Expect court proceedings to move 50 percent faster when the program fully materializes after Friday’s launching of the Justice Zone project in Quezon City.
Led by the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC), the Justice Zone project was conceptualized to fuse coordinative strategies of key players of the judicial system where complex institutional reforms are effectively carried out without compromising the independence of institutions concerned.
Justice Zone is an area where a minimum number of inter-agency coordinative reforms are present, with the concept being guided by a strategy map or operation flow chart that depicts critical processes in the criminal justice system from alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, case build-up to trial and post-judgment incidents.
Created in 2010, the JSCC is composed of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Supreme Court with the support of the European Union-Philippine Justice Support Program-II (EPJUST-II).
The program hopes to address pressing issues that hamper effective and efficient delivery of justice that will eventually solve the country’s jail congestion woes.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said judicial reforms currently being undertaken will enable the courts to efficiently administer speedy trials without due haste as the proceedings will be carried out based on due process.
She noted that the goal is to have a continuous trial system nationwide, citing that the parties may receive result of motions filed 15 minutes after termination of hearing.
Roxas said the judicial reform may focus on the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) incidents where incarcerated syndicate leaders continue to operate and pursue their lawless acts even behind bars.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the establishment of the Justice Zone will firm up commitment of the judiciary and the executive branch to work together in addressing needs of the justice system in the country.
As a testament to the city’s contribution to the need for the Justice Zone project, a six- story new DOJ Building was constructed and turned over by the city government.