In recognition of his legal scholarship and expertise in
international law, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona received an Honorary Professorship of Law from Dean Da-Yuan of Renmin University of China Law School in Beijing on October 29, 2010.
Renmin Law School is regarded as the top law school in the People’s Republic of China. In the 60 years since its founding in 1950, this is the first time that a foreign dignitary has been accorded such an honor by Renmin Law School.
Previously, Chief Justice Corona attended the 4th Meeting of the Asia Pacific Judicial Reform Forum in Beijing from October 25-28, 2010, which was attended by several chief justices from other countries.
“I see it not as an honor to me but a recognition of the great friendship between our two countries as well as the affirmation of our common aspirations for peace through the rule of law,” said the Chief Justice of his Honorary Professor of Law title in his acceptance speech.
Speaking on China’s current economic ascendancy, Chief Justice Corona took note of the numerous initiatives the country had adopted when it embarked on economic reforms in 1978. “It revised or adopted new laws on companies, securities regulation, and banking and administrative licensing. Since then, millions upon millions of people have benefited from this well-spring of reforms and have been lifted from the quagmire of poverty to become members of China’s robust middle class,” said the Chief Justice.
“China’s experience has shown that beyond legal jurisprudence, the law, first and foremost, can be a force to empower the poor,” Chief Justice Corona said. “I believe (Chinese leader) Deng Xiaoping had this in mind when he identified other areas, apart from the economy, where changes had to be made before China could become a world power; and one such area is having cases heard in a viable and expanded judicial system.”
Chief Justice Corona added that he shares the same philosophy. “When I assumed office as the 23rd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines more than five months ago, I articulated that my loyalty is to our Constitution alone. We shall uphold the Constitution, the fundamental law in the Philippines, and dispense justice to every man, woman and child. I realize that the people’s right to justice is a public service that only government can provide,” he said.
The Chief Justice added that “No matter the odds, the Supreme Court under my watch will be an active partner of the Filipino people. This is neither lip service nor posturing. I am determined more than ever to bring about a better quality of life for our countrymen and make sure that the Judiciary is efficient, effective, and accessible to our people, especially the poor.”
He then identified three reform areas that the Philippine Supreme Court will prioritize to increase the Filipino people’s access to justice: the use of alternative dispute resolution to declog the court dockets; the nationwide implementation of the Enhanced Case Flow Management System to modernize Philippine courts; and the expansion of the Supreme Court’s Enhanced Justice on Wheels Project.
“Judicial reform is an on-going process,” Chief Justice Corona emphasized. “As we set out our sights to improve the Judiciary in the Philippines, I am inspired by the commitment and excellence of Renmin Law School in more than half a century of its existence. Now that I have become an Honorary Professor of Law in this acclaimed institution, I find it my duty to in turn honor such cherished values by being an ‘outstanding exemplar for the nation and the backbone of society.’ We shall emulate and use this principle to contribute to the strengthening of the great institution that is the Supreme Court of the Philippines,” he said.