Identification of companies
As an element of a project that is separate identified approximately 1000 distinct websites offering essay-writing or related services to students in Higher Education. We analysed the websites to determine people who indicated that they’re 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 total of 21 apparently distinct companies; each had separate listings at Companies House. We also analysed a few additional sites from Australia together with USA, making an overall total of 31 sites. We have not included the identity associated with companies that are specific this publication for the following reasons: 1. We try not to wish to advertise that is further services of the companies, either through this publication or through any publicity related to it. 2. We haven’t any guarantee that the company number given on these websites is actually compared to the company which runs the website. In many cases the names are identical but in others this isn’t the actual situation. 3. The content for this article is academic opinion and not the foundation for legal proceedings. We now have shared, confidentially, the identities of this companies using the reviewers of the manuscript as well as with all the UK Quality Assurance Agency who also identified a number of UK-based companies in their recent report on essay mills (QAA 2016).
In July 2016 we accessed the websites of the companies to handle a few questions (Table 1) which would then allow us to look at the relevant chapters of the Fraud Act. 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 (as an example) gave the impression that work purchased from the site could possibly be submitted as though it were a student’s own work, without citing the business.
Shown here are questions that we asked of the websites. We then considered the Fraud Act in detail, informed by answers to your relevant questions below.
The Fraud Act
The Act (UK Government 2006) provides for a general offence of fraud, defined through the three methods for committing it, which are (1) by false representation, (2) by neglecting to disclose information and (3) by abuse of position. Each is dealt with in a separate part of the Act. Additionally, it is an offence, under the Act, to dishonestly obtain services and/or to own, make or supply articles for usage in fraud(s).
We will consider Section 2 associated with the act (‘fraud by false representation’) later in this paper but at this time it really is appropriate to briefly address Section 3 associated with Act that makes it an offence to are not able to disclose, to some other, information which is why there was a legal duty to disclose. As an example neglecting to disclose information pertaining to a contract of insurance or a health care provider failing to disclose to a hospital that particular patients referred for treatment are private patients, thereby avoiding a charge for the services provided by him or her. A legal duty to disclose information can arise as a consequence of a contract between two parties or due to the existence of a specific types of professional relationship among them; for example, a relationship that is solicitor/client. With its report on Fraud (Report on a reference under section 3(1)(e) regarding the Law Commissions Act 1965 No. 276 Cm 5560 2002) the Law Commission made listed here comments in regards to the circumstances in which a legal duty might arise:
“7.28 … Such a duty may are based on statute (for instance the provisions governing company prospectuses), from the fact that the transaction in question is amongst the utmost good faith (such as for instance a contract of insurance), from the express or implied regards to a contract, through the custom of a certain trade or market, or from the existence of a fiduciary relationship involving the parties (such as compared to agent and principal).
7.29 For this purpose there is a legal duty to disclose information not just in the event that defendant’s failure to disclose it provides the victim a factor in action for damages, but in addition if the law provides the victim the right to create aside any change in his / her legal position to which he or she may consent because of the non- disclosure. For instance, a person in a fiduciary position has a duty to disclose material information when getting into a contract together with his or her beneficiary, within the sense that a deep failing to help make such disclosure will entitle the beneficiary to rescind the contract and to reclaim any property transferred under it.”
Thus a question that is key whether essay mills owe a legal duty with their customers to reveal information? As an example, if they submit the purchased essay without proper attribution that they are committing academic fraud whether they are under a legal duty to disclose to customers that.
There isn’t any obvious legal fiduciary relationship between the assistor and the customer (a fiduciary is anyone who has undertaken to behave for or on the part of another in a specific matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence). Thus the partnership between student essay and customer mills seems to be entirely contractual. In the first instance and so the legal duty regarding the an element of the company is merely to conform to the conditions and terms associated with contract which when it comes to most part are set in the conditions and terms of business drafted by them. These do not routinely place a legal duty on the company to reveal information about the possible consequences of good use by a student as well as homework help sites in any event as discussed below they routinely warn against the submitting associated with the essay without proper attribution.
Section 3b (i) and (ii) regarding the Act carry on to offer that an offence is only committed if by failing woefully to disclose information the defendant “intended to produce an increase for him or to cause loss to some other 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 first spot to provide this information and in fact as discussed below the conditions and terms of business usually specifically address this point through disclaimers in relation to utilization of the essay (Similarly an offence under section 4 associated with Act – abuse of position – is effectively negated).
We look at the position pertaining to advertising used by essay mills later in this paper – there clearly was a legal duty not to mislead established aside from through the Fraud Act 2006.