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September 6, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Former Student Takes Victoria University to Court

Former Victoria University interior design student Brittany Bell appeared in Wellington’s High Court last week to challenge the plagiarism findings made against her by the university in 2008.

Bell was barred from graduating after the university found her guilty of presenting other architects’ work as her own. Bell has already appealed the decision to a university disciplinary appeal committee, who upheld the ruling.

As reported by NZPA, Bell’s lawyer Les Taylor has argued that Bell’s work did adequately attribute its source and that she could not have done anything more to identify the images.

“It would be a curious form of plagiarism that directed the examiner to the very work being copied. If there was any intention to deceive … Ms Bell went about it in an extremely unusual way.”

He says that the university committee did not understand Bell’s methods of referencing.

The university’s lawyer Bruce Corkill QC says that Bell should have known that she needed to clearly reference her sources, as these requirements were made “crystal clear” to students. He says that the referencing was too vague and indirect for a final project.

The images Bell used came from the design website Suckerpunchdaily and included the work of an award-winning Spanish architect.

Taylor has requested that the court decide whether Bell is guilty of plagiarism, rather than sending the decision back to the university.

On Tuesday, Justice Dennis Clifford said that he would consider recommending that any university decision be made by a panel comprised of different members, if he were to suggest that as an outcome.

Justice Clifford has reserved his decision. The decision had not been released when Salient went to print.

VUWSA President Max Hardy encourages students who feel they have been treated unfairly by the university to approach VUWSA, who can advocate on their behalf.

Bell, who has left university, now works at Wellington’s Weta Workshop.


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Comments (4)

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  1. Dr says:

    She’s hot!

  2. smackdown says:

    stay in school kids you dont want to have to get a job working with wetas :P

  3. Electrum Stardust says:

    “Lady Arwen, we cannot delay.”

  4. green corridor says:

    Dr. How hot?

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