Part H: Appeals

Overriding objectives

The overriding objective of this Part is to deal with proceedings fairly. This means that:

i.    Proceedings should be resolved as quickly as is consistent with due process.
ii.    That where a Participant requires reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 in order to participate, such adjustments will be made.
iii.    Where a provision of the Regulations or these Procedures is unclear a decision-maker should interpret them in the way most consistent with the requirements of substantive and procedural fairness to you, the student.


Outline

For appeals against a decision of the University Disciplinary Officer, Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning), or Student Sport Operations Manager or Head of Accommodation Services and where you have had an opportunity to respond to the allegation ahead of a decision being made, there is a two stage appeals process (Section 1 below).

For appeals against a decision of the Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) or Head of Accommodation Services and where you were not given an opportunity to respond to the allegation before a decision was made,  there is a review stage and a single appeal stage (Section 2 below). 

 

1. Appeals against a decision of the University Disciplinary Officer, Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning), Student Sport Operations Manager, or Student Accommodation Manager


The Appeals Procedure comprises two parts: 
Stage One, in which the Director of Student Services considers the appeal against Student Accommodation Manager the decision; and 
Stage Two, which you may follow if dissatisfied with the outcome of the Stage One Appeal. Stage Two Appeals are considered by the Director of Governance and Assurance, who may refer the appeal for further investigation.


1.1How to appeal
1.1.1. You must complete a Stage One Non-Academic Student Discipline Appeal/Review form and in that form you will need to state:
(a) whether you are appealing against the decision that you have breached the Regulations or the penalty or both
(b) the ground(s) of your appeal.

1.1.2. You will need to attach to your form your evidence in support of your appeal. 

1.1.3. You are deemed to have received the notification of the decision of the University Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning)/ Student Sport Operations Manager/ Student Accommodation Manager within two working days of it being sent to you by email. You must file any appeal against the decision within five working days of the receipt of the notification of the decision i.e. within seven working days of us sending you the notification.

1.1.4. The University will not consider any appeal until you have been sent formal written notice of the outcome of the hearing.

Guidance: Forms are available on the LTS Forms webpage within MyUEA 


1.2. Grounds for appeal (stage one appeals)

1.2.1 You cannot appeal against a decision to refer a case to the Senate Student Discipline Committee or a decision to classify the offence as low, medium, or high for the purposes of allocating the case to a decision-maker.  

1.2.2. If you decide to appeal, you must tell us whether the appeal is made against the finding of the University Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Student Sport Operations Manager/Student Accommodation Manager, or the penalty imposed, or both.

1.2.3 An appeal will only be considered if one or more of the following grounds is demonstrated:

(a) that evidence (including any mitigation) put to the University Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Student Sport Operations Manager/ Student Accommodation Manager was not fully considered

(b) the correct procedure was not followed and this is sufficient to undermine the validity of the decision

(c) that there was prejudice and/or bias or the appearance of prejudice and/or bias on the part of the Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Student Sport Operations Manager/Student Accommodation Manager

(d) that the penalty or penalties imposed were excessive

(e) that there is new information that should be considered that was not known to the Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) /Student Sport Operations Manager/ Student Accommodation Manager and you could not reasonably have obtained that evidence at the time that they made their decision.

Guidance: You should provide as much information as possible about the ground(s) on which you are relying. For example, if you say that evidence put to the University Disciplinary Officer was not fully considered, you will need to explain what evidence and in what way you say it was not fully considered. If there is new information, you will need to say what information and why you could not reasonably have obtained that evidence before. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from the Student Union Advice Centre.


1.3 The appeal process (stage one appeals)

1.3.1. The Director of Student Services is responsible for responding to an appeal. If the Director of Student Services is part of the subject of the appeal, or has been involved during the investigation phase of the case, or is otherwise in a conflict of interest, a suitable substitution will be made by the Director of Governance and Assurance. Notwithstanding this provision, for ease of reference the person responsible for responding to the Appeal will be called the Director of Student Services in this Procedure.

1.3.2. The Director of Student Services must consider all of the evidence previously submitted to the University Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Student Sport Operations Manager/Student Accommodation Manager and your appeal form and supporting evidence. No evidence submitted can be anonymous. 

1.3.3. The Director will determine whether there is evidence that satisfies one of the grounds set out at paragraph 1.2.3. The Director may ask another member of Student Services to investigate this for the Director, as long as that person has not previously been involved in the case.

1.4 Appeal outcomes (stage one appeals)

1.4.1. The investigation having been completed, the Director of Student Services will decide whether:

(a) to uphold the decision and penalty 

(b) to uphold the decision but substitute a lower penalty or no penalty

(c) to uphold the appeal and overturn the penalty

1.4.2. If your appeal is rejected and you are unhappy about that then you may have grounds to start a Stage Two Appeal (paragraph 6 below).

