A Question of Academic Freedom in Legal Education

Does LEB encroach on Supreme Court’s power to regulate and supervise the legal profession: a question of academic freedom in legal education:

Law class discussion could well be enriched hereon with the recent Supreme Court decision on Oscar Pimentel et al. vs. Salvador Medialdea and the Legal Education Board (LEB). Petitioners in this case questioned the power of the LEB to institute PhilSat, a nationwide uniform law school admission test, for applicants to all law schools. In its decision, the Court upheld the LEB as an institution but “severely constricted” its regulatory powers  “by the Court’s sweeping and strong endorsement of academic freedom.”  So concluded columnist Tony La Viña, law academic and teacher in several law schools.

In his column “Eagle Eyes” of the Manila Standard (11 Jan. 2020 and 14 Jan 2020) columnist Tony La Viña presented the case in a two-part article.  In Part I he discusses the majority opinion  penned by Justice JReyes, Jr., which may be accessed at: https://www.manilastandard.net/opinion/columns/eagle-eyes-by-tony-la-vina/314565/academic-freedom-in-legal-education.html

In Part II Prof. La Viña presented Associate Justice Marvic Leonen’s separate concurrence, stating: “As is characteristic of him, Leonen in a most scholarly manner, draws attention to the meaning of academic freedom by tracing the jurisprudential history of academic freedom, citing certain relevant Philippine cases . . . where the Court recognized academic freedom as an institutional facet, not solely confined to individual academic freedom or the right of faculty members to pursue their studies without fear or reprisal. x x x

the right of institutions to discipline their students” and “set a limit on the discretion to discipline their students. He further clarifies that academic institution’s discretion applies not only to the admission and dismissal of its students, but also to its decision to confer academic recognition.”

Part II may accessed at: https://www.manilastandard.net/opinion/columns/eagle-eyes-by-tony-la-vina/314822/leonen-on-academic-freedom.html.


  • Post category:Faculty Highlights
  • Post last modified:February 20, 2020