"Good moral character" is a prerequisite for admission to the Bar and practice of the law. The imperative of personal integrity, however, exists long before a person is admitted to law practice; personal integrity is necessary in all conduct of a law student, whether law-school related or not.
The College of Law has designated six areas of law student academic misconduct that are within its power to control and in which personal integrity is imperative:
The Honor Council is charged with administering the Honor System, informing all students about the Honor System, and evaluating suggestions for changes in the System. The Council shall investigate and, where necessary, adjudicate all suspected violations of the Honor System brought to its attention.
The Honor Council consists of twenty-two members, seventeen students and five full time faculty members. The student members include the President of the Student Bar Association, the Chairperson of the Student Legal Education Committee and five representatives chosen in an election conducted by the Student Bar Association in the fall of each year.
All non-adjudicatory meetings of the Council are open to the public. The minutes of these meetings are recorded and posted with the College.
As revised, amended and approved by the Faculty at its regular meetings, October 6, October 27, 1989, May 6, 1994 and May 8, 2000
Unofficial Copy Provided for Informational Purposes Only.
To obtain an official copy of the Honor Code, contact the Honor Council.
As stated in Section 12.01 of the Rules of the College of Law, a student enrolled in the College is governed by the Honor System and Honor Code. The Honor Code, governing academic misconduct, presumes that "good moral character" is a prerequisite for admission to the bar and practice of law; individual personal integrity is essential in all aspects of a law student's life, whether law school related or not.
The College of Law has designated six areas of law student academic misconduct that are within its power to control and in which personal integrity is imperative. These areas are:
These areas are addressed in more detail in this Honor Code.
Under this Honor Code, the Honor Council shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the procedures leading to the recommendation of sanctions for academic misconduct. The recommended sanctions, approved by the Faculty, are, however, subject to appeal to the University Judicial Council.
Non-academic misconduct, to be distinguished from academic misconduct, is subject to inquiry and to disciplinary sanctions under separate rules promulgated by the University.
The scheduling of examinations is set out in Section 7 of the Rules of the College of Law, and the procedures to be followed in the taking of examinations are outlined by the College administration. In general, the College of Law does not supervise the conduct of law students while taking examinations. Customarily, examinations are released to the members of a class at the same time and at a centralized location. Thereafter, each law student is free to select, from the authorized rooms in the law school, the place in which to write the examination. Under the Honor System, examinations must be the product of the student's own efforts and the student must follow the rules prescribed by the instructor, such as time limitations.
The Honor System requires that no student shall cheat with respect to an examination. "Cheating" is defined as knowingly using, receiving or giving information, or taking any other unauthorized advantage when writing an examination. The following examples of cheating shall serve as a general guide, but shall not be construed as exclusive:
In addition to the above, it is a violation of the Honor System to disrupt an examination or disturb others taking an examination.
Any instances of the above-described conduct, or other unacceptable conduct involving the taking of examinations, shall be subject to investigation and possible sanctions.
A student is required to prepare a number of writing assignments during the student's law school career. Each assignment must be the product of the student's own efforts. Any student who prepares an assignment in violation of this provision may be subject to sanctions in accordance with this Honor Code.
Conduct subject to investigation and possible sanctions includes, but is not restricted to, that in which the student knowingly:
It shall be presumed that collaboration, in the sense of discussion and sharing of information by students concerning a common assignment, has been approved by the instructor. However, if the instructor specifically prohibits such collaboration, no such presumption shall be raised, and any subsequent collaborative conduct shall be subject to investigation and possible sanctions.
The provisions of this section apply to assigned library problems and writing work in connection with law school activities.
The law library exists to provide all students with a quiet place to study and with the materials needed to research the law. In order to fulfill these twin purposes, each student must treat other students in the library with courtesy and must handle the library materials with respect.
A student is in violation of the Honor Code when he or she knowingly:
The preceding Honor Code violations are illustrative examples of impermissible conduct, not an exhaustive list of all library violations. The library staff also promulgates rules which the student is expected to follow.
A student is expected to set forth truthful information in all documents relating to the College of Law. Possible violations of the Honor Code relating to documents include, but are not limited to:
Knowing disruption which prevents the orderly conduct of classes, examinations, or meetings is academic misconduct and a violation of the Honor Code.
With respect to any work that is to be graded on an anonymous basis, it shall be an Honor Code violation to purposefully act in a manner that is reasonably calculated to identify oneself to the person grading the work so that the anonymous grading system is compromised.
