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Faculty of Law Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Regulations

University Policy on Academic Integrity, Procedures and Requirements of Faculties & Schools

(Approved by Senate October 23, 2008)

Preamble

The decentralized administrative structure of the University presents a significant challenge in attempting to develop a uniform policy that can be applied to all Faculties and Schools. (Faculty/School means the higher body to which the student’s academic program reports, such as the Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Graduate Studies and Research, etc. Academic unit means the unit that offers the program in which the student is enrolled, such as the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Department of History, etc.) Acknowledging that there are certain issues which may be Faculty-specific and may be addressed through individual Faculty regulations and procedures, the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) has nonetheless determined that some common standards must be maintained across academic units to ensure that all students involved in an academic integrity concern receive equitable treatment. Therefore, Faculties and Schools are required to develop their own procedures for handling academic integrity concerns. At the same time, standards must be maintained among academic units to ensure that all students involved in an academic integrity concern receive equitable treatment.

This document outlines certain procedural requirements of Faculties and Schools, including the essential requirements of any investigation into an academic integrity concern, while also providing guidance regarding jurisdiction, offences, and sanctions. This policy supports units in developing procedures that can be adapted to their specific administrative structures while, at the same time, resembling other units’ procedures closely enough to maintain fairness and consistency for students, instructors, and administrators across the University.
New ideas regarding academic integrity will continue to be developed. As such, this policy should be treated as a dynamic one that will be modified as the times demand.
Terminology
Academic integrity is a commitment to the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Academic integrity concerns refer to issues that arise which deserve attention and which may or may not, in the end, involve a departure from academic integrity, that is, a departure from these fundamental values. This involves what has traditionally been referred to as academic dishonesty, but encompasses a much broader context to include educational measures associated with academic integrity. Although academic dishonesty is currently referenced in many policies and other documents at Queen’s, generally use of the language of academic integrity is encouraged in the revision or new development of such policies.
1. Senate Academic Integrity Policy Statement
Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (as articulated by the Centre for Academic Integrity, Clemson University; see www.academicintegrity.org) all of which are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see Report on Principles and Priorities). Queen's students, faculty, administrators and staff therefore all have ethical responsibilities for supporting and upholding the fundamental values of academic integrity.
2. Policies with respect to Jurisdiction, Offences, and Sanctions
2.1 Jurisdiction
2.1.1 Faculty/School Offices are required to maintain a record of all cases of which they are informed, for students registered in their Faculty/School. The offices provide advice and assistance to instructors and students as requested, from a designated person who will not subsequently be in a position to pass judgment on the case or who is biased in any way.
2.1.2 Academic integrity concerns within a course shall be dealt with in the first instance by the instructor offering the course. The instructor has the responsibility to take action when they become aware of an academic integrity concern. The instructor also has the responsibility to make a decision as to whether there has been a departure from academic integrity and if there has, the responsibility to make a decision on an appropriate sanction under the guidelines detailed in Section 2.4 of this policy.
2.1.3 If the instructor believes the matter is of a particularly serious or complex nature, he or she must refer it to the appropriate representative of the Faculty/School in which the course is offered. If there is a previous finding for the student, the instructor must refer the matter, including their finding, for sanctioning to the Faculty/School office.
2.1.4 Academic integrity concerns within a course shall be dealt with under the policies and purview of the Faculty/School offering the course until an appeals process is initiated at which time section 2.1.6 takes effect.
2.1.5 If the student is enrolled in a course which does not belong to his or her home Faculty/School, the student’s home Faculty/School shall be informed of any finding of a departure from academic integrity.
2.1.6 Regarding appeals of decisions, in keeping with Faculty Jurisdiction With Respect To Student Appeals of Academic Decisions, approved by Senate March 3, 2005:
  1. The jurisdiction for matters of academic appeal shall, in all instances, reside in the Faculty in which the student is registered.
  2. While the jurisdiction for matters of academic appeal shall reside in the Faculty in which the student is registered, the Faculty in which the course(s) in question resides shall be consulted as a normal part of the appeals process to ensure that the interest of the Faculty in which the course(s) resides is taken into consideration.
  3. All Faculties and Schools should incorporate the above policy recommendations into their current administrative procedures.
2.1.7 Departures from academic integrity other than a course-related issue (e.g., falsifying a transcript), are dealt with by the Faculty/School in which the student is registered.
2.2 Offences
The following list defines the domain of relevant acts without providing an exhaustive list. This list and associated definitions must be included in Faculty and School based academic integrity regulations.
  • Plagiarism
    Presenting another’s ideas or phrasings as one’s own without proper acknowledgement. Examples: copying and pasting from the internet, a printed source, or other resource without proper acknowledgement; copying from another student; using direct quotations or large sections of paraphrased material in an assignment without appropriate acknowledgement; submitting the same piece of work in more than one course without the permission of the instructor(s).
  • Use of unauthorized materials
    Examples: possessing or using unauthorized study materials or aids during a test; copying from another’s test paper; using an unauthorized calculator or other aids during a test; unauthorized removal of materials from the library, or deliberate concealment of library materials.
  • Facilitation
    Deliberately enabling another’s breach of academic integrity. Examples: knowingly allowing one’s essay or assignment to be copied by someone else for the purpose of plagiarism; buying or selling of term papers or assignments and submitting them as one’s own for the purpose of plagiarism.
  • Forgery
    Submitting counterfeit documents or statements. Examples: creating a transcript or other official document; creating a medical note.
  • Falsification
    Misrepresentation of one’s self, one’s work or one’s relation to the University. Examples: altering transcripts or other official documents relating to student records; impersonating someone in an examination or test; submitting a take-home examination written, in whole or in part, by someone else; fabricating or falsifying laboratory or research data.
2.3 Factors to Consider when Assigning a Sanction
Factors that should be considered in assigning a remedy or sanction include:
  • Evidence of a deliberate attempt to gain advantage;
  • The seriousness of the departure having regard to its actual or potential consequences;
  • The extent to which the work or conduct in question forms a significant portion of the final grade and whether the extent of the departure is substantial as demonstrated by the work or conduct in question;
  • Injury to another student or to the institution;
  • Multiple departures within a single incident or multiple departures over time, rather than an isolated aberration;
  • Whether the departure has been committed by a student who ought to be familiar with the expectations for academic integrity in the discipline, Department and/or Faculty;
  • Conduct that intimidates others or provoked the misconduct by others.

