MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) is considering holding the next bar examinations virtually.
At Thursday’s Senate hearing on the Judiciary’s proposed 2021 budget, Senator Francis Tolentino cited that there are several states in the United States that are gearing towards online bar examinations.
According to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, they are looking into the said move.
The SC has decided to postpone the 2020 bar examinations due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
It is expected to be held in November this year in conjunction with the 2021 bar examinations.
Next year’s bar exams will be held simultaneously at three sites located in Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Associate justice and 2020 bar examination chairman Marvic Leonen confirmed that the team of the bar chair has been studying the possibility of conducting online but proctored bar exams or a mix of online and written exams in more than two places as part of bar reform.
“Definitely, the bar examinations will not be conducted as it was before,” he said.
“We have to embrace a better normal that is safe, effective and equitable taking advantage of the best digital formats while at the same time acknowledging issues of security and accessibility for some bar applicants,” he added.
Leonen said he has already “provided general briefings to the Court en banc but have not yet made a firm proposal until we have worked out all the logistical and security issues.”
“I am also in constant consultation with members of the Court and the bar chairs that will succeed me in 2022, 2023 and 2024,” he added.
Leonen said that in the coming months, pilot tests will be done to see the viability of various proposals for the conduct of future bar exams.
MANILA, Philippines – The next Bar examinations will be scheduled in November 2021, the Supreme Court announced Tuesday.
In a bulletin posted on its Twitter account, Bar Examinations chairperson, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said the examination periods and venues for the next licensure test for aspiring lawyers will be announced in a separate bulletin.
It can be recalled that the high court postponed this year’s Bar exams “due to increasing number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the prevailing quarantine protocols all over nation, and the continuing uncertainty.”
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the SC traditionally holds the Bar examinations in November of every year and announces the results either in April or May the following year.
The Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator announced that it has extended the suspension of issuance of commitment order for the transfer of newly-arrested individuals to local jail units or of convicted persons to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
In a new circular posted on SC’s social media account, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said the two circulars suspending the commitment orders for the transfer of persons deprived of liberty (PDL) to different jail facilities are extended until September 30.
Marquez said the extension is in consideration of the different levels of community quarantine still being enforced in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SC earlier said the suspension of the issuance of commitment orders for newly-arrested or convicted inmates will last until August 31 to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and to minimize the movement of inmates.
In the first circular, the SC said newly-arrested persons should remain in the custody of local police units unless local Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) jail units are already able to admit newly-arrested persons.
The second circular, meanwhile, states that all convicted PDLs who should have been transferred to the BuCor should remain in the facilities of the BJMP.
Detained persons awaiting or facing trials are placed under the custody of the BJMP while those convicted are under the BuCor.
Both the BuCor and the BJMP have recorded cases of COVID-19 in their facilities with reported fatalities.
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