Education Minister Mircea Dumitru signed on Monday the minister’s order that cancels the Ph.D. title conferred to ex-premier Victor Ponta in 2003, Education Ministry officials announced. Ponta can attack the decision in court.
The minister’s order issued on Monday shows that “the Ph.D. title in law, conferred to Mr. Ponta V. Victor Viorel by the University of Bucharest, through Education Minister’s order no.5663/2003, is hereby cancelled.”
On July 27, the National Council for the Certification of University Titles, Diplomas and Certificates (CNATDCU) rejected Victor Ponta’s appeal against the Council’s decision to cancel his Ph.D. title.
“CNATDCU’s General Council has decided to reject the appeal, with 37 out of 47 votes. In other words, the General Council’s decision upholds the report of the commission that analysed the doctoral thesis, which ruled that the thesis was plagiarised and which proposed the cancellation of the Ph.D. title,” Education Ministry Spokesperson Mirabela Amarandei told Mediafax on July 27.
CNATDCU decided on June 30 to recommend the cancellation of Victor Ponta’s Ph.D. title.
On 18 June 2012, the online edition of Nature magazine published the news that “Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has been accused of plagiarising large parts of his doctoral thesis in 2003, using publications without including exact references.”
CNATDCU issued its first verdict on 29 June 2012, when the members of the commission concluded that Victor Ponta plagiarised 85 pages verbatim.
In fact, on 17 July 2012, the University of Bucharest’s Ethics Commission unanimously decided that Victor Ponta committed plagiarism. Moreover, according to the Commission, Ponta plagiarised intentionally, plagiarised passages being found in 115 of the thesis’s 297 pages. The only commission that cleared Ponta of any wrongdoing was the National Ethics Council, which decided on 18 July 2012 that Ponta did not plagiarise.
CNATDCU: Hunting plagiarism is not our duty. Politicians should not call on us to solve their problems
“Hunting plagiarism” is not CNATDCU’s duty, the Council only analyses cases in which suspicions are well documented, the Council’s Chairman stated. Viorel Barbu stated that politicians should not stake on CNATDCU to solve their problems or disputes, and if a politician wants to obtain a doctoral title he should respect academic standards.
After announcing that the members of CNATDCU’s General Council have established that former deputy premier Gabriel Oprea plagiarised his doctoral thesis, the Chairman of CNATDCU added that “hunting plagiarism” is not the Council’s role.
“We have no other option, we have to do it, we have to discuss all suspicions, and only those that appear in an organised manner. I’m talking about those filed with the Executive Unit for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI); the suspicions have to be documented and only after that does the case enter the Council’s discussion,” Barbu said, pointing out that all cases are analysed “as correctly as possible and highly argumentatively.”
Viorel Barbu emphasised that CNATDCU’s members do not want to transform the analysis of plagiarism suspicions into a political action and called on the politicians not to try to settle their disputes through the Council.
“At least it’s not our intention to transform this into a political action and I’m actually calling on them and I’m saying: politicians should not stake on CNATDCU to settle their problems or disputes. We have our academic criteria, that’s what guides us, nothing else matters. If a politician wants to obtain a Ph.D. title, that’s welcome, but he has to respect academic standards,” Viorel Barbu added, according to News.ro.
The National Council for the Certification of University Titles, Diplomas and Certificates (CNATDCU) unanimously established on Monday that Gabriel Oprea plagiarised his doctoral thesis. Oprea obtained a Ph.D. title in 2000, from the University of Bucharest’s Law Faculty. CNATDCU proposed the cancellation of the former deputy premier’s Ph.D. title. Gabriel Oprea can challenge the decision within 14 days’ time.
On June 30, Viorel Barbu announced that CNATDCU was analysing several plagiarism complaints that concern the doctoral theses of Petre Toba, Gabriel Oprea, Robert Negoita, Florentin Pandele, Bogdan Licu, Neculai Ontanu, Mihai Stanisoara, Elena Petrescu, Adela Loredana Popescu, Loredana Radu and Dumitru Parvu.
MEP Macovei demands Ponta’s “immediate” exclusion from Bucharest Bar: He became lawyer solely because he had a doctoral degree in Law, without passing an examination. He can no longer be member of the Bar, not for a single moment
After the Education Ministry cancelled ex-premier Victor Ponta’s Ph.D. title, MEP Monica Macovei is once again asking for his “immediate” exclusion from the Bucharest Bar.
“Ponta can no longer be a lawyer, because he became one just because he had a doctoral degree in Law, without passing an examination. His Ph.D. title has been cancelled, so he can no longer be member of the Bucharest Bar, not for a single moment,” Monica Macovei explained.
In her address to Ion Dragne, Dean of the Bucharest Bar, Macovei emphasises that the ex-premier no longer meets the legal conditions for exercising the profession of lawyer, considering he became member of the Bar on demand, being exempted from the examination on the basis of his doctoral degree in Law.
“Let me remind you that in January 2015 I asked the Bucharest Bar in writing to exclude Mr. Victor Ponta, after he had notified the University of Bucharest, on 16 December 2014, that he “gives up the doctoral degree in Law conferred by the University of Bucharest in 2003,” however the Bucharest Bar did not take any decision, announcing that it was waiting to see whether the University of Bucharest was going to accept his demand or not. I believe the situation was clear in January 2015 too, back when I asked, in writing, for Mr. Ponta to be excluded from the Bucharest Bar, since the unilateral decision to give up his doctoral degree in Law consequently also annulled Decision no.644/07.01.2005 on him becoming lawyer while being exempted from the examination based on his doctoral degree in Law,” Macovei points out.
“Now, based on the final decision to cancel his doctoral degree in Law, through an Order signed by the Education Minister, and based on the Law on the exercise of the legal profession, I am asking you to immediately exclude Mr. Victor Viorel Ponta from the Bucharest Bar in order to comply with the law,” the MEP concluded.
Dean of the Bucharest Bar Ion Dragne says disbarment request is on Bar Council’s agenda
The Bucharest Bar will discuss on August 23 MEP Monica Macovei’s request to expel Victor Ponta from the practice of law after he was stripped of his doctor’s degree.
Dean of the Bucharest Bar Ion Dragne told Agerpres that the disbarment request, which was filed by Monica Macovei in her capacity as a lawyer, will be on the agenda of the August 23 Bar Council meeting.