The Supreme Court recently promulgated rules to govern its internal operations and guide its exercise of judicial and administrative functions.
The internal rules took effect May 22, 2010 after its May 7, 2010 publication in the Manila Bulletin.
Nothing in the internal rules shall be interpreted to preclude or limit the powers of the Court under the Constitution, applicable laws, and the Rules of Court.
The internal rules also provide for the following, among others:
• formula for assigning cases to a new member of the Court so that the latter’s inherited cases and those unloaded from more senior colleagues would amount to the average caseload;
• the 16 permanent Court committees (Revision of the Rules of Court, Computerization and Library, Security; Bids and Awards; Administrative Concerns; Legislative-Executive Relations; Publication of the Court Systems Journal, Legal Education and Bar Matters; Retirement Program; Public Information; Judicial Reform Support Project Management; Publication of the Advanced Syllabi; Foreign Travel; Justice on Wheels; and Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary, Ethics);
• mechanics of the regular and special raffle of cases;
• confidentiality of identity of the member-in-charge or ponente and of Court actions;
• confidentiality of minutes prior to release; a resolution is officially considered released once the copy for the parties has been transmitted to the process server or to the mailing section of the Judicial Records Office;
• the requirement of a majority vote of the members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberations for all decisions and actions in En Banc cases; and the vote of at least three members in Division cases, failure to obtain which shall cause elevation of the case to the En Banc;
• the instances when cases are adjudicated by decision, signed resolution, unsigned resolution, or minute resolution;
• promulgation by the Office of the Clerk of Court of decisions and resolutions within 48 hours from receipt from the Office of the Chief Justice; and
• entertaining of a second motion for reconsideration only in the interest of justice by the vote of at least two-thirds of the En Banc’s actual membership before finality of the ruling sought to be reconsidered by operation of law or by the Court’s declaration; the requirement of the vote of three members in a Division to elevate a second motion for reconsideration to the En Banc.
The full text of the internal rules is posted in the SC website, sc.judiciary.gov.ph. (AM No. 10-4-20-SC, The Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, May 4, 2010)