Effective from 1 January 2024
2. APPLICATION OF THE POLICY
5. REPORTS AND DECISION TO INVESTIGATE
7. ASSESSMENT BY THE JUNIOR CENSOR
8. DISCIPLINARY PANEL
11. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES
12. UNIVERSITY SANCTIONS
13. CONFIDENTIALITY AND DATA PROTECTION
SCHEDULE I: SANCTIONS
SCHEDULE II: CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR
SCHEDULE III: ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS IN ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND/OR VIOLENCE
This policy is made subject to the Statutes and By-laws of the institution. The relevant parts of each are quoted below.
Statutes: In relation to non-academic discipline, the statutes provide:
XXVI.2. General regulations and discipline
“Every member of the House in statu pupillari shall be required to conform to such general regulations as to residence and discipline as may be made from time to time by the Governing Body.”
By-Laws: The By-laws record the responsibilities of the Censors and the Welfare Committee:
28A (1) There shall be a Welfare Committee which shall consider issues relating to the welfare of Junior Members, Senior Members, and staff of the House (including the Prevent Duty and Safeguarding), not including those that are reserved to the Dean and Chapter by Statute I.5 or to the Dean and Canons by Statute I.6, and issues pertaining to non-academic discipline of Junior Members; and it shall make such recommendations in relation to those issues to the Governing Body as it thinks appropriate. The Committee shall also
(a) be responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring and review of welfare and of Junior Member non-academic disciplinary policies for recommendation to the Governing Body;
33 (3) The Censors shall also be responsible to the Governing Body for the welfare and discipline of members of the House in statu pupillari.
1.1 Certain terms are used in a specific sense in this Policy. These terms, and their meanings, are as
- ‘ban’: to withdraw the right of access to specified land, buildings, facilities, or services of the College for a fixed period or pending the fulfilment of specified conditions;
- ‘case’: an implementation of procedures of this Policy resulting from an allegation of misconduct.
- ‘Censor Theologiae’: the Dean’s deputy as in Statute XII 2.
- ‘College’: Christ Church (or, more formally, ‘The Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford of the Foundation of King Henry VIII’).
- ‘reporter’: a person who submits a report under paragraph 4.1.
- ‘Designated Office’: the person, who, at a given time and in respect of a particular case of alleged misconduct, is responsible for the implementation of a procedure of this Policy, and so may be the Junior Censor, the Censor Theologiae, the Chair of a Disciplinary Panel, or the Dean.
- ‘Disciplinary Panel’: a panel convened in accordance with Section 6.
- ‘expel’: to deprive a member permanently of his or her membership of the College;
- ‘Junior Censor’: the Censor Naturalis Philosophiae, as in Statute XVI 1(a) of the Statutes of Christ Church.
- ‘Junior Member’: a person who is enrolled in a course of study which is arranged or supported at least in part by the College, whether or not that course of study will lead to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, and whether or not that person has suspended their studies.
- ‘Member of the College’: a person who is a member of Governing Body, or a current Junior Member, or a Christ Church worker.
- ‘misconduct’: unacceptable conduct as defined in paragraph 3.1.
- ‘sanction’: the penalty or penalties imposed on a Junior Member who has been found by the procedures of this Policy to have engaged in misconduct.
- ‘subject’: a Junior Member who is alleged to have engaged in an act of misconduct.
- ‘suspend’: to withdraw the right of access to all the land, buildings and facilities of the College including teaching, examinations, and all related academic services for a fixed period of time or until the fulfilment of specified conditions, where this action may be taken as an interim measure pending further investigation.
2. APPLICATION OF THE POLICY
2.1 This Non-Academic Disciplinary Policy applies to all Junior Members of Christ Church.
2.2 This Policy applies only to conduct which takes place “within a College context”. Conduct within a college context is defined to be conduct which:
- takes place on College premises; or
- takes place at a College-organized event or function, including a College sporting activity; or
- takes place on the premises of another college or on University premises and a reasonable request is received from the Dean or other competent official of that other college, or from the University Proctors or the Head of a University Department or the Chair of a University Faculty Board as the case may be, to deal with the matter as a breach of College discipline; or
- takes place while the Junior Member is a visiting student at a partner institution.
- utilized facilities provided by the College (including electronic facilities such as the college network);
- utilized facilities provided by the University or by another college and a reasonable request is received from the Dean or other competent official of that other college, or from the University Proctors or the Head of a University Department or the Chair of a University Faculty Board as the case may be, to deal with the matter as a breach of College discipline; or
- was committed against the College or any other Member of College, and in particular where it was committed against any other Member of College on social media;
- threatens to bring the College into disrepute among reasonable people.
