There can hardly be doubt that the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College is now the best-known Graduate School of Law in the country. It also has the highest population, while it steadfastly maintains standards that place local graduate education at par with foreign graduate legal education.
We are happy to report the following accomplishments.
The Graduate School of Law had earlier established a partnership with the University of San Carlos at Cebu allowing it to deliver graduate education in Cebu City. The linkage continues. But we have added to that the following partnership or consortium agreements:
- Consortium with the Central Philippine University at Iloilo City
- Consortium with the Ateneo de Davao
- Consortium with the University of the Cordilleras.
Exploratory talks are currently held with other universities that will allow our Graduate School of Law to deliver instruction through other nodes as well.
Approval of Academic Curricula and Academic Policies
Because the Legal Education Board has taken over the supervision and regulation of law schools and graduate schools of law, our Graduate School of Law has submitted to the Legal Education Board the curricula for the following programs:
- Master of Laws
- Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence
- Doctor of Philosophy in Public Law
- Certificate Program for Foreign Lawyers
We also submitted our Academic Policies for ratification. All these have in principle been approved. The receipt of the certificate of approval will come, we have been assured, after the Rector-President writes the LEB a letter formally joining the undersigned Dean in requesting for approval of the academic curricula and programs.
We wish to make it clear therefore that we do not recognize the authority of the CHED over the graduate school of law and shall steadfastly refuse to submit any document to it. By law, it is clearly the Legal Education Board that regulates and supervises graduate schools of law. Furthermore consonant with the latest issuance of the LEB, special orders will no longer be required to graduate LLB as well as LLM and SJD students.
It is necessary for the College of Law and the Graduate School of Law to be resolute in this regard, because the CHED tends to overreach its regulatory authority.
Enhanced Relations with the Philippine Judicial Academy
There have been more referrals to the Graduate School of Law from the Philippine Judicial Academy this year than in the past.
Under the existing agreement, all candidates for the judiciary who complete the Pre-Judicature Program and pass its Written Evaluative Exercise are, ipso facto, credited with fifteen (15) academic units towards the LL.M. degree. Many of those who completed the Pre-Judicature Program of the Philippine Judicial Academy have opted to complete their LLM degrees with us and have thus been endorsed by the Chancellor of PhilJA, Justice Adolf Azcuna.
At all programs of the judicial academy, the programs of the Graduate School of Law are advertised, and whenever the undersigned dean is asked to lecture, he takes at least ten minutes of the time allotted him to explain the academic links between PhilJA and the Graduate School of Law. This has enhanced familiarity of lawyers and judges all over the country with our Graduate School of Law.
Service to the Legal Education Board
The undersigned dean, precisely in his capacity as dean of our Graduate School of Law, has been part of the lecture team tasked by the Legal Education Board to give seminars to all law deans and professors all over the country in a program titled “Enhancing the Professional Competency of Law Professors”. The undersigned was assigned to discuss the topics: Syllabi, Setting of Objectives, Table of Specifications and Problem-Based Learning. Other lecturers were Dean Antonio Abad, LEB Member, Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison, CHED Director for Legal Affairs, Dean Cesar Villanueva and Dean Eulogia Cueva.
Joining the LEB Lecture Team in a lecture tour of all the regions of the country gave the undersigned dean the opportunity to introduce the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College to law deans and law professors nationwide.
The list of present faculty members of the Graduate School of Law is hereto attached. A faculty meeting was convened and the following matters were taken up:
- The present course Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration should be transformed into Master of Legal Studies major in Criminal Justice, to place it under the jurisdiction not of CHED but of LEB.
- A separate subject on Advanced Legal Writing should be required of all students.
- The non-thesis LLM program must nevertheless require the submission of three major research papers.
- Admission policies should be more stringent, and graduation requirements should be equally stringent.
- A seminar on Benedictine Spirituality should be required prior to graduation.
Through Dr. Nap Juanillo and the Research, Planning and Development Center, the undersigned dean received a grant that allowed him to produce a research paper entitled “Studies in Comparative Civil Law.”
This work will subsequently be printed and used in instruction in the Graduate School of Law. Copies will be sent to graduate schools of law, here and abroad.
The Graduate School of Law thanks the Rector-President and the Administration of San Beda College (Mendiola) for its constant and unwavering support of the Graduate School of Law.
FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO