Next CJ should have experience as judge: Puno

Posted at 06/25/12 10:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno on Monday said it is important for the next chief justice to have court experience as a judge.

“It's good to have a court experience as a judge. That trains you to be able to analyze the relevant facts from the irrelevant facts. That trains you to make a judgment on the credibility of the witnesses and of course trains you to apply the law appropriately on the facts of the case,” he said on ANC’s Headstart.

Puno is a former Solicitor General and Court of Appeals judge before he was appointed chief justice.

Some of the nominees for chief justice submitted to the Judicial and Bar Council have no prior experience as a judge.

Puno also said court insiders have an advantage over other nominees because they are familiar with the problems of the judiciary.

"An insider would always have the advantage of looking into the existing problems of the judiciary, and in continuing the solutions that are found to be good....the judiciary is a world of its own...it is some sort of a mini-government,” he said.

However, he admitted there were many instances in other countries when chief justices taken from the ranks of the academe and Congress performed well.

Puno, meanwhile, lauded the greater transparency in the Judicial and Bar Council’s selection process for the next chief justice.

He said the decision to grant live media coverage of the screening process is all for the better.