3.1 Misconduct, or unacceptable conduct, which is subject to discipline under this Policy includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- any act, omission, or course of conduct contravening a regulation or code of conduct of the College, including a contravention of any College policy, such as the Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech and the College’s Information Technology Regulations, or a breach of a rental licence;
- any act, omission, or course of conduct contravening a Statute or Regulation of the University of Oxford, or a local rule of any University site or building, or a regulation promulgated by the Proctors or by the University’s Rules Committee. The sources of the University’s rules governing student conduct are set out in the Proctors’ and Assessor’s memorandum, which is contained in the Student Handbook issued by the University. This clause is interpreted in the light of that Memorandum.
- any act, omission, or course of conduct prohibited by the criminal law of England and Wales.
- harassment: the definition of harassment and details of the procedures in place to address it are in the College Harassment Policy; harassment includes sexual harassment, threatening behaviour, bullying, and stalking; a single act or a pattern of behaviour may constitute harassment;
- violent or disorderly behaviour; behaviour that is likely to cause injury or to impair people’s safety,
- theft; vandalism; damage to buildings or personal property; unwarranted interference with fire alarms, fire extinguishers, or any other equipment;
- producing, procuring, possessing, using or supplying illegal drugs or other dangerous substances, or allowing College premises to be used to facilitate these purposes;
- fraud or false accounting;
- the use of dishonest means in any examination or in fulfilling any academic obligation including, but without limitation, cheating in any College or faculty collection or in any University examination;
- failure to satisfy the conditions attached to a sanction or to a conditional determination under this Policy;
- obstructing a College Officer or member of staff in the proper discharge of their duty,
- conduct which is detrimental to the interests of the College.
4.1 A disciplinary process under this Policy will be kept separate from issues of academic progress, monitoring and support.
4.2 Findings of misconduct will be based upon the civil standard of the balance of probabilities. The burden of proof lies with the College.
4.3 Any time limits contained in this Policy may, in exceptional circumstances and for good reason, be extended by the Junior Censor or a Disciplinary Panel or the Dean as appropriate. All parties involved should be informed of any such extensions promptly.
4.4 ‘Day’ shall mean a full working day (Monday-Friday) and shall exclude Saturday, Sunday, and bank holidays.
4.5 Any reference in this Policy to a named role includes a delegate appointed to exercise some or all of the functions assigned to that role-holder under this Policy. In particular, a delegate may be appointed from outside the College. A delegate will be appointed to replace any person who may have a conflict of interest or may reasonably be perceived to have a conflict or be biased.
4.6 Malicious or vexatious allegations may result in disciplinary action against the reporter.
4.7 Once an allegation has been determined under the procedure set out in this Policy, it will not usually be reconsidered, other than by way of an appeal (see Section 9). The Junior Censor may determine that it is appropriate to reconsider an allegation in the event that new evidence emerges which, for good reason, could not have been obtained by the College at the time. In deciding whether it is appropriate to consider an allegation for a second time, consideration will be given to:
- Whether the outcome of the first process has been called into question, and if so why;
- The length of time that has elapsed and the effect of this on the reliability of any evidence to be considered;
- The severity of the alleged misconduct and
- The impact on the Junior Member or Junior Members involved in the allegation of holding a second disciplinary process.
4.8 Where the circumstances of a Junior Member mean that they are subject to the procedures in this Policy, and that they are already, or may imminently become, subject to the procedures of another College policy, it may be appropriate to consolidate matters into a single procedure. In such circumstances, the relevant officers, i.e., those with oversight of the relevant procedure of each policy, shall meet to consider this question and, where it appears to them that a consolidated process is appropriate, agree the steps such a process should follow. The Junior Member shall be consulted both on the question of consolidation and on the nature of a consolidated process. A consolidated procedure shall not deprive the Junior Member of any avenue of appeal that would otherwise be open to them. Where the relevant officers for the policies do not find it appropriate to consolidate their procedures or where they cannot agree on the nature of a consolidated procedure, both procedures shall continue, and the relevant officers shall consider what, if any, adjustments to their procedures might be appropriate in the circumstances. The relevant officer in the case of this Policy shall be the
1. as defined in 1.1(f)
5. REPORTS AND DECISION TO INVESTIGATE
5.1 Where a report is brought to a Censor by a member of College, the Junior Censor will normally investigate. The Junior Censor may also investigate conduct under this policy whenever they have good reason to do so, whether or not any such report has been received.
5.2 The Junior Censor shall, on receipt of such a report or when an investigation is begun without such report, ensure that all parties are aware of appropriate sources of support available to them, including the College Welfare Team and the University support services.
5.3 The Junior Censor, taking such professional advice as they deem necessary, may put in place precautionary measures which are reasonably necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the College and the safety of its members. Such measures may include the imposition of a ban from some or all College premises, or a No Contact order. These precautionary measures are neutral in effect and do not imply that anyone on whom measures are imposed has been found to have engaged in misconduct.
Details on Precautionary Measures are given in Section 11.
5.4 A delegate to the Junior Censor may be appointed by the Junior Censor or by Governing Body. The delegate must be a member of Governing Body or be approved by the Governing Body as being a suitable Disciplinary Panel member and must not be a Censor. In the rest of this section, the term ”Junior Censor” should be understood to mean either the Junior Censor or their delegate as appropriate.