1.4.3. The decision of the Director of Student Services and the reason(s) for it will be communicated to you by email letter. If you want to meet with the Director so that the Director can explain their decision to you then you should request that.

 

Stage two appeals

1.5 How to appeal (stage two appeals)

1.5.1. You must complete a Stage Two Non-Academic Student Discipline Appeal form and in that form you will need to state:
(a) Whether you are appealing against the decision of the Director of Student Services or the penalty or both
(b) The ground(s) of your appeal.

1.5.2. You will need to attach to your form your evidence in support of your appeal. 

1.5.3. You are deemed to have received the notification of the Director of Student Services’ decision within two working days of it being sent to you by email. You must file any appeal against their decision within five working days of the receipt of the notification of the Director’s decision i.e., within seven working days of us sending you the notification.

Guidance: Forms are available on the LTS Forms webpage within MyUEA 

1.6 Grounds for appeal
A Stage Two Appeal will only be considered if one or more of the following grounds is demonstrated:

1.6.1 The correct procedure was not followed in the conduct of the Stage One Appeal and this is sufficient to undermine the validity of the decision

1.6.2  That there was prejudice and/or bias or the appearance of prejudice and/or bias on the part of the Director of Student Services and/or any person helping the Director to investigate

1.6.3 That evidence (including any mitigation) put forward at Stage One was not fully considered

1.7 The Stage Two appeal process

1.7.1. The Director of Governance and Assurance is responsible for responding to a Stage Two Appeal. The Director must consider all of the evidence previously submitted to the Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Student Sport Operations Manager/Student Accommodation Manager and the Stage One Appeal and your Stage Two Appeal form and supporting evidence. No evidence submitted can be anonymous. 

1.7.2. The Director will determine whether there is evidence that satisfies one of the grounds set out at paragraph 1.6. The Director may ask a member of the Student Misconduct Investigative Team or another appropriate person to investigate this for the Director, as long as that person has not previously been involved in the case.

1.8 Appeal outcomes (stage two)

1.8.1. The investigation having been completed, the Director of Governance and Assurance will decide whether:

(a) to uphold the decision and penalty or penalties at Stage One

(b) to uphold the decision but substitute a lower penalty or no penalty

(c) to uphold the appeal and overturn the penalty. 

1.8.2. The decision of the Director of Governance and Assurance and the reason(s) for it will be communicated to you by email letter within fifteen working days of your filing the Stage Two Appeal letter. 

1.8.3. If your appeal is rejected there is no further right of appeal in the University.

 

2. Appeals against a decision of the Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) or Head of Accommodation Services

This Review Procedure is to be used in situations where you were not given an opportunity to discuss the allegation prior to a decision being made, and comprises two parts:


Stage One, a Review, in which the Director of Student Services will review the evidence against you and any evidence you submit and reach a new decision. 
A Stage Two Appeal, which you may follow if dissatisfied with the outcome of the Review Stage. Stage Two Appeals are considered by the Director of Governance and Assurance who may refer the appeal for further investigation.


2.1 How to seek a Review of the decision

2.1.1 You must complete a Stage One Non-Academic Student Discipline Appeal/Review form and in that form you should

a)    Indicate that you seek to have the decision made afresh

b)    Provide any evidence on which you wish to rely

c)    Although you do not have to disprove the allegations against you, as the University is instead required to prove them, you are strongly encouraged to explain why the original decision was flawed, as this will help the Director of Student Services reach a fresh decision.

2.1.2 You are deemed to have received the notification of the decision of the  Director of Student Services (Life and Learning) within two working days of it being sent to you by email. You must request a review within five working days of the receipt of the notification of the decision i.e. within seven working days of us sending you the notification.


Guidance: Please go to the Forms webpage for further information. 


2.2 Grounds for requesting a review 

2.2.1 There are no restrictions.  If you consider the original decision to be flawed you can explain why you have reached this conclusion and provide evidence to support your case.


2.3 The review process (stage one)

2.3.1The Director of Student Services is responsible for responding to a request for a Review. If the Director of Student Services is part of the subject of the Review, or has been involved during the investigation phase of the case, or is otherwise in a conflict of interest, a suitable substitution will be made by the Director of Governance and Assurance. Notwithstanding this provision, for ease of reference the person responsible for responding to the Review will be called the Director of Student Services in this Procedure.

2.3.2The Director of Student Services must consider all of the evidence previously submitted to the University Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Head of Accommodation Services and your Review form and supporting evidence. No evidence submitted can be anonymously.

