Home / Insights / Case Study / Education Law Case Study: Misconduct at University

Education Law Case Study: Misconduct at University

Education Law Case Study: Misconduct at University

Who did we act for?

IBB Law acted for an undergraduate student, Steven, who was accused of misconduct by a fellow student.

Internal University Procedures

Steven acquainted himself with the University regulations and proceeded to defend the allegation of misconduct, using the first stage of the internal procedures provided by the University. Unfortunately, the Student Misconduct Committee found against him. As a result, various sanctions were imposed. It was at that point, Steven decided to seek legal advice from IBB Law.

The Misconduct case against Steven

On analysis of his case, we found the University had:

  • failed to properly inform Steven of the allegations against him;
  • conducted the hearing against Steven inappropriately;
  • predetermined the outcome of the misconduct hearing against Steven;
  • failed to provide reasons for the decision to uphold the reported misconduct; and
  • failed to consider relevant mitigating factors put forward by Steven.

Impact of Misconduct Charges on Career

Of particular note in this case was that Steven was a budding sportsman with huge potential for a professional sports career.  As one of the sanctions imposed by the University, prevented him from using the University’s sports facilities except for academic purposes, the penalty had a profound impact.  He was prevented from accessing the facilities to further his professional sportsman career.

Appeal against Misconduct

Based on a meeting with Steven and considering all the documents generated by the allegations of misconduct, we submitted an Appeal on his behalf. We argued:

  1. there had been breaches of proper procedures in the conduct of the investigation;
  2. there had been bias imported into the Committee hearing; and
  3. the sanction imposed was disproportionate to the alleged misconduct.

What was the outcome of the University Misconduct Appeal

The appeal was successful. The consequence of this was that the sanctions against Steven were removed. Importantly he was free to continue pursuit of a sporting career, without being blighted by his time at university.