Supreme Court of the Philippines use virtual courtrooms to conduct hearings
The Supreme Court (SC) has partnered with Microsoft to improve the efficiency and productivity of the country’s legal proceedings through videoconferencing hearings.
By using Microsoft 365, the initiative ensures timely hearing of cases even during the pandemic. It started on April 27, 2020, when the Honorable Chief Justice Peralta issued Administrative Circular 37-2020, directing all litigants, judges, and court personnel of 925 First and Second Level Courts located in Metro Manila and other key cities to immediately begin virtual court hearings. Furthermore, reported infections of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) with COVID-19 in the different detention facilities restrained their movement and travel.
In the first nine days of videoconferencing hearings, the Supreme Court released a total of 4,683 PDLs. It is 125% more compared to the data recorded six weeks prior to its implementation. Aside from videoconferencing hearings, the high court also allowed the e-filing of complaints and petitions for bail, as well as submission of requirements for bail to minimize physical contact.
Also, Microsoft 365 is now the official medium for communications of the entire judicial branch of the Philippine Republic.