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June 25, 2022

Officials no longer enjoy special regime in plagiarism cases

Education Minister Adrian Curaj (photo) announced on Tuesday that the Government approved the emergency ordinance cancelling the law that granted the violation of academic ethics by high officials an exceptional status.

Concretely, the ordinance cancelled article no. 42 (3) in Law no. 206 / 2004 concerning fair conduct in scientific research, technological development and innovation, that established the exceptional status of high officials, whose violations of academic ethics could not be analysed and sanctioned by ethics committees of Universities, as they could only be analysed by the National Ethics Council (CNE).

Minister Adrian Curaj also mentioned in a press conference held at Palace Victoria that article no. 14, stipulating the attributions of CNE, was also removed from the law.

Adrian Curaj: “We will have an emergency ordinance on Education Law in February”

The Education Minister also mentioned that the two regulations stipulated that withdrawing the title of doctor in the cases of plagiarising officials would no longer be performed by CNE, and its attributions would be granted to universities and CNATDCU.

“It is a clear, direct announcement, changes are about to occur, we will have an emergency ordinance in February concerning Education Law, and then, Government decrees and Ministerial orders that depend on this emergency ordinance”, the Minister also declared.

Asked by journalists who would have the right to withdraw the title of an official owning a doctoral degree and accused of plagiarism,Adrian Curaj emphasised: “universities and, as a mechanism for appeal, CNATDCU, but universities will be the only ones entitled to withdraw a title or to cancel a degree.”

“In this moment, we were able to change the law of ethics. There will be an emergency government ordinance on the Education law, and afterwards, we will issue other decisions”, Adrian Curaj once again pointed out, mentioning that he intended to accomplish “a frame that was fully functional”.

The Minister could not give a deadline until the new procedures will be ready, mentioning that he cannot issue an emergency ordinance before the start of the parliamentary session, which is until February 1.

As for the text of the ordinance, the Minister declared that a committee of specialists was working on it at this time.
Asked about the members of the National Committee of Titles, Degrees and University Certificates Attestation (CNADTCU), Adrian Curaj mentioned that there were false bits of information circulated by the media.

“Of the 405 members, eight passed away, retired or resigned. (…) We needed to replace these persons in the committee, so that the institution could be functional”, the Minister also mentioned, pointing out that his team was working on a “package” of regulations on all councils involved in academic ethics, and the first decision was that “one person could only belong to one council”.

Also, Adrian Curaj declared that he had demanded that the resumes of all candidates who intended to hold positions in these committees would be published.

Asked whether a member of CNADTCU should also be a doctoral coordinator, Adrian Curaj replied: “I found it obvious”.
Asked whether, after the new laws enter into force, universities may review already discussed cases of plagiarism, such as the one involving Victor Ponta, the Education Minister gave an ambiguous answer, declaring that the future system will be “trustworthy” and will allow the analysis of “all situations”.

As for the scandal of books written in prisons and supported by renowned professor, Minister Adrian Curaj declared that he was still waiting for the reports demanded from universities and the position of the National Council of Rectors on this matter.

Education Minister recommends interrupting doctoral studies during one’s public term

Education Minister Adrian Curaj recommends officials not to start doctoral studies while they are completing their terms, pointing out that they lack the required time for such activity.

“I think they have no time and, if you are in the midst of doctoral studies, no one can deny you the right of interrupting them for half of a year or for two years. Everybody understands these things, wherever you are, in the country or abroad”, the Education Minister declared on Tuesday at Palace Victoria.

In his opinion, it would be more suitable for officials if they restarted their scientific activity after they ended their term, as, according to the Minister, this approach would benefit the education process, the respective person as well as the coordinator and the institution where the respective person is attending doctoral studies.

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