2020 bar exam chair eyes possible ‘pass-or-fail’ system

/ 06:21 PM July 31, 2019
Marvic Leonen

Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Mentioning a society that is already full of inequality, injustice and wanting social justice, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Wednesday said it was time for the Supreme Court to rethink the process of admission to the bar as he proposed a “pass-or-fail” system for the 2020 bar examination.

The pass-or-fail system will do away with the fanfare of highlighting the success of the candidates that got the highest score in the month-long examination. Successful examinees will only be informed that they “passed” the exam, no longer mentioning the score.


“It is time that we rethink why we continue to reinforce status quo and whether this is the role we wish to take within our current society, full of injustice, full of inequality, wanting social justice,” Leonen said in his speech during the Legal Education Summit at the Manila Hotel.

“To make it possible, I think that the court should now come to a process of rethinking the process of admission to the bar,” he said.


Aside from the pass-or-fail system, Leonen said he would propose holding the bar examination simultaneously in other areas so that aspiring lawyers in the provinces need not travel to Manila for the examination, which is being conducted on four Sundays of November at the University of Santo Tomas.

He added that he would also propose the uploading of all bar questions and the suggested answers in the past 40 years in the Supreme Court website and will be searchable in its Public Information Office webpage.

The magistrate has opted to keep mum on how he will justify his proposal, which has to be approved by the 15-man Supreme Court.

“These reforms have their own justification. I do not think this is the time that I will give my reasons. Suffice it to say that in any forum, I would be most willing to explain these justifications,” Leonen said.

Leonen will chair the 2020 bar examination.


SC Justice Leonen vows 2020 bar exam to have higher passing rate


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TAGS: bar examinations, Marvic Leonen, pass-or-fail system, Supreme Court
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