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Supreme Court of the


Supreme Court of the Philippines - Kataas-taasang

Hukuman ng Pilipinas
the highest court in thePhilippines. It has an administrative
supervision over all courts and the personnel.
The court consists of 14 associate justices and 1Chief Justice.
The powers of the Supreme Court are defined in Article VIII of
the1987 Constitution.
These functions may be generally divided into two judicial
functionsandadministrative functions
The administrative functions of the Court pertain to the supervision
and control over the Philippine judiciary and its employees, as well as
over members of the Philippine bar.
The Court is further authorized to promulgate the rules for admission
to the practice of law, for legal assistance to the underprivileged, and
the procedural rules to be observed in all courts.

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals -

Hukuman ng Paghahabol ng Pilipinas

is thePhilippines' second-highest judicial court,

just after theSupreme Court. The court consists of
68 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice.
The Court of Appeals was established under
Batas Pambansa Bilang
129 known as "The Judiciary Reorganization Act o
f 1980"
. The Court is composed of one Presiding Justice
and sixty eight (68) Associate Justices. They are
all appointed by the President. The Court sits by
divisions, each division being composed of three
members. The Court may siten bancfor the
purpose of exercising administrative, ceremonial or
other non-adjudicatory functions.


Sandiganbayan the peoples advocate

The Sandiganbayan is a special court which was
established under Presidential Decree No. 1606. Its rank is
equivalent to the Court of Appeals.
The SB or Sandiganbayan tries and decides criminal and
civil cases against government officials and employees
accused of graft and corruption and similar other cases.
The Sandiganbayan shall sit in five (5) divisions of three
justices each. The five (5) may sit at the same time.The
first three divisions shall be stationed in the Metro Manila
area, the fourth division shall be in Cebu City for cases
coming from the Visayas region, and the fifth division shall
be in Cagayan de Oro City for cases coming from the
Mindanao region.

Sandiganbayan the peoples advocate

THE OMBUDSMAN ACT OF 1989Republic Act No.
Philippine Laws Against Graft and Corruption
Sec. 2.Declaration of Policy.- The State shall
maintain honesty and integrity in the public service
and take positive and effective measures against
graft and corruption.
Public office is a public trust and must at all times be
accountable to the people, serve them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency, act with
patriotism and justice and lead modest lives.

Court of Tax Appeals

Court of Tax Appeals -

Hukuman ng Paghahabol sa
Buwis ng Pilipinas

is the special court of limited jurisdiction, and has the same level with
theCourt of Appeals. The court consists of 8 Associate Justices and
1 Presiding Justice.
Previously, only decision, judgment, ruling or inaction of the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Commissioner of Customs,
theSecretary of Finance, theSecretary of Trade and Industry, or
theSecretary of Agriculture, involving the National Internal Revenue
Code and the Tariff and Customs Code on civil matters are appeallable
to the Court of Tax Appeals.
The expanded jurisdiction transferred to the CTA the jurisdiction of the
Regional Trial Courts and theCourt of Appealsover matters involving
criminal violation and collection of revenues under the National
Internal Revenue Code and Tariff and Customs Code. In addition, it
also acquired jurisdiction over cases involving local and real property
taxes which used to be with the Regional Trial Court and theCourt of

Regional Trial Courts

Regional Trial Courts were established among the
thirteen regions in the Philippines consisting of
Regions I to XII and the National Capital Region
(NCR). There are as many Regional Trial Courts in
each region as the law mandates. Regional Trial
Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction
in all criminal cases not within the exclusive
jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except
those now falling under the exclusive and
concurrent jurisdiction of
theSandiganbayanwhich shall hereafter be
exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter. RTC
Criminal Courts typically try cases of serious
crimes like murder and robbery, as opposed to
petty crimes, which reduce the burden of court


Section 1. Uniform Procedure.
The procedure to be observed in the Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall be the
same as in the Regional Trial Courts, except (a) where a particular
provision expressly or impliedly applies only to either of said courts;
and (b) in criminal cases governed by the Rule on Summary Procedure
in Special Cases adopted on August 1, 1983, namely, (1) Violations of
traffic laws, rules and regulations; (2) Violations of the rental law; (3)
Violations of municipal or city ordinances; and (4) All other criminal
cases where the penalty prescribed by law for the offense charged
does not exceed six months imprisonment, or a fine of one thousand
pesos (P1,000.00) or both irrespective of other imposable penalties,
accessory or otherwise, or of the civil liability arising therefrom;
Provided, however, that in offenses involving damage to property
through criminal negligence, said Rule shall govern where the
imposable fine does not exceed ten thousand pesos (P10,0000.00).


