10 questions for applicants for position of chief justice
Questions to test their command of the law
(1) What do you think are the various credible ways to "read" the Constitution? What is your preferred interpretative modality?
(2) Do you think that the Court improperly flip-flopped in the PAL Labor Case? In the League of Cities Case? Would you think that this would impact on final and executory cases pending in lower courts or cited as precedents in the future? What measures, if any, would you seek to introduce to prevent these incidents from happening again?
(3) Do you agree with the current state of jurisprudence of the Court relating to those who criticize it? For instance, do you agree that academics can be held liable for criticisms of decisions rendered by the Supreme Court? Also, do you agree with the current standard that journalists must meet in order to escape punishment from the Court?
(4) Do you agree with the current state of jurisprudence relating to media and the courtroom? Why or why not?
(5) Do you believe that constitutional rights to privacy are unduly infringed if foreign currency deposits of public officials are made public? Why or why not?
(6) What is your position on affirmative action and minority rights?
Questions to test the managerial knowledge of the candidate
(7) What interventions, if any, would you introduce to speed up the delivery of justice in all our courts? Why do you think these interventions have not been introduced or completed in the past?
(8) Recent studies in law and economics point to the importance of administrative fees both to filter cases and to enable the litigants to internalize the costs of litigation. Do you agree with changing the basis of docket fees so that it becomes a percentage of the net worth of all the plaintiffs rather than the nature of the litigation? Why or why not?
(9) Do you agree with the proposition that it would be better if the President named his choice for a judicial position and this be vetted by the Commission on Appointments rather than by the Judicial and Bar Council? Why or why not?
(10) Can you give us a briefing on the various reforms put into place by various Chief Justices in the past to increase access to justice? What additional interventions, if any, would you introduce?
The author is a professor of law and former dean at the University of the Philippines College of Law.