<COVID-19>Statement on Conducting the Postponed 2020 Bar Examinations
On May 15, 2020, the National Bar Examination Commission announced the revised dates and other information pertaining to the bar examination and the preliminary bar examination for 2020. I would like to commend the Commission and all parties involved for their efforts in securing test centers immediately following their decision to postpone the examinations and for successfully coordinating with all relevant organizations.
The need for caution regarding the spread of COVID-19 infection will remain unchanged in August when these examinations will be conducted. Therefore, in holding the examinations, various infection prevention measures will be required at the test centers, such as securing appropriate distancing between examinees. We request that the National Bar Examination Commission take any and all measures necessary to ensure the safety of the examinees by preparing conditions that would allow them to take the bar examination or the preliminary bar examination without concern.
Meanwhile, the postponement of the examinations by approximately three months since the original test dates will inevitably delay the announcement dates of the test results from usual years. This may significantly impact the lives of those who pass, since the delay in announcing the results may lead to a postponement of both legal apprenticeship training and the timing in which those who pass begin work, possibly leading to increased financial burdens. Therefore, we call on the National Bar Examination Commission to further endeavor to expedite the grading process, taking such possible measures as optimizing the grading procedure and increasing the number of bar examiners.
Additionally, in the event that the start of the next legal apprenticeship training year is postponed, the trainees must be provided with an opportunity to learn a curriculum that is equal in both quality and volume to that which has been provided thus far. Therefore, we also call on the Supreme Court of Japan to ensure that an adequate period of time will be secured for the apprenticeship program upon cooperation and discussion with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) and the Ministry of Justice.
The JFBA is committed to cooperating proactively in any matters necessary for the smooth administration of the bar examination and the preliminary bar examination, as well as for the realization of meaningful legal apprenticeship training.
May 15, 2020
Japan Federation of Bar Associations