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Specialised anti-corruption courts: Philippines

The Philippines’ Sandiganbayan is the oldest specialised anti-corruption court in the world. Though established mainly to resolve corruption cases more expeditiously, the Sandiganbayan is plagued by delays and inefficiency. This concern prompted recent legislative reforms and has led to calls for other changes as well, including procedural reforms such as further narrowing its jurisdiction, limiting postponements, improving case management, and introducing “continuous trials” rather than scheduling a series of piecemeal hearings stretched out over a long period of time.

This brief is part of a series of case studies on special anti-corruption courts. The case studies discuss the courts’ design and whether they have lived up to the expectations that led to their establishment. We draw lessons for their particular country context, but also specialisation of courts more generally.

These case studies will be complemented by a forthcoming issue paper discussing and comparing specialised anti-corruption courts around the world.

8 July 2016
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Specialised anti-corruption courts: Philippines

Cite this publication

Stephenson, M.; (2016) Specialised anti-corruption courts: Philippines. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2016:3)

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About the author

Matthew C. Stephenson

Matthew C. Stephenson is Eli Goldston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is an expert in anti-corruption law, legislation, administrative law, and the application of political economy to public institutional design. He has served as a consultant, advisor, and lecturer on topics related to anti-corruption, judicial reform, and administrative procedure for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and national governments and academic institutions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Global Anticorruption Blog (, with more than 10,000 followers.


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