The Supreme Court (SC) has appointed retired Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion as chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA), the SC’s education arm.
Brion, who contributes a column for the Manila Bulletin, will succeed retired Associate Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna whose term of office as PhilJA chancellor ends on May 31, 2021.
He is expected to take his oath of office on June 1. His appointment was contained in a notice dated last May 11 and issued for the SC by Clerk of Court Marife M. Lumibao Cuevas.
Under Republic Act No. 8557 that created PhilJA, Brion will serve as chancellor for two years, a term of office that can be extended by the SC. Azcuna was appointed chancellor in 2009 and has served that post since then.
PhilJA was created by the SC in 1996. In 1998, it got its mandate under RA 8557 which institutionalized the academy as “training school for justices, judges, court personnel, lawyers, and aspirants to judicial posts.”
PhilJA has a governing board known as Board of Trustees which is composed of the Chief Justice as ex-officio chairman; senior associate justice as ex-officio vice chairman; the chancellor of the academy; the presiding justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, the Court Administrator, the president of the Philippine Judges Association, and the president of the of the Philippine Association of Law Schools, as ex-officio members; and a judge of a first level court, as appointive member.
Justice Brion has served the three branches of government. In 1984, he was elected member of the Philippine National Assembly as Mambabatas Pambansa; was secretary of labor for two years, an associate justice of the Court of Appeals and later on March 17, 2008 took his oath as SC associate justice, a post he mandatorily relinquished on Dec. 29, 2016 at age 70, the retirement age for members of the judiciary.
He finished his law at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1974 and passed the bar examinations in the same year as topnotcher with a grade of 91.65 per cent.
At the law school, he had the distinction of being cum laude, class valedictorian, and awardee of the Golden Leaf Award, Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, and First Honors Gold Medal.
He obtained his Master of Laws degree at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Canada in 1994, with Labor Law as his main area of study.
Published reports stated that as Court of Appeals associate justice, he enrolled in Spanish language classes at the Instituto Cervantes and he is now at Nivel (level) 13. While on his masteral studies, he worked with the Ontario Ministry of Labor and the Management Board Secretariat, and was Editor-in-Chief of Legal Update, a publication of the Legal Services Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Labor from 1992 to 1993.
The same reports stated that Brion is married to chemist-lawyer Antonietta C. Articona-Brion. They are blessed with two similarly multi-skilled children: Antonella A. Brion, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from York University in Toronto, Canada, but is now both a writer and a painter after her masteral studies in fine arts; and Arturo Brion, Jr., a computer engineering graduate of McMaster University and Bachelor of Laws degree holder from the University of New Brunswick, now engaged in Intellectual Property Law Practice in Ottawa, Canada.