Friday, August 13, 2010

The 1999 Arokiaswamy case and Del Castillo

InsideTrack/NewsBreak brings up the 1999 Arokiaswamy case in the context of the current Supreme Court plagiarism case:

This is from a decision the highest court in the land made more than a decade ago on the case of a University of the Philippines student who was stripped of her doctorate degree in anthropology after it was established that she plagiarized a hefty part (90 instances) of her dissertation.

The student, Margaret Celine Arokiaswamy, sued the UP Board of Regents and members of her thesis panel, saying she was not given due process. In 1999, the Court, through Justice Vicente Mendoza, decided in favor of UP, upholding the institution's autonomy and academic freedom.

"Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was obtained through fraud, a university has the right to revoke or withdraw the honor or distinction it has thus conferred... An institution of higher learning cannot be powerless if it discovers that an academic degree it has conferred is not rightfully deserved. Nothing can be more objectionable than bestowing a university's highest academic degree upon an individual who has obtained the same through fraud or deceit," wrote Mendoza.

IPBiz is not aware of any US thesis plagiarism case that went to the US Supreme Court. Glenn Poshard, who plagiarized parts of his Ph.D. thesis at SIU, got a wrist slap, and went about his business. Outside the US, the University of Constance withdrew the Ph.D. awarded to Jan Hendrik Schon, but that was not about plagiarism.

IPBiz reviewed some lower court student plagiarism cases, one of the more interesting of which involved a Princeton student
[ 186 N.J. Super. 548; 453 A.2d 263 ]. See
Plagiarism in academic contexts: a look at the past


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