Some regional courts have specific jurisdiction to hear certain types of cases depending on their geographical area. Some are called the “family court”, which has jurisdiction over matters involving children. : 44 Others have been called “heinous crimes courts,” dealing with cases of kidnapping, certain forms of theft, drug offences, intellectual property rights, and defamation. : 45 In 2008, some were designated for environmental cases. : 124  The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and fourteen associate justices. It may meet in benches or at its discretion in departments of three, five or seven members. (Art. VIII, §4) Its members are appointed by the President on the basis of a list of at least three candidates drawn up by the Council of the Judiciary and Bar Association for each vacancy, without the need to confirm the Appointment Commission. (Art. VIII, §9) The members of the Supreme Court shall have proven competence, integrity, honesty and independence; You must be a Philippine-born citizen, at least forty years old and have at least fifteen years of experience as a judge of a lower court or law firm in the country.
(Art. VIII, §7) Judges shall hold office in good conduct until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapable of performing the duties of their office. (Art. VIII, §11) The Court of Appeal (CA) is the court of appeal for civil and criminal cases that do not involve acts related to the government of the country, and has jurisdiction in the first instance to issue orders of mandamus, prohibition, injunction, certiorari, habeas corpus and other auxiliary writings.  The Tribunal consists of 68 associate judges, headed by a presiding judge. These are divided into 23 departments with 3 members, 17 of whom are based in Manila and hear Luzon cases, 3 of which are based in Cebu City and hear Visayas cases, and 3 which are based in Cagayan de Oro and hear Mindanao cases. : 40 The Court shares some concurrent jurisdiction at first instance with the Supreme Court. : 48 It is the second highest court and decisions of this court can only be appealed to the Supreme Court on points of law.  The constitution prevents the president from appointing people during the last two months of his term, but a 2010 Supreme Court decision found that this ban did not apply to the appointment of judges and overturned previous court decisions under which the ban applied.
That majority for that decision was made up of appointees by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whose exceptionally long tenure undermined some of the constitutional protections against undue presidential influence in other branches of government. It is considered equivalent to the Court of Appeal. :43 Sandiganbayan was originally established as Tanodbayan under the 1973 Constitution. : 207 Some courts have been created by law to deal with certain types of cases, their decisions being limited to this specific jurisdiction. : 7 A Regional Court of First Instance (RTC) has jurisdiction in first instance over criminal cases, except those in which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction in the first instance over and certain civil actions. : 53, 57 Several branches of regional courts of first instance may be established in the same judicial district. Each chamber is headed by a single judge, as in all courts of second and first instance.  Some RTC branches are designed to focus exclusively on certain types of cases. : 45,101 cases involving military personnel are dealt with by civilian courts, unless the offence is deemed service-oriented by a civilian court.