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THE ATENEO LAW SCHOOL

STUDENTS’ CHARTER

ARTICLE I
GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Section 1. The provisions of the Students’ Charter shall be interpreted in light of the Law School’s Mission Statement. Its meaning
shall also be interpreted in a spirit of dialogue between and among the various sectors of the school, acting as one community
sharing the same mission.

Section 2. The provisions of the Students’ Charter shall be taken in the context of students' responsibilities found in various Law
School documents, including, but not limited to, the Handbook, the Student Constitution, the Organizational Charters, and Official
School Memoranda. Students shall exercise their rights responsibly and with due regard for the rights of others.

Section 3. The Students’ Charter hereby ensures:

a. A Law School where students have the utmost freedom in shaping their own academic vitality within Law School’s
framework as reflected in the Mission Statement;

b. The utmost respect for the students’ right to unimpeded access to information and security borne out of their own
personal involvement with or official endeavors within the Law School;

c. That the students’ liberty to any form of expression and to organize shall never be undermined so long as its
exercise is within the Law School’s avowed mission;

d. A Law School where students are empowered to take an active part in formulating policies; and

That the paramount right of students to due process of law shall never be trampled upon by any individual, group, or
institution for any reason.

ARTICLE II
ADMISSION SUBJECT TO NO OTHER RESTRAINT

Subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission requirements, no student shall be denied admission on account of his/her
physical handicap, socio-economic status, political or religious beliefs, or membership in student organizations nor shall pregnant,
married students or reformed drug users be discriminated against.

ARTICLE III
ACADEMIC RIGHTS

Section 1. Academic Freedom. Students' academic freedom shall consist of but shall not be limited to the following rights:

a. To conduct research and to freely discuss and publish their findings and recommendations as long as they present them as
their own.
b. To express their opinion inside and outside the classroom in a manner acceptable to the academic community.
c. To resort to procedures, as provided for in the Students' Handbook and the Faculty and Administrative Manuals, for the
redress of their grievances concerning teachers, grades, class policies, and other academic-related matters.

Section 2. Academic Procedures.

a. Student Handbook. Students shall be given a copy of the Student Handbook, along with the Manual on Academic Procedures,
upon entry into the Ateneo de Manila School of Law.

b. Class Schedules.
i. Classes should follow the schedule issued by the Registrar at the beginning of every semester. Should any permanent
change of schedule be initiated by the professor, the official approval of the Registrar and the unanimous consent of the class must
be secured.

ii. Within the time prescribed, students may effect changes in their prescribed load subject to the curriculum requirements.

iii. Regular and make-up classes shall not be scheduled during co-curricular activity hours prescribed by the Office of the
Associate Dean for Student Affairs. If the number of hours of a make-up class exceeds that of a regular class schedule, recitation
shall be voluntary on the succeeding hours. However, if the make-up class is granted upon request of the students, recitation need
not be voluntary.

c. Course Syllabus. Students may be provided with a complete written course syllabus at the beginning of every semester. The
syllabus shall contain, but not limited to, the following:
(1) course description
(2) course outline
(3) course policies
(4) course requirements
(5) teacher's consultation hours
(6) grading system

d. Academic Evaluation.
i. Students shall have the right to know at the start of the semester how they shall be evaluated in their course.

ii. Should there be any change of requirements initiated by the professor, the consent of the class must be secured without
undue prejudice to the rights of individual students.

iii. The right of the students to be absent from class shall be respected, provided that they shall not exceed the number of
allowable cuts and shall be held responsible for all classroom activities, except recitation that they missed during their absence. They
shall not be deprived their right to do make-up work for a long as the reason for their absence falls under those mentioned in Section
2d, subparagraph iii of Article III of this Charter. Absences shall not be prejudicial to the final grade of the student concerned. The
number of allowable cuts shall be equal to the number of units allotted to the subject multiplied by three. Every unit is equivalent to
one hour.

e. Class Performance.
i. They shall have the right to see their quizzes, projects, and recitations among others before final examinations. The same
may be inquired before the mid-term examinations.

f. Final Examination.