Any sanction should reflect the extent and severity of the departure from academic integrity, and precedents in the academic unit, taking into account any mitigating circumstances. The onus is on the student to provide evidence of mitigating circumstances.

2.4 Sanctions
The following are the admissible sanctions that may be applied, in any number and/or combination as deemed necessary, for departures from academic integrity:
1. Issuing an oral or written warning.
2. Completion of an educational program/workshop
3. Requiring submission of a revised or new piece of work.
4. Assigning a partial or total loss of marks on the piece of work.
5. Assigning partial or total loss of grades in the course.
6. Requiring withdrawal from the University for a specified period of time.
7. Rescinding of a degree.
If the penalty amounts to a failure in the course, the student may not drop the course, regardless of the deadlines to drop a course.
2.4.1 Instructors may impose Sanctions 1 through 5, without referring the matter to the Faculty/School (apart from checking re previous findings, see 2.3; 3.1.2 and 4.1.5). All findings must be reported to the Faculty/School.
If the instructor believes a more serious penalty is warranted, or there is a previous finding, he or she must refer the matter, including their finding, for sanctioning to the Faculty/School office.
2.4.2 A Faculty/School may impose Sanctions 1 through 5, as available to instructors, as well as:
Recommending Sanctions 6 or 7 to the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP).
2.4.3 Senate (through SCAP, to which it has delegated this responsibility), in accordance with the Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline, may approve the recommendations of Faculties/Schools with respect to Sanctions 6 and 7.
 
(The remaining sections of the Senate policy document regarding requirements of Faculties/Schools and procedural guidelines are available at http://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/senate/policies/
AIprocedures.pdf
)

Faculty of Law Regulations pertaining to Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

Note:  The Faculty of Law policy and procedure is under review in the 2008-09 academic year for updates and compliance with the new Senate policy.
(Resolution: 199th meeting of Faculty Board, October, 1973; amended 307th and 308th meetings of Faculty Board, October, 1979; amended 453rd meeting of Faculty Board, November 1988 and 572nd meeting, November 1997 and University Statement on Academic Dishonesty (adopted and amended by Faculty Board for Faculty of Law purposes at the 453rd meeting)).
(specifically adopted for the Faculty of Law and included in these Regulations in addition to the above)
1 a being reckless is consciously running a risk
b work includes words, ideas and organization
c student is not reckless if he or she relies on the advice of a faculty member
2 Anyone who uses the work of another in such a way as to create the impression that it is his or her own is guilty of plagiarism if
a he or she knows he or she uses the work of another and knows he or she will create the impression it is his or her own
b he or she knows he or she uses the work of another and is reckless whether he or she creates the impression it is his or her own, or
c he or she suspects on definite grounds that he or she uses the work of another and is reckless whether he or she creates the impression it is his or her own
3 The burden of proof is proof by clear and convincing evidence.
4 Trivial use of the work of another is not an offence.

Procedures and Sanctions

An allegation of plagiarism or academic dishonesty should be heard by the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee of Faculty Board and not by the Board itself. The Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee is a committee of the Faculty Board, composed of three faculty members and two student members. As the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee may have to sit during the summer, arrangements may have to be made for student representation at this time. A student charged may request that student members should be excluded from the Committee for the purposes of his or her hearing. The Chair shall be one of the faculty members.
The Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee will be performing an adjudicative function and therefore it is essential that it should conform with the basic rules of natural justice. An attempt to set out appropriate procedural steps follows, but in all cases the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee should proceed with the basic rules of natural justice in mind.
 
