Rethinking the Five Pillars of the Criminal Justice System: Towards a New Model

Geronimo L. Sy


The model of criminal justice system in the Philippines follows the five pillars, namely: law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, correction and community. Although based on the four subsystems used in the United States, it omits the legislative, and added the prosecution and the community components. The system, however, is plagued by many ills which is a direct consequence of a faulty theory. Aside from eliminated subsystem and the added pillars, the flaws include the model’s translation from a circular representation to a linear one without a clear feedback loop. It did not carefully identify the rightful components of a functional criminal justice system and disregarded the structural subsystems. With the theoretical problems of the five pillars model, the Gavel Model is proposed which improves on the existing model by: 1) adding back the legislative system; 2) adding the public defender’s office; 3) cooperation between law enforcement and prosecution; 4) interaction of Prosecution and Defense; 5) cooperation between courts and corrections; and 6) tapping the civil society. The proposed model is a rational application of the concept of check-and-balanced and addresses the ills in the present system.