Alfredo Flores Tadiar

Alfredo Flores Tadiar

Alfredo F. Tadiar (born 15 June 1930) is a Filipino attorney whosestrong advocacy for and commitment to the alternative disputeresolution (ADR) movement has led to his recognition as the "father of(ADR) in the Philippines". He was Chairman of the National AmnestyCommission of the Philippines from 1996 to 2003, and was thepioneering Chair of the Government Panel to negotiate peace withmilitary rebels who sought to topple the government of Corazon Aquinoin various coup attempts.

Education & Early Career

Tadiar took his pre-law at Siliman University, Dumaguete (AA with HighDistinction). He began his law degree at the University of thePhilippines College of Law, and returned to Siliman University tocomplete his AB (cum laude) and LLB (cum laude)] . He placed 14th inthe 1955 Bar Examination, where he obtained a rating of 85.25%.

He was appointed as trial judge at the first level court of San Juan,La Union (1959-1968) and later promoted to the Provincial CapitalCourt of San Fernando, La Union (1968-1976). In 1970 he won afellowship from the United Church Board for World Ministries to studyUS juvenile criminal justice at Boston University. He later applied totake his Masters of Law at Harvard and was immediately accepted. Hismasteral thesis entitled "The Administration of Criminal Justice inthe Philippines: Some Aspects for a Comparative Study with that of theUnited States" (www.fordfound.org/elibrary/documents/5023/230.cfm) wasgiven a special commendation by Harvard Law School Dean JamesVorenberg and was later published in the Philippine Law Journal (Vol51, No. 4, September 1972, UP Law Publishing House).

In 1976, after having read his masteral thesis, Dean Irene Cortes ofthe University of the Philippines College of Law invited Tadiar tojoin the faculty. He accepted. While teaching undergraduate courses onremedial law subjects as well as masteral courses on theadministration of criminal justice and population law, he was alsoDirector of the Office of Legal Aid, a law internship program whichprovided free legal assistance to the underprivileged. He was theprincipal proponent of the Petition to the Supreme Court to amend theRules of Court to allow Supervised Law Student Practice Rule, whichbecame Rule 138-A in 1986. He retired from teaching in 1996.

Katarungang Pambarangay

In 1979, Tadiar's "preachings" for an ADRM was formally adopted as anadjunct to the legal system when PD 1508, The Katarungang PambarangayLaw, was promulgated. He was a principal author of that law, togetherwith its implementing rules, requiring prior conciliation as acondition for judicial recourse. For 12 years (1980-1992), he was amember of the Committee of Consultants, Bureau of Local GovernmentSupervision, which oversaw the nationwide operations of theKatarungang Pambarangay Law.

He subsequently tested the empirical bases of the legal assumptionsunderlying that law in a pioneering socio-legal research study fundedby Asia Foundation (1984) that he conducted in a rural area (SanFernando, La Union) and an urban area (Quezon City). A significantfinding of his study was that Filipino people placed a high value onthe legal recognition of their customary mode of settling theirinterpersonal disputes for its own intrinsic worth, while theinstrumental value of decongesting court dockets is only of secondaryimportance.

Advocacy for ADR

From 1991-1993, Tadiar undertook another empirical study (again fundedby the Asia Foundation) approved by the Supreme Court for thediversion of pending court cases to mediation. The result of his studyentitled "Court-Referred Mediation" bore legal fruit in 1999 by anofficial pilot project for such diversion in the cities of Valenzuelaand Mandaluyong. The Philippine Judicial Academy, which oversaw theexperiment, appointed him as a consultant in the conceptualization ofthe project and in the training of mediators. The project was laterexpanded to all of Metro Manila and then to the cities of Cebu andDavao. Subsequently the court-referred mediation that he pioneered infor trial courts, has been expanded to include the Court of Appealsand most recently, the Supreme Court. This would eventually lead to aformal amendment of the Rules of Court for a nationwide adoptionempowering judges to divert pending cases for mediation andeventually, arbitration.

Tadiar's bent for law reform, particularly in the judiciary, resultedin his appointment by the Supreme Court as member of the Design andManagement Committee of the ADR Model Courts for the two pilotprojects (Justice Reforms Initiatives Support Project funded by theCanadian International Development Agency - see [http://www.nordis.net/news/2005/ndw051016/ndw051016_01juris.htm] inSan Fernando, Pampanga and Bacolod, Negros Occidental. In 2003, heand the Committee completed a study tour in Toronto to look into theirsystem of mandatory mediation in the courts. He is presently a memberof the Supreme Court appointed Sub-Committee on Special Rules of Courton ADR.

In 2004, he became the first Chairman of the ADR Department of thePhilippine Judicial Academy. He has engaged in the curriculum revisionand re-design of its mediation training programs. He directed theCourt of Appeals mediation project by training its faculty andmediators, and supervising their internship as a condition to theiraccreditation by the Supreme Court. He was himself accredited by theSupreme Court as a mediator for the Court of Appeals.

The Peace Process

In 1993, Tadiar became a Commissioner of the National AmnestyCommission, tasked to draft proposals for amnesty to rebels of allkinds (military, communist and Muslim), formulate implementing rulesand administer its operations. That same year, he was appointed Chairof the Government Panel to negotiate peace with military rebels whosought to topple the government of Corazon Aquino in various coupattempts. In 1996, he was appointed Chairman of the NAC, with rank ofCabinet Secretary, a post which he held for 7 years.

Construction Arbitration

He was among the earliest practitioners of arbitration in constructiondisputes and is now one of the most experienced arbitrators, havingdecided over a hundred disputes at record speeds of resolution, notone of which has been reversed by an appellate court. He chaired thecommittee for the revision of the Construction Industry ArbitrationCommission (CIAC) Rules Governing the Arbitration of ConstructionDisputes, approved and promulgated by CIAC effective December 2005.

Advocacy for Reproductive Rights

Tadiar "undertook extensive research into the legal and constitutionalprovisions on reproductive rights and abortion. His work provided thelegal basis for the promotion of women's reproductive rights, ofwhich he was a firm advocate" [http://philippines.unfpa.org/icpd/main/ADVOCATES/atadiar.htm] In1996, he was Director of a Ford Foundation-funded, 3-year project toset up and make operational a centre that "focused on questions oflegal and medical ethics related to reproductive health". He servedas the first Executive Director of the pioneering Center for Research,Studies and Training on Reproductive Health, Rights and Ethics(REPROCEN) as a joint project of the UP Colleges of Law and Medicine.He was designated as International Adviser to the Board of Trustees of the International Women'sHealth Coalition based in New York. Since the 1980s, he has served at various times, as Chairman or Member of the Board of Directors of two other Philippine NGOs -- the Women's Health Care Foundation andInstitute for Social Studies and Action.

Some Lectures/Writings:

"A Philosophy of a Penal Code" - Judge Guillermo Guevarra Chair onCriminal Law and Penal Science

"Towards Maintaining a Desirable Balance Between Societal Security andCivil Liberties in the Administration of Justice" - Don QuintinParedes Chair on Remedial Law

"Quality of Justice Administered by the Criminal Justice System of aProvincial Capital Town" (1985)

"Unclogging the Court Dockets" - paper commissioned under a WorldBank-funded project (1991)

"Shortfalls in the Institutional Administration of Justice" Vol. VII,No. 1, Criminal Justice Journal, Official Publication of the NationalPolice Commission

"Training in Judicial Management Education and Administration ofJustice" Vol. V, No. 2

"Some Roles/ Functions in the Administration of Criminal Justice" Vol.55 No. 1, Philippine Law Journal, March 1980.


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