Incongruences of ethical and legal norms in academia: the case on revocation of doctoral degrees

Loreta Tauginiene, Vaidas Jurkevičius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In the academic setting as in any organization legal norms prevail and are assumed to be congruent with ethical norms. Nevertheless, there are cases when the ratio of ethical and legal norms is inadequate and disproportional, especially those dealing with socially responsible decisions in academia. For this reason, the aim here is to analyse incongruences of ethical and legal norms related to the revocation of doctoral degrees in Lithuania, illustrated with examples of deviant behaviour by academic degree holders in terms of decisions of the courts and the ombudsman for academic ethics. Lithuania, being a Member State of the European Union, is currently facing the challenge of implementing newly-adopted laws related to the revocation of doctoral degrees. Accordingly, data were collected from available online official sources to gain more comprehensive evidence, and then analysed using the inductive approach of qualitative content analysis. Research findings show that there is still a thin line between ethical and legal norms, and this line fluctuates depending on nuanced considerations. This is to say that it is still problematical to dress ethical principles in legal clothing.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Academic Ethics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)73-91
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 03.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Academia
  • Doctoral degree
  • 513 Law
  • Legal norms
  • Revocation
  • 611 Philosophy
  • Ethical norms


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