The University of Edinburgh Code of Student ?· The University of Edinburgh: ... Discipline and Code…

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    The University of Edinburgh: General Statement on Student Discipline and Code of Student Discipline General Statement on Student Discipline Note: This General Statement is not part of the Code of Discipline. I. The Purpose of University Discipline, and its relationship to the criminal law The primary purposes of the University are the advancement and application of knowledge and the education of its members; its central activities are teaching, learning and research. These purposes can be achieved only if the members of the University community can live and work beside each other in conditions which permit freedom of thought and expression within a framework of respect for the rights of other persons. It is the function of University discipline to protect from disruption these essential activities and the administrative structure on which they depend.

    The existence of the Code of Discipline does not preclude the possibility of the Principal, Authorised Officers (or, for that matter, any member of the University) having recourse to the police and the criminal law where necessary. It is not, however, the purpose of the University system of discipline to duplicate the criminal law. In general, there is no reason why a student's appearance in a criminal court should be followed by disciplinary proceedings. Nevertheless, the possibility of disciplinary proceedings being required against a student who has been subject to a criminal charge cannot entirely be excluded. The University, however, will take action only in those circumstances where the essential purposes and activities of the University community are threatened and then only such action as is necessary to ensure their protection. While the University may be obliged to suspend a student's privileges pending trial in the courts, it will not normally institute disciplinary action until proceedings in the courts are concluded.

    Furthermore, the Code of Discipline is to be administered so as to further the primary purposes of the University, without unnecessarily (a) limiting the freedom of expression and action which members of the University enjoy as citizens within the law; or (b) infringing the privacy of the individual. At all times the principles of natural justice shall be observed and the standard of proof shall be that of proof beyond reasonable doubt.

    The University will abide by the following rules of procedure where a student is accused of misconduct which would also constitute an offence under the criminal law if proved in a court of law:

    (i) Where the offence under the criminal law is considered to be not serious, action under the University's Code may continue, but such action may be deferred pending any police investigation or prosecution.

    (ii) In the case of all other offences, i.e. all serious offences under the criminal law, no action (other than suspension or exclusion pursuant to section 5.1 of the Code) may be taken unless the matter has been reported to the police and either prosecuted or a decision not to prosecute has been taken, at which time the Principal may decide whether disciplinary action under the Code should continue or be taken.

    (iii) Where a finding of misconduct is made and the student has also been sentenced by a criminal court in respect of the same facts, the court's penalty shall be taken into consideration in determining the penalty under the Code.

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    II. The Legal Basis of Jurisdiction Although a University has an inherent power of regulating the conduct of its members, the effects of the Universities (Scotland) Acts 1858, 1889 and 1966 have been to place the disciplinary jurisdiction of the University on a statutory basis. Primary responsibility for discipline is vested in the Senatus; appellate functions are vested in the Court; and the 1966 Act envisages the laying down of a code of procedure to be followed in more serious cases. The 1966 Act empowers the Court, by resolution, "on the recommendation of the Senatus to prescribe the procedure to be followed in the case of alleged breaches of discipline within the University where the alleged breach is one which might be punished by expulsion or rustication".

    No person can therefore be a student member, or for that matter a senior member, without being subject to the disciplinary powers of the Senatus and the Court. By matriculating, or by enrolling on any University course, a student becomes subject to University discipline whether or not he or she expressly agrees to be bound by it, and whether or not he or she is aware of the substance of the disciplinary rules.

    III. Disciplinary Offences The Code of Discipline which is set out below is concerned solely with the machinery by which the system of discipline will be administered and with the rules of procedure which the various disciplinary authorities are to observe.

    Detailed regulations governing general misconduct (as specified in the General Disciplinary Regulations), University examinations, libraries, the use of computing facilities, the use of automatically processed personal data (in connection with academic work), Halls of Residence, Student Houses and other University accommodation are published separately. Breaches of any of these regulations amounting to misconduct fall to be dealt with under the Code.

    The essence of misconduct under the above regulations is:

    1. disruption of, or improper interference with, the academic, administrative, sporting, social or other activities of the University, whether on University premises or elsewhere;

    2. obstruction of, or improper interference with, the functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of the University or any authorised visitor to the University;

    3. violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour or language, whether expressed orally or in writing, including electronically, including sexual or racial harassment of any student, member of staff or other employee, whilst engaged in any University activity;

    4. conduct which unjustifiably infringes freedom of thought or expression whilst on University premises or engaged in University work, study or activity;

    5. fraud, deceit, deception or dishonesty in relation to the University or its staff or in connection with holding any office in the University or in relation to being a student of the University;

    6. action likely to cause injury or impair safety on or in the vicinity of University premises;

    for example, acts involving damage to or discharge without just cause of, or other misuse of or interference with, a Fire Alarm, Fire Extinguisher or other fire safety equipment. (Such acts, and failure to comply with health and safety directions, endanger the University community and as such can attract severe sanctions.)

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    7. breach of any Code or University rule or regulation previously approved by the University Court or Senatus Academicus which provides for breaches to constitute misconduct under this Code. A list of such Codes, rules and regulations is appended to this General Statement;

    8. examination offences, including plagiarism as defined in the Assessment Regulations, in any form of University examination or formally assessed work, or to assist a candidate to make use of such unfair means;

    9. damage to, or defacement of, University property or the property of other members of the University community caused intentionally or recklessly, and misappropriation of such property;

    10. misuse or unauthorised use of University premises or items of property, including computer misuse;

    11. conduct which constitutes a criminal offence (including conviction for an offence) where that conduct

    (a) is such as to render the student unfit to practise any particular profession or calling to which that students course leads directly (for example, Medicine, Nursing, Teaching, Veterinary Medicine, amongst others), or

    (b) took place on University premises, or (c) affected or concerned other members of the University community, or (d) damages the good name of the University, or (e) itself constitutes misconduct within the terms of the Code, or (f) is an offence of dishonesty, where the student holds an office of responsibility in the


    12. without prejudice to the right to fair and justified comment and criticism, behaviour which brings the University into disrepute;

    13. failure to disclose name and other relevant details to an officer or employee of the University in circumstances when it is reasonable to require that such information be given;

    14. failure to comply with a previously-imposed penalty under this code;

    15. without prejudice to the right to raise academic and other concerns responsibly within or outwith the University, the making of false and malicious reports of malpractice, which upon investigation are proved to be unfounded;

    16. where a student is enrolled on a course leading directly to a professional qualification or to the right to practise a particular profession or calling (such as in Medicine, Nursing, Teaching or Veterinary Medicine, for example) any conduct which renders that student a person not fit to be admitted to and to practise that profession or calling;

    17. any misconduct prior to a students enrolment at the University of Edinburgh which has only just come to light, or is still in the process of being dealt with by the proper authorities, shall not form the basis of a complaint under this Code unless

    (a) the conduct is of such a serious kind and character that it raises questions about the fitness of the student to remain a member of the University community or, if repeated, would pose a threat to the other members of the Univer


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