Led by its Dean, Atty. Carlo Antonio B. Almirante, nine (9) faculty members of the Liceo de Cagayan College of Law participated in the recently held Faculty Development Workshop sponsored by the Philippine Association of Law schools (PALS) held at the Almont Inland Resort, Butuan City last September 6-7, 2014.
Pursuant to the mission of the PALS of uplifting the standards of legal education, law deans and faculty engaged in professional development and continuing legal education by discussing different issues and topics relevant to the times. The workshop also sought to engage the participants in a national conversation on matters that will shape the Philippine legal education in the years to come: indigenous peoples, Bangsamoro and peace agreements, law school administration, and teaching methodologies. Invited also during the workshop were experts in other disciplines particularly on the issues above stated in recognition and anticipation of the potential for interdisciplinary and multicultural dialogue to enrich legal discourse and practice.
The workshop was graced by Hon. Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines who acted as Keynote Speaker on the topic “Reflections on the Post-colonial and Heterodoxical Construction of Legal text as a Challenge to the Hegemony in the Legal Academe”.
Handling the 1st Session on the topic, “New Teaching Strategies for Millenial Law Students” was Dean Danilo L. Concepcion of the University of the Philippines College of Law. The session tackled the outcome-based and student-centered teaching and learning methods and how they can complement the traditional Socratic method of teaching. The 2nd Session: The State of Indigenous Peoples, Challenges in the Framework of the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples and Remedies Available under International Mechanisms” was handled by Hon. Edtami Mansayagan, a member of the UN Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Fr. Albert E. Alejo of the Society of Jesus handled the 3rd Session on Customary Laws and how these can interface with the Philippine Legal System, especially in the context of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Acts (IPRA RA 8371).
Former Dean of the University of Notre Dame University College of Law, Atty. Benedicto Bacani handled the 4th Session (A) on the Fundamental Elements of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as Proposed and the Prospects for Peace under the Framework. The 4th Session (B): Fundamentals of Sharia’s Commercial Law for adoption in the Bangsamoro was taken charged by Dean Macacuna A. Moslem of the MSU College of Law. Sharia is the Islamic Code that governs a Muslim’s beliefs and actions. Sharia encompasses all aspects of a Muslim’s life from spiritual to business affairs. It covers both the law of society and government, as well as of person’s moral character and values. The 5th Session: Essentials of Law School Administration and Faculty Management was handled by Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School and Dean Raul R. Villanueva of the Xavier University College of Law. The session tackled the common concerns faced by law school deans, administration, and faculty including evaluation, budgeting, and succession planning.
The 6th and last Session was on Conflict Sensitivity and Transformations: The New Paradigm Towards Resolution of Issues and Conflicts. The session was handled by Cesar Villanueva and stressed on the need for members of the law school community to become advocates for peace and human rights and not to be the traditional harbingers of conflicts. The last part of the workshop was a Focus Group Discussion dividing the participants according to the session topics in order to share ideas, experiences, best practices and recommendations on how to move forward.
It is hoped that the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS) will regularly organize workshops such as this since it would help enhance the development of faculty members and administrators of the different law schools in the country. The Liceo Law should encourage its faculty to actively participate in these programs with the end view of further raising its standards in the field of legal education.