University of Kentucky College of Law
(approved by University Senate February 10, 2003)
The faculty and the students of the University of Kentucky College of Law establish this Honor Code in order to foster integrity and honor within the legal profession, to encourage an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence within the College of Law, and to promote respect for the College of Law among those who work and study there and among the public generally.
Article I - The Honor Code
A law student shall not lie, cheat, steal, interfere with another student's academic pursuits, falsify or misuse academic records, or fail to report another student's breach of these rules.
Article II - Violations
The conduct specified in the following six paragraphs is a violation of the Honor Code only if (1) the conduct is intentional, and (2) it relates to any work intended to result in or lead to completion of work for academic credit from the College of Law, while using the placement resources and facilities, or on or in connection with an application for admission to the College.
(A) Lying. Lying is deliberate misrepresentation of a fact, or deliberate omission of facts making an otherwise true statement a misrepresentation.
(B) Cheating. Cheating is giving or receiving unpermitted aid in any course or assignment. Law students should assume that no aid is permitted, from other persons or materials of any kind, unless specifically authorized by the professor. Cheating specifically includes plagiarism as defined in the University Senate Rules.
(C) Stealing. Stealing is taking without permission any property belonging to another in order to obtain an academic advantage.
(D) Interference with academic pursuits. Interference with academic pursuits is any conduct which makes it difficult or impossible for other law students to perform academic work. It must be done with the intention of hindering other students' academic success.
(E) Falsification or misuse of academic records. An "academic record" is any paper or electronic version, official or unofficial, of the student's academic record, transcripts, application documents, admission credentials, and academic record transaction documents. "Falsification or misuse" is unauthorized access, use, disclosure, or alteration.
(F) Failure to report a breach of the Honor Code. Failure to report a breach of the Honor Code is (1) failure to report, pursuant to Article IV(A), actual knowledge that another student has committed a violation of the Honor Code or (2) failure to appear and testify truthfully as a witness in any Informal Hearing conducted under Article IV(C).
(G) Exception for good faith reporting of alleged offenses. The good faith reporting of an Honor Code violation, whether or not the alleged violator is later charged or convicted with any offense under the Honor Code, may not itself be punished as a violation of the Honor Code.
Article III - Administration
The students and faculty of the College of Law shall be jointly responsible for implementing the Honor Code. An Honor Council shall be responsible for administering the Honor Code in accordance with its purpose, scope and procedures.
A. Honor Council Composition
1. Student Members - The Student Bar Association of the College of Law each year shall invite all interested students to submit their names as candidates for Honor Council positions. Each year during the month of March the Dean shall choose from the among these candidates 12 students who shall serve as Honor Council members. The Honor Council shall include at least four members of the prospective third year class and four members of the prospective second year class. If for any reason there is an insufficient number of candidates, the Dean shall select sufficient members from among those in the student body willing to serve on the Honor Council. Student members shall serve one year terms from April 1 through March 31, and are eligible for re appointment. If a student Honor Council member is unable to complete his or her one year term, the Dean shall appoint a replacement to serve until the end of the term. If for any reason a student Honor Council member is not available for a session, the Honor Council Chair shall select a temporary alternate from the available student body.br>
2. Faculty Members - The Dean shall appoint four faculty members to the Honor Council. Faculty members shall serve a two year term on the Honor Council on a staggered basis, and are eligible for re appointment. If a faculty Honor Council member is unable to complete his or her two year term, the Dean shall appoint a replacement to serve until the end of the term. If for any reason a faculty Honor Council member is not available for a session, the Dean shall select a temporary alternate from the faculty.
B. Honor Council Chair
Each The Dean shall appoint one of the student members of the Honor Council to serve as Chair. It shall be the duty of the Chair to preside at all meetings of the Council, to receive all complaints and allegations of violations of the Honor Code, to address the first year class concerning the existence and importance of the Honor Code and its procedures, and to perform all duties required by the office.
C. Student Agreement
Upon entering the College of Law, each law student shall be required to sign the following statement:
I, [Student's Name], have read the College of Law Honor Code, understand it, and agree to abide by its provisions.
Signature Blank - Printable Version (PDF)
Article IV - Procedures
A. Report of Suspected Violations
A law student or faculty member having actual knowledge that a law student has committed a violation of the Honor Code shall report such knowledge by a signed written complaint filed with the Chair of the Honor Council. In addition, any student or other person who believes there has been a violation of the Code may bring the alleged violation to the attention of the Chair by filing a signed written complaint. The complaint should include a brief account of the facts describing the incident and shall be submitted no later than 30 days after the complainant becomes aware of the incident.
B. Preliminary Determination
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Chair of the Honor Council shall consult with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and then shall determine whether the complaint alleges a violation within Article II of the Honor Code. The Chair shall inform the complainant in writing of this decision and the rationale for it and shall provide the Dean with a copy of the complaint and of the written response to the complainant. If the Chair believes the reported act falls within Article II of the Honor Code, he or she shall inform the accused person (the "Respondent") of the complaint and furnish him or her with a copy of the Honor Code. A determination by the Chair that the complaint fails to state a violation within Article II of the Honor Code does not preclude a contrary conclusion upon a subsequent complaint based on new evidence.
