ATENEO Law School (ALS), together with the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS), recently held a forum entitled “Ethical Failures in the Legal Profession: Interdisciplinary Perspectives” last February 28, 2014.
Law students, lawyers and professors from different law schools in Manila filled the Auditorium of the Ateneo Professionals School (APS) to listen to the presentations of APS Vice-President Dr. Antonette Palma-Angeles, Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion, and former COMELEC Chairperson Atty. Christian Monsod. The forum aimed to discuss the problems encountered in the legal profession with regard to ethical practices as well as to provide insights and solutions in addressing these problems.
ALS Dean Sedfrey Candelaria formally opened the forum by thanking the organizers and welcoming the distinguished speakers. He also addressed the students and teachers present in the event and posed the question of the importance and reason for including Legal Ethics in the curriculum.
Dr. Palma-Angeles, the first speaker, discussed situations where ethical failures tend to occur in the profession and the roots of these failures. She encouraged the use of critical thinking in the application of the law and cultivate interdisciplinary disposition. After which, Justice Brion recounted problems he encountered in the judiciary pertaining to corruption and shared past decisions he had penned before concerning ethics. Atty. Monsod, then concluded the presentations with his insights concerning the sources of unethical practices and what can be done to prevent these.
Master of ceremonies Atty. Tanya Lat, an ALS faculty member and a PALS consultant, tried to elicit interaction from the audience by giving practical situations and asking them whether these were ethical or not.
An open forum facilitated by Judge Ma. Filomena Singh, who happens to teach Legal Ethics in the ALS, capped the event. Atty. Victor Alimurung, also a Legal Ethics professor, formally closed the ceremony and thanked the speakers and audience for the gracing the event.