Justice Marquez Speaks on Emerging Justice Needs in the Digital Era
August 18, 2023
Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez is representing the Supreme Court of the Philippines in the three-day ASEAN Justice Innovation 2023 conference, which focuses on the theme “The Rule of Law, Data, and the Future of Justice in the ASEAN,” from August 16 to August 18, 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.
During the second day of the conference, Justice Marquez spoke on the emerging justice needs in the digital era as he emphasized that “people everywhere, not just in the ASEAN, need judiciaries and justice systems that can keep up with the times and utilize the best available digital resources to constantly improve judicial processes and ensure efficient delivery of justice.”
He expressed that the Supreme Court of the Philippines is “ever determined to carefully confront the (technological) challenges head on, as we push for the full use of technology to keep the wheels of justice from grinding to a halt even amid the strictest lockdowns.”
Justice Marquez shared with the conference participants the Supreme Court’s program of judicial reform, the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027, which is “powered by an innovation agenda” and “designed to make justice more speedy, inexpensive and accessible.”
He also took the opportunity to push for the adoption of a model rule on videoconferencing within the ASEAN member-states to enable litigants, witnesses and counsel who are in different ASEAN states to appear before courts in other jurisdictions, “minimizing the logistical and financial constraints involved in litigating disputes between persons located in different jurisdictions.”
“Courts have a responsibility to improve with the times,” stressed Justice Marquez. “As society and technology evolve, as human relations change and develop, so too must the courts evolve with the times.”
Justice Marquez, however, emphasized that “courts must not lose sight of their ultimate purpose: public service. Digital solutions are not an end in themselves but simply a means for courts to better achieve their purpose of public service.”
In closing, he rallied the conference participants as it is their “shared duty to pool (their) collective wisdom and map a way forward that takes the best of what digital technology has to offer and uses these tools for the improvement of courts for a more effective, efficient, and transparent rendition of justice in the ASEAN and beyond.”
Justice Marquez is attending the ASEAN Justice Innovation 2023 conference upon the invitation of the Thailand Institute of Justice, in partnership with the World Justice Project, which organized the event to prompt ASEAN countries to recognize the grave importance of enhancing the Rule of Law.
The three-day conference involves a series of interactive panel discussions, small focus groups, workshops, and exhibitions which aims to create a space for knowledge exchange regarding the Rule of Law, data in relation to the Rule of Law index, and ASEAN justice innovations. ASEAN Justice Innovation 2023 aims “to unpack the opportunities and challenges around the Rule of Law in ASEAN, as well as engender a pioneering network that will gather new generations of justice innovators in the region.”