Australian Ambassador Pays Courtesy Call on Chief Justice Gesmundo, SC Associate Justices
January 20, 2023
The Supreme Court of the Philippines (SC) and the Australian government renewed their commitment to continue working together on judicial reform projects to achieve real and tangible results that benefit the people especially the most vulnerable.
The commitment was made during the visit to the Supreme Court by the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Hae Kyong Yu on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
Chief Justice Gesmundo together with the Associate Justices expressed gratitude to the Australian government for their continuing support to the Judiciary and the justice sector, citing projects such as the organizational assessment and process mapping of the Judicial Integrity Board; the Ethics Caravan of the Sub-Committee for the Revision of the Code of Professional Responsibility; and the business process mapping and reengineering, caseload and case carrying capacity analyses in the Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan. He also thanked Australia for supporting the Regional Consultations on Legal Education and the National Legal Aid Summit, in partnership with the Asia Foundation.
The Chief Justice also said that other initiatives supported by the Australian government were in the areas of human trafficking and child online exploitation through the ASEAN-Australia Counter Trafficking Program and the SaferKidsPH Consortium.
In response, Ambassador Yu declared that the Australian government is indeed committed to fighting terrorism, human trafficking and child online exploitation and abuse. “The Australian government is always committed to working with you to counter terrorism and child online sexual exploitation. These areas are very important to us and I think we have achieved excellent results…Of course, none of this is possible without a fully functioning Judiciary,” said the Ambassador.
Ambassador Yu also commended the Philippine Judiciary for always striving for innovation and improvement. She particularly lauded the Court’s use of technology and digital platforms to further improve the administration of justice. She added that Australian courts could learn from the Philippine Judiciary’s programs and projects particularly access to courts in rural and remote areas.
The Ambassador particularly mentioned that the Enhanced Justice on Wheels program is a great concept, given that Australia is also a big country with many remote areas. She is thus looking forward to working closely with the SC in order to achieve more real and tangible results that benefit the people.
Chief Justice Gesmundo also shared that the Court through an Ad Hoc Committee, is in the process of drafting the Rules on anti-terrorism cases.
Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) Vice-Chancellor Mariano C. Del Castillo also mentioned the ongoing Legal Framework Setting on Anti- Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Financing Cases organized by the Court in partnership with the Embassy of Australia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, currently being held at the PhilJA Training Center in Tagaytay. Associate Jose Midas P. Marquez also discussed the Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI).
Joining Chief Justice Gesmundo were Justices Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Jhosep Y. Lopez, Associate Justice Japar B. Dimaampao, Marquez, and Antonio T. Kho, Jr.
Also present were PhilJA Vice-Chancellor Del Castillo, Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva, Assistant Court Administrator and Chief of Public Information Office Atty. Brian Keith F. Hosaka, Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator Atty. Laura C.H. Del Rosario, and Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Technology Officer Atty. Jed Sherwin G. Uy.
Ambassador Yu was joined by Dr. Moya Collett, Deputy Head of Mission; Mr. Paul Harrington, Acting Counsellor (Development); Mr. Simon Hayter, First Secretary (Political); Mr. Alexander O’ Hara, Second Secretary (Political); and Ms. Ria Go Tian, Senior Program Officer (Development). (Courtesy of the SC-Public Information Office)