The Council Appeals Committee is formed to decide appeals in relation to any decision to expel a student (“the Respondent”) from the University.
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 4c, below.
3) To invite the Respondent and, if appropriate, the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee, the Director of Student Services or other members of staff involved in the disciplinary case to answer questions and, in the case of the Respondent, to make a verbal or written statement. The Reporting Party and any witnesses should not normally be invited to attend a hearing (see Student Regulation 8.49).
4) 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) to 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) To issue outcome and Completion of Procedures letters to the Respondent within 14 days of the conclusion of any appeal hearing (see Student Regulation 8.53), and within 30 days of the appeal being lodged (see Student Regulation 8.47).
8) To provide a confidential summary report to Council on its conclusions.
9) To provide informal and confidential feedback to the University on any issues identified during the course of the appeal.
10) 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, and guidance on student appeals from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) and the Office for Students (OfS).
Conduct of appeal hearings
11) The Committee may invite the Respondent to provide a verbal or written statement and to answer questions.
12) The Respondent 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 disability which prevents them from doing so.
13) The Committee may invite the investigator, the Director of Student Services or other members of staff involved in the disciplinary case to answer questions, subject to the proviso that an appeal is not a re-hearing of the disciplinary case.
14) The Committee may invite the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee to explain the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.
15) 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 or advisor. The Respondent and Reporting party would not normally be expected to attend the hearing simultaneously.
16) Any questions or comments made by any party present at the hearing must be directed through the Chair.
17) The Committee may, at any moment, request any parties attending the hearing to withdraw to enable it to deliberate in private.
18) The Chair can adjourn an appeal hearing until another day in order to obtain additional information, or to conduct additional investigative activities in accordance with Student Regulation 8.51. Notwithstanding any adjournment, the process must be completed within the time-frame set out in Student Regulation 8.53.
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 Council/Senate: All Senate members of Council other than the Vice-Chancellor are members of the Council Appeals Committee by default. At least one Senate member of Council must be on the Committee for each hearing.
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. To be eligible to serve as Chair, it is expected that the individual will have undergone specific training in the chairing of appeals.
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 Strategic 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 Office of Strategic Governance. The Secretary is not a member of the Committee, though may provide advice to the Committee.
Attendance: The Council Appeals Committee will comprise a maximum of three members for each hearing.
Quorum: The quorum is three
Rules for voting: Voting normally by show of hands on the basis of simple majority of those present and voting, including the Chair.
Terms of Reference: Amendments to Terms of Reference are made by correspondence with all members of the Council Appeals Committee on the basis of a minimum participation rate of 75% and a two thirds majority of those present and voting. Such decisions are subject to approval by Council and notification to Senate.
Council Standing Orders: Any procedures not specified in these Terms of Reference will be as set out in Standing Orders of Council.
Owner: Council Appeals Committee
Approval Date: 1966, revised by Council 25 June 1971, February 2020
Approved By: Privy Council
Date of last review: 20 February 2020