Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin yesterday bared his four-point agenda for the judiciary during a testimonial dinner tendered for him by the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Tuesday night.
First, Bersamin said he would like “to update the Rules of Court to make them embody and be attuned to the technological developments.”
He explained that aside from adjudication, updating the rules “is a very basic, if not the other important function of the court under the Constitution.”
Second, Bersamin said he would cleanse the judicial ranks and “institutionalize changes that are designed to expedite the administration of justice.”
He vowed to purge the judiciary of misfits and scalawags and enforce the rules of discipline.
He claimed that in the provinces, there is a very strong perception that justice is only for the strong, the influential and the wealthy.
Bersamin directed Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez to start with the magistrate’s home province of Abra.
“That is a marching order… no matter if they are my relatives or not. I am sure that you know what I mean,” he said.
Third, Bersamin “will initiate reforms in the Bar exams” and urged the law deans to study the “Pass/Fail” approach which is practised in the United States instead of grading the exams and having topnotchers.
Fourth, he wants “to enhance participation of law students in extending legal aid to the poor and the underprivileged.”
He said that the country’s law schools could improve legal education by adopting in a modified manner the best legal practices abroad.