ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 35-96 March 12, 1996

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE JUDICIAL ACADEMY (PHILJA)

WHEREAS, the Constitution mandates that members of the Judiciary must be of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence, and assures all persons the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial bodies;

WHEREAS, competence and integrity in the Judiciary can be enhanced and maintained, and the right of the people to speedy, honest and scholarly disposition of their cases assured, through an institutionalized, integrated, professionalized and continuing system of judicial education for justices, judges, court personnel and lawyers;

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the constitutional repository of judicial power and administrator of all courts, has both the duty and the power to pursue its constitutional missions and ideals through the creation of a Judicial Academy staffed by those most qualified to serve from the Bench and the Bar.

NOW, THEREFORE

Sec. 1. Establishment. The Supreme Court hereby establishes the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) which shall be charged with the formulation and implementation of a continuing program of judicial education for justices, judges, court personnel and lawyers.

Sec. 2. Organization. The Academy shall be a unit of the Supreme Court.

Sec. 3. Governing Board. The Academy shall have a Governing Board composed of the Chief Justice as ex-officio Chairman, the Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court as ex-officio Vice-Chairman, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals, the Court Administrator, the President of the Philippine Association of Law Schools, and the Chancellor of the Academy as ex-officio members; and an incumbent Regional Trial Court Judge who has served as such for at least five years and has taught in a reputable law school for the same number of years, as appointive member.

The Appointive member chosen and designated by the Supreme Court shall serve for a term of one calendar year, and may be reappointed for another term.

The ex-officio members of the Governing Board shall serve as such for the duration of their incumbency in their respective officers.

Sec. 4. Executive Officials. The Executive Officials of the Academy shall be composed of a Chancellor, a Vice-Chancellor and an Executive Secretary, to be appointed by the Supreme Court for a term of two (2) years with no limit to subsequent extension or reappointment.

For purposes of retirement privileges, seniority, and other benefits, service of the Executive Officials in the Academy may be considered by the Supreme Court as service in the Judiciary, except in cases prohibited by law.

(a) The Chancellor shall have the compensation of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

(b) The Vice-Chancellor shall have the compensation of an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.

(c) The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor shall have as requisite qualifications, unless otherwise provided by the Supreme Court, meritorious service as member of a collegiate appellate court for at least five (5) years, or as Regional Trial Court Judge for least ten (10) years, and, in all these instances, meritorious service as teacher of law in a reputable law school for at least five (5) years.

(d) The Executive Secretary shall have the same requisite qualifications and the same compensation as a Regional Trial Court Judge. He shall serve on a full time basis and shall be the ex-officio Recorder-Secretary of the Governing Board.

(e) The Executive Officials may not engage in the private practice of any profession.

Sec. 5. Corps of Professors. The Academy shall be staffed by a Corps of Professors. The professors shall be nominated by any member of the Governing Board, which nomination shall be submitted upon a majority vote of the Board to the Supreme Court for approval and formal appointment for a term of two (2) years.

Sec. 6. Courses and Publications. The academic courses and the publication of a Judicial Journal and other legal writings shall be determined by the Chancellor in consultation with the Corps of Professors and approved by the Governing Board.

Sec. 7. Classification of Participation. The bases for the classification of seminar participation shall be length of service, place of assignment, age of the participants, subject-matter and similar logical criteria.

Sec. 8. Graduates. The graduates of the Academy shall be issued certificates of attendance with coded serial numbers.

The Judicial and Bar Council is expected to give preference to graduates of the Academy in its nominations for appointment to and promotion in the Judiciary, all other requisite standards being equal.

Sec. 9. Funding. The Academy shall be funded: (a) by budgetary sources; (b) from the Supreme Court budgetary allocation for conferences, seminars, and educational training of justices, judges, and other officials and employees of the Judiciary; and (c) from other sources.

Sec. 10. Site. The Academy shall be located at Tagaytay City.

Sec. 11. Existing Programs. All existing programs for orientation, career development and continuing judicial education being undertaken by the Court through the Office of the Court Administrator are hereby assigned to the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) which shall coordinate with the Institute of Judicial Administration of the University of the Philippines whenever necessary or appropriate.

Sec. 12. Effectivity. This Administrative Order shall take effect immediately.

March 12, 1996.

(Sgd.) ANDRES R. NARVASA

Chief Justice

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