SC defers implementation of Judicial Affidavit Rule

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Latest News Philippines: SC defers implementation of Judicial Affidavit Rule –

THE Supreme Court (SC) has suspended the implementation of the so-called Judicial Affidavit Rule (JDR) allowing the submission of affidavits instead of requiring witnesses to testify in criminal cases.

Deferred was Administrative Matter No. 12-8-8-SC or the JDR which was supposed to take effect yesterday but was suspended after the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines (PLP) objected.

In Circular No. 146-2012, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez directed all Court of Appeals justices, judges in trial courts and officials of judicial bodies not to implement the new rule yet pending the High Court’s formal ruling on PLP’s objection.

Also, SC justices would consider during next Tuesday’s en banc  a proposal from Associate Justice Roberto Abad “for the deferment of the application of the JDR for one year from 1 January 2013 to 1 January 2014 under certain conditions.”

Abad, together with Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin, met with PLP officers last Dec. 21 and agreed to defer the implementation of the new rule pending action of the full court on the proposed one-year suspension.

“Considering that the court will not meet until 8 January 2013, Justice Abad is of the considered view that it may be more prudent for the justices, judges and arbiters concerned to suspend the implementation of the Judicial Affidavit Rule in criminal cases and await the resolution of the court en banc on the request of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines,” read the order.

The SC issued the circular after receiving last Dec. 12 PLP’s letter for deferment of the new rule.

The new rule, which was approved by the High Court unanimously last September, provides that “when a party (whether plaintiff or defendant) questions his own witness, he no longer needs to place the witness on the witness stand.”

As a substitute, the party or his lawyer merely submits the written sworn statement of his witness in a question-and-answer format.


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