International Journal for Educational Integrity volume 13, Article number: 3 ( 2017 ) | Download Citation
Many strategies have been proposed to address the usage of Essay Mills as well as other ‘contract cheating services that are students. These services generally offer bespoke custom-written essays or other assignments to students in return for a fee. There has been calls for the application of legal methods to tackle the situation. Here we determine whether great britain Fraud Act (2006) might be used to tackle a number of the activities of companies providing these services into the UK, by comparing their practises that are common and their conditions and terms, utilizing the Act. We unearthed that all the sites examined have disclaimers regarding the use of their products or services but there are several contradictions that are obvious those activities of the sites which undermine these disclaimers, for example all sites offer plagiarism-free guarantees for the work and at least eight have advertising which generally seems to contradict their terms and conditions. We identify possible areas when the Act could be used to pursue a case that is legal overall conclude that such an approach is unlikely to be effective. We call for a offence that is new be created in UK law which specifically targets the undesirable behaviours of the companies within the UK, even though the principles could be applied elsewhere. We also highlight other UK legal approaches that may become more successful.
The utilization of so-called ‘contract cheating’ services by students happens to be a source of controversy and debate within Higher Education, particularly within the last decade. ‘Contract cheating’ refers, basically, towards the outsourcing of assessments by students, to third parties who https://eliteessaywriters.com work that is complete their behalf in return for a fee or some other benefit (Lancaster and Clarke 2016). These types of services offer ‘custom assignments’ of nearly every form, although custom written essays look like the most common. Students are often in a position to specify the grade they need (even though there is not any guarantee this is delivered), request drafts, referencing styles and virtually any other custom feature (Newton and Lang 2016). Services available are cheap and quick(Wallace and Newton 2014) and students underestimate the severe nature with which universities penalise the use of contract cheating services (Newton 2015). Probably the simplest arrangements are directly between students and ‘custom essay writing companies’, nearly all whom are ‘listed’ companies with sophisticated promotional initiatives. However there are many ways in which students can use third parties to work that is complete them, aided by the contract spread across continents; writers may behave as freelancers, involved in a different country towards the student and their institution. These freelance article writers will make utilization of online auction services to market and organise their work and these could be in yet another country, and there could be another intermediary; an individual who receives your order through the student and then posts the task on an auction site (Newton and Lang 2016; Sivasubramaniam et al. 2016). Thus there are multiple actors in contract cheating, more than one of whom can be liable if their actions violate what the law states; students, their universities, the persons paying tuition fees, writers, people who employ writers, the web sites which host the writers, advertising companies, those who host the advertising, and so on. Here we focus primarily on UK-registered essay-writing companies.
Across education, a student who completes an evaluation to make credit towards an award is usually necessary to achieve this from the explicit basis that the submission is the own work that is independent. Ideally, both students and staff are given guidance in what constitutes misconduct that is academic the results of such misconduct (Morris 2015), in a manner that promotes an optimistic, constructive approach to fostering ‘academic integrity’ (Thomas and Scott 2016). Then that student will normally face a range of penalties, administered by their university, for academic misconduct if a student submits work that is shown to comprise, in whole or in part, material that is not their own independent work. In the united kingdom these usually include cancellation of marks for the relevant module or even the relevant element of the module at the mercy of any mitigating circumstances (Tennant and Duggan 2008). Historically, these behaviours have not been dealt with through legal mechanisms in britain (QAA 2016) and also this relates to plagiarism outside academic circumstances which, when you look at the words of Saunders,”. is not if it breaches an established legal right, such as copyright, or offends against the law of misrepresentation or other legal rules” (Saunders 2010) in itself illegal; it is only illegal.
However, a widely used test in creating legal decisions is always to decide how a ‘reasonable person’ might view a behaviour that is particular. If asked to explain the purchasing of essays for submission when it comes to purposes of gaining academic credit it seems logical to summarize that a fair person would conclude that such behaviour is ‘fraudulent’, particularly given the language connected with it (e.g. ‘cheating’). Then they might reasonably be said to have assisted, conspired or colluded in such academic fraud, cheating or dishonesty if another individual has knowingly assisted in that activity.
Then it is clear that the student commits academic misconduct, but what of the individual or company that supplied the work in return for payment if a student has purchased written work from another individual or a company for the purpose of passing it off as his or her own work? To what extent is the fact that individual or company (an ‘assistor’) complicit in such misconduct? What’s the liability that is potential of assistor and can action be taken against them? Are the assistors by their action inciting academic fraud? An educational institution cannot normally take action against the assistor under internal disciplinary procedures unless the assistor is a student in the same institution. In addition, as well as perhaps more to the point, will there be the possibility of fraudulent behaviour when you look at the relationship between your learning student in addition to company?
Broadly, legal wrongs committed in England and Wales can be addressed through the civil or law that is criminalUK Government 2016a). An action in civil law is taken by a individual that is wronged their initial cost. This cost is usually prohibitive and also normally requires the formulation of a claim recognised because of the law that evidences loss or injury to the claimant that is individual by the defendant and for which a remedy is sought. Thus the power of educational institutions (or a student for instance) to take civil action against assistors is bound.
Action pertaining to UK law that is criminal normally undertaken by and at the cost of their state through the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but requires a criminal offence to have been committed (private prosecutions at private cost are possible but relatively rare). The Code for Crown Prosecutors sets out of the principles that are basic be followed closely by Crown Prosecutors once they make case decisions. Crown Prosecutors should be satisfied that there surely is enough evidence to provide a “realistic prospect of conviction” and that it is the public interest to pursue a prosecution (UK Government 2013).
A purpose with this paper would be to assess the extent that a business organisation who supplies an essay or written work upon instructions from a student in return for money could be liable underneath the law that is criminal of and Wales for an offence beneath the Fraud Act 2006 (The Act) (UK Government 2006). The Act commenced operation on 15 2007 by the Fraud Act 2006 (Commencement) Order 2006 SI 2006/3200 january. The Act relates to offences committed wholly on or after 15 2007 and extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland january.
The Quality Assurance agency, considered all approaches to deal with contract cheating, a problem which they stated “poses a serious risk to the academic standards and the integrity of UK higher education” (QAA 2016) in August 2016 the UK regulator of Higher Education. Their consideration of possible legal approaches under existing law concluded that the Fraud Act was the “nearest applicable legislation”, but they did not reach a company conclusion on its use, stating that “Case law seems to indicate a reluctance on the area of the courts to be involved in cases involving plagiarism, deeming this to be a matter for academic judgement that falls outside the competence associated with the court (Hines v Birkbeck College 1985 3 All ER 15)” (QAA 2016).
The QAA state that the UK 2006 Fraud Act is “untested in this context” in their conclusion. Here we explore the detail of the Fraud Act further, and compare it into the established business practises of UK-registered essay-writing companies, with a particular focus on their Terms and Conditions.