Student Misconduct & University Disciplinary Solicitors
Student misconduct inquiries and university disciplinary processes vary between institutions, but the sanctions can have serious consequences for ongoing academic study. Richard Nelson LLP’s student misconduct lawyers advise and defend students and their families faced with allegations from their universities. Contact us to find out more.
When might a university disciplinary process arise?
Your time at University is supposed to be exciting, challenging and rewarding. However, sometimes disputes may arise between you and another student or your institution.
While there is no universal system which universities must follow when investigating and disciplining students; the process must be a fair one where each party is afforded an opportunity to present their case and challenge the evidence against them. Most, if not all, Universities publish their disciplinary process so those facing allegations can familiarise themselves with what is expected of them.
What processes do universities follow?
The process can be daunting and complicated so students should seek support from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Typically the university will write to the accused notifying them that they are under investigation and inform them of the next steps. Either at this time, or shortly thereafter, the student will be sent an outline of the allegation they are facing as well as the evidence against them. The student will then be invited to respond to the allegation and file their own evidence.
The university will then appoint an independent investigator who will either be a member of staff or an external contractor. It is quite common for these investigators to be retired police officers or career workplace investigators who will be well versed in establishing facts and presenting evidence to the decision maker. Therefore, it is all the more important to seek professional help yourself before submitting your case.
Once a preliminary review of the evidence from both sides has taken place the decision will be taken as to whether a formal disciplinary hearing will be convened. The panel will usually consist of senior members of academic staff. Evidence will be heard and a decision will be made as to whether or not the allegation against the student is proven.
Possible sanctions for student misconduct
If the allegation is proven, the panel will then decide what punishment to impose. Typically, the available sanctions will include removing a student from the course or university completely, excluding them from certain parts of campus or, fines.
Dismissal from the course and/or university can have a devastating impact upon a young person’s future study and career prospects, finances and mental health.
It is essential that anyone facing misconduct allegations appoints as lawyer as soon as possible.
Working with Richard Nelson LLP
Richard Nelson LLP have experience defending students facing allegations of serious misconduct including physical and sexual violence at some of the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom. Our solicitors also have experience in criminal defence, which means that we can assist you with related a related criminal case should the need arise.
If your course requires you to be registered with a regulatory body such as the General Medical Council, Teaching Regulation Agency, or Nursing and Midwifery Council you can see the support of our professional disciplinary lawyers in student fitness to practise cases.
Get in touch
For more information about the services we can provide and about how we can help you and your business, contact us.