SC declares as unconstitutional LEB memos for law students to pass PhiLSAT

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The Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional two Legal Education Board memorandums requiring incoming law students to pass the Philippine Law School Admission Test (Philsat) or the uniform entrance exam for law schools.

In a decision, the high court ruled as unconstitutional for being ultra vires

1. The act and practice of the Legal Education Board of excluding, restricting, and qualifying admissions to law schools in violation of the institutional academic freedom on who to admit, particularly:

A. Paragraph 9 of LEBMO No. 7-2016 which provides that all college graduates or graduating students applying for admission to the basic law course shall be required to pass PhiLSAT as a requirement for admission to any law school in the Philippines and that no applicant shall be admitted for enrollment as first year law student in the basic law courses leading to a degree of either Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor unless he/she has passed the PhiLSAT taken within two years before the start for the basic law course;

B. LEBMC No. 18-2018 which prescribes the passing of PhiLSAT as prerequisite for admission to law schools;

Accordingly, the temporary restraining order issued on March 12, 2019 enjoining the Legal Education Board from implementing LEBMC No. 18-2018 is made permanent. The regular admission of students who were conditionally admitted and enrolled is left to the discretion of law schools in the exercise of their academic freedom; and

C. Sections 15,16,and 17 of LEBMO No. 1-2011

2. The act and practice of the Legal Education Board of dictating the qualifications and classification of faculty members, dean, and dean of graduate schools of law in violation of institutional academic freedom on who may teach, particularly:

A. Sections 41.2(d), 50, 51, and 52 of LEBMO No. 1-2011;

B. Resolution No. 2014-02;
C. Sections 31(2), 33, 34, and 35 of LEBMO No. 2;
D. LEBMO No. 17-2018; and

3. The act and practice of the Legal Education Board of dictating the policies on the establishment of legal apprenticeship and legal internship programs in violation of insitutional academic freedom on what to teach, particularly:

A. Resolution No. 2015-18
B. Section 24(c) of LEBMO No. 2; and
C. Section 59(d) of LEBMO No. 1-2011.

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