2.3.3 The Director may ask another member of Student Services to investigate this for the Director, as long as that person has not previously been involved in the case

2.4 Review outcomes (stage one)

2.4.1 The investigation having been completed, the Director of Student Services will reach a new decision which may or may not be the same as the original decision. 

2.4.2 If you are unhappy about the new decision then you may have grounds to start a Stage Two Appeal (paragraph 2.5 below).

2.4.3 The decision of the Director of Student Services and the reason(s) for it will be communicated to you by email letter. If you want to meet with the Director so that the Director can explain their decision to you then you should request that.

2.5 How to appeal a Review outcome (stage two appeal)

2.5.1 To appeal the outcome of a Review, which is a new decision, you must complete a Stage Two Non-Academic Student Discipline Appeal form and in that form you will need to state:
a)    Whether you are appealing against the decision of the Director of Student Services or the penalty or both
b)    The ground(s) of your appeal.

2.5.2You will need to attach to your form your evidence in support of your appeal.

2.5.3 You are deemed to have received the notification of the outcome of the review from the Director of Student Services within two working days of it being sent to you by email. You must file any appeal against their decision within five working days of the receipt of the notification of the Director’s decision i.e., within seven working days of us sending you the notification.


Guidance: Please go to the Forms webpage for further information.  
 

2.6 Grounds for a Stage Two appeal

2.6.1 The grounds for an appeal are as detailed above in Paragraph 1.6.
 
2.7 The Stage Two appeal process

2.7.1 The appeal process is the same as detailed above in Paragraph 1.7.

2.8 Appeal outcomes (stage two)

2.8.1 The outcomes are as detailed in paragraph 1.8.


3. Withdrawing an appeal or a request for a review

3.1 You can withdraw a Stage One Appeal or a request for a review at any time. The effect of this will be that the decision and penalty of the University Disciplinary Officer/ Assistant Head of Student Services (Life and Learning) / Student Sport Operations Manager/Head of Accommodation Services will stand.

3.2 You can withdraw a Stage Two Appeal at any time. The effect of this will be that the Stage One outcome will stand.
Appeals against a decision of a Senate Student Discipline Panel


4. Who can appeal

Only the student(s) who have been found to have breached a Regulation can appeal against a decision of Senate Student Discipline Panel or a Chair or Deputy Chair’s summary determination under Part F paragraphs 5, 6, or 7.


5. Timescales

5.1 You are deemed to have received the notification within two working days of it being sent to you by email. 

5.2 You must file any appeal against a decision of a Senate Student Discipline Panel or Chair with the Director of Governance and Assurance within five working days of the receipt of the notification of the decision of the Senate Student Discipline Panel or Chair, i.e., within seven working days of us sending you the notification.

5.3 The University will not consider any appeal until you have been sent formal written notice of the outcome of the hearing.


6. Grounds for appeal

6.1 If you decide to appeal, you must tell us whether the appeal is made against the finding of the Senate Student Discipline Panel or the penalty imposed, or both.

6.2 If you are appealing against the summary determination of the Chair or Deputy Chair of Senate Student Discipline Committee, you must tell us whether the appeal is made against the Chair’s finding or the penalty imposed, or both.

6.3 An appeal will only be considered if one or more of the following grounds is demonstrated:

6.3.1 That evidence put to the SSDC Panel or Chair was not fully considered and that this evidence was of such significance that it would cast doubt over the validity of the decision made by the SSDC;

6.3.2 That there was procedural irregularity in the conduct of any SSDC hearing or meeting with the SSDC Chair that was sufficient to render the outcome unfair;

6.3.3 That there was prejudice and/or bias or the appearance of prejudice and/or bias in the conduct of the hearing by SSDC or, as in the case of summary determination, by the Chair or Deputy Chair of SSDC;

6.3.4 That the penalty or penalties imposed was excessive;

6.3.5 That there is new information that should be considered that was not known to the SSDC Panel or Chair and you could not reasonably have obtained that evidence at the time of the original decision and that this evidence is of such significance that it would cast doubt over the validity of the decision made by the SSDC.

Guidance: You should provide as much information as possible about the ground(s) on which you are relying. For example, if you say that evidence put to the SSDC was not fully considered, you will need to explain what evidence and in what way you say it was not fully considered. If there is new information that was not before the SSDC, you will need to say what information and why you could not reasonably have obtained that evidence before. In all cases you will need to explain why you think that this evidence would call into question the validity of the decision made by the SSDC. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from the Student Union Advice Centre.


7. Reviewing your appeal

7.1 The Secretary to Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee will email you to acknowledge receipt of your appeal.

