‘All his own work’

To preserve their credibility, real academics must call out plagiarism.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej DankoSpeaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (Source: SITA)

When the Academic Senate of Matej Bel University reported the findings of its ad hoc commission into whether Andrej Danko did or did not plagiarise his thesis, it admitted that most of the text that earned him his fancy ‘JUDr’ title – in fact, pretty much everything in that document, except for pro forma parts like the table of contents – had been copied from other authors without proper attribution. Yet their evaluation refrained from using the word ‘plagiarist’. They cited the feeble argument that there is no legal definition for that word.

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One hardly needed to be a political analyst to predict that that was all Danko would need. ‘I’m no plagiarist – you see the university confirmed it! – thank you very much,’ is the essence of what he told journalists during his brief, Fico-style press conference on January 11.

The more cynical observers of the Slovak political scene maintain that Danko has no reason to step down over a thesis.

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