‘Humanizing’ the Supreme Court: why Justice Marvic Leonen is on Twitter

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen (Philstar/File photo)

For Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, to tweet is to be human.

In an interview with ANC, the youngest justice on the high tribunal discussed his affinity for social media and what it says about the humanity of the judiciary.

Twitter and humanizing the SC

Leonen spoke about a tweet he made after his colleagues voted to grant the Quo Warranto petition that removed former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Citing how dissent was utilized in the United States jurisprudence, Leonen discussed the importance of critical thinking on the part of the public after every important Supreme Court decision.

“Maybe what I was trying to tell the public was ‘This is a court; it’s a human institution. The majority may have its points, it may have its reasons but perhaps in some future time it may be that we can go back to that decision and review [it] on the basis of the points of view of the dissent,” said Leonen about the tweet.

Leonen is known for some of his dissenting opinions on a number of notable and landmark cases.

While he understands the Supreme Court’s authority on matters of law, the 55-year old magistrate also thinks that the public has forgotten that the highest tribunal in the land is still human after all.

“I think that it is more difficult to demonize an institution if the justices are not made caricatures, meaning to say it is easy to spread misinformation about the personalities of the people sitting in the high court,” Leonen said.

“Therefore, I think that people should know that it is not our only identity, that there are other identities which we carry,” he added.

And for Leonen, his social-media patronage is his way of showing the world he is human.

“In Twitter, I post mostly my poems if they’re worth anything, some jokes once in a while. And of course links to my photographs in Instagram,” he said.

True enough, his timeline has more than matters of judicial notice.

His most recent tweets include a poem:

He has also shared some of his thoughts on photography, one of his interests.

Kamay ng drayber

A post shared by Marvic Leonen (@mvfleonen) on

Leonen shows off his photography skills on his Instagram account, which has 114 posts and more than 600 followers as of this writing.

In the interview, he also listed some of the hobbies of the other justices, without revealing their names.

According to Leonen, gardening, bonsai maintenance, household farming, and shopping at markets are past times indulged in by the eminent members of the high court.