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Table 1 Proposal for a new “offence to provide or advertise cheating services”

From: A legal approach to tackling contract cheating?

(1) A person commits an offence if the person provides any service specified in subsection (4) but in the case of a service being provided in part then a person commits an offence only if the assignment or work could not otherwise be reasonably considered to be that of the student concerned
(2) A person commits an offence if the person advertises any services specified in subsection (4)
(3) A person commits an offence who, without reasonable excuse, publishes an advertisement for any service specified in subsection (4).
(4) The services referred to in subsections (1) to (3) are—
 a. completing in whole or in part an assignmenta or any other work that a student enrolled at a Higher Education provider is required to complete as part of a Higher Education course in their stead without authorisation from those making the requirement;
 b. providing or arranging the provision of an assignmenta or any other work (in whole or in part) that a student enrolled at a Higher Education provider is required to complete as part of a Higher Education course in their stead without authorisation from those making the requirement;
(5) A person shall not be guilty of an offence in subsections (1) (2) and (3) above if he or she demonstrates that they did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained that the services might or would be used for the purposes specified in subsection (4)
(6) Where a body corporate is guilty of an offence under this section and the offence is committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he or she, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of that offence.
  1. Using ‘strict liability’ removes the need to show intent on behalf of the provider of contract cheating services. The offence could be added to existing legislation (e.g fraud, or education laws) or could stand alone. It would apply to individuals as well as companies; a friend or family member who completes an assignment for a student would be committing an offence. aWould apply to examinations as well as coursework, thus covering exam impersonation (although a separate specific offence to this effect could be included to put the matter beyond doubt). The proposal would specifically target those stakeholders shown in red in Table 1