Washington International Law Journal


David Cromwell


The Colombian Supreme Court of Justice recently sentenced a professor to two years in prison for plagiarizing a student’s thesis, an extreme punishment by both comparative and Colombian standards. Despite its severity and global ramifications, the decision has received little attention within the English-speaking legal community. This comment provides an overdue analysis of the case and clarifies the current state of Colombian copyright law, both on the books and on the ground. The comment argues that while the case has clarified that plagiarism is a crime in Colombia, addressing academic plagiarism through criminal punishment will likely do little to deter the behavior. The conclusion identifies major issues the case has left unresolved.

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