The Honor System places a duty on each member of the College of Law community, whether a student, faculty, librarian or staff, who has personal knowledge of a violation of the Honor Code, to report such violation to the Honor Council. It shall be a violation of the Honor Code for a student having personal knowledge of an Honor Code violation to fail to report the violation in conformity with § 6.01 and § 6.02 of the Code.
The Honor Council shall be composed of twenty-two (22) members as follows: seventeen (17) students and five members of the full-time faculty. The five faculty members shall be selected each year by the Dean after consultation with the Committee on Committees. The seventeen student members shall be the President of the Student Bar Association ("SBA"), the Chairperson of the Student Legal Education Committee ("SLEC"), and five (5) students from each class selected as follows:
Students who wish to apply shall submit a nomination bearing their own signature and the signatures of at least ten (10) members of their own class. Applicants shall also explain why they wish to serve on the Honor Council by submitting a statement not to exceed one page in length. From the applications submitted, the SBA President and the SLEC Chairperson shall select five (5) applicants from the class of first-year students and a number of second- and third-year student applicants sufficient to fill existing vacancies. Students serving as Honor Council members at the time of adoption of this Honor Code shall continue as members of the Honor Council. The SBA President and the SLEC Chairperson shall submit the names and applications of the persons so selected to the Dean for approval. Upon approval by the Dean, the persons so selected shall, together with the previously selected members, the SBA President, and the SLEC Chairperson, compose the student membership of the Honor Council.
In the event the Dean fails to approve the appointment of any person selected by the SBA President and the SLEC Chairperson, the SBA President and the SLEC Chairperson shall, in their sole discretion, either submit the name and application of another person or persons from the original pool of applicants or repeat the procedure outlined above to procure additional applicants. The SBA President and the SLEC Chairperson shall continue to submit names to the Dean until he has filled the existing vacancies on the Honor Council. Student members of the Honor Council shall serve until their graduation, unless removed prior to that time as provided in Section 5.00 of this Honor Code.
The Honor Council is charged with administering the Honor System, informing all students of the Honor System, and evaluating suggestions for changes in the Honor System. The Honor Council shall investigate and, where necessary, adjudicate all suspected violations of the Honor System brought to its attention in conformity with § 6.01 and § 6.02 of the Code. Such investigation and adjudication shall conform to procedures described in Sections 6.00 -- 10.00.
Honor Council members shall be subject to dismissal from Honor Council for unethical conduct or neglect of duties. Any Honor Council member found guilty of violation of the Code shall be permanently dismissed from the Honor Council. Unethical conduct other than a violation of the Honor Code shall be brought to the attention of the Chairperson, who, after any necessary investigation, shall call a closed meeting of Council for the purpose of evaluating the charges. The accused member shall have the same rights afforded to an accused under § 7.05 of the Code. The accused member shall be permanently dismissed from Council if a majority of Council, excluding the accused member, votes to dismiss him. The procedure specified in this section shall also be followed for a member accused of neglect of Honor Council duties.
All meetings of the Honor Council shall be open to the public with the exception of preliminary hearings under Section 7.00 and those formal hearings under Section 8.00 which the hearing panel votes to be closed at the request of the accused.
All non-adjudicatory meetings of the Honor Council shall be publicly announced. The minutes of such meetings shall be recorded and posted within the college.
The confidentiality of all adjudicatory proceedings before the Honor Council shall be maintained at all times by its members. Pending cases shall not be discussed by any Honor Council member with any person other than the complainant, the accused, witnesses or other Honor Council members. A case shall be considered "pending" from the time at which a suspected violation is reported until it is finally adjudicated whether by a preliminary hearing under Section 7.00 or by a formal hearing and final determination of sanction(s) under Sections 8.00 and 9.00 or until all rights of appeal to the University Judicial Council have been exhausted. Violation of this provision is an Honor Code violation and shall result in permanent dismissal from the Honor Council.
The Chairperson of the Honor Council shall maintain a file containing copies of the current Honor Code and Honor System and the Rules of the College of Law, all preliminary and final adjudication reports, correspondence, and other material deemed appropriate by the Chairperson. All adjudication reports and all private correspondence within this file shall be kept confidential at all times and may not be disclosed to any person other than a member of the Honor Council, a member of the faculty reviewing the recommended sanction(s) pursuant to Section 9.02, and the person or persons who are the subject of the particular adjudication or correspondence. This file shall be kept by the College of Law Administration under restricted access.
