The Supreme Court has set the holding of the 16th Special Shari’a Bar examinations on Jan. 19 and 26, 2020.
In an en banc resolution, the SC also designated Court of Appeals Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao as chairman of the Board of Examiners for the conduct of the said examinations.
In the same resolution, the SC also set the deadline for applications to take the examinations on Dec. 16.
The resolution was issued based on the request of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Saidamen Pagarungan who asked the Court to set the date for the holding of the Shari’a Bar exams.
The Shari’a Bar examinations covered four subjects namely Persons, Family Relations and Property; Jurisprudence (FIQH) and Customary Laws Procedure (ADATS) in Shari’a Courts; and Succession, Wills/Adjudication, and Settlement of Estate.
Held every two years, the Shari’a Bar Examinations were first held in 1983. Shariá law practitioners, also called Shari’a counselors, litigate cases in the Shari’a district and circuit courts, most of which are located in Mindanao.
Although they are recognized as special members of the Philippine Bar, Shari’a law lawyers are not allowed to practice law in regular courts and may not use the title “attorney.”
The SC said the Shari’a courts which were established in 1977 was meant to help address certain cases (personal status, marriage, matrimonial and family relations, succession, and inheritance and property relations between couples) involving Muslims who are covered by Islamic law.