MANILA, Philippines — Even the judiciary acknowledges the need for technology in order it to adapt to the “new normal” once the enhanced community quarantine is lifted.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court (SC) adjusted the number of successful bar examinees as it cited the need for “younger and technologically adept lawyers.”
Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, chairperson of the 2019 bar examinations, said the younger and technologically adept lawyers could “help different fronts of society as we meet peculiar challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and transition to the new normal.”
Experts say that, until a vaccine has been invented, the world needs to adjust to a new normal in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The judiciary acknowledges this as it fast-tracks measures to propel the law into the digital age.
The courts are currently working remotely after the SC has extended up to May 15 their physical closure. It has allowed the online filing of cases in courts as well as petitions in higher courts. The courts can also act on urgent matters such as petitions for bail, habeas corpus, and other matters related to liberty.
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court announced that it would pilot-test the videoconferencing of criminal trials in some areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao for the duration of the public health emergency in order to protect the court officials, staff, and litigants.
“The way our legal institutions operate has been modified to cope up with and make use of computer-driven technologies. All new lawyers should be equipped to tread on this new landscape, where the environment for many human activities has become a virtual reality,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
Laywer Domingo Egon Cayosa, national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), told the future lawyers that “technology can be harnessed to significantly improve the administration of justice and the practice of law; and that we can help our community and country beyond traditional lawyering.”
“Have a broad perspective and measure up to global standards. Use technology to efficiently deliver justice and more importantly to promote peace, conscientiously advance the interest of your clients and help the less fortunate in your community and in our country,” he added.
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