Upon entering the College of Law, each new student shall receive a copy of the Honor Code and Honor System, the Rules of the College of Law and the library regulations. In addition, a brief oral explanation of the Honor Code and Honor System shall be provided.
If the Dean determines that the Chairperson should be excused because of illness, pending accusation or other reason, the Associate Chairperson shall act as Chairperson. The Chairperson shall not resume his duties until the Dean consents. The Chairperson may not be dismissed as Chairperson or as an Honor Council member except in accordance with 5.00 of this Code.
All suspected violations of the Honor Code shall be reported promptly to any Honor Council member.
The person reporting an Honor Code violation, defined as the complaining witness, shall be instructed by the Honor Council member receiving the complaint to prepare and return to the member promptly a written statement setting forth the name of the accused, the date and approximate times of the violation, and a complete description of the violation alleged. The statement must be signed and dated by the complaining witness. Upon its receipt, the Honor Council member shall deliver the written statement to the Chairperson of the Honor Council.
After receiving the complaining witness' statement, the Chairperson shall notify the accused within five days that an Honor Code violation has been reported against him or her. Notice to the accused must be in writing, accompanied by a copy of the complaining witness' statement, the Honor Code and Rules of Procedure. The Chairperson shall also notify the accused of a right to choose as counsel any College of Law student who is not a member of the Honor Council. Notice shall be effected by placing a sealed letter in the accused's law school mailbox if the student is currently enrolled and by mailing a notice to the address listed with the registrar for notification of grades.
If a time limitation provided in the Code is not met, the complaint or charges against the accused shall not be dismissed on account of time except in cases of bad faith or undue delay by members of Council.
After notifying the accused pursuant to Section 6.03, the Chairperson shall promptly appoint an investigating team composed of two student members and one faculty member of the Honor Council.
The Chairperson shall also appoint a preliminary hearing committee composed of two student members and one faculty member of the Honor Council.
The investigating process shall be completed as soon as practicable, but no later than ten days following the first day of classes for the next academic term.
If, through the investigation process, the investigating team unanimously determines that there is not probable cause to believe that the accused committed the violation alleged, or finds that the accusation does not constitute a violation, the investigating team shall report its finding to the Chairperson and shall ask the Chairperson to dismiss the complaint. If the Chairperson, upon reviewing the information compiled by the investigating team, agrees that the complaint should be dismissed, he shall request permission from the Dean to dismiss the complaint. If the Dean grants permission, the Chairperson shall inform the accused, the investigating team, and the complaining witness that the complaint has been dismissed. If either the Chairperson or the Dean determines that the complaint should not be dismissed, the accused shall be charged with an Honor Code violation, and the case shall proceed to a preliminary hearing in accordance with � 7.06.
The accused has the right to attend and present evidence at the preliminary hearing. He may, at his election, be accompanied by student counsel. He may select any U.C. law student not on the Honor Council as his counsel. During the investigation period, the investigating team and the accused may examine any person having knowledge of the alleged violation and may examine any document or thing relevant to the alleged violation.
Upon the evidence presented by the investigating team and the accused, the preliminary hearing committee shall either:
Upon receiving a preliminary hearing committee's written report of its finding of probable cause, the Chairperson of the Honor Council shall appoint a judicial panel comprised of three student and two faculty Honor Council members who have not participated in any preliminary proceedings involving the Honor Code violation to be adjudicated. One of the faculty members so appointed shall serve as Chairperson of the judicial panel.
The Chairperson of the judicial panel shall notify the accused in writing of the date, time and place of the judicial panel hearing at least ten days prior to the hearing.
The investigating team and the accused shall make available for examination by one another all information and evidence pertaining to the alleged violation, including the names of witnesses who will testify at the hearing and copies of written statements made by the accused or by any witness who will testify at the hearing. Information and evidence gathered prior to the preliminary hearing shall be disclosed as soon as practicable after the submission of the probable cause findings to the Honor Council Chairperson and, in any event, at least seven (7) days prior to the full hearing. Information and evidence gathered after the preliminary hearing shall be disclosed as soon as practicable and, in any event, at least forty-eight hours prior to the full hearing.
