Identification of companies
As part of a separate project we identified approximately 1000 distinct websites offering essay-writing or related services to students in Higher Education. We analysed the sites to determine those that indicated that they are able to run as ‘legitimate’ businesses and that they are subject to regulation by UK law, having been ‘incorporated’ under the Companies Act 2006 (UK Government 2016b) that they are owned by companies listed at Companies House in the UK, meaning. We analysed 26 sites operated by a complete of 21 apparently distinct companies; each had separate listings at Companies House. We also analysed a number of additional sites from Australia plus the USA, making a complete of 31 sites. We have not included the identity associated with companies that are specific this publication for the next reasons: 1. We do not need to advertise that is further services of the companies, either through this publication or through any publicity related to it. 2. We have no guarantee that the ongoing company number given on these websites is in fact compared to the organization which runs the website. In many cases the names are identical but in others this isn’t the case. 3. The content of this article is opinion that is academic not the cornerstone for legal proceedings. We have shared, confidentially, the identities of this companies with the reviewers of the manuscript and also aided by the UK Quality Assurance Agency who also identified a number of UK-based companies within their report that is recent on mills (QAA 2016).
In 2016 we accessed the websites of those companies to address a series of questions (Table 1) which would then allow us to consider the relevant sections of the Fraud Act july. Questions were addressed by one author (VI) with cross checking by a second (MD). When it comes to final question “Is the advertising potentially misleading (compared to disclaimer/terms + conditions)?”, the authors considered the advertising to be misleading if it were a student’s own work, without citing the company if it(for example) gave the impression that work purchased from the site could be submitted as.
Shown here are questions that we asked of this websites. We then considered the Fraud Act at length, informed by answers into the questions below.
The Fraud Act
The Act (UK Government 2006) provides for a offence that is general of, defined through the 3 ways of committing it, which are (1) by false representation, (2) by failing woefully to disclose information and (3) by abuse of position. Each is dealt with in a section that is separate of Act. Additionally, it is an offence, under the Act, to obtain services dishonestly and/or to possess, make or supply articles for usage in fraud(s).
We will consider Section 2 of the act (‘fraud by false representation’) later in this paper but at this time it really is appropriate to briefly address Section 3 regarding the Act rendering it an offence to neglect to disclose, to another, information which is why there is certainly a duty that is legal disclose. For instance neglecting to disclose information in relation to a contract of insurance or a doctor failing continually to disclose to a hospital that certain patients referred for treatment are private patients, thereby avoiding a charge for the services provided by him or her. A legal duty to reveal information can arise because of a contract between two parties or due to the existence of a particular variety of professional relationship among them; as an example, a solicitor/client relationship. In its report on Fraud (Report on a reference under section 3(1)(e) associated with the Law Commissions Act 1965 No. 276 Cm 5560 2002) what the law states Commission made the next comments in regards to the circumstances for which a legal duty might arise:
“7.28 … Such a duty may derive from statute (including the provisions governing company prospectuses), through the fact that the transaction at issue is just one of the utmost good faith (such as for instance a contract of insurance), from the express or implied terms of a contract, from the custom of a particular trade or market, or from the existence of a fiduciary relationship amongst the parties (such as compared to agent and principal).
7.29 For this purpose there was a legal duty to disclose information not just in the event that defendant’s failure to disclose it offers the victim a cause of action for damages, but additionally in the event that law gives the victim the right to set aside any change in his / her legal position to which he or she may consent as a consequence of the non- disclosure. For instance, a person in a fiduciary position has a duty to reveal material information when stepping into a contract along with his or her beneficiary, into the sense that a deep failing to make such disclosure will entitle the beneficiary to rescind the contract and to reclaim any property transferred under it.”
Thus a key real question is whether essay mills owe a legal duty for their customers to reveal information? As an example, if they are under a legal duty to disclose to customers that when they submit the purchased essay without the right attribution that they are committing academic fraud.
There is absolutely no obvious legal fiduciary relationship between the assistor therefore the customer (a fiduciary is anyone who has undertaken to behave for or with respect to another in a certain matter in circumstances which bring about a relationship of trust and confidence). Thus the partnership between student customer and essay mills seems to be entirely contractual. In the first instance which means legal duty regarding the an element of the company is merely to conform to the conditions and terms of this contract which when it comes to most part are set into the conditions and terms of business drafted by them. These do not routinely write papers for money place a duty that is legal the company to reveal information regarding the possible consequences of use by a student as well as in any event as discussed below they routinely warn up against the submitting associated with essay without proper attribution.
Section 3b (i) and (ii) associated with the Act go on to produce that an offence is only committed if by failing continually to disclose information the defendant “intended to help make an increase for him or even cause loss to a different or expose another to a chance of loss”. A company intends to make a financial gain, i.e. continue in business and there is potential for risk of loss by the student customer by failing to give information that use of the essay through submission at an educational institution may lead to an academic misconduct claim. However essay mills are not usually under a legal duty in the initial location to provide these records plus in fact as discussed underneath the terms and conditions of business usually specifically address this point through disclaimers pertaining to utilization of the essay (Similarly an offence under section 4 associated with the Act – abuse of position – is effectively negated).
We think about the position pertaining to advertising employed by essay mills later in this paper – there clearly was a duty that is legal to mislead established apart from through the Fraud Act 2006.