5.5 When deciding whether it is appropriate to investigate, the Junior Censor will consider all the relevant circumstances including but not limited to:
- whether the allegation has been determined by an external body (such as a court), and the relevant burden of proof in that procedure; and
- whether it is proportionate to investigate having regard to factors including the cost to the College, the nature and/or seriousness of the allegation; and
- whether any of the Junior Members whose alleged conduct is under consideration for investigation is on a course of study resulting in a professional qualification where the alleged misconduct may be of particular relevance.
5.6 Where misconduct has been alleged, the Junior Censor will not normally investigate in the following instances:
- where the alleged misconduct took place more than 6 months previously, and particularly where the misconduct is alleged to have been committed by someone who is no longer a current Junior Member, subject to special considerations for cases involving sexual harassment, as set out in Schedule III; or
- where the subject’s situation also constitutes a proper basis for disciplinary steps to be taken by the University Proctors, and such steps have been proposed or initiated; or (c) where there are ongoing criminal, regulatory or other proceedings in relation to the same matter; or
- where an allegation has already been considered under this Policy.
5.7 Where the Junior Censor did not investigate misconduct in the context of 5.6(b) or 5.6(c), once the external process/processes addressing the conduct has/have been completed, the Junior Censor may, if it is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances, investigate that misconduct under this Policy. In particular, the Junior Censor may investigate notwithstanding that Proctorial proceedings have been discontinued or that Proctorial charges have been dismissed, and no finding of fact by the Proctors or absence of any such finding will bind the College.
6.1 In the case where there is an allegation of misconduct which the Junior Censor determines should be investigated, the Academic Office or the Junior Censor shall contact the Junior Member(s) alleged to have engaged in the misconduct (the ‘subject’ henceforth) and explain to the subject the general nature of the alleged misconduct.
6.2 For minor acts of misconduct which are admitted by the subject, the Junior Censor may write a short report on the matter and proceed to Section 7 below saving that they shall not then refer the matter to the Censor Theologiae. In all other cases, the Junior Censor shall make reasonable efforts to obtain all relevant evidence, whether orally or in writing, from any person or persons who submitted a report about the conduct, and from any witnesses.
6.3 In the event allegations relate to conduct which could constitute a criminal offence, or sexual harassment or violence, Schedule II and/or III may also apply.
6.4 Having considered all the initial evidence they have gathered, the Junior Censor shall consider whether it supports further investigation of the allegation of misconduct. Where the Junior Censor concludes that it does not, the case shall be dismissed. Where the Junior Censor concludes that further investigation is warranted, an Investigator shall be tasked with that investigation.
6.5 The Junior Censor may choose to act as the Investigator, and will normally do so in straightforward cases, but where it appears to them that either
- the alleged misconduct is serious enough that it could warrant a sanction more substantial than the penalties they are empowered to impose, or
- the evidence available to them suggests that a full investigation may be complex, in particular where it appears that the circumstances of the alleged misconduct are in dispute.
the Junior Censor shall appoint an Investigator to carry out the remaining stages of the procedure described in this Section.
6.6 The Investigator may be another member of Governing Body who is not a Censor, or any person that has been approved by Governing Body as suitable to act as an Investigator. The Junior Censor may also appoint a solicitor or other person external to the College where they consider that person has expertise appropriate for the proper investigation of the alleged misconduct.
6.7 The Investigator will ask the subject to attend for an interview which they will be conduct by in accordance with the procedure outlined below. In scheduling the interview, the Investigator shall be mindful to give the subject enough time to consider their response to the allegation of misconduct.
6.8 The subject may be accompanied to their interview by a supporter who shall normally be a member of the College, for example a friend, a peer supporter, or a member of the Welfare Team. Where the subject’s choice of supporter is not from within the College, the Investigator will retain discretion as to whether it is appropriate for a supporter from outside the College to be present in all circumstances.
6.9 The interview will be held in private, and attendance shall normally be limited to the subject, their supporter, the Investigator, and a note-taker. The Investigator shall inform the subject in writing of the arrangements for the interview, giving the subject sufficient time to prepare. Both in the written notification, and again at the beginning of the interview itself, the Investigator shall explain:
- that the subject does not have to answer questions and that any responses or documents provided may be used by the College in evidence against them; and
- that if the subject refuses to answer questions this may be taken into account; and
- that, were it to be the case that the alleged conduct could constitute a criminal offence, the police might be able to obtain records of their disciplinary case in a future investigation.
6.10 The interview may be adjourned if either the Investigator or the subject reasonably require evidence in relation to the alleged misconduct to be provided by other persons.
6.11 If the subject admits the alleged misconduct, the Investigator shall elicit all information about the misconduct relevant to the penalty it might warrant. If the subject denies the alleged misconduct, they will be invited to make representations in support of their innocence in writing to the Investigator within a reasonable period after the interview.
6.12 The Investigator will carry out whatever further investigation of the alleged misconduct is reasonable given the limited resources and legal authority of the College.