C. Informal Hearing
Within a reasonable time after the Chair's notice to the Dean that the complaint alleges a violation within Article II of the Honor Code, the Dean shall convene an Informal Hearing on the matter before the Dean and a Hearing Committee.
1. Hearing Committee - The Hearing Committee shall consist of two student members and two faculty members of the Honor Council. The student members shall be selected by the Honor Council Chair.
2. Notice to Respondent - The Dean shall inform the Respondent of the time and place of the Informal Hearing.
3. Objectives - The purpose of the Informal Hearing is to inform and advise the Dean in reaching a conclusion on the issue of guilt and on the appropriate penalty for the offense, if any. The Informal Hearing shall be conducted to permit the Dean and the Hearing Committee to hear the facts underlying the complaint, the Respondent's defense to the allegations, and any aggravating or mitigating factors that may affect the penalty.
4. Procedures - The proceeding shall be conducted informally. In addition to the Dean and the Hearing Committee, only the Honor Council Chair, the Respondent and his or her legal representative, if any, and, while they are testifying, any necessary witnesses may be present at the hearing. All matters discussed at the hearing are to be held confidential by those present. The Informal Hearing shall be recorded on tape by the Dean, and only the Dean and the Respondent and his or her legal representative, if any, shall have access to the tape recording without appropriate legal process. The Dean shall be responsible for the security of all taped records and shall make a proper disposition of them when they are no longer needed. The Dean will preside over the proceeding to elicit a complete record of the incident and may adjourn the proceeding to obtain further evidence relevant to the matter if necessary. The Dean and the Hearing Committee may question the complainant, the Respondent, and any other witnesses present. The Respondent shall have the opportunity to present evidence and to question witnesses. The formal rules of evidence shall not apply.
5. Decision - At the conclusion of the Informal Hearing, the Hearing Committee shall deliberate on the issue of guilt and, if guilt is found, the appropriate penalty. In deciding the question of guilt, the preponderance of the evidence standard shall be applied by the Hearing Committee. A decision by a vote of at least three Hearing Committee members on the issue of guilt and/or on the appropriate penalty shall be considered a recommendation to the Dean and shall be overridden by the Dean only if he or she considers the recommendation to be clearly erroneous based on the evidence adduced at the Informal Hearing. If the Hearing Committee splits evenly on the issue of guilt or the appropriate penalty, the Dean shall decide the question(s) based on his or her own view of the preponderance of the evidence adduced at the Informal Hearing.
6. Penalties - In determining the penalty to be recommended and applied, the Dean and the Hearing Committee shall include in their consideration the seriousness of the violation, the degree of willfulness and premeditation, and the truthfulness of the Respondent throughout the Informal Hearing. If the penalty is suspension, a student may be suspended for a reasonable amount of time, which may include the time required for treatment or rehabilitation. Possible penalties for each of the categories of Honor Code violations are as follows:
a. Lying - Penalties may include a failing grade in the course and also may include a written reprimand from the Dean, the loss of privileges to participate in placement office programs, and suspension or expulsion from the College of Law.
b. Cheating - Penalties shall include a failing grade in the course, and may also include a written reprimand from the Dean, loss of privileges to participate in placement office programs, and suspension or expulsion from the College of Law.
c. Stealing - Penalties may include a written reprimand from the Dean, a failing grade in the course, loss of privileges to participate in placement office programs, and suspension or expulsion from the College of Law.
d. Interference with Academic Pursuits - Penalties may include a written reprimand from the Dean, a failing grade in the course, loss of privileges to participate in placement office programs, and suspension or expulsion from the College of Law.
e. Falsification or Misuse of An Academic Record- Penalties may include a written reprimand from the Dean, loss of privileges to participate in placement office programs, and suspension or expulsion from the College of Law.
f. Failure to Report a Breach of the Honor Code - Penalties may include a written reprimand from the Dean, a failing grade in the course, loss of privileges to participate in placement office programs, and suspension or expulsion from the College of Law.
D. Final Action
At the conclusion of the Informal Hearing, the Dean shall reach his or her determination on the issue of guilt and, if guilt is found, on the appropriate penalty. Within a reasonable time, the Dean shall inform the Respondent, the complainant, the Academic Ombud, and, if the penalty involves a failing grade, the University Registrar of this determination. If the penalty imposed includes suspension or expulsion from the College of Law, the matter shall be forwarded to the Chancellor for further action.
A Respondent found guilty of a violation of the Honor Code may appeal the finding of guilt and/or the penalty imposed by filing a written notice of appeal with the Academic Ombud within 10 working days of receiving notice of the Dean's determination in the matter. Appeals will proceed before the Academic Ombud and University Appeals Board under University Senate Rules 6.4.7 and 6.4.8. The student will have the right of class participation and attendance during the consideration of any appeal.
In all matters arising under this Honor Code, faculty members and students are expected to show due consideration for legitimate concerns regarding confidentiality. Faculty members and students are generally expected to refrain from disclosing the identities of students who have alleged, reported, or been charged with violations of the Honor Code. Disclosure of the identity of such a student should only be made with the student's consent, in response to legal process, in seeking advice from legal counsel, or when necessary to further the policies underlying this Honor Code.