Council sets age limits for Supreme Court aspirants | Inquirer News

Council sets age limits for Supreme Court aspirants

/ 04:36 AM May 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Aspirants for seats on the Supreme Court now have to contend with an age cap before they can be considered by the eight-member body that recommends appointees to the judiciary.

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) announced it would only consider applicants for Supreme Court associate justice or chief justice who can serve for a “reasonably sufficient time.”

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Effective June 8, the JBC said Supreme Court candidates should have at least two years and a half to go before retirement if they are appellate court justices, the court administrator, chairperson of a constitutional commission, solicitor general, or department secretary.

All other applicants should have at least five years to go before retirement, the JBC said in its revised rules issued on Sunday.

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The compulsory retirement age in the Supreme Court is 70 years old.

This means a Supreme Court candidate from the top judicial posts should not be older than 67 years old, and not older than 65 years old if from the trial courts or private practice.

The revised rules were unanimously approved by the eight JBC members led by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, the ex-officio chairperson.

The JBC is screening 13 candidates for the seat vacated by Supreme Court Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr. who retired last May 11. It has opened nominations and applications for the seat to be vacated by Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. on Sept.18.

The President has to choose from the shortlist submitted by the JBC within 90 days from the vacancy.

The Constitution only states that a Supreme Court justice has to be a natural-born Filipino and at least 40 years old and has to have at least 15 years of legal practice.

The JBC’s new rule did not mention incumbent Supreme Court justices who are automatically considered for chief justice.

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“In the selection of nominees for a vacancy in the Supreme Court, the Council must consider their age with a view to discourage the appointment of those who would not be able to serve it for a reasonably sufficient time,” read the 2020 revised rules of the JBC.

The JBC has four ex-officio members.

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TAGS: JBC, Judicial and Bar Council, Supreme Court justice age limit
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