SLU files motion for reconsideration on LEB’s cease and desist order
MANILA, Philippines — The Saint Louis University (SLU) has filed a motion for reconsideration to address the Legal Education Board’s (LEB) cease and desist order on their Master of Laws Program (LLM).
On Thursday, the LEB issued the order to stop the operation of SLU’s LLM, citing that the university is not authorized to offer the program.
“To address this Order, a Motion for Reconsideration will be filed within the day,” said SLU in their statement issued Friday evening.
The Baguio-based university shared that LEB issued them a show cause order on September 29, in which they complied on October 3, while they received the cease and desist order on October 5.
According to SLU, they inquired to the LEB about the requirements of opening an LLM during a meeting held in their university in 2022, which was attended by “all LEB commissioners.”
“During this meeting, then Associate Dean Tadeo inquired about the requirements needed to open a Master of Laws (LLM) program. In response to this question, the Chairperson of the LEB, Hon. Ana Marie Melanie Trinidad, unambiguously and unequivocally responded that there was no necessity to submit any document, as opening an LLM program is embraced in the University’s exercise of academic freedom,” SLU recalled.
“The other LEB Commissioners unanimously seconded Chair Trinidad’s response. It was this clear representation and declaration by the members of the LEB itself which sealed the plan of opening SLU’s LLM program,” the university added.
SLU shared that it took years of “meticulous planning and diligent preparations” in opening the LLM program, and that their School of Law Dean Christine Angelica Elveña emailed LEB requesting for a Certificate of Recognition, but it was not acted upon by the board.
“Dean Elveña also sent an electronic mail to the LEB requesting for a Certificate of Recognition or its equivalent, in order to reduce in writing the acknowledgment of the LEB that it was aware of the Master of Laws Program of the University. However, except for the transaction number assigned, such e-mail was not acted upon by the LEB,” SLU noted.
“Neither was the opening of the program surreptitiously done. The official Facebook page of the SLU School of Law has consistently posted announcements on the program. Additionally, the School of Law has been religiously complying with the regular LEB requirements such as the Law School Information Report which is submitted every semester, and which contains information not only on the JD [Juris Doctor] program, but on the LLM as well,” the university added.
The board is aware of their LLM, according to SLU, and it was a surprise that they were issued a show cause order.
“The fact of the matter is that the issuance of the Show Cause Order was an utter surprise because through it, LEB, in effect, reversed itself and in essence, made SLU appear to have circumvented rules and regulations regarding the establishment of the LLM program,” the university said.
With the ongoing situation, SLU assured that they will fight “lawfully and fiercely” for their LLM program.
As they filed a motion for reconsideration responding to the cease and desist order, SLU affirmed that classes under their Master of Laws Program will continuously be held.