Institutes – ACCA wins IIPA case

ACCA has won its battle to stop the Irish Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants (IIPA) plagiarising its syllabus, writes Jonah Bloom.

The long-running war between the two bodies was settled this week by a high court in Dublin. The court awarded ACCA a perpetual injunction to stop the IIPA using the ACCA syllabus.

The IIPA is also required to relinquish all copies of documents in its possession which infringe ACCA’s copyright, and to swear an affidavit it has done so. Other aspects of the settlement have not been revealed.

ACCA chief executive Anthea Rose, said: ‘This is an important victory.

The syllabus is at the heart of our function as a professional accountancy body. A great deal of research and money goes into preparing the syllabus, and we have to protect its value for our students and our 60,000 members.’ She added there was no doubt the IIPA had plagiarised ACCA’s syllabus, as huge chunks of it had been copied ‘word for word’.

The court’s decision places a question mark over the future of the IIPA. It was recently granted recognition by the Irish government as a body for registering auditors, but there is a suggestion the IIPA gained this status under false pretences. As an ACCA spokesman put it: ‘The IIPA had wrongly used the ACCA syllabus to give itself credibility and status.’

Consequently, the Irish government’s decision is under judicial review by the senior accountancy bodies in the Irish profession, including ACCA.

David Leonard, ACCA international president, who practises in Dublin, said: ‘We have protected the integrity of the syllabus and prevented further plagiarism. It reinforces the message that ACCA will not hesitate to take legal action to protect the standing of its syllabus.’

ACCA is believed to be preparing to take similar action against the Institute of Financial Accountants.

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