Rocket science not needed in reducing SC backlog
Former chief justice Artemio Panganiban wrote in his column: “From my humble observation, more than 80 percent of full-length decisions merely affirm the judgments of appellate and trial courts or merely reiterate settled jurisprudence. I think a more extensive recourse to minute resolutions or unsigned decisions would greatly help in disposing of old cases” (“Speeding up quality justice (2),” 12/31/17).
Panganiban was making suggestions to reduce the never-ending and ever-increasing backlog in the Supreme Court which is fond of churning out verbose and long-winded decisions that take eons to make and promulgate. Such decisions can actually be shortened and be done with much more quickly. Of course, extended opinions are great, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Indeed, common sense says that cases requiring no trail-blazing pronouncements should take no more than a page or two to resolve and no more than a week or so to promulgate, instead of the average 20 or more pages that can take forever to come out of the judicial mill. In a way, that would discourage frivolous appeals intended only for delay. It’s no rocket science.
With due respect, justices should learn to curb their enthusiasm for or obsession with posterity—a truly wasteful and futile exercise in matters of settled jurisprudence that contributes nothing new and only repeats what has been ruled upon many times over in the past, as Panganiban so aptly pointed out. They want to make their mark, we get that; but having sat in that Court should be more than enough to get them remembered by—for good or ill.
ROMANO MORANO MONTENEGRO, [email protected]
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