SC opens up on audio recording-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
MANILA -- The Supreme Court has made another attempt to open itself up to the public by releasing a recording of the January 15 oral arguments on the constitutionality of Republic Act 10175 or the anti-cybercrime law at its website.
A text message from the high court's public information office through newly appointed spokesman Theodore Te said that the audio recording may be found at www.sc.judiciary.gov.ph.
Oral arguments of the high tribunal have been open to the public but audio and video recording of the hearings are prohibited under SC rules. Also the court has made it a rule not to allow cameras inside the hearing rooms during the session.
En banc sessions are completely closed to other court officials, including the clerk of court when the justices are deliberating on cases. Only the chief justice may be able to relay the minutes of the deliberations to the clerk of court after the proceedings.
Only recently, the court allowed the media coverage of the public interviews being conducted by the Judicial and Bar Council of nominees to vacant judicial posts.
The seemingly cloistered atmosphere and process of deliberation of the magistrates, thus, appeared to make them unapproachable to the common people, making them less popular than the heads of the two other branches of government.
The decision of the SC to record the oral arguments so that the public may be able to learn of the thought processes of the justices, as well as hear the arguments of the parties, is being considered as a step towards transparency by the tribunal long known for its passive approach to issues of public interests.
It would be recalled that even Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, upon her assumption to the top judicial post, told the press that she would bring back the court to its days of "dignified silence," where the court is only heard and read through its decisions. (JCV/Sunnex)