6.13 Having completed their investigation and considered any representations provided by the subject, the Investigator shall produce a report on the alleged misconduct and a bundle with the relevant evidence.
6.14 Where the Investigator has been appointed as in 6.5, they shall provide the Junior Censor with their report and the relevant evidence upon its completion.
7. ASSESSMENT BY THE JUNIOR CENSOR
7.1 The Junior Censor shall consider the report and relevant evidence and satisfy themselves that reasonable and proportionate investigatory steps have been taken. Taking into account the Investigator’s report, the representations provided by the subject and all relevant evidence, the Junior Censor shall, within five days of the completion of the Investigator’s report, either
- determine that the subject did not engage in misconduct, whereupon the case shall be dismissed, or
- determine that the subject has engaged in minor misconduct, or
- refer the case to the Censor Theologiae to put to a Disciplinary Panel as set out in Section 8.
7.2 If the Junior Censor finds that the subject has engaged in minor misconduct, in disposing of the case, the Junior Censor is empowered to impose a sanction which may be any penalty, or combination of penalties, listed in I.1 of Schedule I. The Junior Censor may also impose a conditional determination.
7.3 Where the subject has been found to have engaged in minor misconduct, the Junior Censor will
- invite the subject to present any mitigating circumstances or factors that they believe should be taken into account when determining what should be the consequences for that misconduct.
- decide, considering all the circumstances including the representations of the subject, if the misconduct warrants a sanction or a conditional determination, ensuring that either the penalty or penalties of the sanction or the conditions required in a conditional determination are appropriate and proportionate in all the circumstances.
8. DISCIPLINARY PANEL
8.1 If the Junior Censor decides to refer a case to the Censor Theologiae they shall do so in writing. The Junior Censor shall also write, on the same day, to the subject and, where appropriate, the reporter, to inform them that the case has been referred to the Censor Theologiae.
8.2 In the event allegations relate to conduct which could constitute a criminal offence, or sexual harassment or violence, Schedule II and/or III may also apply.
8.3 A delegate to the Censor Theologiae may be appointed by the Censor Theologiae or the Governing Body. The delegate must be a member of Governing Body or be approved by the Governing Body as being a suitable Disciplinary Panel member and must not be a Censor. In the rest of this section, the term ”Censor Theologiae” should be understood to mean either the Censor Theologiae or their delegate as appropriate.
8.4 On receipt of a referral, the Censor Theologiae shall appoint a Disciplinary Panel (henceforth “Panel”). A Panel will consist of three people, one of whom is Chair. Giving due consideration to the gravity of the allegation and the need to ensure the process respects the requirements of natural justice and fairness, the Censor Theologiae shall, where appropriate, appoint an independent expert to Chair a Panel. Save where the Censor Theologiae appoints an independent Chair, the members of the panel must be members of Governing Body or people who have been approved by Governing Body as being suitable Disciplinary Panel members. The Panel shall not include any member of Governing Body who has been a tutor or supervisor of the subject, or who could have, or could reasonably be perceived to have, any conflict of interest in respect of the matter.
8.5 A Disciplinary Panel may be appointed to consider a single case or a group of cases. Where the Junior Censor has referred more than one case involving the same subject, the Censor Theologiae shall ask the Disciplinary Panel to consider whether it is appropriate to consolidate these cases. The Censor Theologiae will write to the subject informing them of the identities of proposed Disciplinary Panel members and stating that if they have any objection to the appointment of any of the members, they must set out the reasons for their objections in an email to the Academic Office within 2 working days.
Where the case was initiated by a report, the Censor Theologiae will also consult with the reporter as to whether any Panel member might have a conflict or appearance of conflict in respect of the case. Where concerns raised in relation to a proposed Panel member are such that, after consulting with that proposed Panel member, the Censor Theologiae determines that they give reasonable grounds to consider a proposed Panel member inappropriate in all the circumstances of the case, the Censor
Theologiae will aim to appoint an alternative panel member within 3 working days of making that determination.
8.6 The work of the Panel will be administered by the Academic Office under supervision from the Chair.
8.7 The Junior Censor shall present the report and bundle of evidence produced by the Investigator to the Disciplinary Panel.
8.8 Having considered the Investigator’s report, the Panel shall hold a hearing in one or more sessions. The Junior Censor will normally be required to present the case against the subject at that hearing.
8.9 Arrangements for the hearing shall be made by the Academic Office under the direction of the Chair. These arrangements shall ensure that the subject
- is provided with, at least two weeks before the start of the hearing,
- the allegation(s) of misconduct that the hearing will consider and the date(s) of the hearing,
- those parts of the Investigator’s report and supporting evidence relevant to the allegations of misconduct the hearing will consider along with the names of any witnesses the Chair wishes to call.
- is asked to confirm their attendance at each hearing and whether they wish to call any witnesses.