7.2 The Secretary will then review the appeal and confirm 

7.2.1 That it was received within the specified timescale or, if it was received outside the specified timescale (i.e., late), there is a very good reason to still consider the appeal

7.2.2 That you have clearly stated a ground of appeal as outlined in 13.3

7.2.3 That you have provided evidence in support of your ground of appeal, if relevant

7.2.4 That there is a real possibility that your outcome may be changed as a result of a review by an Appeal Panel. 

7.3 If one or more of these things is not confirmed, then the Secretary will recommend to the Chair of Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee that your appeal should be rejected. If the Chair agrees with the Secretary, then your appeal will be rejected. You will be told the decision of the Chair within fifteen working days of receipt of the appeal form.  This decision is final and there is no further right of appeal in the University. 

7.4 If all of these things are confirmed, then:

7.4.1 If the appeal is accepted by the Secretary to Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee solely on the grounds that there is evidence that there was procedural irregularity in the conduct of a Student Discipline Panel or Chair, the Director will refer the appeal to the Chair of the Senate Student Discipline Committee to remedy the procedural irregularity. The Secretary to Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee will tell you about this referral within fifteen working days of receipt of the appeal form and the Chair of the Senate Student Discipline Committee must notify you of how the procedural irregularity has been resolved within a further fifteen days. Provided that there are no further procedural irregularities in this part of the process, there shall be no further right of appeal in the University. 

7.4.2 In other cases, you will be notified within fifteen working days of receipt of the appeal form that your appeal will proceed to a hearing. 

 

Definitions
Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee is a committee authorised by the Senate of the University of East Anglia. It comprises a Chair and Deputy Chair of the Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee and members of the Committee who are appointed by Senate from time to time. The current membership of the committee is set out in the University Calendar under ‘Statutory Bodies and Committees’. The Secretary to the Committee is the Head of Learning and Teaching (Systems). 


The Chair of the Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee has the power to make a summary determination as to whether an appeal can proceed. In other cases, they can appoint a Panel to hear each case referred to it. 

 

The members of the Panel will be drawn from the Panel Pool. The Panel Pool comprises (a) those members of the Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee who are academic staff as described in Statute 7 and who are not Principal Officers of the University; and (b) students who have been recruited and selected by the Student Union, the Chair of SSDC and the Head of Learning and Teaching from time to time. The Panel sits in different modes according to the nature of the allegations against you. In Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode the Panel will also include two additional people.


A “real possibility” is defined as a possibility that cannot sensibly be ignored, as opposed to a fanciful or insubstantial possibility


There will be various Participants at the panel hearing. These are:
•    you
•    any Companion that you bring to support you at the hearing
•    any other students involved in the same incident who are also appealing
•    the Panel members
•    the Hearing Secretary, who is usually a senior member of staff of the Learning and Teaching Service (or, for postgraduate research students, the Postgraduate Research Service). They do not take part in the deliberations as they are not a member of the Panel, but they may advise on matters of procedure or the powers that the Panel has
•    the representative(s) of the University who are asserting the University’s case, such as the University’s Disciplinary Officer or a School plagiarism officer. This person is known as the Presenter. In some types of cases (such as professional suitability and fitness to practise) there may be more than one presenter, so the reference to ‘the Presenter’ in this document may refer to more than one person.
•    any Companion that the person responding to your appeal brings with them
•    any witnesses approved by the Panel Chair
•    a legal adviser or Governance and Misconduct Adviser who are not members of the Panel, but may advise on matters of procedure or the powers that the Panel has
•    any other person whose presence the Panel Chair deems necessary to resolve the proceedings fairly, or who (with your agreement only) is there for the purpose of training.

8. Training of Panel Members

8.1    The Secretary to the Senate Student Discipline Committee must ensure that all UEA members of the Panel Pool and Hearing Secretaries have been trained (including on unconscious bias and race awareness) before sitting on a Panel for the first time and at least every three years thereafter. 

8.2    No UEA person may remain within the Panel Pool unless they have undertaken the training specified in 8.1 above as and when it falls due.


9. Reasonable adjustments

9.1 The University will apply this Part in accordance with its Equal Opportunities Policy for Students.

9.2 The University will also comply with its legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. Reasonable adjustments are person specific but could include use of an intermediary or support worker, provision of documents in a different format, regular breaks, or adaptation in the style of questioning used.

9.3 You must tell the Hearing Secretary if you or your Companion or witness requires reasonable adjustments to be made because of a disability. You must do this no later than two working days before the hearing.

Guidance: Participants should contact lts.ssdc@uea.ac.uk. Reasonable adjustments are available whatever the person’s role in the hearing.


Guidance: Scheduling of hearings: The University will try to schedule the hearing to avoid clashes with your timetabled academic activities. If that is not possible, the hearing will take priority.


