Cebu City Justice Zone: Councilor pushes bid to establish it
Councilor Rey Gealon, the author of the proposed ordinance, said that the institutionalization of the Cebu City Justice Zone envisioned to achieve the coordinated efforts of the stakeholders in the justice sector in a holistic and efficient manner.
He said that its institutionalization or establishing a Cebu City Justice Zone would benefit the city’s constituents, especially the marginalized sector.
Cebu City Justice Zone
To recall, the ‘Cebu City Justice Zone’ (CCJZ) was launched in Cebu City last October 4, 2018.
It was one of the ‘flagship’ programs of the European Union’s (EU) Governance in Justice (Gojust) program.
Gojust supports the development and early implementation of a credible sector-wide long-term reform strategy through the provision of technical and financial assistance.
And the establishment of a justice zone in the Philippines would ensure an efficient administration of justice through the setting up of a coordinated mechanism among the various stakeholders of the justice sector.
Justice zones are areas where the local justice sector coordinates in identifying and addressing common challenges such as but not limited to court and jail congestion, the barangay justice system, and maintaining a striking balance between prosecution and upholding the rights of the accused.
The local justice sector is usually composed of the police, prosecutors, public lawyers, managers of detention facilities, and judges.
Moreover, in terms of composition of CCJZ would be compose of the executive judge of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court as convenor, two vice convenors who are heads of offices in any of the attached agencies in either Department of Justice (DOJ) or Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the executive judge of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, and other members from the city government.
Funds if passed
Moreover, should the proposed ordinance be approved, the CCJZ would formulate measures that aim to improve the delivery of ‘just, responsive, and accountable justice services in the city.’
According to Gealon, these measures may be raised for the consideration of the council for appropriate local legislation and/or funding or to the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) at the national level.
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