The Disciplinary Panel will normally consist of four Governing Body or other senior College members nominated by the Provost, one of whom will be the standing Chair, with a balanced gender representation. It will not include the Dean. The Panel will not include either a tutor of the junior member facing a charge, or any other member of the Governing Body who has, or could reasonably be perceived to have, any conflict of interest in respect of the matter. For this purpose, a tutor is defined as someone who has filed an academic report on a Junior Member’s work, or is expected to do so in the current academic year, or has acted as Moral Tutor for the Junior Member at any stage.
The Disciplinary Panel may, but is not obliged to, ask one or more advisors to be present at its deliberations. Such a person shall not have a vote. An experienced advisor from outside the College will be appointed to assist the Disciplinary Panel in all cases of alleged harassment and/or sexual misconduct.
The work of the Panel and the scheduling of hearings will be administered by the College Office under supervision from the Panel Chair. An experienced note‐taker will be present at all meetings.
The Disciplinary Panel will have one meeting towards the end of each term if there is any business for it, but will convene additional meetings, to be organised by the College Office at the request of the Panel Chair or Provost, if there are matters that require more urgent attention.
The Disciplinary Panel may regulate its proceedings as it sees fit, including (without limitation) setting time‐limits on the evidence to be called by any party consistent with providing a fair opportunity for presentation of relevant evidence whilst ensuring that the matter is heard and determined expeditiously.
Junior members will be summoned before the Disciplinary Panel by the College Office, under the direction of the Panel Chair. When Junior Members are summoned before the Disciplinary Panel, the Panel Chair will inform the Tutor for Undergraduates and/or Graduates of the identity of the Junior Member(s) concerned, but not of the nature of the allegation. The Tutor for Undergraduates and/or Graduates will ensure that appropriate welfare support is provided to the Junior Member(s) concerned.
If Junior Members are summoned before the Disciplinary Panel, attendance is mandatory. If a Junior Member fails or refuses to attend, the Disciplinary Panel may proceed in their absence.
The Dean will appoint a person to present the disciplinary case against the Junior Member on behalf of the College, who may be an external advisor (“the case presenter”).
The Junior Member may be present at all disciplinary hearings, and may be represented by an adviser, friend or other representative (referred to collectively hereafter as “the representative”). The name and status of any representative must be provided to the Panel at least 5 working days in advance of the hearing via the College Office (and copied to the Panel Chair). Where the representative is not from within the University, the Panel Chair will retain discretion as to whether it is appropriate for them to act on the Junior Member’s behalf in all circumstances. For the avoidance of doubt, any costs (including e.g. travel expenses) of any representative will be borne by the Junior Member.
Witness evidence presented at the hearing will normally be oral. The Disciplinary Panel may, at its discretion, require the provision of summaries of evidence or written witness statements before the hearing.
Either the College or the Junior Member may call relevant witnesses, and witnesses so called may be questioned by the case presenter, by the Junior Member or their representative, by the Disciplinary Panel, and by any external advisor. The Panel may also ask additional witnesses to attend. Where appropriate (for example, in cases of sexual misconduct), the Panel may apply special measures to enable an alleged victim to give evidence without undue distress, consistent with fairness towards the accused.
Any documentary evidence should be submitted to the College Office at least 10 working days before the hearing (or according to any alternative timetable set by the Disciplinary Panel). Copies will be made available to the Disciplinary Panel and the parties as soon as reasonably practicable after the College Office has received them.
The Dean will submit evidence on behalf of the College, having carried out an investigation to the reasonable extent possible, given the limited resources and legal powers of the College.
Late evidence will be admitted only with the permission of the Panel.
The case presenter and the Junior Member (or their representative) shall each be entitled to address the Panel at the outset and conclusion of the hearing.
After any relevant statements have been heard, evidence reviewed and questioning concluded, the concerned parties will withdraw and the Disciplinary Panel will consider the case and determine how to proceed and whether a penalty is appropriate and if so, what that penalty should be.
The Disciplinary Panel will decide the case on the balance of probabilities. If the members of the Disciplinary Panel cannot agree, the verdict of the Panel is to be that of the majority of its members (with the Chair having a casting vote in the event of a tied verdict). If the conclusion is that an offence has been committed, a record will be held on the perpetrator’s file and a penalty imposed; otherwise, no record of the case will be held on that Junior Member’s file. If a complaint is deemed vexatious, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against the complainant.
The penalty (which must be proportionate) may include: requiring a Junior Member to reside out of the College premises; a fine of any magnitude; suspension, banning, rustication or expulsion from the College. The Disciplinary Panel may attach such conditions as it sees fit to any penalty. When a Junior Member is suspended, banned or rusticated for a period of time, the Disciplinary Panel may impose an academic condition for return of the Junior Member. The College will be under no obligation to support a Junior Member’s academic activities during any period of suspension, banning or rustication that has been imposed for a non‐academic disciplinary reason.
After a Disciplinary Panel hearing, the Chair shall at once report the Disciplinary Panel’s decision to the Dean and to the Provost, and shall inform the Proctors or police, if appropriate, and any College staff affected by the decision. The Junior Member concerned shall be informed in writing of the Disciplinary Panel’s decision by the Chair of the Panel. The Junior Member will also be advised of their right of appeal to the Governing Body. The full communication to the Junior Member shall not normally be circulated, but shall be held in the College Office. In the event of any appeal, it shall be available to members of the Governing Body.