In the event either the investigating team or the accused gathers or otherwise receives information or evidence within forty-eight hours of the scheduled hearing, the opposing party shall immediately be notified. The opposing party shall have the right to examine this newly gathered evidence and to request a postponement of the hearing. Upon the request of either party, the Chairperson of the judicial panel may reschedule the hearing if justice so requires. Failure of the accused or of any member of the investigating team to exchange information in accordance with this Section 8.03 is a violation of the Honor Code.
The hearing before the judicial panel shall be open unless the judicial panel, by majority vote, closes the hearing to the public upon the request of the accused.
The proceedings shall be electronically recorded, but failure of the equipment shall not invalidate the hearing.
If the accused is unable to appear at the hearing, the accused shall so notify any member of the judicial panel before the hearing and explain the reason for the absence. If the accused fails to appear at the hearing without reasonable excuse, the judicial panel may proceed to hear the evidence, decide the matter, and recommend a sanction(s). If the judicial panel so proceeds, the accused may, within three class days of the hearing, petition the judicial panel for a rehearing in his or her presence on the grounds that the accused was unable to notify any member of the judicial panel of the inability to attend the hearing. Upon the receipt of such a petition, the judicial panel shall hold a rehearing if justice so requires.
The accused shall have the right at all times during the hearing to be assisted by a student in the College of Law, to confront and cross-examine all adverse witnesses and to present evidence and witnesses in the accused's favor.
The accused may decide whether or not to testify and whether to waive any statutory privilege.
The judicial panel shall not be bound by statutory or common law rules of evidence except statutory privileges. The accused and his or her counsel will enjoy an attorney-client privilege. The Chairperson shall admit all relevant and useful evidence of the sort that responsible persons rely upon in making decisions of a serious nature. Moreover, all questions of procedure or evidence shall be decided by the Chairperson, who may allow argument by the parties.
Any member of the judicial panel shall be disqualified from sitting on the panel if, in the member's opinion, he or she would be unable to make an impartial decision. The accused may challenge any judicial panel member before the hearing begins on the ground of bias or prejudice. The challenged judicial panel member may be excluded by majority vote of the other judicial panel members, not including the challenged member. If a judicial panel member is excused from service, the Chairperson of the Honor Council shall appoint a new panel member from among other Honor Council members who have not participated in any preliminary proceedings involving the violation of the Honor Code to be adjudicated.
After the parties have made final statements, the judicial panel shall deliberate in closed session and after due deliberation shall vote on the guilt or innocence of the accused by secret ballot. A majority vote by the judicial panel that the evidence admitted at the hearing proves by clear and convincing evidence that the accused violated the Honor Code as charged shall constitute a finding of guilty.
If the panel after due deliberation decides that the accused did not violate the Honor Code as charged, the proceedings are terminated. The panel shall write a brief statement of its decision, findings and reasons for decision and deliver the statement to the Chairperson of the Honor Council who shall file the statement in the Honor Code records described in Section 5.00
If the panel after deliberation decides that the accused violated the Honor Code as alleged, the panel shall write a statement of its decision, findings and reasons for decision and shall set forth in writing a finding of the guilt of the accused and shall also set forth in its statement its recommendation for a sanction or sanctions set forth in Section 9.01 and its reasons for its recommended sanction(s). The panel shall submit its statement and recommended sanction(s) to the Dean of the College of Law who shall present the statement to the faculty for its consideration at its next regularly scheduled meeting or special meeting if the Dean believes a special meeting to be appropriate.
The judicial panel, upon a finding of guilt of the accused, may recommend to the tenure-track faculty that any or all of the following sanctions be imposed:
In reviewing the sanction(s) recommended by the judicial panel, the tenure-track faculty need not attribute to that recommended sanction(s) a presumption of correctness; however, the tenure-track faculty shall accept the decision of guilty unless the faculty determines that the decision of guilty, as based upon the statement of facts prepared by the judicial panel, is clearly erroneous. Those tenure-track faculty members who sat on the judicial panel that heard a case are disqualified from acting under this section, but tenure-track faculty members involved at other steps of the proceeding are not so disqualified.
After the tenure-track faculty has determined a sanction(s), the Dean, in writing shall:
In any Honor Council proceeding in which there is a finding of guilt, a faculty member in whose course the alleged violation occurred may award any grade which the faculty member deems justified. In any Honor Council proceeding in which there is a finding of not guilty, the student's grade may not be changed.
The Honor Council shall publish the results of its proceedings as follows: