Annual bar exam starts after gov’t lifts ban on COVID-19 patients
SEOUL, The national bar examination began across South Korea on Tuesday, one day after the Ministry of Justice reversed its earlier decision to ban anybody infected with the new coronavirus from sitting for the annual exam.
The ministry initially planned to prohibit anybody diagnosed with COVID-19 from taking the bar exam scheduled to continue through Saturday. It had only planned to offer separate test sites for those put under self-quarantine or with suspected coronavirus symptoms.
But the ministry scrapped its discriminative stance toward COVID-19 patients, after the Constitutional Court approved an injunction request from some examinees Monday, ruling that restricting the opportunity to sit for the bar exam violates the freedom of occupation and the right to life.
The ministry said that not a single test applicant has tested positive for the coronavirus or been put under self-quarantine until now.
The ministry had previously announced that applicants who test positive for the virus would not be allowed to take the exam. Those who are confirmed to have contracted the virus during the test period are also to be banned from finishing the exams.
Last week, a group of applicants filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, requesting an injunction against the ministry’s decision, claiming it could hurt their rights.
On Monday, the court delivered a unanimous decision that the justice ministry must suspend its restriction of test opportunities for coronavirus patients until a court ruling is made on the case.
Meanwhile, many examinees criticized the ministry for hastily adopting the court decision without preparing for antivirus measures at the test sites. They also insisted that the ministry should have come up with sufficient quarantine measures to prevent COVID-19 transmissions among examinees.
Source: Yonhap News Agency