i. Students shall have the right to see their papers and the computation of their final grades after the official release of final
grades and within the prescribed period for appeals for change of grades.

ii. All students shall be issued exam permits upon the completion of requirements. In cases where the students are unable
to comply with such requirements, they can make necessary arrangements with the offices concerned.

g. Requirements.
i. Major Exams. Students shall be informed of the date of midterm and final examinations at least two (2) weeks in
advance.

ii. Unpaid tuition fees and examinations. No student shall be prohibited from taking a midterm or final examination
because of unpaid balances and tuition fees under the established terms of the University. Students with delinquent
accounts permitted to take an examination shall nevertheless be subject to the right of the university to withhold the
release or issuance of the student’s school records or documents or to deny such students from admission for the next
semester until prior delinquencies are fully paid.

iii. Other Requirements. Students shall be informed of major papers and projects (including timetable for submission)
within the first three (3) weeks of the semester.

iv. Students shall have the right to do make-up work, in the event that they cannot accomplish major requirements because
they are:
(1) representing the school in an official capacity (student seminars, cultural performances, debates, athletic
competitions, etc.) or
(2) due to some grave reason (accident, death in the family, paternity leave for fathers during the birth of their
child, and the like) or
(3) medical conditions requiring complete bed-rest or hospital confinement, such as giving birth, and serious illness
(dengue, food poisoning, typhoid fever, etc.);

provided that pertinent documents proving the reason thereof shall have been presented first.

v. Recitation. Absent students when called for recitation must be given an opportunity for make-up, provided
that a valid reason (as enumerated above) is presented to the teacher.

h. Final Grades. The students shall have the right to know all their final grades, in the custody of the Registrar, through the manner
prescribed, and on the date designated for the release of grades, by the registrar.

Within one year from the aforementioned date, other pending grades shall be released in the manner prescribed by the
Registrar. If the grade remains unreleased after one year from the date mentioned in the first paragraph, the Dean, after consulting
the concerned professor for the reason thereof, shall decide whether to give a default grade.

i. Consultation. Students shall have the right to consult their teachers. The faculty should inform the students of their consultation
hours within the first week of classes.

j. Appeal. A procedure for appealing a final grade obtained in a subject may be provided. Such procedure shall serve the best
interest of the student-appellant.

Section 3. Access to Information in Support of Academic Rights. Students shall have the right of reasonable and timely
access to evaluative data used as basis for assessment of academic performance, in line with their right to ensure grading according
to their merits. This shall be interpreted to mean, inter alia, that:
a. The right to see the results of their graded recitations, quizzes, homework, and other projects or activities shall be due and
demandable as soon as they become available, or within the period promulgated by the administration for their reasonable
access, whichever comes first;

b. The right to see the results of midterm and final examinations shall be due and demandable as soon as they become available,
or within the period promulgated by the administration for their reasonable access, whichever comes first;

c. The right to receive the actual examination papers for both midterm and final examinations shall be afforded to the students
subject only to reasonable limitations necessary to preserve the integrity and efficiency of the appeals process. Midterm
examination papers, if not returned within a reasonable time after the midterm examination date prior to the final
examination date, shall be returned along with the final examination papers within one (1) year from the date of the official
release of grades as set by the Registrar.

d. The right to obtain an explanation concerning the bases of their grades for particular items, especially essays, oral exams, and
group work, is subject only to the requirement that such right be enforceable only during official consultation periods to be set
by the professor at the start of classes;

e. The right to receive final marks should be enforced through immediate publication via the usual channels, without need of
demand, on the date set by the Registrar for their release.

f. The right to receive a complete and accurate breakdown of final marks, upon proper request according to established procedure,
shall always be recognized and respected.

Provided, that the rights in subparagraphs (a), (b), and (c) may be exercised by mere verbal request and should be complied with at
the next class session following the request or, in the absence thereof, no less than three (3) days from said request. Discretion as to
the manner of access lies with the professors involved.

Section 4. Security of Tenure. Students shall have the right to complete their program of study in the school, except in cases of
academic deficiency, violation of disciplinary regulations, or nonpayment of tuition and fees, subject to maximum residency
requirement as prescribed by the Handbook.

