When a university informs a student that they are considering bringing disciplinary proceedings against them, there will obviously be a great deal of anxiety and concern about the implications of the situation. These proceedings can have a significant effect on the student- both in relation to their studies but also their future career.
University disciplinary proceedings often carry with them the possibility of exclusion. Although proceedings can appear to be just an internal investigation, the repercussions can be far-reaching. Therefore, if you are facing such proceedings, it is vital to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
Our lawyers have a successful record in dealing with university disciplinary proceedings, which are essentially run as civil regulatory trials often of criminal allegations. We have found that taking an assertive approach to these cases is very effective. After robust legal submissions, universities can decide to discontinue allegations against our clients. Contact us today by calling 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form.
When do university disciplinary proceedings arise?
There are various situations that can give rise to a disciplinary proceeding, such as:
- Unexplained absences
- Criminal damage, misuse or vandalism of university property
- Aggressive behaviour
- Offensive behaviour
- Issues of poor timekeeping
- Failing to maintain an appropriate level of work
- Exam and coursework plagiarism or cheating as well as other academic misconduct
- Gross misconduct such as theft, assaults, harassment, sexual offences, indecent behaviour, possession of illegal drugs or weapons
Universities are dealing with an increasing level of allegations and situations that can result in these types of proceedings. However, they often have limited experience and the processes and procedures used are generally inadequate, since they can be investigating serious criminal allegations that are usually dealt with by specialists such as the police and judiciary system.
If a complaint is made against that criminal in nature, the university may make a complaint to the police, and you could be arrested. This is why it is so important to make sure you have expert legal advice from lawyers that fully understand the process to ensure the best possible result in the circumstances.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help safeguard your academic future.
What is the process for a university disciplinary proceeding?
The severity of the allegations will affect how the university is likely to deal with the issue. The university will need to provide a written report on the alleged misconduct. This report must demonstrate how the alleged behaviour conflicts with a policy or code of conduct of the university.
The university can ask the student to provide a written statement of events in relation to the allegation. Generally, the student will be asked to a preliminary face-to-face interview to discuss the situation and allow them to give their responses to the allegations. Following this initial meeting, the university will then decide whether the matter can be dealt with more informally or if a full disciplinary hearing is going to be necessary.
This formal route can involve several stages and the university may request further interim hearings as well as written submissions. Finally, there would be a full disciplinary hearing before a selected panel who will determine the outcome of the case. Generally, students will be allowed to be accompanied by someone to support them, such as a friend; however, they cannot make submissions on the student’s behalf and can only attend in a supportive role.
Facing university disciplinary proceedings
These proceedings mustn't be ignored, since this will not make the matter go away and can make the situation worse. By engaging in the process fully, the effects on your studies can be kept to a minimum. It is essential if you are facing such proceedings that you understand your rights and what information you are entitled to.
For you to be able to defend yourself properly, you must be told about the allegations against you, but also provided with the evidence that is being used to support the case. Those facing such proceedings also have the right to a decision maker that is impartial, since this will mean that they can make an unbiased decision.
How can Lewis Nedas Law help?
Our expert team can advise you on the whole process as well as preparing written submissions that can be presented to the university in advance of any hearing. We can also advise on the impact of any criminal investigation where applicable since this can be running concurrently with the university’s proceedings.
Our specialist lawyers can offer support that is tailored to your specific circumstances to defend you against any allegations and will ensure that the university is following all the correct processes, procedures and legislation.
Contact our University Disciplinary Defence Lawyers
If you are facing a university disciplinary case, then you need specialist legal advice to ensure the best outcome for your case. Please contact our expert team of disciplinary defence lawyers via our online enquiry form or telephone us on 020 7387 2032.
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