On Plagiarism and Power Relations in Legal Academia and Legal Education


  • Tilen Štajnpihler University of Ljubljana


plagiarism, Pierre Bourdieu, reflexive sociology, academic field, legal ethics, legal education


The article challenges the misconception that legal academia is a harmonious community without internal discrepancies, characterised by common interests, a coherent set of values and standards of behaviour that are unilaterally transposed into the legal profession through the process of legal education. The paper focuses on a case study of a public dispute between two law professors initiated by an article published in one of the main national law magazines wherein one accused the other of plagiarism. Even though the dispute did not come to an unequivocal conclusion, it deserves a closer examination as it clearly exposed two important issues. Firstly, it revealed certain unresolved issues concerning legal writing and legal ethics that are essential elements of the legal profession, as they have a profound impact on legal education and legal practice, and, secondly, it showed that these divergences are at least to some extent related to the latent network of power relations and struggles that dominate the legal (academic) field.

Este artículo cuestiona la creencia de que el mundo jurídico-académico es una comunidad armoniosa sin discrepancias internas, caracterizada por intereses comunes, valores coherentes y parámetros de comportamiento que se transponen de forma unilateral al ejercicio de la profesión jurídica a través de la educación en Derecho. El artículo se centra en el estudio de una disputa entre dos profesores de Derecho, en la cual uno acusaba al otro de plagio. A pesar de que la disputa no se resolvió de forma clara, merece un análisis más cuidadoso, ya que puso de manifiesto dos temas importantes: en primer lugar, algunos conflictos sin resolver sobre la escritura y la ética del derecho que son elementos esenciales de la profesión jurídica, pues tienen un profundo impacto sobre la educación y la práctica del Derecho; y, en segundo lugar, que estos desacuerdos están relacionados con las redes latentes de poder que dominan el campo jurídico-académico.





How to Cite

Štajnpihler, T. (2015) “On Plagiarism and Power Relations in Legal Academia and Legal Education”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 7(8), pp. 1589–1609. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/710 (Accessed: 10 December 2023).