Academic misconduct may be construed as any behaviour, intentional or otherwise, that gives a student (or assists another student) in attaining an unearned or unfair advantage in academic work over other students.
Examples of academic misconduct where students may find themselves before the university’s disciplinary review board may include:
- Plagiarism (including self-plagiarism);
- Possession of unauthorized aids;
- Assisting another student in committing an offence;
- Unauthorized collaboration (collusion); and
- Falsifying academic records or other supporting documentation.
Disciplinary procedures within an academic institution are governed by administrative law principles. This means that you would be entitled procedural fairness, such as to notice, to having an opportunity to be heard, and to an unbiased decision-maker.
The particulars of the hearing procedure will depend on your university’s regulations. It is important to note that a student facing academic misconduct allegations must exhaust all appellate options within the university’s internal review committee, before they are permitted to bring the matter to court for judicial review.
At the stage of judicial review, a court can be asked to determine whether the procedure in rendering the decision was fair in the circumstances with regard to the following factors:
(i) the nature of the decision and the process by which it is made; (ii) the nature of the statutory scheme and the role of the particular decision within it; (iii) the importance of the decision; (iv) the complainant’s legitimate expectations; and (v) the agency’s procedural choices.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully accused of misconduct in an academic setting, please give us a call for a free consultation. We can represent you at all levels of adjudication.