10. Role of the Panel Chair

10.1 Review and approve the hearing pack before the hearing

10.2 Lead the hearing and ensure that the schedule is followed.

10.3 Ensure that any reasonable adjustments notified in accordance with paragraph 16 are made

10.4 Liaise with the Hearing Secretary to ensure the identification and implementation of any Special Measures

10.5 Ask any questions the Panel wish to ask the student, Presenter(s) or witnesses during the hearing.

10.6 Have the final decision on the inclusion of any evidence.

10.7 Approve the outcome letter written by the Secretary.


11. Composition of Disciplinary Appeals Panel

The Panel shall sit in one of three Modes: Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode, Academic Mode, and Non-Academic Mode.

11.1 Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode

11.1.1 A Panel shall be convened in Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode for cases arising under General Regulation 14 and/or 15. A Panel convened under this Mode may, in addition to considering matters relating to Regulations 14 and 15, also consider allegations and determinate penalties relating to any other Regulations that are alleged to have been breached. 

11.1.2 In Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode, the Panel shall comprise two non-student members of the Panel Pool, one of whom shall be appointed to act as Chair; and two non-student co-opted Panel members who do not need to be members of Senate Student Discipline Committee:

11.1.2.1 one co-opted Panel member who has expertise within the same or a similar discipline to you; and

11.1.2.2 one co-opted Panel member who is not a member of staff or officer of the University but who has expertise within the same or a similar discipline to you

11.1.3 Where you are enrolled on a programme that may lead to admission to a regulated profession overseen by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (or are already regulated by that Body), at least one of the two co-opted Panel members must be regulated by the same Body.

11.2 Academic Mode

11.2.1 All cases arising under Regulations 13 and 17-23 inclusive shall proceed in Academic Mode. A Panel convened under this Mode may, in addition to considering matters relating to Regulations 13 and 17–23, also consider allegations and determinate penalties relating to any other Regulations that are alleged to have been breached. 

11.2.2 In Academic Mode, the Panel shall comprise three non-student members of the Panel Pool, one of whom shall be appointed to act as Chair.
Guidance: Where a case involves allegations of both academic and non-academic misconduct and the Chair of Senate Student Discipline Committee has decided they should be heard together (which may be appropriate in some cases, for example where there is a close causal link or common facts), then the case will be heard in Academic Mode.

11.3 Non-Academic Mode
All cases not arising under either Academic Mode or Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode shall be heard in Non-Academic Mode. The Panel shall comprise two non-student members of the Panel Pool, one of whom shall be appointed to act as Chair, and one student member of the Panel Pool.

11.4 A Panel must comprise the requisite constitution as set out in this section 11, in order to proceed to hear a case. Where the Panel Chair determines that the composition of the Panel is incorrect, they shall adjourn the hearing and refer the matter back to the Chair of the Senate Student Discipline Committee for reallocation to a new Panel.  However, where the Head of Learning and Teaching (Quality) has used their best endeavours to obtain a suitably trained student member of the Panel Pool for a scheduled hearing under Non-Academic Mode but has not been able to do so, and the hearing cannot be expeditiously rescheduled, the hearing shall proceed with three non-student Panel members.


12. Apparent Bias

No person may be appointed to a particular Panel if a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility of their being biased against a Participant.


No person may be appointed to a particular Panel if, irrespective of the above, they have been the personal adviser or supervisor of a student appearing before the Panel or if they have been involved with the disciplinary proceedings at an early level, such as because they are the plagiarism officer, disciplinary officer, or fitness to practise lead who dealt with the case in question. 


13. The evidence

13.1 The Panel has the power to summons and question any person who is a member of staff, officer, or student at the University, including any witnesses not called by another party, but can only ask a member of the public to provide evidence.

13.2 The Panel Chair will decide at their absolute discretion: 

13.2.1 whether or not to hear from some or all witnesses giving oral evidence in person; and/or

13.2.2 whether to accept witness statements and other documents instead of or in addition to oral evidence; and/or

13.2.3 whether to hear oral evidence or read a statement from a person (who is attending or not attending) about a conversation they had with a non-attending third party.

13.3 The Panel Chair will decide whether or not proposed evidence is to be considered or should be excluded based on its probative value.
Guidance: When considering best evidence, the Panel Chair may like to consider:
•    Whether the witness and/or third party is a member of staff, officer, or student of the University or a member of the public
•    Whether the hearing is during a University semester or outside of semesters
•    The nature and seriousness of the allegations 
•    The nature of the evidence to be given and the degree to which it is accepted or likely to be accepted
•    The importance of that witness’s or third party’s evidence
•    Why the witness and/or third party is not proposing to attend
•    Whether a student can adequately challenge the case against them in the absence of oral evidence and the ability to question that witness and/or third party


14. Language

14.1 All documents (other than assessed work prepared for a language module) must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation into English. A certified translation is one that is made by a professional translator or translation company and which includes the credentials of the translator, confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document, the date of the translation, and the original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company.