Section 5. Evaluation of Teachers. Students shall have the right to excellent education through competent and committed
teachers as evidenced by their regular presence and punctuality in their classes, their expertise in their field, the quality of their
course content, and their teaching competence and effectivity. They shall have the right to make a written evaluation of the
performance of teachers toward the end of the semester.

Section 6. Evaluation of Classes. Students shall have the right to evaluate their program of study, and through their official
representatives, to propose the creation and deletion of elective classes, and to participate in the progressive updating of the
curriculum.

Section 7. School Facilities. It is the right of the students to have adequate academic facilities in accordance with their needs. It is
the responsibility of the school authorities to provide the students with adequate classrooms conducive for learning and library
facilities conducive for research. The school shall also students with open spaces for student academic interactions.

The students shall have the right to make a written evaluation of the adequacy of school facilities and recommend the
purchase, installation or improvement thereof.

ARTICLE IV
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Section 1. Right to Information Recognized. The right of the students to information on matters affecting their welfare shall be
recognized. Access to official records, documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to
evaluative data used as basis for assessment of academic performance, shall be afforded the students, subject to such limitations as
may be provided hereafter and in subsequent official promulgations.

Section 2. Limitations on the Right to Information. The right of access to information is subject to reasonable regulation for
the convenience of and for the sake of order in the office that has custody of the documents. The office in custody or control of the
desired information shall have the discretion to regulate the manner in which such records may be inspected, examined, or copied by
persons contemplated in Section 8 of this Article. This discretion does not, however, carry with it the authority to prohibit access;
nor does it include authority to unilaterally repeal the express provisions of this Students’ Charter.

Section 3. Posting Requirement. Requirements for any information necessary to be posted around the campus with regard to any
school or org-related activity, event, announcement or the like shall be satisfied in the following manner:

a. The required information must be posted in full


b. The posting must be accomplished within the prescribed periods
c. The posting must be on a conspicuous space easily accessible to students
Section 4. Access to the Results of Student Council Deliberations and those of Similar Entities. Access to the decisions of
the Student Council, the CEJA, the Judicial Council, the COAL, and other similar entities shall be guaranteed IN FULL within fifteen
(15) days upon request. Summaries of said decisions shall be posted in the proper boards as soon as practicable, with notice that
access to the complete version may be available upon request. Both notice and access should be granted in such a way as to enable
timely reaction on the part of the students. Bulletin postings should be supplemented by email notifications to beadles and/or other
more effective modes of communication.

Section 5. Access to the Results of Disciplinary Proceedings. The right of the students to be informed of the current
interpretations of disciplinary rules and their consequences should be balanced with the right to privacy enjoyed by those students
affected and subjected to disciplinary action. Protection of this privacy entails the latter to withhold information such as his or her
name, year level, section, and other personal information. Subject only to the aforementioned limitation, access to the decisions and
developments in disciplinary proceedings should be granted in the same manner provided in Section 4 of this Chapter.

Section 6. Access to Information on Tuition and Fees.

a. Students shall have the right to be informed of tuition fees, special fees, and their composition, as well as deadlines for
payments in writing
b. Students shall have the right to a written explanation of any projected tuition or fee increase at least one month before the
next enrollment period. Such explanation shall include a reasonably detailed breakdown of its projected disbursement.
c. Students shall have a right to an accounting of the actual disbursement or utilization of the tuition or fee increase at the end
of every semester. The students may request that the accounting be published in a manner reasonable enough to charge
the students with the knowledge of its contents.
d. Students shall have the right to be properly informed of the periods during which refunds can be claimed whenever
applicable.

Section 7. Access to Information on Amendments or Additions to Existing Rules and Regulations. Amendments or
Additions to existing rules and regulations, especially those officially inscribed in the Student Handbook, should be published as
extensively and effectively as possible. Provided, however, that free copies to the respective class beadles, along with
supplementary notice of the same in the proper boards, shall be sufficient compliance with the requirements of this Section.

