SC magistrates push reforms in legal profession
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen has urged law schools to instill reforms and “move away from being elaborate bar review centers.”
“Instead, it should also add two important competencies: skills to practice and advocate, as well as critical legal thinking skills that will allow more lawyers to make the law more legible in the context of our own society,” Leonen said in his keynote speech during the 2022 National Legal Aid Summit held in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, last Nov. 27 to Nov. 30.
Leonen also said that the legal profession “should be encouraged to be sensitive to and evolve more public interest cases in the proper way. This requires the skills to communicate with and empower those who are marginalized and oppressed.”
“Perhaps, then, with the collective efforts of the members of the court, we can provide more than just the rule of law, but the rule of justice. Perhaps, then, we do not contribute to the disempowerment of the already weak, marginalized and the oppressed. We do not maintain inequality,” he said.
Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of legal aid in the nobility of the legal profession, saying that the legal profession is a noble one as it is used to secure peace and order in society through the preservation of the rule of law.
“Lawyering does not give us entitlement. Lawyering thrives on truth, not on lies. Lawyering does not exploit a person’s ignorance. On the contrary, it looks after the disadvantaged and the marginalized, in order to give them a voice, to give them the chance to be equal with others, if not in life, at least in law.”
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