In the event that the subject is unable to attend the Disciplinary Meeting on the proposed date or chooses not attend they should write to the Chair promptly, providing reasons for their inability to attend and/or decision not to attend. The Chair may either propose an alternative time for (the session of) the hearing or confirm that the hearing will proceed at the original time in the absence of the subject. If the subject wishes to submit any written evidence, it must be provided to the Panel at least three days before the date of the Hearing.
8.10 The subject will normally be present at all sessions of the hearing, and may be accompanied by a supporter who will normally be a member of College or a member of the Oxford Student Union. The subject shall provide the Chair with the name and status of anyone they wish to have as a supporter at least 5 working days in advance of the hearing. Where the subject proposes someone who is not from within the College or a member of the Oxford Student Union, the Chair will retain discretion
as to whether, in the circumstances, it is appropriate to allow that person to act as a supporter. In particular, disciplinary hearings do not have the same formality as a court, and thus it is not normally necessary for a student to be legally represented. For the avoidance of doubt, all costs (including e.g., travel expenses) incurred by a representative will be borne by the subject.
8.11 Subject to the Statutes and By-laws of the College and the requirements of this Policy, the Chair shall determine the procedures for the hearing, including the manner in which questions can be put to any witnesses. In doing so, the Chair shall seek to ensure that the procedures they select will allow the case to be heard expeditiously, the hearing to provide a fair opportunity for the presentation of relevant evidence, and its sessions to be, so far as possible in view of the seriousness of the case, informal
8.12 The Academic Office shall arrange for notes to be taken at each session of the hearing.
8.13 If any person required to attend a hearing of the Panel fails to appear, the Panel may, at its discretion, adjourn the proceedings. However, the failure of any person to attend a hearing, including the subject, shall not necessitate an adjournment, and the Panel may deal with the case in their absence, provided it satisfied that it is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances to do so, and in particular, that proper notice of the hearing has been given to the absent person.
8.14 After the hearing has concluded, the Panel shall determine, in the absence of any other person, unless that person is present as a note-taker, whether or not the alleged misconduct has occurred. Before doing so, it will satisfy itself that, in light of the hearing and all written evidence, reasonable and proportionate efforts have been made to obtain the relevant evidence which is necessary to determine the issues in the case; assess the relevance, reliability and credibility of the evidence; satisfy itself that the subject has had a fair opportunity to answer the case against them. In deciding whether or not the alleged misconduct has occurred it must satisfy itself that, on the balance of probabilities, this has been shown from the evidence obtained. Where it decides that misconduct has occurred it shall identify the form of sanction which it is minded to adopt, subject to further representations by the subject.
8.15 The decision of the Panel shall be by simple majority vote. Normally it will reach a decision within five days of the end of the hearing. Where this is not possible it will inform the subject within the five-day period of the delay and indicate to the best of its ability when a decision will be reached.
8.16 The Disciplinary Panel will notify the subject of its decision promptly. Where it determines that misconduct was committed by the subject, it will also provide to the subject brief reasons for that decision and the nature of the penalty it is minded to impose. It will invite the subject to make representations to the Disciplinary Panel within 3 working days of notification of the determination, regarding the nature of the penalty the Panel might impose. Such representations may be made orally or in writing, at the choice of the subject.
8.17 The Disciplinary Panel may impose any penalty or, where appropriate, combination of penalties as set out in Schedule I. It may also make a conditional determination. It will consider the range of available penalties and impose, if any, a penalty, or conditional determination, that is appropriate and proportionate in all the circumstances.
9.1 Any subject of an investigation under this Policy shall have the right to appeal to the Dean against a finding of misconduct that they were the subject of and/or the penalty imposed as a result of being the subject of such a finding by either the Junior Censor or a Disciplinary Panel. Where appropriate, the Dean or the Governing Body may appoint a delegate of the Dean to consider such an appeal. References to the Dean in the rest of this section should be understood to refer to the Dean or their delegate, as appropriate.
9.2 An appeal to the Dean can only be made on the following grounds:
- that the procedures were not followed properly;
- that the decision maker(s) reached an irrational decision;
- that the subject has new material evidence that they were unable, for valid reasons, to provide earlier in the process;
- that there was bias or reasonable perception of bias during the procedure;
- that the penalty imposed was clearly disproportionate, or not permitted under the procedure.
9.3 If the subject of a determination wishes to appeal its findings and/or penalty that subject shall notify the Academic Office in writing of their intention to appeal within two days of their receipt of the determination. The subject shall then have a further ten days to provide their written representations.
9.4 The Dean, having received the subjects written representations may, if appropriate, hold an appeal meeting with the subject, who may be accompanied by a supporter. Where the subject wishes to be accompanied by a supporter, they shall provide the Dean with the name and status of that person at least three days in advance of the meeting. The Dean shall retain discretion as to whether it is appropriate for any person to act as a supporter, but will normally consent to any person who has been permitted to act as a supporter for the subject at an earlier stage of their case. A note-taker shall be present at such a meeting to ensure a record of the meeting is made.
