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Gesmundo receives ‘23 Chief Justice Holmes Award

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

The Chief Justice of the Philippines, Alexander G. Gesmundo, was honored as the first international recipient of the 2023 Chief Justice Richard W. Holmes Award of Merit at the 2023 Annual American Judges Association (AJA) Awards in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 12, 2023. He was recognized for his dedication to justice and equality, marking a significant achievement for the Philippines.

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo became the inaugural foreign recipient of the 2023 Chief Justice Richard W. Holmes Award of Merit, symbolizing his commitment to realizing just and timely justice for all. He also emphasized the role of the courts in fostering peace, order, unity, and equality.

The Chief Justice Richard W. Holmes Award of Merit is presented to judges who have made exceptional contributions to the judiciary.

In his acceptance speech at the Awards Luncheon, Chief Justice Gesmundo remarked, “The yearning for justice knows no borders, and that dream of a society where justice reigns supreme is shared by all of us.” He expressed his gratitude, recognizing that the honor extended beyond himself to represent the Philippines and its ongoing efforts to implement judicial reforms.

Chief Justice Gesmundo highlighted his commitment to making justice accessible and meaningful, emphasizing the importance of timely justice. He also acknowledged the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI), a blueprint for judicial reforms, as a significant initiative.

Furthermore, Chief Justice Gesmundo expressed hope that justice would become more accessible, particularly for marginalized individuals, stating, “The justice that has eluded many, most especially the marginalized, will be within arm’s reach.”

He acknowledged and shared the award with his colleagues in the Supreme Court of the Philippines, judicial officers, Court officials and employees, and members of the Bar. Additionally, Chief Justice Gesmundo thanked international agencies and judicial organizations for their support and assistance in advancing the judiciary’s goals.

Chief Justice Gesmundo participated in the 2023 American Judges Association 62nd Annual Conference as a featured speaker, discussing the challenges of adopting and implementing new technologies in the judiciary alongside Chief Justice Robert Torres of the Supreme Court of Guam during a session titled “Tech Talk with the Chiefs.”

The conference, themed “Innovative Courts for a Modern Judiciary,” took place from September 9 to 14, 2023, in Honolulu, Hawaii.


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