Court officials, employees must adopt reforms for ‘a more responsive judiciary’ – CJ Gesmundo

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo rallied the country’s court officials and personnel to “transform beyond traditions and evolve alongside the changing times” for a more responsive judiciary.

In his message during the 123rd anniversary of the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, June 11, Chief Justice Gesmundo said: “We need a new and forward-thinking mindset to be able to imagine what we can do and how we can solve the issues surrounding us.”

Gesmundo said that since the SC been in existence for more than a century, “it has been filled with traditions and age-old doctrines.”

“While some of these traditions and doctrines might have taken us through the test of time, many of them are no longer attuned with the current societal needs,” he said.

Thus, he said, in 2022 the SC launched its five-year Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI) as “manifestation of the judiciary’s aspirations and dreams and frustrations and disappointments.”

The SC is now on its second year of implementing SPJI that aims to dispense justice “efficiently, effectively, and timely.”

During its launch in October 2022, Chief Justice Gesmundo said the SPJI is anchored on four core principles—timely and fair justice, transparent and accountable justice, equal and inclusive justice, and technologically adaptive management.

In the second year of SPJI, Chief Justice Gesmundo said the judiciary has gained “tremendous success bringing closer to the goal of delivering responsive and real-time justice.”

“Once and for all, the Judiciary must deliver its services, both adjudicative and administrative, real time,” Gesmundo declared.

In implementing the SPJI, the SC has repeatedly pointed out that the reforms in the judiciary are not limited to judiciary members.

Gesmundo said: “This call is also addressed to all members of the bar and other agencies of the government, who make up the other half of our Philippine legal system to dispense justice, efficiently, effectively, and timely. We all took an oath to serve God and country to the best of our abilities. Let us all heed this call."

Also, in his message during the anniversary celebration of the SC, Gesmundo said: “True, we are able to do certain things that improve the lives of others, but it is equally true that when we look around, we see that there is still much to be done and the work seems unending.”

“It is on this footing though that we must not falter and that we must continue to find strength to do whatever is necessary,” he said.  

He also said: “I firmly believe that this necessary adaption of change, while it must be led from the top down, must simultaneously happen bottom up. This means we all must be active participants in charting the future of our organization.”

The Chief Justice then expressed the SC’s gratitude to all stakeholders for the accomplishments done in the past almost two years of SPJI. 

“With your earnest efforts to seek ways in further improving our administrative and adjudicative systems, we can better serve the Filipino people as we move forward towards a more fruitful, responsive, technology-driven Judiciary,” he said.