The assumption underlying the following procedures is that Faculty Board delegates complete decision making power over any complaint with respect to plagiarism and academic dishonesty to the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee. The Committee would be governed by the following rules:
 
1 A faculty member or other person who suspects plagiarism or academic dishonesty shall forthwith refer the complaint to the Dean, who shall appoint a Plagiarism Prosecutor, normally an Associate Dean, and a Plagiarism Advisor. The Prosecutor shall conduct an investigation and, if satisfied that the complaint should proceed, shall inform the student in writing of the nature of the allegations. The student shall be advised to initially consult the Plagiarism Advisor, as well as of the right to seek other counsel.
2 a If the Prosecutor determines that a complaint appears founded and should proceed to a hearing, the Chair of Faculty Board shall arrange to empanel a Plagiarism Committee. The Committee shall consist of three faculty members, and at the option of the student, two student members of the Board. The Committee shall be chosen from among the full time faculty members (tenure stream and tenured and Initial and Renewable Adjuncts, but not the Dean or Associate Deans) and the student members of the Board.
b Prior to setting the hearing date, the student shall have full disclosure of the Prosecutor's case. The Prosecutor shall give the Committee a copy of the written material given the student setting out the allegations. The members of the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee shall select a Chair for the Committee, who shall then consult with the Prosecutor and the student (or the Advisor or other counsel for the student) to set a hearing date. In the event that the parties are unable to agree on a time for a hearing, the Chair of the Committee shall set a time and give all parties at least 14 days written notice. The student shall have the option to submit a written statement to the Committee before the hearing.
c The Prosecutor and the student (represented by the Advisor or counsel) may meet informally and without prejudice to reach a negotiated resolution, which may include sanction of the student. If this is done, the resolution shall be set out in writing, signed by the student and Prosecutor, and adopted by Faculty Board without debate or voting.
3 The student shall be entitled to be represented by counsel or a faculty member or any other person of his or her choice at all hearings of the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee regarding the matter. The Committee, in the event of any misconduct by that representative, may decline to hear him or her. Such entitlement to representation by counsel or a faculty member is in addition to the right to consult with the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Advisor. The law school shall be entitled to be represented by anyone of the Dean's choice.
4 At the hearing, the law school's case shall be submitted first, followed by the student's case and then by the law school's reply, if any. All witnesses may be cross-examined by the other party. Following the hearing of evidence, all parties shall be afforded the opportunity to make argument before the Committee with the law school proceeding first. Written submissions of the arguments which were delivered at the hearing should be encouraged.
5 The Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee shall report its decision in writing to the Faculty Board. The report shall include a summary of the facts as found by the Committee and the decision of the Committee as to innocence or guilt and as to sanction, if any, together with the reason for such decision.
6 The Faculty Board shall accept and adopt the report of the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee without debate and without voting.
7 There should be a range of sanctions available to the Committee so that any punishment is in proportion to the offence. Sanctions should be similar to those suggested in the report of the Senate Committee on Grievance, Discipline and Related Matters. Failure of a course would not be an appropriate sanction. Such a decision should rest on academic, not punitive considerations and should be left to the discretion of the individual faculty member. Nor is failure of a year an appropriate punitive sanction for the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee to impose.
The Senate Report on Grievance, Discipline and Related Matters provides as follows:
A code of conduct must include some indication of sanctions. The penalties available and appropriate to Universities are few. Within the University the mildest form of sanction is the informal reprimand or rebuke. Somewhat more serious is the written notice that more stringent disciplinary measures will result if there is a further breach. Probation is the next step, involving an order of suspension or expulsion to take effect upon the specified further transgressions, which may be quite minor in themselves. A suspension of privileges to recreational non-academic facilities is particularly appropriate where there has been some abuse of the facility in question. Suspension of the right to attend classes or to use particular academic facilities may be serious if the period is prolonged. Suspensions of full University privileges is even more serious. Expulsion from the University or termination of appointment is the most serious sanction available to the University.
8 No discipline shall be imposed upon the student until Faculty Board receives the report of the Committee, and he or she has had the opportunity to exhaust the other avenues of appeal provided by the University.
9 All meetings of the Committee and the Faculty Board shall be held in camera, unless requested otherwise by the student.
10 The record for each proceeding shall be kept by the Chair of the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee and at the conclusion of the Faculty Board's determination the record shall be placed in a special confidential Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty file to be kept in the Dean's office. Any of these documents, made available to subsequent Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Committee members, Prosecutors, counsel, Advisors and students against whom complaints have been made shall be expunged of all identifying words.
11 For lodging a complaint, there shall be a limitation period of three years, running from the date of submission of the student's work or from the date on which the offending conduct began. Once a suspicion arises, the limitation period of laying a complaint is reduced to three months from the date on which the suspicion arose.
12 Students shall be given notice of these sanctions and procedures by distributing a copy to each first year student in the Legal Skills Program. Students entering the law school for the first time in second or third year or the graduate program shall be given a copy at or shortly after registration.
13 These provisions shall take effect and apply to all materials submitted by, and conduct of, students from and after 1 September 1979.
14 No decision to suspend or expel a student takes effect until approved by Senate, unless the student has consented pursuant to 2c.

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