The Council Appeals Committee is formed to decide appeals in relation to any decision to expel a student (“the Respondent”) from the University. This includes appeals under the Student Disciplinary procedure outlined within Student Regulations 7 and 8 and the Fitness to Study procedure outlined within Appendix 2 of Student Regulations.

Disciplinary cases

1) To determine whether any appeal case referred to it meets the criteria for appeal set out in Student Regulation 8.42:

a) That there was procedural error in the conduct of the investigation of such a nature as to cause doubt as to the determination reached;
b) That new evidence has been made available which the Respondent could not reasonably have provided during the investigatory process;
c) That there was bias during the procedure of such a nature as to cause doubt as to the determination reached;
d) That the sanction imposed was disproportionate.

The Committee must keep a written record of the reasons for all such determinations.

2) To hold hearings to consider the appeal of a Respondent on the basis of the criteria set out in Student Regulation 8.42. Such hearings must not constitute re-hearings, except in the case of 5c, below.

3) At least seven days' notice of an appeal hearing must be provided to the Respondent.

4) In the event that the Respondent does not attend, or declines to attend, the Committee may hear the appeal in the absence of the Respondent.

5) In accordance with Student Regulation 8.51 to determine whether to:

a) Reject the appeal case, upholding the original outcome and sanctions;
b) Uphold the appeal case and amend the outcome and/or sanctions accordingly, or,
c) Request the conduct of additional investigative activities, which may lead to the Committee taking on the role of the Disciplinary Committee in order to re-hear the original allegation, the outcome of which would conclude the University Disciplinary Procedure.

6) Where the Committee agrees with the Respondent under Student Regulation 8.42(d) that the sanction imposed was disproportionate, the Committee may require the University to amend the original sanction. Until such time as the matter is resolved, the original sanction will remain in place, in accordance with the provisions of Student Regulation 8.45.

Fitness to Study cases

7) To determine whether any appeal case referred to it under the Fitness to Study policy meets the following criteria for appeal:

a. That there was procedural error in the conduct of the investigation of such a nature as to cause doubt as to the determination reached; b. That new information has been made available which the student could not reasonably have provided during the Fitness to Study process; c. That there was bias during the procedure of such a nature as to cause doubt as to the determination reached; d. That the action taken was disproportionate.

The Committee must keep a written record of the reasons for all such determinations.

8) To hold hearings to consider the appeal of a student on the basis of the criteria set out in paragraph 8(a) - (d) above. Such hearings must not reconstitute re-hearings, except in the case of 11(c), below.

9) At least seven days' notice of an appeal hearing must be provided to the student.

10) In the event that the student does not attend, or declines to attend, the Committee may hear the appeal in the absence of the student.

11) To determine whether to:

a. Reject the appeal case, upholding the original outcome; b. Uphold the appeal case and amend the outcome accordingly, or, c. Request the conduct of additional investigative activities, which may lead to the Committee taking on the role of the Vice-Chancellor's Review Panel in order to re-hear the original case, the outcome of which would conclude the University Fitness to Study procedure.

12) Where the Committee agrees with the student that the outcome imposed was disproportionate, the Committee may require the University to amend the original outcome. Until such time as the matter is resolved, the original outcome will remain in place.

Process

13) To produce a formal record of its proceedings and to keep full records of its activities with due regard to confidentiality and data protection considerations.

14) To issue outcome and Completion of Procedures letters to the student making the appeal within 14 days of the conclusion of any disciplinary (see Student Regulation 8.53) or Fitness to Study appeal hearing, and within 30 days of the appeal being lodged (see Student Regulation 8.47 for disciplinary appeals).

15) The Committee may take legal or other external advice, as appropriate.

16) To provide a confidential summary report to Council on its conclusions.

17) To provide informal and confidential feedback to the University on any issues identified during the course of the appeal.

18) To conduct an annual review of best practice and lessons learned, including a review of its membership and procedures to ensure that they are consistent with Student Regulation 8, Appendix 2 of the Regulations for Students, and guidance on student appeals from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) and the Office for Students (OfS).

Conduct of appeal hearings

19) The Committee may invite the student making the appeal to provide a verbal or written statement and to answer questions.

20) The student making the appeal may be accompanied by a friend, family member or adviser, but will be expected to make statements and answer questions on their own behalf, unless they have a compelling reason which prevents them from doing so.

21) The Committee may invite the investigator, the Director of Student Services or other members of staff involved in the case to answer questions, subject to the proviso that an appeal is not a re-hearing of the disciplinary case.

22) The Committee may invite the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee or Vice-Chancellor's Review Group to explain the decision of the Disciplinary Committee or Vice-Chancellor's Review Group.

23) In the case of a disciplinary hearing, the Reporting party and any witnesses will not normally be invited to attend a hearing. In the event that the Reporting party is invited to attend, they may be accompanied by a friend, family member of advisory. The Respondent and Reporting party would not normally be expected to attend the hearing simultaneously.

24) Any questions or comments made by any party present at the hearing must be directed through the Chair.

25) The Committee may, at any moment, request any parties attending the hearing to withdraw to enable it to deliberate in private.

26) The Chair can adjourn an appeal hearing until another day in order to obtain additional information, or to conduct additional investigative activities. Notwithstanding any adjournment, the process must be completed within the time-frame set out in Student Regulation 8.53 and Appendix 2 of the Regulations for Students.

Membership

Lay members: All lay members of Council are members of the Council Appeals Committee by default. At least one lay member must be on the Committee for each hearing.

Members of Senate: At least one member of Senate must be on the Committee for each hearing.

Quorum: Three

Training: It is expected that no member will hear an appeal until they have received appropriate training. This training should be refreshed on a biennial basis.

Chair: A Chair will be appointed in respect of each new case. That Chair must be a lay member of Council.

Conflict of interest: No Council member who has any knowledge of the case in question, or of the individuals involved, is eligible to hear an appeal.

Convening: The Head of Governance, or deputy, will convene a committee of three members from the pool of available members in respect of each new case that meets the criteria for an appeal.

Secretary: A Secretary to the Committee will be provided by the Governance Office. The Secretary is not a member of the Committee, though may provide advice to the Committee.

Approved by Council on 24 February 2022