9.5 Where the subject is appealing against a determination of the Junior Censor, the Dean may, after taking into account all representations made in writing or orally by the subject, accept the Junior Censor’s determination of misconduct and their penalty, accept the determination but vary the penalty, reverse the Junior Censor’s determination on the misconduct, or refer the case to a Disciplinary Panel under Section 8, saving that the Junior Censor shall not play any role in its proceedings.
9.6 Where the subject is appealing against a determination of a Disciplinary Panel, the Dean may, after taking into account all representations made orally or in writing by the subject, accept, modify, or reject the findings of a Disciplinary Panel and/or vary the penalty.
9.7 The Dean shall inform the subject in writing, as soon as practicable, of their determination.
9.8 There is no further opportunity for appeal within the College. However, the Conference of Colleges Appeal Tribunal (CCAT) will consider an appeal against a decision to impose a substantial penalty. The CCAT process can be found here.
9.9 If the subject remains dissatisfied, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education will consider complaints from Junior Members about their institution.
10.1 If in the course of applying the College’s procedures in a particular case either the subject concerned, or the Designated Officer2 believes that the subject’s health at the time was, or has become, a material consideration, the procedures shall be adjourned for medical advice.
10.2 Such advice should preferably be sought from the College Doctor after obtaining an appropriate waiver of confidentiality from the subject. With the agreement of the Designated Officer, but with the same waiver, the opinion may be sought from the subject’s own doctor or one of their choosing.
10.3 If, in the light of this advice, the Designated Officer is of the opinion that a further opinion would be materially helpful, they may recommend that the subject has an independent specialist medical examination at the expense of the College provided that the subject is willing to waive confidentiality.
10.4 Having considered the medical evidence, or in the event the subject has refused to co- operate and concerns relating to their health are ongoing, the Designated Officer may, after considering any representation that the subject may wish to make in writing or in person or through a supporter, decide:
- that the subject is not in fact suffering from a serious problem relating to ill health, in which case the adjourned disciplinary procedures may be resumed.
- that the health problem is considered serious and relevant to the alleged misconduct, and refer the subject to a Fitness to Study Panel;
- to discharge the subject, either absolutely or subject to conditions;
- that despite the subject’s ill-health, disciplinary proceedings should be resumed, where due consideration should be given to the question of what, if any, adjustments to the proceedings might be appropriate in the circumstances.
2. as defined in 1.1(f)
11. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES
11.1 The Junior Censor or the Censor Theologiae may suspend rights of access to all or any specified College premises and facilities as necessary to protect the College or any of its members. Suspension can be used as an interim measure pending further investigation or disciplinary proceedings, and in circumstances where a Junior Member’s report raises a concern about the conduct of another Junior Member, a No Contact order may be appropriate. Any restrictions placed on a Junior Member in this manner are a neutral act and shall have no bearing on any later decision.
11.2 Precautionary measures should aim to cause the minimum restriction necessary to protect the individuals concerned or other members of the College or University from an identified risk, or to protect an investigation under this Policy, and should take into account safeguarding considerations where relevant.
11.3 Precautionary measures are particularly likely to be appropriate in cases involving a risk to any individual’s mental or physical health, issues of a highly sensitive or confidential nature and/or where there is a threat of serious disruption to College activities.
11.4 The College may also determine that it is appropriate to refer a matter to the police or seek guidance from the police where the allegation relates to serious criminal conduct and/or where there is a significant imminent risk of harm to Junior Members or staff.
12. UNIVERSITY SANCTIONS
12.1 Where a Junior Member is suspended by the University, the College will, subject to a right of representation by the Junior Member, do likewise.
12.2 Where a Junior Member has been expelled by the University, they are no longer able to complete their course of study. They are therefore deemed to be expelled by the College.
13. CONFIDENTIALITY AND DATA PROTECTION
13.1 It is essential that those involved in a disciplinary procedure (including reporters) observe the confidentiality requirements of those procedures. Individuals must not disclose to anyone (other than those involved in this procedure, and where relevant) personal information about other individuals that they acquire from their participation in this procedure, either during the process or subsequently.
13.2 It is necessary that all parties feel able to engage fully with the procedure without concern for the wider sharing of information disclosed within the investigation process. Following the conclusion of the procedure, whilst those involved may discuss their personal experience of the procedure with professional advisors such as Tutors, Mental Health Advisors or GPs, they should not identify or provide details that might identify any individual involved.
13.3 Further to the conclusion of a disciplinary case, members of College may need to be told certain information in relation to the outcome. This could include the Junior Member’s Subject Tutor or College Adviser, certain senior members of staff (e.g., in the Academic Office) and where necessary (e.g., for the implementation of certain penalties) certain other College staff. All documentation regarding the disciplinary process must be kept securely and not shared with unauthorized parties. Disciplinary records are retained in line with applicable data protection regulations.
Schedule I: Sanctions
This Schedule describes the nature of the penalty or penalties which may be imposed as a sanction when a Junior Member is found to have committed an act of misconduct, and the considerations that will be taken into account when determining such a sanction.