14.2 The Panel shall conduct its proceedings in English. No member of staff, student, or officer of the University shall have the use of a translator.


15. Standard of proof

15.1 The standard of proof is the balance of probabilities. This means that allegations must be shown to be ‘more likely than not’ true. 

15.2 The burden of proof is upon the person appealing (you, the student) to show that your ground(s) of appeal are true.


Guidance: What is the standard of proof?
On an appeal, you will need to prove that the ground of appeal you’re using is true, such as that the penalty is excessive. You will need to prove this on the balance of probabilities, so that the Panel finds that it’s more likely than not that the penalty was excessive. 
If you would like more information, a guidance note on the Standard of Proof is available from lts.ssdc@uea.ac.uk, the UDIPP Teams site, or the Governance and Misconduct Advisor.


16. Summons to the hearing

16.1 The Secretary to SSDAC must give you access to

16.1.1 a copy of the General Regulations and any other Statutes, Regulations Student Charter, Codes of Practice, Rules, and Procedures that you are alleged to have breached

16.1.2 a copy of these University Disciplinary and Investigative Procedures and Powers

16.1.3 a copy of all of the documentation available at the first hearing plus the SSDC outcome letter and your appeal documentation. (This is known as the ‘hearing pack’.)

16.2 The Secretary to SSDAC must tell you

16.2.1 the nature and grounds of the appeal

16.2.2 the time, place, and mode of the hearing

16.2.3 whether special measures are to be used (if known)

16.2.4 the identity of the Panel members

16.2.5 the identity of any Presenter

16.2.6 the identity of any witnesses, to the extent known

16.2.7 that the Panel may proceed in your absence if you do not attend or confirm the decision and penalty of the original SSDC Panel

16.2.8 your ability and that of the Presenter to bring a Companion to the hearing subject to paragraph 19 below.

16.3 The summons will be sent to you by email 

16.3.1 no fewer than 20 working days before the hearing in the case of a hearing under Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct mode. 

16.3.2 no fewer than 5 working days before the hearing in Academic or Non-Academic Mode.

16.4 A copy of the summons will be sent to your Head of School and Adviser or Supervisor.

Guidance: Your pre-hearing preparation 

It is important to understand that Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee reviews appeals and will only interfere with the decision made by the Senate Student Discipline Committee if you prove, on the balance of probabilities, that your ground of appeal is true.

We recommend that you seek advice from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

At the hearing there are several stages and you need to be prepared for each one. 

You will receive a folder of the papers relevant to the hearing, including these Procedures, the relevant Regulation(s), the SSDC outcome letter, and the appeal documents. You should consider these papers carefully and make notes of any points that you want the Panel to know about. 

You must confirm your attendance and whether or not you are bringing a Companion with you (see paragraph 19).

At the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to respond to what is said about the case. However, you also have the right to submit a statement prior to the hearing if you want to do so, setting out your position. You can also submit evidence in support of your defence if you want to do so. Please see paragraph 24 below. It is unlikely that general character references are likely to be of use, unless they engage directly with the allegations against you.

Please note that all evidence must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation: see paragraph 14. 


17. Evidence submitted by you

17.1 You may (if you wish) submit a statement setting out your position and/or submit evidence in support of your appeal. These documents should be sent to the Hearing Secretary no later than two working days before the hearing (five working days where the hearing relates to Professional Suitability or Research Misconduct)

17.2 Your statement will be put into the hearing pack. The Panel Chair will consider any evidence that you submit under paragraph 17.1 above and will decide whether it is  of probative value, meaning that it is relevant and helps to prove or disprove the appeal ground. If the Panel Chair believes the evidence to be of probative value they will also ensure that this is added to the hearing pack.


Guidance: Send your statement and/or evidence to lts.ssdc@uea.ac.uk.

 

18. Bringing a Companion to the hearing

18.1. You have the right to be accompanied by a Companion. The Companion must have no connection with the allegations and therefore no material interest in the matter.

18.2 You must tell the Hearing Secretary no later than two working days before the hearing of the identity and status (for example Student Union Adviser or fellow student) of the Companion. If you do not tell the Hearing Secretary within this timescale, the Panel Chair may decide that you are not allowed to bring a Companion at all. Where your case relates to Professional or Research Misconduct, you must notify us no later than five working days before the hearing.

18.3 The Companion may present the case on your behalf and help and support you. However, they cannot answer questions on your behalf, or attend the hearing in your absence. 

18.4 It is your responsibility to tell your Companion about the date, time, and location of the hearing. If your Companion does not attend the hearing, the hearing may proceed in their absence.

