What We Do
Strengthening Institutional Efficiency and Effectiveness in the Delivery of Justice Services
Many Filipinos have taken it as a fact of life that justice moves slowly in the country.
An overburdened judicial system facing both capacity and logistical issues are likely reasons for the delay. Since 2010, over one million cases go through our first and second level courts annually. This number peaked in 2017 with 1.4 million cases going through the courts.
Prosecution offices are also similarly overburdened. According to the Department of Justice Operation Statistics between 2013 to 2020, the total preliminary investigation cases that have gone through to the prosecution offices nationwide ranged between 388,249 cases and 444,953 cases with a peak in 2018.
GOJUST supports strengthening institutional efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of justice services. For instance, GOJUST supported a Case Decongestion Project for the courts and prosecution office that resulted in:
The decongestion of 11 of the most congested prosecution offices in the country resulting in a 73% reduction of the backlog from 18,801 in 2017 to 5,091 in September 2019; and
the decongestion of 94 of the most burdened courts in the third and fourth judicial region. For the 61 courts that completed the program, the number of cases in their dockets went down by 27.25%. The courts disposed of cases that were already ripe for disposal and prioritized cases that have been in the dockets for more than five years and cases that have not been moving for a long period of time.
GOJUST also supported the pilot of video-conferencing hearings in courts for cases involving persons deprived of liberty in the Davao City Justice Zone. The successful pilot between 2018-2020 allowed the Supreme Court to consider the viability of using video-conferencing hearings at the start of the pandemic. GOJUST also supported the initial phase of the roll-out by providing tablets and laptops to the courts and the detention facilities.
Currently, GOJUST’s priority activities in this area include, among others, the following:
Support for improvements in the automated case managements of both the courts and the prosecution offices;
Support for data sharing among justice agencies through digital platform such as the Single-Carpeta System and the National Justice Information System; and
Capacity-building of justice personnel to ensure that they are able to adapt to the technological transformation in their offices.
At the end of the day, strengthening justice institutions should not be the end in itself but a means to ensure that the Filipino people are given quality, effective, and efficient justice services.