I.2 Penalties for minor acts of misconduct
- A requirement that the subject apologize, orally or in writing, to the College or to named individuals.
- A requirement that the subject undertake specified training.
- A requirement that the subject produce a written reflection.
- A warning, which will remain on the subject’s disciplinary record for a specified period, not normally longer than one year.
- A ban, not exceeding 14 days from any specified College locations, facilities and services not including the subject’s own College-provided living accommodation or the route to it, so imposed so as not to disproportionately interfere with the subject’s academic work.
- A ban, not exceeding 28 days, from any specified College locations, facilities and services which, for the subject, serve an exclusively or almost exclusively recreational function.
- Service on College premises, of up to 20 hours, so scheduled as to give priority to the subject’s academic work.
- A fine of up to £500, so calculated so as not to expose the subject to disproportionate hardship.
The penalties listed above may be imposed individually or in combination. They may be imposed by the Junior Censor or a Disciplinary Panel.
I.3 Penalties for major acts of misconduct
- A ban, for a period of up to one academic year, from any College premises other than by prior consent for academic purposes and/or from residing in College accommodation with or without conditions that need to be satisfied before a return to the College premises and/or accommodation.
- A ban, for a period of up to one academic year, from any College premises other than by prior consent for academic purposes and/or from residing in College accommodation unless certain conditions are satisfied, with or without further conditions that need to be satisfied before a return to the College premises and/or accommodation.
- Suspension from the College for a period of up to one academic year, with or without conditions that need be satisfied before return to College.
- Suspension from the College for a period of up to one academic year unless certain conditions are satisfied, with or without further conditions that need to be satisfied before return to College.
- Expulsion from the College unless certain conditions are satisfied.
- Expulsion from the College.
Note that suspension from the College will lead to suspension from the University. Penalties for major acts of misconduct can only be imposed by a Disciplinary Panel save that they may be varied by the Dean. For the avoidance of doubt, the penalties for major acts of misconduct shall only be imposed individually and never in combination.
I.4 Conditional determination
A case may also be disposed by the imposition of a conditional determination that there should be no penalty so long as certain conditions are satisfied. Where a conditional determination is imposed, the penalty or penalties (if any) to be incurred if the subject fails to satisfy the conditions shall be specified.
The conditions that may be attached to a penalty under i) to iv) of I.3, or to a conditional determination include
- that the subject is to commit no act misconduct of any type or of any specified type for a specified period or indefinitely;
- that the subject is to report to the Junior Censor at such intervals and for such period as the Junior Censor and/or Disciplinary Panel may determine with a view to keeping the subject’s conduct under review and for the purposes of which review the subject’s assent to a conduct agreement may be required;
- that the subject is to take some other reasonable step or steps specified in the disposal, the step or steps to be taken before a specified date, provided that the step will not be one designed to penalize the subject.
Failure to satisfy the conditions attached to a sanction or to a conditional determination is itself misconduct, and so subject to investigation under this Policy. Such misconduct will normally however be considered minor and, as such, findings of it will normally result only in the imposition of the penalties (if any) specified in the determination that imposed the conditions
Where a determination against a subject finds that the consequences of their misconduct has resulted in repairs, additional cleaning, or replacement of College property, these costs will be considered when determining the appropriateness of the penalty that is imposed.
I.7 Approach to determining sanctions
When reaching a decision as to what penalty to impose, or to specify a conditional determination, the Junior Censor or Disciplinary Panel will ensure the consequences for subject are proportionate, and will take into account the circumstances of the misconduct, and of the subject.
Relevant factors may include (without limitation):
- the seriousness of the misconduct;
- the degree of harm caused to any victim, including the College; the subject’s previous disciplinary record;
- whether or not the subject has co-operated with the investigation;
- the degree of insight shown by the subject;
- the existence of mitigating or aggravating factors;
- in the case of a financial penalty, the subject’s financial position. Mitigating factors may include (without limitation):
- the subject has apologized to any victim;
- it is the subject’s first act of misconduct;
- the subject admitted the misconduct at the earliest opportunity; and the subject has expressed remorse;
- the subject has compelling circumstances that affected their judgement;
Aggravating factors may include (without limitation):
- any failure to co-operate with investigatory or risk assessment processes;
- where the conduct was motivated by protected characteristics or perceived protected characteristics;
- repeated misconduct of the same or similar nature;
- failure to comply with a minor sanction.
A Member of College who is taking illegal drugs and comes forward to seek help will be treated as far as possible as a medical and welfare case (see the Blue Book for more information on the College’s welfare provisions).
