ARTICLE IX
Administration of Justice

Section 1. The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and other courts established by law shall continue to exercise their judicial powers as provided by the Constitution and national laws.

Section 2. There is hereby created a Shari'ah Appellate Court which, together with other Shari'ah and tribal courts, shall have jurisdiction over cases involving persons, family and property relations.

The Regional Assembly shall, in consultation with the Supreme Court, determine the number and the territorial jurisdiction of these courts.

Shari'ah Appellate Court

Section 3. The Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be composed of one (1) Presiding Justice and two (2) Associate Justices. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety (90) days from the occurrence thereof.

Section 4. (1) The Justices of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall possess the same qualification as those of the Justices of the Court of Appeals and, in addition, shall also be learned in Islamic law and jurisprudence.

(2) The members of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three (3) nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council. The nominees shall be chosen from a list of recommendees submitted by the Regional Assembly. Such appointments need no confirmation.

Section 5. The Shari'ah Appellate Court shall have the following powers:

(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, and other auxiliary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction; and

(2) Exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases tried in the Shari'ah District Courts as established by law.

Section 6. The decisions of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be final and executory: Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall affect the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in the Constitution.

Section 7. The Presiding and Associate Justices of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall serve until they reach the age of seventy (70) years, unless sooner removed for cause in the same manner as Justices of the Court of Appeals or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.

Section 8. The Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall receive the same compensation and enjoy the same privileges as the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals, respectively.

Section 9. (1) The Supreme Court shall, upon recommendation of the Presiding Justice of the Shari'ah Appellate Court, appoint the court administrator and clerk of court of said Appellate Court. Such other personnel as may be necessary for the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be appointed by the Presiding Justice of said court.

(2) The pertinent provisions of existing law regarding the qualifications, appointment, compensation, functions, duties and other matters relative to the personnel of the Court of Appeals shall apply to those of the Shari'ah Appellate Court.

Section 10. The Members of the Shari'ah Appellate Court and of other Shari'ah Appellate courts established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.

Section 11. The official seat of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall, unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise, be in the seat of the Autonomous Government.

Section 12. Proceedings in the Shari'ah Appellate Court and in the Shari'ah lower courts as are established in the Autonomous Regional shall be governed by such special rules as the Supreme Court may promulgate.

Shari'ah Courts

Section 13. The Shari'ah District Courts and the Shari'ah Circuit Courts created under existing laws shall continue to function as provided therein. The judges of the Shari'ah courts shall have the same qualifications as the judges of the Regional Trial Courts, the Metropolitan Trial Courts or the Municipal Trial Courts as the case may be in. In addition, they must be learned in Islamic law and jurisprudence.

Tribal Courts

Section 14. There is hereby created a system of tribal courts, which may include a Tribal Appellate Court, for the indigenous cultural communities in the Autonomous Region. These courts shall determine, settle and decide controversies and enforce decisions involving personal, family and property rights in accordance with the tribal codes of these communities. The Regional Assembly shall define their composition and jurisdiction in accordance with this Act.

Jurisconsult in Islamic Law

Section 15. Provisions to put into effect the organization of the Office of Jurisconsult in Islamic Laws as established under existing law and facilities for its proper functioning shall receive priority consideration.

Customary Law

Section 16. The Regional Assembly shall provide for the codification of indigenous laws and compilation of customary laws in the Autonomous Region.

Application and Interpretation of Laws

Section 17. (1) The provisions of the Muslim Code and the Tribal Code shall be applicable only to Muslims and other members of indigenous cultural communities respectively and nothing herein shall be construed to operate to the prejudice of non-Muslims and nonmembers of indigenous cultural communities.

(2) In case of conflict between the Muslim Code and the Tribal Code, the national law shall apply.

(3) In case of conflict between the Muslim Code or the Tribal Code on the one hand, and the national law on the other, the latter shall prevail.

(4) Except in cases of successional rights, the regular courts shall acquire jurisdiction over controversies involving real property located outside the area of autonomy.

Section 18. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Shari'ah courts shall interpret Islamic law based on sources such as:

(1) Al-Qur'an (The Koran);

(2) Al-Sunnah (Prophetic traditions);

(3) Al-Qiyas (Analogy); and

(4) Al-Jima (Consensus).