University of London secrecy over Tsai Ing-wen’s thesis goes to court

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Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China in-exile, and her controversial 1984 PhD thesis. (credits: Voice of America/Hwan Lin)

In an effort to bring readers news they cannot get anywhere else, I have submitted a Notice of Appeal against the Information Commissioner of the United Kingdom for upholding the University of London’s secrecy about Tsai Ing-wen’s controversial 1984 PhD thesis. Tsai filed the thesis entitled “Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions” with the London School of Economics in 2019, thirty-five years late, setting off a firestorm of suspicion about academic fraud. Tsai is President of the Republic of China in-exile.

The appeal was submitted to the General Regulatory Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal, known as the Information Review Tribunal. The Freedom of Information Act case against the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, was brought in response to her June 11, 2020 decision upholding the University of London’s refusal to name the thesis examiners that approved Tsai’s thesis. The appeal asks the court to compel the Information Commissioner to require the University of London to provide the examiner names and the date they approved the thesis. The court has also been asked to order the disclosure of the thesis examiner’s viva report and to require both the University of London and the London School of Economics to submit plans of correction for violation of the Freedom of Information Act.

The language of the Notice of Appeal tells the story. Commissioner Denham is the Respondent. Denham undertook a “Balancing test” to weigh the facts of the case in order to reach her decision.

“Respondent did not consider that President Tsai Ing-wen released her student record sheet and that the student record constitutes related information in the public domain thus raising public interest in disclosure.”

“President Tsai Ing-wen has waived her right to privacy and has no reasonable expectation of privacy of her student record. Further, her selective disclosure hinders the whole picture of what had happened providing an unbalanced view of events.”

“President Tsai Ing-wen’s student record exhibits inconsistencies that undermine confidence in the integrity of the thesis and raises the question whether her PhD degree was properly awarded.”

“President Tsai Ing-wen’s student record states: “10/11/82 WD from course—financial difficulties.”

“President Tsai Ing-wen’s student record does not list her as a student with fees paid for the 1982-1983 school year or name an adviser for that school year.”

“President Tsai Ing-wen’s student record does not list her as a student with fees paid for the 1983-1984 school year or name an adviser for that school year.”

“President Tsai Ing-wen’s Date of Entry of application to submit a thesis for examination was “June 83” after she purportedly withdrew from the course and when she is not listed as a student with fees paid.”

“Respondent did not consider her own Guidance for Suspicion of misrepresentation or wrongdoing which states: “ In some circumstances, related information in the public domain may actually increase the public interest in disclosure – eg if there is independent reason to believe that existing information provides an unbalanced view of events. This may be true even if the new information wouldn’t actually reveal anything further, as it could still allay the suspicions of spin or wrongdoing.”

“Respondent failed to consider Tsai Ing-wen’s academic career in applying the Balancing test by offering the following rationale: “It is not a requirement for the role of President of the Republic of China to have a PhD. If it were, and President Tsai’s PhD was not legitimate, that might be a concern.”

“That Tsai submitted her personal copy of the PhD thesis to the LSE Library and placed her LSE student record, diploma and other documents in the public domain for the purpose of ending the speculation of and proving her PhD while she was campaigning for her reelection.”

“That before entering politics Tsai Ing-wen used her PhD to obtain a teaching position at Soochow University. If the PhD was not legitimate, Tsai would have violated ROC criminal fraud laws. Whether or not a statute of limitations would preclude prosecution does not diminish President Tsai’s culpability for academic fraud in the event the thesis was not legitimate and her University degree was improperly awarded.”

“That Tsai Ing-wen also used her PhD to obtain a teaching position at National Chengchi University.”

“That Tsai Ing-wen used her PhD for commercial purposes, founding and operating TaiMed Biologics.”

“That use of Tsai Ing-wen’s PhD, if not legitimately earned, would be a concern to TaiMed Biologics investors.”

“That in applying the Balancing test Respondent repeats speculation about the absence of the thesis: “It is unfortunate that the copy of President Tsai’s thesis that the University library held was lost or misplaced between the mid-1980s and 2010, during various restructuring changes to the library. This may or may not have been why that version was not published in the period after 1984. However, in response to a request for it from the LSE, President Tsai provided LSE with a copy of the thesis that she held.”

“That in applying the Balancing test Respondent stated, “[T]he University has explained that recipients of PhD degrees in almost all cases have their thesis listed in the publicly searchable University library and therefore the confirmation of a qualification can be determined via this route.”