I.9 Indicative Sanctions
The following table is intended to give a sense of the kind of penalty which may be imposed on a subject who is found to have committed misconduct. Depending on the particular circumstances of the subject and of the event, misconduct of the same nature may incur penalties of varying severity. Where a range is not given in the table below, the penalty listed should be taken to indicate what would normally be the minimum penalty that would be imposed.
|Nature of Offence
|Misuse of fire equipment, fire doors or fire alarms.
|Fine of £200 up to exclusion from college accommodation.
|Activation of fire alarms in private rooms through
|£70 (for first offence, the subject may be require to take fire safety awareness training in lieu of a fine.)
|Unacceptable behaviour such as rudeness to staff.
|Jumping into the pond beneath Mercury
|£50 plus any costs from damage caused to property
or injury to the pond’s fish.
|Violent, threatening or certain kinds of offensive
|Kindling of naked flame indoors.
|Contravention of IT regulations.
|£50–100 and, in certain, cases University IT may temporarily block the machine used from network.
|Offences related to drug dealing.
|Using Class A drugs.
|Suspension (though see I.8 above).
|Using Class C drugs.
|Fine of £100 up to exclusion from College accommodation.
|Serious breach of the terms of the room license (e.g.,
repeated intentional damage to a College room).
|Exclusion from College accommodation and/or suspension.
|Stalking of a Member of College
|No contact order up to exclusion and/or suspension.
|Misconduct endangering a person’s life including
that of the subject (such as climbing on the roof in
certain parts of the College).
|Exclusion from College accommodation up to expulsion.
Schedule II: Behaviour which could constitute a criminal offence
Where this Policy applies and the subject’s situation also constitutes a proper basis for investigation by the police or by any other public authority, or for any other steps to be taken towards prosecution in the criminal courts, and such steps have been proposed or initiated (or their imminent proposal or initiation can reasonably be foreseen), any steps proposed or initiated under this Policy will usually be stayed until the conclusion or abandonment of the investigation or prosecution.
Where the alleged victim of an alleged criminal offence is a member of the College, the College will provide that person with necessary support, including supporting them in their decision about reporting the matter to police.
Disciplinary steps may subsequently be taken under this Policy notwithstanding that criminal proceedings have not been commenced or have been discontinued or that criminal charges have been dismissed. The College will not treat discontinuance or dismissal of such proceedings as evidence that the subject did not commit an act of misconduct in the manner alleged.
The fact that proceedings under this Policy are stayed pending the outcome of criminal investigation or prosecution will not prevent the Junior or Censor Theologiae from taking safeguarding and/or precautionary measures they deem necessary, as referred to in Section 11 of this Policy.
Where a Junior Member is found to have breached University regulations or is found guilty of a criminal offence, the College may subsequently pursue the same matter under this Policy and attach its own penalty to the same breach or offence, making due allowance for any penalty or other measure already imposed by the Proctors or by the courts. The College also retains the right, following any Proctorial finding against or criminal conviction of a Junior Member as well as in any other circumstances, to take steps to ensure the proper functioning of the College and the safety of its members, which are not regulated by this Policy
Schedule III: Additional considerations in allegations involving harassment, sexual harassment and/or violence
In cases of harassment (excluding certain cases where this is not appropriate, as explained in the College’s Policy and Procedures on Harassment) Junior Members will be encouraged to consider informal means of resolution outlined Stage 1 of the Harassment Policy before the matter is considered under this Policy.
The College follows the University’s definition of consent:
“Consent is the free agreement by choice to participate in a sexual act where the individual
has both the freedom and the capacity to make that choice. Consent cannot be assumed on
the basis of a previous sexual experience or previously given consent, or from the absence of
objection. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.”
III.2.1 All University Junior Members, including Christ Church Junior Members, can access support from the University’s Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service. The Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service provides free, impartial, confidential support and advice to any Junior Member who has been affected by sexual harassment or violence.
In considering who will act as the Investigator in the case of a report raised originally through a complaint under the Harassment Policy, the Junior Censor shall ensure the person they appoint to act as Investigator possesses the qualifications and expertise necessary for the proper execution of that investigation. The Junior Censor may take professional advice on the nature of the appointment as they deem necessary.
III.3.1 Any investigation considering allegations of lack of consent should enquire as to the steps
taken to obtain consent, including how the subject knew or believed the reporter was (a) consenting to the sexual behaviour and (b) continued to consent.
III.3.2 All those involved with the procedure should be mindful that:
- Allegations of sexual misconduct and/or violence are more likely to be made some time after
the event than allegations of other types of misconduct.
- Delays in reporting, or reluctance to involve the Police, should have no bearing on determining the veracity of the allegation.
- The College does not have the legal investigatory powers of the Police and cannot make a determination on criminal guilt.
- A College investigation determines only whether misconduct has occurred.
III.3.3 In particular, and for the avoidance of doubt, the Junior Censor may decide it is appropriate to investigate an allegation of sexual harassment notwithstanding the fact that the event in question occurred more than 6 months before the allegation was made.
III.3.4 Where an external Chair of a Disciplinary Panel is appointed, the Chair will consider practical arrangements to ensure the safety of the witnesses at the hearing. This could include
- separate waiting areas;
- allowing witnesses to be supported by a third party;
- allowing witnesses to give evidence from behind a screen or via video link from a different location;
- ensuring appropriate welfare support is provided to the Junior Members.