Steffani Mariano Patriarca, Quennie Grace Deocampo and Nichole Anne Lavides

The fight for justice in the Philippines has always been characterized as a grindingly slow and expensive process. Trials usually go on for several years, thereby discouraging many Filipinos, especially those coming from marginalized communities from exerting their rights. In keeping with the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to promulgate rules for a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, the Supreme Court has implemented rules and other alternative modes of settling disputes.

This study will specifically focus on Court-Annexed Mediation, its process, and its effectiveness in settling disputes and decongesting the Bacolod City judicial courts of cases. More importantly, the researchers shall also investigate if this compulsory alternative venue addresses inequalities in access to speedy justice and promotes economical and amicable settlements between the litigants.

To gather the necessary data for the study, the researchers shall conduct surveys and interviews among accredited mediators, lawyers, and litigants. The Philippine Mediation Center, established as the component unit to render court-referred mediation services, shall be the primary source of relevant information to determine the number and nature of cases actually settled through the Court-Annexed Mediation.  The researchers shall also conduct a review of developments on the foregoing matter, and how it has evolved in recent years.

This investigative study will analyze the factors that affect the effectiveness and efficiency in the conduct of the Court-Annexed Mediation, to provide useful information to interested persons, as well as valuable and practical recommendations to the concerned government institutions.

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