Section 8. Access to School Records and Other Vital Documents. On the condition that all requirements have been settled, all
students shall have access to their own school records and shall have the right to be issued official certificates, transcript of records,
and other similar documents within fifteen (15) days from the date of request.

They shall have the right to inspect the details of their respective applications and other official submissions, including letters of
recommendation upon presentation of a written consent from the author of the latter, subject only to the limitations provided in
Section 2 of this chapter.

The school shall maintain and preserve the confidentiality of these school records, and shall allow access to it subject to reasonable
fees it may herein provide.

Section 9. Access to Financial Records and Reports of the Student Council. The Student body shall be kept informed as to
the financial matters of the Student Council. The Treasurer shall cause to be posted at least once a semester a summarized report on
a bulletin board reserved specifically for this purpose.

Section 10. Access to Financial Reports of All Entities Soliciting Funds From Students. All funds solicited from the student
body, must be accounted for by the soliciting entity within one (1) week from the completion of the fund-raising project. A detailed
report of all funds collected and their disbursement shall be posted on a bulletin board reserved specifically for this purpose.

Section 11. Access to Information Pertaining to Opportunities to Represent the Ateneo Law School. The student body
must be informed a sufficient amount of time prior to any event that the Ateneo Law School will officially participate in. Details of the
event including but not limited to application and eligibility requirements, dates of assessment of eligibility, and date of the event
shall be posted on a bulletin board reserved specifically for this purpose. The names of the selected representatives shall be similarly
posted.

Section 12. Access to Periodic Reports of the Student Council’s Meetings.

a. The agenda of every meeting of the Student Council shall be posted on a bulletin board reserved specifically for this
purpose.
b. The minutes of a meeting of the Student Council may be requested by any student subject to the approval of such
request by the Student Council.
c. The Student Council shall release a semestral report of its projects and activities undertaken over the concluded
semester.

ARTICLE V
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Section 1. Right Against Prior Restraint. Students shall have the right to express their views and opinions freely in a responsible
manner not prejudicial to the regular activities of the school.

The students shall have the right to organize fora on any subject matter which does not violate national laws, public policy, and
public order.

Furthermore, opposition to school policies detrimental to students' interest shall not be a ground for denying or withdrawing
scholarship grants and other student privileges.

Section 2. Right to Privacy of Communication. The privacy of communication and correspondence between students and
members of the school administration relating to school matters is inviolable. However, any form of private communication and
correspondence that violates national laws and school policies shall not be allowed.

Section 3. Rights of Student Publications. Students shall have the right to publish student newspapers and other similar
publications, subject to reasonable accreditation requirements, as guided by Republic Act 7079 (otherwise known as the “Campus
Journalism Act”). These rights shall be exercised without fear of persecution from authorities, and without threat of being in any way
penalized or punished by authorities for any view responsibly expressed. However, this protection shall not extend to libelous and/or
derogatory publications and articles.

The student publication shall not be subjected to any kind of coercion, bribery, or duress. Furthermore, the publication staff and
contributors shall not be compelled to disclose the identity of their sources.

The selection of the student editor-in-chief and his/her staff shall be made by annual competitive examinations to be administered by
representatives of the respective publications according to official procedures. School authorities and other governing bodies shall not
interfere in, nor influence the decisions of each publication's selecting body.

Section 4. Right to Peaceably Assemble. Students shall have the right to peaceably assemble and petition school authorities
and/or government authorities for the redress of any grievances.

Military elements and/or policemen in uniform or in plain clothes and school security forces shall not interfere with any peaceful and
non-violent student activity, particularly peaceful mass actions, inside the school campus.

Section 5. Right to Free Exercise of Religion. Students shall have the right to free exercise of religion so long as they do not
impede the practice of other faiths and beliefs.

ARTICLE VI
RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN POLICY MAKING

Section 1. Right to Participate Through Dialogue. Students shall have the right to actively participate, through dialogue, in
policy-making regarding matters that directly affect their welfare including but not limited to elective offerings selection, academic
and non-academic services, scheduling of classes, tuition and other fee increases.