“That in applying the Balancing test Respondent has relied on an IALS Index concerning the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies as evidence that the thesis had been completed and assessed.”

“That the IALS Index, relied upon by Respondent, is not an Institute for Advanced Legal Studies publication and not an official IALS record.”

“That the academic protocol for a PhD thesis was for the thesis to be filed with three libraries, the LSE library where President Tsai studied, the Senate House library at the University which issued the degree, and IALS library which is the national law library.”

“That the LSE library never received the thesis until 2019.”

“That the fact the LSE library never had a copy of the thesis explains why the thesis was never published in digital form, and not publicly accessible, as were the other theses of President Tsai’s class.”

“That the Senate House library never received the thesis.”

“That the fact the Senate House library never had the thesis explains why no microfilm version is existent or publicly accessible.”

“That the failed attempt by an unidentified person to submit President Tsai Ing-wen’s thesis to Senate House library in 2011 undermines public confidence that the thesis was properly assessed and raises the question of academic fraud.”

“That the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies never received the thesis.”

“That the unsigned copy of the thesis submitted by President Tsai to the LSE library in 2019 appears to be a draft document, with pagination problems, footnote issues, and handwritten entries.”

“Respondent has ignored the precedent that LSE has previously released the identity of thesis examiners stating as follows: “That a different public authority in a different set of circumstances released examiners names in the past is not relevant here.”

“That a privacy exemption for the examiners was not raised by President Tsai, nor LSE, nor the University, nor the examiners, thus waiving the issue in this case.”

“That LSE has disclosed to Appellant the purported date of the thesis viva, 16 October 1983.”

“That the University refuses to disclose the date/s of the thesis approval although such disclosure would cause no more distress to the examiners than disclosure of the viva date. Further, the disclosure of the date/s can in no way be considered personal data of the examiners.”

“That LSE and the University refuse to disclose the examiners’ identity and the date/s they purportedly approved the thesis calls into question the legitimacy of President Tsai’s degree.”

“Respondent misapplied the Balancing test overruling the critical need for strict transparency. President Tsai’s teachers are known, as is her adviser. The two individuals who purportedly approved the thesis must, of necessity, be identified to protect the integrity of the University of London degree.”

“That lack of publication of the thesis, the absence of the thesis from the LSE library, the absence of the thesis from the Senate House library, the absence of the thesis from the IALS library, and the draft appearance of the 2019 thesis, in combination with LSE’s willful violation of FOIA, requires a heightened level of public review.”

“That because the London School of Economics could not issue its own degrees, the University issued PhD degrees to LSE students which requires strict transparency of process.”

“That to protect the transparency of the University degree process and the integrity of the PhD degree, the qualification of legitimacy must, of necessity, outweigh any distress the examiners or President Tsai may suffer from the disclosure of the requested information.”

“That the examiners are the gatekeepers of the University degree which mandates their exclusion from any personal data exemption as they are in fact the qualification certification and absolutely essential to the integrity of the University degree overriding any individual privacy concern.”

Tribunal rules provide that the Information Commissioner will have 28 days to respond.

Author: richardsonreports

Author of FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two Story.

17 thoughts on “University of London secrecy over Tsai Ing-wen’s thesis goes to court”

    1. LSE, get it over with! Or else a class action suit by us viewers who are parents who have been distressed by a horrendous massive scandal caused by a liar- president and LSA – an international institution coordinating with Lying-wen Tsai. Game over!

      Like

  1. The fact that you used the term “Republic of China in-exile” shows your intention of writing this great appeal.

    Furthermore, I doubt the possibility of you receiving the response from Information Commissioner due to Wu han pneumonia (I have to type it separately apparently it is considered as an offensive term in this web). Good luck.

    Like

    1. Annita:
      You too shows your intention by writing your great reply.
      My intention here is to reveal as below.
      You don’t care all the Tsai’s intentions to cover her fake thesis scandal. #

      Like

  2. On Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 10:03 AM Richardson Reports wrote:

    > richardsonreports posted: ” In an effort to bring readers news they cannot > get anywhere else, I have submitted a Notice of Appeal against the > Information Commissioner of the United Kingdom for upholding the University > of London’s secrecy about Tsai Ing-wen’s controversial 1984 PhD” >

    Like

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