Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin led a high-level Philippine delegation to Spain last September to study Spain’s justice system.
The 16-member delegation visited Madrid from Sept. 16 to 22 and included representatives from the Interior and Justice Departments.
Aside from Bersamin, those leading the delegation included DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order Bernardo Florece Jr.; and DOJ Undersecretary for Law Enforcement Adrian Ferdinand Sugay (https://www.philembassymadrid.com/dilg).
“During their visit, the delegation attended several briefings at various Spanish government institutions concerning the workings of the country’s justice system, which highlighted its decentralized structure and the division of powers and responsibilities among the numerous agencies involved in law enforcement and justice administration,” the Philippine embassy in Madrid said.
Receiving the Philippine delegation were senior officials from the Spanish judiciary led by Acting Chief Justice Carlos Lesmes Serrano, who heads both the Spanish Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court) and the Consejo General del Poder Judicial (General Council of the Judiciary).
The delegation also visited the Fiscalía General del Estado (State Attorney-General), where they met with Francisco Moreno Carrasco, chief prosecutor and head of the Support Unit.
It called on the Spanish Ministry of Justice, where they were received by Secretary-General Antonio Viejo Llorente.
Members were briefed about the on-going organizational and technological reform of Spain’s judicial system, which aims to transform all procedures into digital, paperless transactions that citizens and legal workers may complete online.
Meanwhile, the delegation met with José Ramón Navarro Miranda, President of the Audiencia Nacional (National High Court).
The High Court, which has no equivalent in the Philippine judicial system, was founded with the primary objective of combating crimes that cross Spain’s regional borders, such as terrorism, organized crime, and economic crimes; as well as crimes that affect the state and royalty.
The Philippine delegates with senior officials from Spain’s Guardia Civil, after being given a tour of their headquarters.
The visit was funded and organized under the Governance in Justice (GOJUST) Programme of the Philippines and the European Union.
During the visit, the delegation was supported by the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, under Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier.