You are on page 1of 2

In the Matter of the Charges of Plagiarism, etc. against Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo. A.M. No.

10-7-17-SC October 12, 2010 Facts: An administrative disciplinary case was filed against Supreme Court Justice Mariano C. Del Rosario for plagiarism charges on the Isabelita C. Vinuya, et al. v. Executive Secretary decision. Promulgated on April 28, 2010, the Vinuya Decision was dismissed with 13 Justices of this Court agreeing to the ruling. The counsels for petitioners Vinuya, et al., Attys. Harry Roque and Rommel Bagares, filed a Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration on July 19, 2010 raising the plagiarism allegedly committed by Justice del Castillo for using the works of three foreign legal authors. Three sources from foreign legal authors, an article published in 2009 in the Yale Law Journal of International Law, a book published by the Cambridge University Press in 2005, and an article published in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, were twisted and used without proper attribution and made to look that these sources support the judgements arguments in dismissing their petition when in fact, these sources even make a firm case for the Petitions claims. Justice del Castillo wrote and distributed a letter dated July 22, 2010 to the members of this Court as a reply to this accusation. This letter was referred to the Ethics and Ethical Standards Committee on July 27, 2010 which scheduled it as an administrative matter. Attys. Roque and Bagares were required to comment on this letter. After the parties memoranda, the committee submitted its findings and recommendation to the Court.

Issue: Whether or not Justice del Castillo is guilty of the plagiarism case.

Held: The Court resolved to dismiss the plagiarism charges against Justice del Castillo in a decision dated October 12, 2010. The attributions were accidentally deleted and were present in the original drafts of Justice del Castillo. Malicious intent was viewed as an essential element, as plagiarism is essentially a form of fraud where intent to deceive is inherent. Plagiarism as defined in Blacks Dictionary of Law, the deliberate and knowing presentation of another

persons original ideas or creative expressions as ones own. The Court declared that plagiarism presupposes intent and a deliberate, conscious effort to steal anothers work and pass it off as ones own. Justice del Castillo never intended to claim as the original author of the passages. The Court, thus, declared that only errors [of judges] tainted with fraud, corruption, or malice are subject of disciplinary action and these were not present in Justice del Castillos case; the failure was not attended by any malicious intent not to attribute the lifted passages to the foreign authors.