Two weeks ago during our Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) class, we were discussing on how to improve the delivery of services in the courts in order to unclog the arteries of the judicial system. Cases are filed exponentially but the number of courts remains stagnant. There is then a discrepancy which has to be addressed. It could easily be said that modernization is the solution but there seems to be little effort towards this end.
There is failure on the part of government in incorporating emerging technologies to current services being rendered. There is much to gain from making use of Livenotes in lieu of longhand stenographic notes, such as being able to check real-time the accuracy of the transcriptions and expediting the availability of TSN’s. Caseloads would easily be reduced if there is strict monitoring of reglementary periods as planned by the Court of Appeals in their planned Case Management Information System. However, I am still hesitant to say that modern technologies have already produced a software that can warn the user of a deleted footnote, as needed by the Supreme Court.
Until and unless modernization has gained preference in budget allocation, the judicial system will be unable to take advantage of its benefits. They would have to avail of other means to lessen their caseloads such as the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, the small claims court, mediation proceedings, and of course, arbitration.
Luckily, here in the Philippines, the private sector is taking active involvement in encouraging resort to unconventional means of dispute resolution. Take for example this video-clip of the glorified barangay conciliation proceeding that is Face to Face: