The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said that the 2020/21 bar exams would push through on Jan. 23 and 25 with reduced coverage.

“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, fueled by its new dominant variant (Omicron) and the effects of typhoon ‘Odette.’ the (SC)…has resolved to reduce the coverage and shorten the duration of the 2020/21 bar examinations pro hac vice (this occasion only),” the SC said.

The 2020/21 examinations were initially scheduled for Jan. 16, 23, 30, and Feb. 6.

The SC said it took note of the situation of the 2020/21 bar examinees, whom have been reviewing “for longer than all the other batches.”

“These changes…seek to meet the demant for new lawyers amid the disasters plaguing the country. The Philippines has produced no new lawyer since the pandemic,” the SC said.

“But while the bar examinations may no longer be postponed, it can be held in a way that is more humane. With these changes, the court strikes that balance,” it added.

The 2020/21 examinations will be composed of four sets: (1) The Law Pertaining to the State and Its Relationship with Its Citizens (formerly Political Law, Labor Law, and Taxation Law); (2) Criminal Law; (3) The Law Pertaining to Private Personal and Commercial Relations (formerly Civil Law and Commercial Law); and (4) Procedure and Professional Ethics (formerly Remedial Law, Legal Ethics, and Practical Exercises).

Examinees for the bar were advised to undergo self-quarantine starting Jan. 9 or at least two weeks before the examinations. John Ezekiel J. Hirro