Every municipality in the Philippines

has its own Municipal Trial Court. It is
referred to as such if it covers only
one municipality; otherwise, it is
called Municipal Circuit Trial Court if
it covers two or more

Metropolitan Trial Court

Municipal Trial Courts in the towns and cities
in the Metropolitan Manila area, as
distinguished from the other political
subdivisions in the Philippines, are referred to
as Metropolitan Trial Courts.

In cities outside Metropolitan Manila, the

equivalent of the Municipal Trial Courts are
referred to as Municipal Trial Courts in

Municipal Circuit Trial

Municipal Circuit
Trial Courtsare
judicial courts of the Philippine
Judicial Sytem which covers two or
more municipalities in the country.
Every municipality in the Philippines
has its own Municipal Trial Court. It is
referred to as such if it covers only
one municipality; otherwise, it is
called Municipal Circuit Trial Court if
it covers two or more municipalities.

Sharia District
Sharia Circuit Courts

Sharia District Courts

Equivalent to the Regional Trial Courts in rank are theShari'a District Courts
which were established in certain specified provinces in Mindanao where
theCode of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippinesis being enforced.There
are fiveShari'a District Courtsand fifty oneShari'a Circuit Courtsin existence.
AShari'a District Courtis of limited jurisdiction. It was created under
Presidential Decree No. 1083. Cases falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the Shari'a District Courtsprimarily pertain to family rights and duties as well
as contractual relations of Filipino Muslims in the Mindanao.
TheShari'a District Courthas appellate jurisdiction over all cases tried in the
Shari'a Circuit Courts within their territorial jurisdiction.
It shall decide every case on the basis of the evidence and the records
transmitted as well as such memoranda, briefs or oral arguments as the
parties may submit.
The decisions of theShari'a District Courts, whether on appeal from theShari'a
Circuit Courtsor not, shall be final. The Supreme Court shall, however,
continue to exercise original and appellate jurisdiction over certain issues as
provided by the Constitution.


Equivalent to the Municial Circuit Trial Courts are theShari'a Circuit Courtswhich were
established in certain municipalities in Mindanao where theCode of Muslim Personal Laws
of the Philippinesis being enforced.
There are fiveShari'a Circuit Courtsand fifty oneShari'a Circuit Courtsin existence.
AShari'a Circuit Court has original jurisdiction over the following:
1. All cases involving offenses defined and punished underPresidential Decree No. 1083;
2. All civil actions and proceedings between parties who are Muslims or have been
married in accordance with Article 13 ofPresidential Decree No. 1083 involving disputes
relating to:
a. Marriage;
b. Divorce recognized underPresidential Decree No. 1083;
c. Betrothal or breach of contract to marry;
d. Customary dowry (mahr);
e. Disposition and distribution of property upon divorce;
f. Maintenance and support, and concolotary gifts(mut'a); and
g. Restitution of marital rights.

3. All cases involving disputes relative to communal properties.

Guidelines and Qualifications for Appointment in the


Judges of Sharia District Courts*

Natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
At least 35 years old;
At least 10 years of law practice in the Philippines; or At
least 10 years holding an office requiring admission to the
bar as a prerequisite.
Must be learned in the Islamic Law and jurisprudence.

Judges of Sharia Circuit Courts**

Natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
At least 25 years old;
Passed an examination on the Sharia and Islamic
Jurisprudence given by the Supreme Court



Ma. Lourdes P.
Tenure as Chief
Justice: August 24,
2012 present
Appointed by:
Benigno S. Aquino
Age at Appointment:

The incumbent Chief Justice, Ma. Lourdes P.A.

Sereno, appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino
III, took her oath of office on August 25, 2012. She
is the first woman to hold the position.