Section 2. Right to Be Heard. Students shall have the right to be heard through consultation on matters that indirectly affect their
welfare including but not limited to policies that affect the faculty, school personnel, the academic core curriculum, and building
developments.

Section 3. Student Body Representatives. The Student Council and the members it shall appoint shall serve as the
representatives of the Student body to dialogues and meetings with the administration regarding matters contemplated in this
Article. Concerns shall be coursed through this proper channel to ensure orderly communication.

ARTICLE VII
RIGHT TO ORGANIZE

Section 1. Student Organizations. Students shall have the right to form, assist, or join any campus organization, alliance, or
federation for the promotion of Ateneo ideals.

Student groups shall have the right to seek accreditation subject to set standards as determined by the Council of Organizations of
Ateneo Law.

Subject to limitations provided by the Student Constitution, student organizations shall enjoy autonomy. They shall have their own
leadership structure, set their own directions and goals, and plan and manage their accounts.

Section 2. Student Council. The school shall ensure the democratic and autonomous existence of the Student Council. Pursuant
thereto, there shall be one supreme body, the Student Council, which shall be the official representative of the student body and
which shall be given recognition by the University. It shall have its own set of officers, both elected and/or appointed. It shall have
the right to determine its policies and programs on matters within its jurisdiction, guided by its duly ratified constitution and policies.

The school shall also provide, free of charge, a space or a hall to house the office/s of the Student Council.
Section 3. Security of Tenure of Student Leaders. Student leaders shall be assured of security of tenure in their positions for the
duration of their term, unless removed by final judgment in academic cases, disciplinary cases, or impeachment.

Section 4. Student Activities Finances.

Collection of Student Publication Fees and Student Activity Fees. On behalf of the Student Council and the Student
Publications, the school shall collect the student activities fund and the student publication fee.

Allocation of Student Activity Fund and Student Publication Fund. The allocation of student activity fund and student
publication fee shall be agreed upon by the Student Council, the editorial board of the official student publication, and the COAL,
upon consultation with the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Allocation of Facilities for Student Activities. The School shall provide, free of charge, areas within the campus, for the offices of
the different accredited student organizations.

Excessive charges for the use of school facilities shall be prohibited. Whenever possible, the School shall allow student organizations
and athletic teams to use school facilities free of charge, to support and encourage student participation in co-curricular and extra-
curricular activities.

ARTICLE VIII
RIGHT TO SECURITY

Section 1. Rights Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures. Every student shall not be subject to any form of
unreasonable search or seizure. Except for the following instances, no search or seizure of a student shall be deemed valid:

b. Searches made at the point of ingress and egress by authorized personnel of the school;
c. Searches and seizures of illegal articles;
d. Searches and seizures of illegal articles that are discovered inadvertently by duly authorized personnel;
e. Searches made when the student is about to commit, is committing, or has just committed a crime or serious infraction
of the school’s rules and regulations; and
f. Searches made with a valid search warrant.

Section 2. Rights to Security of Person and Honor. All students shall have the right to be treated with courtesy and respect.
They shall have the right to be free from physical and sexual harassment. Moreover, they shall have the right to be protected from
libelous and slanderous statements.

Section 3. Rights Against the Militarization of the School Campus. The pursuit of academic excellence and exercise of
academic freedom can be attained only in an atmosphere free from fear and unreasonable restraint. Pursuant thereto, no military
detachment shall be installed or maintained in the school campus except in the case of national or local emergencies, such as war,
natural calamities, or if the prevailing situation so requires.

ARTICLE IX
RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS IN DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

Section 1. Right to Due Process.

a. Students shall have the right to be informed of their alleged offense, to defend themselves, and to be rendered an
impartial decision.
b. Any penalty shall not be meted out unless the following rights have been observed and accorded the student:
i. The right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by proof beyond reasonable doubt.
ii. The right to be informed in writing of the charge(s) within 7 working days after the Associate Dean for
Student Affairs, or any authorized person on his/her behalf found that the complaint warrant disciplinary
action;
iii. The right to full access to the evidence in the case effective upon the receipt of formal notice of the
complaint;
iv. The right to defend oneself and to be defended by a representative or counsel of one's choice. Adequate
time as prescribed by the Discipline Committee or any other similar body shall be given for the preparation
of the defense;
v. The right to appeal decisions to the Dean of the Ateneo Law School;
vi. The right to appeal decisions of the Dean of the Ateneo Law School to the President of the Ateneo de
Manila University;
vii. The right to have persons of his choice to be present during any proceeding requiring his or her presence
to be conducted by the Discipline Committee or any other similar body;
viii. Decisions of resolutions of the Discipline Committee shall be released immediately after the same is
rendered.

