x x x x The doctrine that requires respect for the hierarchy of courts was created by this court to ensure that every level of the judiciary performs its designated roles in an effective and efficient manner . Trial courts do not only determine the facts from the evaluation of the evidence presented before them. They are likewise competent to determine issues of law which may include the validity of an ordinance, statute, or
even an executive issuance in relation to the Constitution. To effectively perform these functions, they are territorially organized into regions and then into branches. Their writs generally reach within those territorial boundaries. Necessarily, they mostly perform the all-important task of inferring the facts from the evidence as these are physically presented before them. In many instances, the facts occur within their territorial jurisdiction, which properly present the "actual case" that makes ripe a determination of the constitutionality of such action. The consequences, of course, would be national in scope. There are, however, some cases where resort to courts at their level would not be practical considering their decisions could still be appealed before the higher courts, such as the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals is primarily designed as an appellate court that reviews the determination of facts and law made by the trial courts. It is collegiate in nature. This nature ensures more standpoints in the review of the actions of the trial court. But the Court of Appeals also has original jurisdiction over most special civil actions. Unlike the trial courts, its writs can have a nationwide scope. It is competent to determine facts and, ideally, should act on constitutional issues that may not necessarily be novel unless there are factual questions to determine. This court, on the other hand, leads the judiciary by breaking new ground or further reiterating - in the light of new circumstances or in the light of some confusion of bench or bar - existing precedents. Rather than a court of first instance or as a repetition of the actions of the Court of Appeals, this court promulgates these doctrinal devices in order that it truly performs that role. 7 chanrobleslaw However, in the same case, it was acknowledged that for exceptionally compelling reasons, the Court may exercise its discretion to act on special civil actions for certiorari filed directly with it. Examples of cases that present compelling reasons are: (1) those involving genuine issues of constitutionality that must be addressed at the most immediate time; (2) those where the issues are of transcendental importance, and the threat to fundamental constitutional rights are so great as to outweigh the necessity for prudence; (3) cases of first impression, where no jurisprudence yet exists that will guide the lower courts on such issues; (4) where the constitutional issues raised are better decided after a thorough deliberation by a collegiate body
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- Fall '15