Article VIII - JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Bon Joshua Honrade
SCOPE OF JUDICIAL POWER Section 1
1. Adjudicatory Power a. To settle actual controversies involving
rights which are legally demandable and
b. To determine whether there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
any branch or instrumentality of the
2. Power of Judicial review a. To pass upon the validity or
constitutionality of the laws of the State
and the acts of the other departments of
b. To interpret them.
c. To render binding judgment.
3. Incidental powers a. Includes the incidental powers necessary to
the effective discharge of the judicial functions
such as the power to punish persons adjudged
JUDICIAL POWER VESTED IN ONE SUPREME COURT
IN LOWER COURTS
• Judiciary composed of the courts is one of the three
main divisions of power in our government. As the
highest court of the land, the decisions of the
Supreme Court are binding all tribunals.
• Only the supreme court is a constitutional court in
the sense of being a creation of the CONSTITUTION.
• Statutory courts – all other courts, including the
Sandiganbayan in the sense that they are creations
CREATION AND ABOLITION OF COURTS BY CONGRESS
• In the exercise of its legislative power, Congress may
abolish any or all lower courts and replace them with other
courts subject to the limitation that the reorganization
shall not undermine the security of tenure. (Sec.2, par 2.)
ORGANIZATION OF COURTS
Court of Tax
REGULAR COURTS (FIRST LEVEL)
1. Metropolitan Trial Courts (MeTCs) – established in each
metropolitan area by law.
2. Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCCs) – created in every city,
which do not form part in metropolitan area.
3. Municipal Trial Courts (MTCs) – established in each of the other
cities and municipalities.
4. Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (MCTCs) – created in each circuit
comprising such cities and/or municipalities as grouped by law.
REGIONAL COURTS (SECOND LEVEL)
• The second tier, which is established in each region in Philippines.
Each RTC is comprised of several branches, which functions as
1. Acts as trial courts and receives evidences from parties of the case.
2. Exercise jurisdiction of the MeTCs, MTCC, MTCs, MCTCs in their
respective territorial jurisdiction.
COURT OF APPEALS (THIRD LEVEL)
• Exercises its powers, duties and functions through 23 divisions. The
Court is tasked to:
1. Review cases submitted to RTCs as well as quasijudicial agencies
such as Civil service Commission, National Labor Relations
Commission, and the Land Registration Authority.
2. Review death penalty cases as well as decisions of the Office of the
3. May sit en banc, being a collegiate court, only for the purpose of
exercising administrative, ceremonial, or non-adjudicatory
4. Generally resolve cases only on the basis of records but in certain
instances, it may also try cases, conduct hearings, and receive
SPECIAL COURTS: SANDIGANBAYAN (SB) AND COURT OF TAX OF
Philippine Judicial system is also comprised of special courts: the
SANDIGANBAYAN, which was created by Presidential Decree No. 1606
and the Court of Tax Appeals that was established under Republic Act
No. 1125 as amended by RA NO. 9282.
For Filipino Muslims, these courts are established in Islamic regions and
• Limitations to the exercise of power to apportion
jurisdiction of various courts vested in Congress:
1. The Congress cannot diminish or otherwise impair the
original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court over enumerated in Section 5.
2. No law shall be passed reorganizing the judiciary when
it undermines security tenure guaranteed in Section
3. No law shall be passed increasing the appellate
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court without its advice
Jurisdiction of Courts
• This section seeks to further insure the
independence of the judiciary.
1. Appropriations for judiciary not subject to
2. Appropriation to be automatically and
COMPOSITION OF SUPREME COURTS
• The Supreme Court shall composed of 15
members which includes the Chief Justice (1)
and 14 Associate Justices.
• The Constitution requires any vacancy to be
filled within 90 days from the concurrence
Cases to be heard or decided en banc and vote required:
1. All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty,
international or executive agreement, or law (statute)
shall always be heard and decided by the Supreme Court
2. All other cases including those involving the
constitutionality, application or operation of presidential
decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances,
and other regulations which under the rules of court.
3. In administrative cases where the decision is for the
dismissal of a judge of a lower court, the same majority
vote is necessary to order such dismissal
4. Cases heard by a division shall be decided or resolved
with the concurrence likewise of the same majority vote
is necessary to order such dismissal
5. Cases modifying or reversing a doctrine or principle of
law laid down by the court in the decision rendered en
banc or in division decided by the court sitting in en
The Supreme Court shall have the following
1. Exclusive Power to pass judgment on original
jurisdiction – cases affecting ambassadors, other
public ministers and consuls over petitions for
certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto,
and habeas corpus are to be decided by the
Supreme Court. Under international law,
diplomatic representatives are immune from suit
and are not subject to the jurisdiction of the court
receiving the state.
2. Power to overrule the lower courts’ decisions – On appeal,
the aggrieved party may question the judgment of the lower
counts before the Supreme Court, which may review, revise,
reverse, modify or affirm the said decisions.
3. Power to assign judges – This gives sole authority to the
Supreme Court to temporarily assign judges of lower courts to
prevent miscarriages of justice.
4. Power to change venue of trial – The Supreme Court may
transfer the venue of trial of criminal and civil cases to prevent
miscarriage of justice.
5. Rule making power – It is the power of the Supreme Court to
promulgate rules and regulations to be followed by all courts.
• The Supreme Court shall have administrative
supervision over all courts and the personnel
• Qualifications for members of the Supreme Court and any
lower collegiate court.
He must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines
He must be a 40 years of age
He must have, for 15 years or more, been a judge of a
lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the
• Qualifications of judges of the lower courts.
He must be a citizen of the Philippines
He must be a member of the Philippine Bar.
He must be a person of proven competence, integrity,
probity and independence.
• A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created
under the supervision of the Supreme Court
composed of :
• Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman
• The Secretary of Justice, and a representative of
the Congress as ex officio Members
• a representative of the Integrated Bar
• a professor of law
• a retired Member of the Supreme Court
• a representative of the private sector.
• Regular members of the Council – appointed by
the President for a term of 4y ears with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments.
• Of the Members first appointed, the
representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve
for four years
• the professor of law for three years
• the retired Justice for two years
• the representative of the private sector for one
• The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the
Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep
a record of its proceedings.
• The regular Members of the Council shall receive
such emoluments as may be determined by the
Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall
provide in its annual budget the appropriations
for the Council.
• (5) The Council shall have the principal function
of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It
may exercise such other functions and duties as
the Supreme Court may assign to it.
* Article 6 section 30
• Congress can increase its jurisdiction by assigning to it
• Law increasing jurisdiction of the court
1. Appellate jurisdiction
2. Original jurisdiction