Chief Justice Gesmundo: Legal Research Must Contribute to the Administration of Justice
September 4, 2023
“While the tools and processes have changed with new technologies, the end to be pursued remains the same. Legal research must contribute to assisting the Court in doing justice to every case.”
Thus, stressed Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo in his keynote address at “A Colloquium on Legal Research in the Digital Age” organized by the Information and Publication Division of the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center held at the Malcolm Hall Theatre of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City on September 4, 2023.
In his message, Chief Justice Gesmundo reminded the members of the legal profession that with excellent research work supporting their arguments, lawyers effectively take an active part in the efficient and fair administration of justice. “It remains the primary duty of lawyers to present to the court the facts of the case and relevant laws fairly and accurately, to aid the Court in arriving at a correct decision,” he added.
Chief Justice Gesmundo also recognized the potential of emerging technologies to power the judiciary’s reform agenda under the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI), highlighting Innovation as one of the SPJI’s major target outcomes.
The Chief Justice enumerated further the projects under the SPJI: the further development of the Supreme Court (SC) e-Library; the development of an Online Learning Platform to provide users interactive online services; and the SC Portal e-Court System Version 2.0, among others.
Stressing the role of technology in judicial reforms, Chief Justice Gesmundo added: “Digital transformation of the Judiciary serves as a potent arsenal in our long battle against the perennial problems of inefficiency, delay, and corruption, which have long afflicted our judicial system.”
The Chief Magistrate further said that with the arrival of the digital age, legal research should proportionately upgrade the standard for what counts as quality legal research work. “With improved efficiency comes higher expectations in the accuracy and authenticity of authorities cited and sourced online,” he noted.
Finally, the Chief Justice called on legal academics to fulfill their special role “not only to interpret laws and clarify doctrines as they evolve through judicial applications, but also [to] preserve or modify the law so it can become an effective tool for social justice.”
Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, who is also the Chairperson of the Committee on Computerization and Library in the Supreme Court, joined the Chief Justice as speaker for the morning session. Also present was former Assistant Court Administrator and Supreme Court Public Information Office Chief Theodore O. Te.
Professor Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II, UP Diliman Chancellor and UP College of Law Dean, and Professor Michael T. Tiu, Jr., UP College of Law Assistant Professor delivered the Opening Message and Welcome Remarks, respectively. The following were also speakers during the Colloquium’s morning session: Dr. and Prof. Aries A. Arugay, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Political Sceince, UP Diliman, on Basics and Methods of Social Science Research; Engr. and Prof. Xavier Javines Bilon, Assistant Professor and Director for Research, School of Statistics, UP Diliman on Basics and Methods of Research: Statistician’s Perspective; and Prof. Marilía Conti Higa, Doctoral Candidate, NOVA School of Law, Portugal, on Evolution of Legal Research. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo delivers the keynote address at “A Colloquium on Legal Research in the Digital Age,” organized by the Information and Publication Division of the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, at the Malcolm Theater of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City on September 4, 2023. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo (3rd from left) and Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen (2nd from left) pose for posterity with (from left) Prof. Michael T. Tiu, Jr., Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law Head, Information and Publication Division UP Law Center; Prof. Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II, UP Diliman Chancellor and UP College of Law Dean; Prof. Myrna Feliciano, Internal Executive Assistant, UP Law Library; Prof. Solomon F. Lumba, Associate Dean, UP College of Law, during the Colloquium on Legal Research in the Digital Age organized by the Information and Publication Division of the UP Law Center held at the Malcolm Hall Theatre of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City on September 4, 2023. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)