Question 12, 2018 Political Law Bar Exam


(Question XII, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Section 9 of P.O. No. 1606, as amended, provides that the Sandiganbayan may adopt internal rules governing the allotment of cases among its divisions, the rotation of justices among them, and other matters relating to the internal operations of the court.

Section 6 of Article IX-A of the Constitution allows each of the Constitutional Commissions “en bane [to] promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.”

Section 16(3) of Article VI of the Constitution states that “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution further provides that “The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries… in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure.”

Finally, Section 3(8) of Article XI of the Constitution declares that “The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purposes of this section.”

Are the rules promulgated pursuant to these provisions subject to review and disapproval by the Supreme Court? (5%)

Suggested Answer:

Yes via judicial review. The power of judicial review is the power of the courts to test the validity of executive and legislative acts for their conformity with the Constitution.

Under jurisprudence, the 1987 Constitution has expanded the scope of judicial power from its traditional understanding. As such, courts are not only expected to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but are also empowered to determine if any government branch or instrumentality has acted beyond the scope of its powers, such that there is grave abuse of discretion.


(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)


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