Supreme Court's rule-making power

The Supreme Court has the exclusive power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Any such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court. (Art. VIII, Section 54.5)The Supreme Court's rule-making power has been enhanced under the 1987 Constitution. The new Fundamental Law gives the Court the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. The Supreme Court is even given the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies. The only limitations to these powers is that such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.[1]

For the first time, the Court was granted with the following: (1) the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights; and (2) the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies. The 1987 Constitution also took away the power of Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure.[2]

The Supreme Court may promulgate procedural rules in all courts. It has the sole prerogative to amend, repeal or even establish new rules for a more simplified and inexpensive process, and the speedy disposition of cases. [3]


[1] Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 132601, January 19, 1999, 301 SCRA 96, 111.

[2] Id.

[3] Neypes v. CA, G.R. No. 141524 (2005).

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