Summary: Article VIII provides for the Judicial Department, its composition, powers and functions. The Supreme Court is the only court created by the Constitution, all other courts are of statutory creation. A Chief Justice and ten Associate Justices compose the Supreme Court. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court are likewise provided herein. The powers of the Supreme Court includes, among others, the promulgation of rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts as well as the admission to the practice of law. Section 1.
The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law. SECTION 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of various courts, but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, nor of its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error, as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in:
(1) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in question. (2) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto. (3) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any trial court is in issue. (4) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment. (5) All cases in which an error or question of law is involved. SECTION 3.
Until the Congress shall provide otherwise the Supreme Court shall have such original and appellate jurisdiction as may be possessed and exercised by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this Constitution. The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall include all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls. SECTION 4. The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and ten Associate Justices and may sit eitheren banc or in two divisions unless otherwise provided by law.
SECTION 5. The Members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. SECTION 6. No person may be appointed Member of the Supreme Court unless he has been five years a citizen of the Philippines, is at least forty years of age, and has for ten years or more been a judge of a court of record or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. SECTION 7.
No judge appointed for a particular district shall be designated or transferred to another district without the approval of the Supreme Court. The Congress shall by law determine the residence of judges of inferior courts. SECTION 8. The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of inferior courts, but no person may be appointed judge of any such courts unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and has been admitted to the practice of law in the Philippines. SECTION 9.
The Members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall hold office during good behavior, until they reach the age of seventy years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. Until the Congress shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos, and each Associate Justice, fifteen thousand pesos.
SECTION 10. All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty or law shall be heard and decided by the Supreme Court en banc1 , and no treaty or law may be declared unconstitutional without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Court. SECTION 11. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to