18.5 Your Companion may be excluded from the hearing if they are so disruptive as to impede the conduct of the hearing. In such a case, the Panel Chair will decide whether or not to continue with the hearing even though your Companion has been excluded.

18.6 This paragraph 18 applies equally to the Presenter who, on an appeal hearing, can themselves bring a Companion.
Guidance: Members of the Student Union Advice Centre are available to act as your Companion on your request. You must notify the Hearing Secretary of the identity and status of any Companion by emailing lts.ssdc@uea.ac.uk.


19. Attending the hearing

19.1 The hearing will be held in closed session, which means that only Participants can attend the hearing.

19.2 You must attend the hearing if you are present in the UK. You must attend the hearing in person unless you have been told to attend it online.  It is a separate disciplinary offence to fail to attend a disciplinary hearing when summoned to do so (a breach of General Regulation 13). It may also severely harm your case, in that the Panel will not be able to gain a direct impression of you or hear your perspective first-hand. If you do not attend, the Panel may proceed anyway.

19.3 If you use an agreed videoconferencing facility to call into the hearing, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are contactable at the given time. 

19.4 If you do not attend the hearing, in person or by an agreed videoconferencing facility, the Panel may proceed in your absence or it may determine that you have abandoned your appeal and confirm the original decision and penalty. 

 

20. What happens at the hearing

20.1 The Hearing Secretary should remind the Panel Chair what reasonable adjustments or special measures are in place for the hearing.

20.2 If you have not attended in person or by an agreed videoconferencing facility, the Panel will decide whether to proceed with the hearing or confirm the original decision and penalty.

20.3 If the hearing proceeds, the Hearing Secretary will invite you and other Participants (other than witnesses) into the room or rooms. The Panel Chair will introduce themselves and ask the other Participants to introduce themselves and in what capacity they are there. The witnesses will stay outside the hearing room(s) until the Hearing Secretary calls them to give evidence.

20.4 The Hearing Secretary will then briefly state what grounds of appeal are to be considered.

20.5 The Panel Chair will then invite you (or your Companion) to outline the grounds of appeal and why your appeal should succeed. You must also answer any questions from the Panel and the person presenting the case, and your Companion cannot answer questions on your behalf. You may also call your witnesses to support your appeal. You should tell the Panel what remedy (outcome) you are seeking.

20.6 The Panel Chair will invite the person presenting the case against you (or their Companion) to respond. The Presenter can indicate (although the Panel is not bound by this) their view of the merits of the appeal.

20.7 The Panel may also call any witnesses not called by another party.  

20.8 You (or your Companion) and the presenter will have the opportunity to question any witnesses, as will the Panel, regardless of who has called those witnesses. The Panel Chair has the right to prevent a question being asked that is irrelevant to the issues and/or only has the purpose of being vexatious (deliberately rude or upsetting).

20.9 If you have a Companion with you, and you wish to speak to them privately at any time, you should ask the Panel Chair to pause the hearing, so you can step outside. If at any time you need a short break to gather your thoughts, you should also ask the Panel Chair. The Panel Chair will try to accommodate these requests.

20.10 You (or your Companion) will have the opportunity to make a closing statement. You should use this opportunity to summarise your appeal.

20.11 The Presenter will be given the opportunity to make a closing statement. They can outline whether they believe the first outcome and penalty to be correct or whether they support the appeal wholly or partly.

20.12 You may wish to raise issues of mitigation which are of a private nature. In this situation, you can ask to speak to the Presenter, the Panel and the Panel Secretary in the absence of anyone else. However, in order to be fair to everybody, if what you say is relevant to another Participant (for example that you blame another student for the situation) then the Panel Chair will need to invite that person back into the room and tell that person what you have said. However, it should not be necessary to tell them things like health or personal problems. Any mitigation that you offer may be included in the outcome letter and seen by others who are sent that letter.

20.13 The Panel Chair should then ask you whether there is anything in particular that you think that the Panel should look at or anything you want to the Panel to know that hasn’t been considered but that is relevant to the appeal. 

20.14 The Panel will then end the hearing and ask you, the Presenter, and any witnesses to leave. 

20.15The Panel will confer among themselves and decide whether 

20.15.1 to reject the appeal and to confirm the decision of the Senate Student Discipline Panel; or

20.15.2 to uphold an appeal wholly or in part.

20.16 In reaching a decision to uphold or reject an appeal, SSDAC must give reasons for its decision.

20.17If the Panel decides to uphold the appeal, wholly or in part, it should decide whether to either 

20.17.1 determine that no breach has been committed; or 

20.17.2 impose a lower penalty (being one that has a less serious consequence for you than the previous penalty); or

20.17.3 arrange for case to be heard de novo (afresh) by a panel of Senate Student Discipline Committee which does not include anyone who heard the case before. 

