Tue, Aug. 10, 2004

Ghostwritten Exam

CK - Washington.   A pointer at the Handakte blog notes a decision by the Cologne Court of Appeals confirming an administrative decision against a law student who failed her comprehensive finals. Today's court press release explains that the student was barred from retaking the exam, the harshest penalty possible within the educational track.

The student was found to have based a four week take-home assignment on a ghost written opinion procured through a ghost-writing agency for more than $2,000. She failed all the written exams and--by way of an initial decision--was refused admission to the orals. Investigative authorities later came across the ghost-writing evidence on her PC, when examing a criminal drug matter involving the student and her husband. In applying the sanctions of §17(3) of the Juristenausbildungsgesetz, Law Education Statute, the examining office, which is associated with appellate courts, decided to revoke the earlier decision and to impose instead the harsher sanction in light of the student's deception.

The press release adds that the ghost-writing agency complied with the examining agency's cease-and-desist demand to abstain in the future from supplying exam assistance to law students.

Antitrust Order re National Geographic

CK - Washington.   The German antitrust authority, Bundeskartellamt, disallowed retroactively publisher Gruner + Jahr's distribution of a German-language edition of the National Geographic magazine.

With two dominant geo-style magazines, G+J is already the major player in that segment, and adding National Geographic to its portfolio violates the antitrust rules, the agency determined. The statute violated is probably §40 GWB, Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, of August 26, 1998, BGBl. I 2546.

G+J began circulating the German-language edition after obtaining a license in 1999 from the Washington-based society that publishes the English-language original. The agency learned of the salient facts only in 2003. G+J had not filed for an exemption under the antitrust laws. According to news reports, G+J has announced its intent to appeal the ruling in the Düsseldorf circuit court on the basis that it did not acquire an existing business and instead built a new business from scratch. The agency views this point differently, alleging that G+J could was able to rely on the name recognition the magazine had established with its English-language edition.

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