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July 01, 2012

Quezon City Attorneys Discuss Pilot Rules for Speeding Up Litigation

July 2012

Legal practitioners in Quezon City, the largest municipality in Metro Manila, are transitioning to a set of pilot court procedure rules, which will govern litigation in the city’s trial courts. Designed by the Philippine Supreme Court and the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development, the rules incorporate best practices from other jurisdictions. They limit the length of pleadings, the kind of motions that can be filed and the number of times a case can be postponed. The rules are intended to speed up trials and reduce the case backlog in one of the country’s busiest court systems.

On June 8, 2012, more than 100 legal practitioners gathered at Quezon City Hall for a crash course on the practice guidelines. Many attendees were unfamiliar with the rules and were initially skeptical about how they would work. Attorney Tranquil Salvador III, a member of the Supreme Court’s working group on the practice guidelines, was able to quell many of the audience’s concerns by explaining how the rules would work in typical litigation scenarios. He also discussed the relationship of the rules to current practices and the benefits of the rules for attorneys, their clients and the Philippine judiciary.

The working group will assess the effectiveness of the rules after they have been piloted for a year and provide recommendations for nationwide implementation.

To learn more about our work in the Philippines, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].