Legal rights of accused scientists

What is this about?

When scientists are accused of misconduct, then their legal rights may be encroached upon.

Why is this important?

It is important that the principles of proportionality and due process are respected in investigations of misconduct. Otherwise this may lead to erroneous judgments of integrity commissions, or unfair punishments. Moreover, scientists, as citizens, have legal rights, and if these are not respected in self-regulatory investigations, then cases of alleged misconduct will increasingly be handled by the courts.

For whom is this important?

Students, PhD Students, Scientists, Principal investigators, Researchers, Research institutions, Supervisors, Universities, Funders, Journal publishers

What are the best practices?

The European Code of Conduct states that fairness and integrity are most important for procedures for investigating misconduct, principles to be followed are also stated (1).


1. European Science Foundation, All European Academies. The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. 2017.

Hugh Desmond contributed to this theme.

Latest contribution was June 1, 2019