The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed online refresher courses for law graduates who have failed thrice in the previous bar examinations, but they should show satisfactory results for them to qualify in this year’s bar tests.
In a resolution, the SC said for online classes to be valid as a refresher course, they “shall be conducted synchronously through video conferencing.”
Only law schools authorized to offer refresher courses under valid special government permits issued by the Legal Education Board (LEB) are qualified to offer online fourth year and pre-bar review courses, the SC said.
The traditional on-site classes are still allowed “subject to hygiene requirements,” it said.
Section 16 of the Rules of Court disqualifies those who have failed the bar examinations thrice from taking it again unless they undergo refresher courses.
Also, under the rules, three-time bar flunkers “have to show to the satisfaction of the Court they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.”
Subjects covered in the refresher courses are reviews on political/constitutional law, labor law, civil law, taxation, commercial law, criminal law, and remedial law.
The SC sad “the objective of requiring these refresher courses is to make sure those who previously failed the bar examinations undertake the necessary steps to prepare before taking it again.”
“They are required to attend review classes from a recognized law school to receive quality instruction that will increase their chances of passing,” it added.
As previously announced, the SC will conduct online the bar examinations for 2020 and 2021 law graduates on November 7, 14, 21, and 28 this year. The 2020 bar examinations were postponed due to the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Also announced was the holding of the bar examinations not only in Manila but also in Cebu City. The SC has yet to decide if more venues for the examinations will be allowed.
Last January 31, the SC – through its Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) – conducted an online pilot or mock bar examinations in preparation for the digital tests in November this year.
The pilot tests were held at the Ateneo Law School for Metro Manila, St. Louis University in Baguio City for Luzon, University of Cebu in Cebu City for the Visayas, and Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City for Mindanao.
Two subjects — Political and International Law, and Criminal Law — were covered in the mock examinations.
SC Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, chairperson of the 2020 and 2021 bar examinations committee, said the mock bar examinations were “a small-scale simulation of the actual bar examinations using computer software, proctored both physically and virtually.”
“The goal of the exercise is to improve on the procedure and technical specifications for the first-ever digital and localized Bar Examinations in November 2021,” he said.
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