Are essay mills committing fraud? A further analysis of their behaviours vs the 2006 fraud act (UK)

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Many strategies have been proposed to address the supply of bespoke essays and other assignments by companies often described as 'Essay Mills' with the act of supply and use being invariably described as 'contract cheating'. These proposals increasingly refer to the law as a solution in common with other action. In this article, the lead author revisits work undertaken in 2016 as a result of recent legal and extra-legal developments to assess whether the UK Fraud Act (2006) might now be used to tackle some of the activities of the companies involved, by comparing their common practises, and their Terms and Conditions, with the Act. It was previously found that all sites have disclaimers regarding the use of their products but there were some obvious contradictions in the activities of the sites which undermined those disclaimers, for example plagiarism-free guarantees for the work. In this article, we ask and consider the question whether this is still the case having regard to the impact of a change in the law by the UK supreme court and recent action of the UK Advertising Standards Authority. We also consider whether a call for a new offence to be created which specifically targets the undesirable behaviours of these companies is still justified.




Draper, M. J., & Reid-Hutchings, C. (2019). Are essay mills committing fraud? A further analysis of their behaviours vs the 2006 fraud act (UK). International Journal for Educational Integrity, 15(1).

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