 

21 Remitting a case back to the Committee Chair 

21.1 Where the Panel Chair believes that the hearing should not proceed (or, if commenced, continue) because

21.1.1 evidence (or a witness) is missing or unavailable and that evidence is necessary to resolve the case fairly; and/or

21.1.2 there is strong reason to believe that you have not received the summons and are not deliberately avoiding the summons; and/or

21.1.3 you present at the hearing with serious mental or physical health issues that affects your ability to respond to the allegations such that it would be unfair to continue at the present time; and/or

21.1.4 you have requested an adjournment and have very strong reasons for making that request; and/or

21.1.5 there is another very substantial reason for not proceeding on that occasion
The hearing shall be remitted back to the Chair of Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee for rescheduling.

 

22. Part-heard hearings

22.1 A Panel Chair has the power to bring a hearing to a halt and to adjourn the rest of the hearing for a period not exceeding 10 working days without giving any reason for this adjournment.

22.2 A Panel Chair has the power to bring a hearing to a halt and to adjourn the rest of the hearing for a period not exceeding 20 working days where the purpose of the adjournment is to enable you to obtain a report from a licensed psychiatrist or alternative appropriately qualified medical practitioner in response to questions identified by the Panel and such a delay is necessary to dispose of the case fairly.

22.3 A hearing above must be resumed using the same Panel as heard the matter prior to the adjournment. 

 

23. Designation of a proceeding as requiring special measures

23.1 The Chair of SSDAC or their nominated representative shall determine whether a hearing requires the implementation of Special Measures, taking into account the preference of the student Participants and the need for procedural and substantive fairness.

23.2 The Panel shall proceed as Academic Mode (Special Measures), Non-Academic Mode (Special Measures), or Professional  Suitability or Research Misconduct Mode (Special Measures) if 

23.2.1 a Participant is aged under 18; and/or 

23.2.2 the case involves an alleged breach of the Policy on Student Harassment and Sexual or Physical Misconduct and a Participant is an alleged victim of such misconduct who does not object to Special Measures; and/or

23.2.3 a Participant other than you will give evidence only if Special Measures are provided.

23.3 The purpose of these special measures is to enable a Participant (usually a witness) to give the best quality evidence that they can so that the Panel can make an accurate determination of whether or not the appeal should be upheld. The existence of special measures does not in any way indicate that the case was decided correctly, as this is for the Panel to determine after hearing the evidence; not does it deflect from the need for careful due process. 

Guidance: Special Measures are different to Reasonable Adjustments for a disability, which should be considered a routine part of the preparation and conduct of a hearing in any Mode.

 

24. Conduct of proceedings in Special Measures

24.1 A hearing in Special Measures may involve the implementation of a number of measures that are designed to assist a Participant in providing the best quality evidence that they can. These measures will be situation specific but may include:

24.1.1 use of more than one hearing room, with a Participant giving evidence by an agreed videoconferencing facility or listening to evidence by an agreed videoconferencing facility; and/or

24.1.2 all questions to a witness being directed via the Panel Chair, who will relay questions appropriately put; and/or

24.1.3 use of a screen to separate a Participant from another Participant or Participants, other than the Panel; and/or

24.1.4 use of an appropriately qualified or experienced support worker by a Participant (who is in addition to any Companion); and/or

24.1.5 regular breaks.

Guidance: Special measures can include a range of different things, with the focus being on ensuring that the Participant can give their best evidence and the Panel’s understanding can be as full as possible. Creative thinking is encouraged and there is no fixed list of what special measures are possible. 

 

25 Notification of outcome to student

25.1 The Hearing Secretary will normally notify you of the outcome by email within 10 working days and the reasons for the Panel’s decision. This email letter may also be copied to:
•    the Presenter, if any
•    the Chair of SSDC and the SSDC Panel chair that heard your case 
•    the Panel Chair, who will have approved the letter
•    those involved in the management or administration of the proceedings, such as the Secretary to the Committee (the University’s Head of Learning and Teaching (Quality)) and staff within the University’s Academic Services division or Postgraduate Research Service
•    those responsible for you (such as your Head of School, Adviser or Supervisor, and (where relevant) Fitness to Practise Lead and/or Degree Apprenticeship Partner and/or employer. 

 

25.2 As stated in Part A paragraph 2, in some circumstances it may be necessary, now or in the future, to provide that information to other organisations.

 

26 Appealing against a decision of the Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your appeal or if your appeal was rejected without a hearing then there are no further appeals within the University. However, you may make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education once our internal procedures are completed. We will tell you more about this in our final outcome letter.