The Bacolod City Justice Zone was convened for a strategic planning session of all the members of Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) at the MassKara Hall of the Bacolod City Government Center on Monday, Executive Judge Raymond Joseph Javier said Wednesday, March 16.
The JSCC is composed of trial judges from Supreme Court, prosecutors, public attorneys, probation officers from Department of Justice and law enforcement and jail officers from the Department of Interior and Local Government, he said.
A “Justice Zone” is an area or locality, where a minimum number of inter-agency coordinative efforts are present rendering it fully compliant based on the rating system established by the JSCC, Javier said.
The goal of a justice zone is to see trial judges and court employees reduce their court dockets and dispense judgment promptly, and for the prosecution service to efficiently resolve criminal complaints involving violations of penal laws, he added.
It also aims to see the public attorneys competently assist their clients and the police, ensure the timely appearance of its witnesses, as well as enable jail officers to effectively manage their detention facilities in the context of reformation of all persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), Javier said.
Javier, Bacolod City Justice Zone convenor, in his opening remarks, underscored the importance of the supremacy of the Rule of Law in Bacolod City.
“Defending human rights, democracy and the rule of law has been one of Supreme Court’s advocacy under the leadership of Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo”, he said.
Failure of one of the pillars of the criminal justice system to function well affects not only the efficient administration of justice but also adversely affects the people’s trust in our justice system, Javier said.
“This situation can be felt through increasing number of public’s reliance to social media brand of administration of justice which solves no disputes but rather creates more problems with the law,” he added.
Javier said “We can no longer play dead to this realism, when the public would rather report a crime or a legal problem to an untrained media practitioner than to go to a police station or a lawyer to have this situation ironed out, to me, this is a direct attack to our judicial system and shows our people’s lack of trust. I call upon everyone to correct this error”.
One of the projects of the JSCC which is supported by the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice (GOJUST) Programme under a financial grant from the European Union (EU), the Justice Zone project adheres to its objective of a swift and fair administration of the criminal justice system, he added.
The next Strategic Planning Seminar of the Bacolod Justice Zone to be participated in by its partners, SC Project Management Office, JSCC and GOJUST2 officials will be held at the MassKara Hall on April 28 to 29, Javier said.*