Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo commended the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for the “fealty to its duty as an organization ordained to assist in the administration of justice.”
Also, Gesmundo said the IBP “has strongly cooperated in the continuous development of the legal practice in the country.”
Gesmundo was the guest speaker during the 25th regional convention of IBP’s Bicolandia Region in Naga City on Saturday, April 22.
As the Chief Justice expressed the gratitude of the judiciary for the IBP’s participation and contribution in the development of legal practice and in the administration of justice, he expressed hopes for its “continuing quest for a more ethical and faithful practice of our profession.”
He cited the recently launched Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA), the “bible” and “compass” of all lawyers in the practice of their profession.
The CPRA, Gesmundo said, “shines as a testament to our shared commitment to integrity and excellence in the profession.”
“Definitely not just a mere revision of the old lawyer’s code, CPRA is an overhaul on the approach and attitude by lawyers of their ethical responsibility in the new era of law practice,” he said.
He also told IBP members that the CPRA “distilled the core values underpinning the practice of our profession, and through them, provided us with an encompassing guide in the conduct of our professional lives.”
“From the use of social media, formation and definition of lawyer-client relationship, and conduct of non-legal staff, to other intricacies experienced by practitioners today, CPRA addresses the multifaceted nature of modern law practice,” he stressed.
At the same time, he said the CPRA “consolidates separate regulations pertaining to the discipline of lawyers and addresses the punitive aspect of unethical legal practice.”
The Chief Justice also told all lawyers in the country:
“As I have said before, CPRA is part of our bigger campaign for ethical responsibility under our desired outcome of efficiency, as embodied in our Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 or SPJI. It highlights our other innovations such as Rule 7, Section 3 of the Rules of Court where we provided that the lawyer’s signature certifies upon the Courts that the case is not filed for any improper purpose.
“It also complements our initiative to re-orient legal education through the Revised Law Student Practice Rule or Rule 138-A, which integrates the concept of experiential education with the value of legal social responsibility, to mold law students to be ethical and humane lawyers in the future.
“Together, the Supreme Court and the IBP have navigated the rapidly-changing landscape of the legal profession. Together, we have journeyed beyond the familiar to embrace technologies and methodologies, which until then have not yet been fully accepted.
“At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IBP supported our use of videoconferencing in lieu of face-to-face hearings, and in conducting thefirst ever localized and digitized bar examinations, we relied on the IBP for support and assistance.
“Indeed, IBP’s cooperation has proven crucialin our efforts to uphold the integrity of the legal profession.
“Now, even as we pay homage to the past, we must boldly chart a course towards the future. Truly, it is time to challenge traditional paradigms and adopt new approaches in defining the essence of our profession. CPRA represents only the beginning.
“I commend the members of the IBP for your dedication and passion in pursuing the highest ideals of our profession. And to IBP Bicolandia’s new set of officers, I extend my best wishes. I eagerly look forward to a program of activities in complement to the Court’s reform program.”
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