The program provides initial training for aspirants to judicial positions, as mandated by the Academy’s statutory and administrative charters. It is oriented towards a career in the judiciary wherein aspirants are offered a judicial perspective on the law and introduces them to skills, attitudes, values and conduct called for by their appointment to the Bench.
The sessions of the Program are not meant to repeat instruction on law school subjects or Bar review materials. All subjects are approached from a judicial perspective – that is, the resolution of disputes by a judge. Academics contribute a more reflective, concept-based, philosophical approach to subjects that depart from the provision-centered learning in law school.
The completion of the program and obtaining a passing mark in the Written Evaluative Examination will entitle a graduate to a full credit of thirty-six (36) MCLE units for the compliance period covered and fifteen (15) units towards the Master of Laws degree at the San Beda College Graduate School of Law upon favorable endorsement by the Chancellor.
Upon appointment to the judiciary, a judge undergoes this program to prepare him for assumption of office and discharge of his duties. Immersion programs in the judges’ respective work stations accompany these induction activities. Actual observation of court trials by sitting in with an Executive Judge in the conduct of judicial proceedings is being done in order to familiarize a newly appointed judge with the skills of adjudication and administration. Both programs are a prerequisite to the performance of judicial functions.
The program originally lasted for five (5) days but has since been expanded to two (2) weeks in view of the reduced period for the Pre-Judicature Program. The Orientation Program addresses the following core areas: The Judicial Person that deals with the values, attitude, behavior and outlook of a member of the Bench; Judicial Skills that introduces them to management and administrative skills as well as research, communication and decision-writing skills that the judicial office demands; and Judicial Knowledge that engages the participants in a more intense study of substantive and procedural law from a judicial perspective.
The program is intended for judges and judicial personnel who have been in the service in the judiciary for some time. It aims to optimize the impact of the Academy’s programs while cutting down on expenses by holding simultaneous sessions that address the concerns of each group of judges-participants and selected judicial personnel.
Topics on ethics, recent developments and jurisprudence on substantive and procedural law are discussed, as well as emerging issues and concerns in various fields of law with special focus on the skills required in the discharge of their respective duties and responsibilities. It is the Academy’s response to the necessity of continuing judicial education and the need to update judges and judicial personnel in the different areas of law.
The Regional Judicial Career Enhancement Program is the principal means of delivering judicial education. Because the Academy takes the program directly to the regions themselves, we are able, at each round, to cover almost one hundred percent (100%) of all judges. We have thereby eliminated the root of a frequently aired complaint that some judges, especially in far-flung areas, seldom have the opportunity to attend PHILJA’s programs.
1. Clerks of Court
The program is intended for clerks of court who have just been appointed to the judiciary to prepare them for assumption of office and discharge of their duties. It aims to take up with the Clerks of Court the latest administrative issuances of the Supreme Court as well as other concerns of court management that the Academy, and the Supreme Court as a whole, would like to pass on to them through a formal training program. It is also being conducted to meet their professional enhancement needs in substitution for the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program from which they are exempted by reason of their participation in PHILJA programs. The program was conceptualized during the sessions held with the Clerks of Court in the Regional Judicial Career Enhancement Programs. This was pilot-tested last November 2005, at the PHILJA Development Center, Tagaytay City, with thirty-eight (38) participants who gave the program a profitability rating of 100%.·
The program caters to those judges specifically designated to handle specialized cases. It is thematic in nature, focusing on new rules and current trends, developments as well as emerging issues on the different areas of law.
The program serves as a vehicle for learning experiences and opportunities geared towards the improvement of the quality of judicial service through the enhancement of judicial and managerial skills and knowledge as well as strengthening of work values.
By administrative rule, all national conventions of judges and court employees have an academic component and are usually conducted for one and a half days. This opportunity has been optimized by the Judicial Academy to make judicial education accessible to a wider group of judicial persons. Effective methodologies have had to be developed to cope with a huge audience.
The program provides continuing legal education and the need to enhance and update judicial personnel on the law, current jurisprudence and administrative policies, judicial techniques and suggested remedies to problems in trial and procedure as well as to keep abreast with the latest developments and trends on the different areas of the law.
The program is another manifestation of PHILJA’s commitment not only to the judiciary but also to the continuing judicial education of officers and lawyers of quasi-judicial bodies pursuant to the Resolution of the Supreme Court En Banc in A.M. No. 99-7-02-SC-PHILJA, dated 6 July 1999. The topics discussed are of particular interest and usefulness to the quasi-judicial agencies concerned. Participation in the said program entitles the participant to credits in partial compliance with the MCLE requirements.
The program aims to enhance teaching capabilities to meet the needs of the judge-learner more adequately. It also apprises the participants on the principles of professional and adult education geared towards increased efficiency in the delivery of judicial education.
There have been two (2) forms of professorial competency programs: Programs on judicial education abroad which PHILJA professors attend, and in-house competency-enhancement programs organized by the Academic Affairs Office.
The program provides a venue for the members of the Appellate Courts to be apprised of and to discuss recent developments and jurisprudence in the different areas of law particularly relevant to the discharge of their judicial functions.