pptx - Academic Integrity Standards Project

Law students are a special case
Library014 (JISC 2005)
Purpose of case study
Target audience: Law students and law academics
Key issue: The potential life-long implications of a
breach by a law student and the importance of not
aggravating the breach by appearing to minimise its
Purpose: To help law students take seriously the citing
and referencing of other people’s work, and to
encourage their development of professional integrity.
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Case Materials
Case scenarios; University policy; selected reading (eg
Bretag et al 2011).
Case of Richardson (2003) TASCC 9
Case of AJG (2004) QCA 88
Re Liveri (2006) QCA 152
Case of Humzy-Hancock (2007) QSC 34
In the Matter of OG (2007) VSC 520
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Our research
Interviews of six law academics as part of a larger
interview schedule involving 28 senior academic integrity
Quote from respondent:
“I think there needs to be clear guidelines …Law is a special
case in terms of the overriding and exacting, and onerous
obligation to disclose Sometimes it’s referred to as excessive
disclosure, and I think that’s a good term; it is excessive
disclosure, and that’s important that we get that message out
(Law Academic, Interview 6, University A)
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Case Study: ‘Michelle’
18 year-old first year Law Student
Reported by her tutor for cheating due to high levels of
unreferenced text matching.
The law school finds the cheating proved but allows the student
to pass the course with a warning about referencing and a
slightly reduced mark.
Five years later the student graduates with an LLB and applies to
the Supreme Court for admission to practice law.
In the application form the applicant has to respond to the
statement: 'I am and always have been of good fame and
Michelle can hardly remember the incident of cheating six years
previously and marks the form so as to agree with the statement.
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Michelle: Academic integrity process
for law students
Another question asks the applicant to respond to “I am not and
have never been the subject of disciplinary action in a tertiary
education institution”.
This time Michelle recalls the cheating allegation in her first year
of study but decides to ignore it because it was a minor incident
and so long ago.
She decides 'disciplinary action' must refer to significant cases
where students fail the course or are banned from the university.
The application is accepted and Michelle is admitted to practice
as a lawyer
Following a tip-off, the Law Society investigates the woman's
academic record, discovers the proven incident of cheating and
applies to the Supreme Court to have her struck off.
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Michelle: Academic integrity process
for law students
The Supreme Court agrees, ordering that Michelle’s
name be struck off the roll of practitioners.
The reason for judgment makes little reference to the
cheating incident but relies on Michelle’s failure to
acknowledge it in her application for admission to
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Should law students be treated differently than other
students because of the life-long professional
implications of a breach early in a student’s life?
Do Law Schools adequately inform students about the
additional risk they face compared to other students
found to have breached academic integrity?
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Questions for law lecturers:
Do your courses include sufficient material on academic
Does the design of your courses adequately motivate the
students to take the academic integrity content
Should you allow the serious implications of a breach by
a law student to affect your application of academic
integrity policy in investigating a breach, or in
determining a penalty if a breach is proved, or in
recording the outcome?
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
Questions for Law Students
Why do you think the implications of a finding of breach
by a law student are potentially more serious than for
other students?
Do you think that difference is unfair or justifiable, and for
what reasons?
If you disagree with the system, what would be a fairer
system and why?
Based on your experiences at law school so far, can you
think of a better way to help law students learn good
practice in academic integrity?
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
References and resources
Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., East, J., Green, M., James, C., McGowan, U., Partridge, L., Walker, R. &
Wallace, M. (2011). Academic Integrity Standards: A Preliminary Analysis of the Academic
Integrity Policies at Australian Universities, Australian Universities Quality Forum, 29 June-1 July,
Melbourne, Australia.
Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., James, C., Green, M., East, J., McGowan, U. &
Partridge, L. (2011). Core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy in Australian higher
education, International Journal for Educational Integrity, Vol 7(2), pp. 3-12, available online:
Corbin L. and J. Carter (2008) ‘Is Plagiarism Indicative of Prospective Legal Practice?’, 17(1&2) Legal
Education Review, 53 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/LegEdRev/2007/4.html
JISC (2005). Library 014, digital image, accessed on 29 August 2012,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jiscimages/436413195/. This image is used with permission under
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Creative Commons License.
Joy Cumming J. (2007) ‘Where Courts and Academe Converge: Findins of Fact or Academic
Judgment’ Australia and New Zealand Journal of Law and Education, 12, 1 97-108
Jowitt A.(2007) ‘The Impact of Plagiarism on Admission to the Bar- Re Liveri 2006 QCA 152’ 11, 2
Journal of South Pacific Law 213-217 http://www.paclii.org/journals/fJSPL/vol11no2/pdf/jowitt.pdf
Wyburn, M. (2008) ‘Disclosure of Prior Student Academic Misconduct in Admission to Legal Practice:
Lessons for Universities and the Courts’, 8,2 QUTLJ 314-341
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012
For further resources from the Academic Integrity Standards Project,
please go to:
Support for this project/activity has been provided by the Australian
Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this
project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian
Government Office for Learning and Teaching.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.
Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012

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