SC clears own member of plagiarism


Posted at Oct 15 2010 04:33 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2010 03:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Supreme Court on Friday absolved its own member who was accused of plagiarizing the works of foreign scholars in a court decision he penned in the case of World War II "comfort women."

The SC junked the plagiarism complaint against Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo due to lack of merit.

Ten justices voted to dismiss the complaint while only 2 voted against it.

The 2 justices who voted against it were Conchita Carpio Morales and Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Meanwhile, Justices Antonio Capio and Diosdado Peralta were both on official leave. Del Castillo did not take part in the proceedings.

The plagiarism complaint against Del Castillo was based on a report by Newsbreak magazine.

Newsbreak said that according to its review of Del Castillo's decision on World War II comfort women, numerous parts were copied from three materials written by legal experts abroad without properly attributing the authors.

In April 28, the Supreme Court, through Del Castillo’s ponencia in the Vinuya v. Romulo case (G.R. No 162230), junked the petition of 70 Filipino comfort women to compel the Philippine government to get a public apology from Tokyo and to provide reparation to victims of sexual abuse during World War II.
Del Castillo lifted quotes and footnotes from:
•    “A Fiduciary Theory of Jus Cogens” by Ivan Criddle and Evan Fox-Descent, published last year in the Yale Journal of International Law.
•    “Breaking the Silence on Rape as an International Crime” by Mark Ellis, published 2006 in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.
•    “Enforcing Erga Omnes Obligations in International Law” by Christian Tams, published in 2005.

Criddle is assistant professor at the Syracuse University College of Law, while Fox-Descent is assistant professor at the McGill University Faculty of Law. Ellis is executive director of the International Bar Association, composed of 198 national bar associations and 40,000 members worldwide. Tams is a professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow and professor at the China EU School of Law (Beijing) and the Europa-Kolleg (Hamburg).
Del Castillo allegedly plagiarized 31 parts of Criddle and Fox-Descent’s article; 24 of Ellis’s; and 4 of Tams’s. -- Report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News