Judicial and Bar Council

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The Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines is a constitutionally-created body that recommends appointees for vacancies that may arise in the composition of the Supreme Court and other lower courts.

The JBC members in the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Panel Interview


The Council is composed of a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector. They are the "regular" members, as opposed to the Secretary of Justice and a representative of Congress who are the ex officio members. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the ex officio chairman,[1] while the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall serve as the ex officio secretary.[2]

The regular members would be nominated by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of four years. However, since the terms will be staggered, the first set of members would a different lengths of service: the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years, the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.[3] The following members shall be given the full four-year term.

In 2012, a petition at the Supreme Court questioned on who should occupy the seat allocated for Congress. Currently, there are two members of Congress in the council: the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.[4] The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that there should only be one member of the JBC from Congress; the court left to Congress whom among the two would be its representative to the JBC.[5]

The council is the only government body that has members from all three branches of the government, excluding ad hoc and advisory bodies.

Current membership[edit]

The members of the Judicial and Bar Council are:

Ex officio chairman[edit]

Ex officio members[edit]

Regular members[edit]

  • Ma. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa - Integrated Bar representative, a private practitioner
  • Jose Mejia - representative from the academe
  • Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez - retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Aurora Santiago-Lagman - representative from the private sector[6]

As a matter of tradition, the two (2) senior associate justices of the Supreme Court also take part in the JBC deliberations.


The function of the Council is to recommend to the president of possible appointees to the Judiciary.[7]

The president shall choose from among those nominated, before the president may ask the Council to nominate somebody else and add it to the list, but this not allowed anymore. The person then chosen by the president then becomes a member of the Judiciary, and is not anymore reviewed by the Commission on Appointments. This is to prevent politicking and horse-trading among political parties.

Prior to the creation of the JBC, judges and justices were appointed by the president as per and the 1973 constitution, and with confirmation by the Commission on Appointments as per the 1935 constitution.

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said that the Council's principal objective is to attract the best and brightest to the judiciary and to make them remain there.



The members of the JBC were:[8]

Chief Justice[edit]

Secretaries of Justice[edit]

Representative from the Senate[edit]

Ordinarily the Chairman of the Committee on Justice.

Representative from the House of Representatives[edit]

Ordinarily the Chairman of the Committee on Justice.

Retired member of the Supreme Court[edit]

Representative from the academe[edit]

Representative from the Integrated Bar[edit]

Representative from the private sector[edit]


  1. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 1
  2. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 3
  3. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 2
  4. ^ "SC asks JBC to comment on Chavez petition". GMANews.tv. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  5. ^ Punay, Edu (2012-07-03). "Only one member from Congress in JBC, SC affirms". Philippine Star. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  6. ^ newsinfo.inquirer.net, CA justice named to body that screens judicial appointees
  7. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 5

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

See also[edit]