Section 2. Rights in Disciplinary Proceedings.


a. To safeguard the right of students against arbitrary enforcement of rules, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall
consult the members of the Discipline Committee to determine the nature of all reported cases without precedent.
b. In cases which may merit any penalty, the Discipline Committee or any similar body shall convene for final proceedings.
c. All decisions in any disciplinary proceeding/s of the student/s involved must be rendered on the basis of relevant and
substantial evidence.
d. The gravity of disciplinary sanctions must be proportionate to the seriousness of the violation committed.
e. The Discipline Committee and the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall post notices of acts which are
deemed violations of school rules, and the corresponding disciplinary sanctions, provided that such rules and sanctions
do not violate the rights guaranteed herein and under the Philippine Constitution.

Section 3. Disciplinary Regulations. The conduct of any investigations, proceedings and/or hearing referred above shall be done
in accordance with the disciplinary regulations of the Ateneo Law School subject to the rights enshrined herein and under the
Philippine Constitution.

ARTICLE X
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Right Against Enactment Of Ex Post Facto Policy. No school policy shall be enforced ex post facto unless such a
policy would be favorable to students.

Section 2. Right Against Involuntary Contributions. Mandatory financial contributions to be collected from the students must be
accompanied by the twin requirements of an authorization issued by the Student Council and a notice to the Office of the Associate
Dean for Student Affairs.

ARTICLE XI
FINAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Effectivity. The Students’ Charter or any part thereof shall take effect upon ratification by the students and the
administration.

Section 2. School Policies, Rules, and Regulations Arising from the Students’ Charter. Within thirty (30) days after the
Students’ Charter takes effect, existing school policies, rules, and regulations shall be reviewed, amended, or replaced so as to be
consistent with the Students’ Charter. Such modifications shall be made known:

g. through the Handbook issued for the academic year immediately following the effectivity of the Students’ Charter;
h. on boards which are easily accessible to the students; and
i. in the next issue of the official school publication.

Section 3. Supporting Administrative Changes. An official copy of the Implementing Guidelines as to the resulting administrative
changes pursuant to the provisions of this document shall be forwarded to the Student Council within thirty (30) days after this
Students’ Charter takes effect.

Section 4. The Students’ Charter Commission. At the start of every academic year, the Students’ Charter Commission shall be
convened by the Student Council. It shall be composed of not less than two representatives of each block/section from first year to
fourth year. A chairperson appointed by the President of the Student Council shall act as ex officio chairperson for the Commission.
The Students’ Charter Commission shall have the sole discretion to formulate and implement its own rules and regulations.

Section 5. Amendments and Revisions.


a. Only the Students’ Charter Commission shall have the authority to either amend or revise the Students’ Charter.
b. The Students’ Charter may only be amended once a year, or revised once every 3 years, from its original ratification or last
amendment or revision.
c. The amended or revised Students’ Charter shall be official and binding only after its ratification by the students and the
administration.

Section 6. The Final Interpreter of Provisions. The Judicial Council shall have the sole authority to interpret, hear and deliberate
upon the provisions of the Students’ Charter on issues involving students as parties.
Issues involving the provisions of the Students’ Charter where the parties are a student/s and a member/s of the faculty or school
administration shall be resolved pursuant to the procedure agreed upon by the Student Council and the School Administration.

Section 7. Office Of Student Activities. The term Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs as used in the Students’ Charter
shall be construed to include any future office designated to perform the function and powers of the Associate Dean of Student
Affairs at the time of the promulgation of this document.