Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Philippine Just...tiis System: The Need for Reforms, Fast!

More than a year after becoming a lawyer and practicing litigation, I can say that I need not gain more experience to conclude how inefficient and unreliable our justice system in the Philippines is.

In most court hearings I've attended, lawyers and judges are like automatons blurting out "postponement," "resetting," "warning," "last warning," and "last last warning." There are valid causes of delays, while there are those borne out of an abundance of ineptness, like lawyers taking so many clients that they are unable to attend to all at the necessary time so they ask for postponement or don't mind any motion for postponement by their opponents.

There are few lawyers in the country and there are much much fewer still who are willing to slug it out in the bruising world of litigation practice - the actual court battles and preparation of adversarial pleadings and motions. I can surmise that many lawyers, especially the young and idealistic ones, tend to shy away from litigation or the practice of law in the courts, because what they experience in reality can be far ideal from what they read in their law books and what they learned in law school. What should have been standard case that fall squarely with jurisprudence or positive law, for example, becomes an unpredictable case because some magistrates can be bought or are biased beyond legal confines.

Many courts are also saddled with a very heavy case load. I won't blame a judge for example if he or she would disregard a case too trivial compared to cases where much more are at stake and the parties are high profile. As a result, poor parties don't get the same degree of justice and meticulous attention that courts seem to give to high profile cases or rich parties.

I'm running out of time and I intend to write more about this topic... wait for Part 2.


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