In a resolution dated January 15, the High Court's en banc set for oral argument the suits questioning the LEB on March 5 and 12, 2019 at 2 pm. at the New Session Hall of the SC.
Two noted legal academicians, Dean Sedfrey M. Candeleraria and Merlin M. Magallona, were invited to attend as "amici curiae" (friends of the court) to shed light on the controversy.
One of the named respondents is LEB chairperson Emerson B. Aquende. The respondents were asked to comment on the two cases, which were ordered consolidated by the High Court.
The latest was initiated by a group led by Francis Jose L. Abayata, which was consolidated into an earlier suit filed on April 2017 by former Makati judge Oscar Pimentel.
Pimentel and 16 others claimed that Republic Act 7662, or the Legal Education Reform Act, is unconstitutional, arguing that Congress cannot create the said administrative office or board because authority over the practice of law is reserved for the SC under the Constitution.
Article 8, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution states that the Supreme Court shall have the power over admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged.
The LEB conducts the Philippine Law School Admission Test (PhiLSAT), a nationwide law school aptitude exam.