Rules & Procedures



THE BALKAN LAWYER considers any form of fraud and plagiarism or copyrights infringement to be an offense. We expect every lawyer aspiring to publish their work on our website to be familiar with and to observe the norms and values that ensure academic integrity. The most serious forms of deception that can impair this integrity are fraud and plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of fraud and is defined as the wrongful appropriation of another author’s work without proper citation. The text below provides further elaboration on what may be considered fraud or plagiarism, along with several concrete examples. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list!

If we discover a case of fraud or plagiarism, then the Editorial Board will report it to the Examination Committee who may implement sanctions on the offender. The most serious sanction that the Examination Committee may implement is based on the Publishing Law and Copyright Laws and rules applicable.

Fraud & Plagiarism Policy

All academic work‚ written or otherwise‚ submitted by lawyers is expected to be the result of their own thought‚ research‚ or self–expression. In cases where lawyers feel unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work‚ they are obliged to consult the Editorial Board on the matter before submission.

When lawyers submit work purporting to be their own‚ but which in any way borrows ideas‚ organization‚ wording or anything else from another source without appropriate acknowledgment of the fact‚ they are guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism includes reproducing someone else’s work‚ whether it be published article‚ chapter of a book‚ a paper from a friend or some file‚ or whatever. Plagiarism also includes the practice of employing or allowing another person to alter or revise the work which a lawyer submits as his/her own‚ whoever that other person may be.

When a publication involves research in outside sources or information‚ the lawyer must carefully acknowledge exactly what‚ where and how he/she has employed them. If the words of someone else are used‚ he/she must put quotation marks around the passage in question and add an appropriate indication of its origin. Making simple changes while leaving the organization‚ content and phraseology intact is plagiaristic. However, nothing in these Rules shall apply to those ideas which are so generally and freely circulated as to be a part of the public domain.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of another author’s works, thoughts, or ideas and the representation of such as one’s own work. The following are some examples of what may be considered plagiarism:

  • Copying and pasting text from digital sources, such as encyclopaedias or digital periodicals, without using quotation marks and referring to the source;
  • Copying and pasting text from the Internet without using quotation marks and referring to the source;
  • Copying information from printed materials, such as books, periodicals or encyclopaedias, without using quotation marks and referring to the source;
  • Using a translation of the texts listed above in one’s own work, without using quotation marks and referring to the source;
  • Paraphrasing from the texts listed above without a (clear) reference: paraphrasing must be marked as such (by explicitly linking the text with the original author, either in text or a footnote), ensuring that the impression is not created that the ideas expressed are those of the student;
  • Using another person’s imagery, video, audio or test materials without reference and in so doing representing them as one’s own work;
  • Resubmission of his/her own earlier work without source references, and allowing this to pass for work originally produced for the case;
  • Using other lawyers’ work and representing it as one’s own work. If this occurs with the other lawyer’s permission, then he or she may be considered an accomplice to the plagiarism;
  • When one author of a joint paper commits plagiarism, then all authors involved in that work are accomplices to the plagiarism if they could have known or should have known that the other was committing plagiarism;
  • Submitting papers provided by a commercial institution, such as an internet site with summaries or papers, or which have been written by others, regardless of whether the text was provided in exchange for payment.

Copyright Policy

Fundamentally, copyright is a law that gives you ownership over the things you create. Be it a painting, a photograph, a poem or a novel, if you created it, you own it and it’s the copyright law itself that assures that ownership. The ownership that copyright law grants comes with several rights that you, as the owner, have exclusively. Those rights include:

  • The right to reproduce the work
  • to prepare derivative works
  • to distribute copies
  • to perform the work
  • and to display the work publicly

As a lawyer you must consider copyright issues on a regular basis. You might use copyright-protected works in a research project, for example. And when you publish your own work (e.g. a publication on the website), you are an author yourself.

What does copyright protect?

The types of work protected by copyright include: books, reports, manuals, text.

Who owns copyright?

The first owner of copyright will normally be the author. In most cases, the author is the person who created the work: the composer of the text. There are certain exceptions to this, but the employer is normally the first owner of copyright in any work which is made during an author’s employment under a contract of service (that is, as an employee rather than a freelance).

For commissioned work however, the copyright usually lies with person who has been commissioned (rather than the commissioner), unless there is an agreement in place to the contrary. It’s therefore important when commissioning work to put an agreement in place first covering the intellectual property.

How to protect your copyright works

Copyright protection is different to other forms of intellectual property. It is an automatic right and does not need to be registered. Therefore, there are no forms to complete and no fees to pay. Once a work is created the copyright is automatic. It is good practice to mark your work with the copyright symbol, your name and the date it was created – e.g. © [your name] 2015.

You would then need to create a record of your work to prove the date of creation and ownership. This can be done by depositing a dated copy with a bank or solicitor. It’s also a good idea to keep a (dated) physical record of the creation and progress of your work; for example, any drafts. This helps prove that the work is your own creation.

You can also send a copy to yourself by registered post; leaving the envelope unopened as it is the date stamp on the unopened letter that creates the record (you will need to have a way of knowing what the envelope contains). It is up to you to make sure that your copyright is not breached. Policing your copyright will stop others from copying, adapting, and publishing, renting, performing, or broadcasting your work. If you choose to licence your work, you need to make sure there is a contract which clearly states the conditions of use. A good contract in the beginning will minimise the chances of legal problems in the future.

Copyright Exceptions 

There are some exceptions to copyright law, allowing copies to lawfully be made for certain purposes, these include:

Limited copying of books, journals, made by an individual for their own private study or non-commercial research purposes, may fall under the fair dealing exception

  • Fair dealing for criticism, review and reporting current events
  • Making a copy for a disabled person if no accessible version is commercially available
  • Text and data mining for non-commercial research
  • Teaching and mentoring
  • Vocational training