On Campus

German minister alleged to have plagiarised PhD thesis

Law prof claims similarities between dissertation and several news articles

Germany defence minister, the popular Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, is being accused of plagiarizing parts of his doctoral dissertation. University of Bayreuth, where he earned his degree after completing his thesis in 2006, is investigating the claims made by Bremen University law professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano. Fischer-Lescano alleges that the defence minister lifted passages from several newspaper articles and failed to use proper notation. “The duplication appears throughout the work and in all its substantive parts,” he told the Guardian. Zu Guttenberg denies the accusation. “I did the work in good faith with my own knowledge,” he said. Elsewhere he has called the charge “absurd.” A Swiss newspaper has created a website comparing the thesis to the articles the minister allegedly copied.

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