court, on "Green Courts" during the UP Manila Conference on Global Climate Change, October 22-23, 2009, Pearl Garden Hotel, Manila.

Presentation of Atty. Fermin Nestor Gadrinab, Supreme Court, on "Green Courts" during the UP Manila Conference on Global Climate Change, October 22-23, 2009, Pearl Garden Hotel, Manila.

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Transcript

  • 1. ENVIRONMENT AND THE COURTS
    • ENVIRONMENTAL ADJUDICATION IN THE PHILIPPINES
  • 2. 1987 Constitution
    • Article II, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution provides that:
    • The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
  • 3. Oposa v. Factoran
    • While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter.
  • 4.
    • Such a right belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation — aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners — the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions.
  • 5.
    • As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come — generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life
  • 6. MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay
    • A mandamus suit to compel the clean up of Manila Bay
    • The writ of mandamus enforces ministerial acts
  • 7. The Doctrine of Continuing Mandamus
    • “ the Court may, under extraordinary circumstances, issue directives with the end in view of ensuring that its decision would not be set to naught by administrative inaction or indifference”
    • The Court monitors the implementation of its decision through a committee
    • It exercises continuing jurisdiction over the case
  • 8. Administrative Order No. 23-2008
    • Designation of certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts and Municipal/Metropolitan Trial Courts as Green Courts
    • Specialized Courts in Environmental Law
    • Analogous to the Drug Courts and Family Courts
  • 9. The Proposed Rules on Environmental Procedure
    • Crafting of a separate rule of Procedure for Environmental Courts
    • Why the need for special Rules?
        • Existing rules unduly restrictive for environmental litigation
        • Fundamentally public character of environmental litigation viz the private-centric rules of procedure
  • 10. Highlights of the Proposed Rules
    • Liberalization of Standing
        • Standing, Concept
          • Essentially capacity to bring suit
          • Limited by the “Real Party in Interest” requirement
          • Concept of Citizen’s Suit
  • 11. Proposed Provision
    • Citizen suit. — Any Filipino citizen in representation of others, including minors or generations yet unborn, may file an action to enforce rights or obligations under environmental laws. Upon the filing of a citizen suit, the court shall issue an order which shall contain a brief description of the cause of action and the reliefs prayed for, requiring all interested parties to manifest their interest to intervene in the case within fifteen (15) days from notice thereof. Said order shall be published once by the plaintiffs in a newspaper of a general circulation in the Philippines. In the alternative, the plaintiffs may furnish copies of said order to all affected barangays.
    •  
  • 12.
    • A citizen suit can only be filed when it involves public interest.
    •  
    • Persons who manifest their interest to intervene shall be joined as co-plaintiffs to the case and shall be bound by the judgment of the court.
    •  
    • Citizen suits filed under R.A. No. 8749 and R.A. No. 9003 shall be governed by their respective provisions.
  • 13.
    • Simplified, Inexpensive and Speedy Procedure
      • No collection of docket fees
      • Prohibition of certain pleadings which cause delay
      • Strict reglementary periods; One year limitation for the conduct of trial and judgment
      • Reliance on government experts as amicus curiae instead of private witnesses
  • 14. SLAPP Suits
    • Adoption of SLAPP Provisions in both Civil and Criminal Proceedings
    • Concept of SLAPP Suit
  • 15. The Writ of Kalikasan
    • Specific, speedy, remedy for cases of great magnitude
    • Summary Procedure for issuance
      • Procedure analogous to that which leads to the issuance of the Writ of Amparo
  • 16. Adoption of the Precautionary Principle
    • The court shall be guided by the precautionary principle and evidence of full scientific certainty shall not be required from the party alleging the environmental damage or threats thereof.
  • 17. END