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Charles Joseph G. De Guzman

Social Science 4
Introduction to the Judicial Branch
It neither holds the purse nor wields the
The Judicial Branch in the exercise of its
powers to adjudicate, it can declare any law
passed by Congress or executive acts and
decisions null and void if such law and acts are
found by it to against the constitution.
What is Judicial Power?
Section 1: The Judicial Power shall be vested in
one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as
may be established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts
of justice to settle actual controversies involving
rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not
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
First, judicial review is given only to the
Supreme Court and such lower courts as
maybe established by law.
Second, there is only one Supreme Court,
which is created by the constitution.
Third, lower courts are created by law.
Scope of Judicial Power
Grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction means a capricious or whimsical
application of judgment. It covers evasion of duty or
the exercise of duty in an arbitrary or despotic manner.
Justiciable controversies are those which imply a
given right, legally demandable, and enforceable, an
act or omission violative of that right, and a remedy
granted or sanctioned, for the breach of right. It
basically refers to matters of legally recognized rights
(civil, personal, property rights) between persons, or
between persons and the state.
Scope of Judicial Power
Political Questions are those which under the
constitution, are to be decided by the people in
their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the
legislative or executive branch of the
This part refers to the expanded powers of the
courts to subject through judicial review any
decisions of governments which are political in
Independence of the Judiciary
The Supreme Court is created by the constitution
and therefore cannot be abolished nor its
membership be changed by any law of Congress
(Art. 8, sec. 4 (1).
The appointment of the members of the judiciary
is not subject to confirmation by the Commission
on Appointments (Art. 8, Sec. 9)
The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
may not be increased by law without its advise
and consent (Art. 6, Sec. 30)
Independence of the Judiciary
The Judiciary shall enjoy its fiscal autonomy (Art.
8, Sec. 3)
Only the Supreme Court may order the
temporary assignment of judges (Art. 8, Sec. 5 (3)
The Supreme Court has the power alone to
initiate rules of court.
The Supreme Court has the sole power to appoint
all officials and employees of the judiciary (Art. 8,
Sec. 5 (6)
Independence of the Judiciary
The members of the Supreme Court can be
removed only by impeachment (Art. IX, Sec. 2)
The Supreme Court may not be deprived by
the Congress of its jurisdiction over cases
enumerated in the Constitution (Art. 8, Sec. 2)
The Supreme Court has administrative
supervision overall courts and their personnel
(Art. 8, Sec. 6)
Independence of the Judiciary
The Supreme Court has exclusive power to
discipline judges of lower courts (Art. 8, Sec.
The members of the Supreme Court and
judges of lower courts have no fixed term by
may continue to hold office during good
behavior under they reached the age of
seventy or become incapacitated to discharge
their duties (Art. 8, Sec. 11)
Independence of the Judiciary
No law shall be passed reorganizing the judiciary
that may undermined the security of tenure of its
members (Art. 8, Sec. 2 (2)
The members of the Supreme Court and other
courts shall not be designated to any agency
performing quasi-judicial or administrative
functions (Art. 8, Sec. 12)
The salaries of the members of the Supreme
Court and the judges of lower courts may not be
reduced during their continuance in office (Art. 8,
Sec. 10)
General Qualifications for the members of the
Judiciary (Art. 7, Section 7)
Must be a person of proven competence, integrity,
probity (deep intellectual intelligence) and
This article also states that, No person shall be
appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any
collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of
the Philippines. A member of the Supreme Court
must be at least forty years of age, and must have
been for fifteen years or more of judge of a lower
court or engaged in the practice of law in the
Appointments of the Members of the
Judiciary (Art. 8, Sec. 9)
The Members of the Supreme Court and judges
of lower courts shall be appointed by the
President from a list of at least three nominees
prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for
every vacancy. Such appointments need no
For the lower courts, the President shall issue
the appointment within ninety days from the
submission of list.
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)
They are responsible for recommending to the
President the appointees to the Judiciary (Art. 8,
Sec. 8).
The reason for the existence of JBC is to eliminate
politics from the appointment of judges and
It is an innovation of the 1987 Constitution.
As a replacement for judicial appointments, there
is no need for the appointees to go though the
Commission on Appointments.
Composition of the Supreme Court
(Art 8, Sec. 4)
The Supreme Court shall be composed of a
Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It
may sit en banc or in its discretion, in divisions of
three, five, or seven members. Any vacancy shall
be filled within ninety days from the occurrence
Specific Powers of the Supreme Court
(Art. 8, Sec. 5)
Exercise original jurisdiction over cases, affecting
ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and
over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus,
quo warranto and habeas corpus
Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or
certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide,
final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
a. All cases in which the constitutionality or validity
of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law,
presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
ordinance, or regulation is in question.
Specific Powers of the Supreme Court
(Art. 8, Sec. 5)
b. All cases involving the legality of tax, impost,
assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in
relation thereto.
c. All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower
court is in issue.
d. All criminal cases in which the penalty
imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
e. All cases in which only an error or question of
law is involved.