Press Release
September 18, 2018


To address the overloading of cases in the trial courts which defeat the Constitutional provision on the speedy disposition of cases, Senator Richard J. Gordon has proposed the creation of judges-at-large positions in the lower courts.

Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, filed Senate Bill No. 2002 or the Judges-At-Large Act of 2018 which seeks the appointment of assisting judges in regional trial courts or second level courts and in the municipal trial courts or first level courts that are overloaded with cases.

"Justice delayed is justice denied. Article III, Section 16 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution specifically states that "all persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative bodies," he said in the bill's explanatory note.

However, Gordon pointed out that while the Constitution guarantees the peoples' right to speedy disposition of cases before the courts, the clogged dockets of the courts cause great delay in the disposition of cases.

Hence, he proposed the appointment of assisting judges - 100 to the RTCs and 50 to the MTCs, to assist the regular judges in the disposition of cases in courts with overloaded dockets and ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

"We are aware that there are courts that have overloaded salas or dockets...The proposal here therefore would assign judges at large to support or to assist practically in passing these cases that are loading the docket so that justice could be made more swift. The reason why we are doing this is not just to relieve the judges but because of the provision of the Constitution that disposition of cases must be done fast so we won't violate the theory of speedy dispensation of justice," Gordon said during the hearing conducted by the Justice and Human Rights Committee on his bill and other similar bills.

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