Case 668


April 27, 2012


University of Toronto v. P.H.

Hearing Date(s):

March 27, 2012

Panel Members:

Mr. Paul Schabas, Chair
Prof. Nick Cheng, Faculty Member
Ms. Amy Gullage, Student Member


Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Ms. Julia Wilkes, Articling Student, Paliare Roland Barristers
Ms. Sierra Robart, DLS
Ms. Camille Labchuk, DLS
Dr. Matthew MacKay, Course Instructor
Mr. Sinisa Colic, Course TA
Mr. P.H., the Student
Mr. Ali Afshar, Student at the University of Toronto
Mr. Armin Ayattolahi, Student at the University of Toronto

In Attendance:

Prof. John Carter, Dean's Designate
Mr. Chris Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Student charged under s. B.i.1(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student copied answers from another student during a midterm test. The Student sat next to the other student whom he allegedly copied his answers from. The invigilator testified that he saw the Student’s mouth moving during the exam and told both students not to speak. He, as well as the course instructor, also testified that the two students were sitting closer to each other than other students in the room. When he was marking the exam, he noted similarities between the two tests and also noted that the Student’s answers were lacking intermediate steps. The Student testified that he arrived with the other student and chose the first two available seats and that he did not speak to the other student during the test. He stated that he thought he listed all appropriate intermediate steps. The other student testified that he did not notice anything unusual during the test and that he had not started working on the test question under question when the invigilator warned both of them not to speak. Two of the Student’s classmates who took the test in the same room also testified that they did not notice anything unusual during the test. The Panel stated that although the University need only prove its case on a balance of probabilities, it had failed to do so in this case. The Panel found that there was no direct evidence that the Student cheated on the test – evidence was only circumstantial as no one saw the Student copying answers. The Panel also found the test instruction ambiguous as it said to list “appropriate” intermediate steps. Also, the Panel criticized the University for bringing the charges late, two months after the test. Had the charges been brought promptly, the Student would have been easily able to rebut the charges with the scrap papers he used during the test. Taking all factors into account, the Panel dismissed the charges.