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Discipline Committee FAQs

The university Advocate has reviewed the complaint made against you under the Code of Conduct and the evidence gathered and has formed an opinion that you have a case to answer.  You need to read carefully the proceedures that are outlined in the letter having regard to the various deadlines that are included.

The university advocate will put his case to the Discipline Committee and it is in your best interest to attend and take this opportunity to put your side of the argument.

In the first instance you need to decide whether you are going to contest the charge put to you by the university advocate.  You can either accept or reject the charge that you breached the code of conduct.

The letter you have received will outline the basis of the reason why you are being asked to attend the Discipline Committee. You should now consider this and seek advice from the Students Union or any other sources you may decide on in making your decision. There are two options available to you:

  • You can deny that you have breached the Code of Conduct.
  • You can accept that you have breached the Code of Conduct but seek mitigation of any potential sanction.

In either event you should formally notify Ms Jackie O’Shaughnessy of your decision within the relevant time limits set out in the letter you received.

If you accept that you are in breach of the Code you need to formally notify  Ms Jackie O’Shaughnessy to that effect. You should also include any statement or other evidence of facts which the Committee should take into account before imposing a sanction. You need to submit any such statement/evidence as soon as possible but certainly before the hearing.

If you are unable to attend you may seek to have the case heard at a later date for good cause. You should formally write to Ms O’Shaughnessy outlining the reasons for your request to defer the hearing. The final decision will be made by the Chair of the Discipline Committee. Alternatively, you may send a representative to act on your behalf. In any event, the case may be heard in your absence.

You will have been assigned a number in either the morning or afternoon list. The morning list starts at 9.30am and the afternoon list at 2pm.

You should arrive at least 30 minutes before either 10am or 2pm and register your attendance, providing a contact number where you can be reached during the day. You should be no more than 10 minutes away from the venue of the hearing otherwise you will be put to the end of the list for that day.

The hearing is a closed hearing not open to the public. The Discipline Committee consists of 4 people, two faculty members and two sabbatical officers of the Students Union. They are assisted by a secretariat provided by the University. Also present will be the University Advocate whose task is to present the case on behalf of the University.

You may have a representative present at the hearing, alternatively you may also bring in a friend or relative or other support person into the hearing. However this is subject to a few restrictions. First, a witness that you intend to call may not be present with you in the hearing. Second, some individuals may not be present with you if there is a conflict of interest with others in the discipline process. Finally, there is a limit on the total number of people who can attend with you. These are matters for the Chair of the Discipline Committee. If you have any doubts you should contact Ms Jackie O’Shaughnessy for prior authorisation.

You will be introduced to those in attendance. You will be asked if you have understood the charge that is being alleged and the process in operation. Once you have confirmed this, you will be asked the following:

Do you accept or reject the charge as outlined?

If you accept the charge

the Chair will ask the Advocate what the University considers to be an appropriate sanction in this particular case

you will then be asked if you have anything you wish to say or whether you wish to call witnesses or submit evidence on your behalf

you may be questioned on what you have said

both you and the Advocate will then leave the room in order to allow the Committee to make a determination

you and the Advocate will be asked back into the room and the decision of the Committee will be given to you orally.

If you deny the charge

the Chair will ask you if you accept the facts as alleged by the University

the Chair will then ask the Advocate to present the case on behalf of the University

the Advocate may decide to call witnesses where appropriate

when the Advocate has finished asking questions from the witness, you will then have an opportunity question that witness

the Advocate will close the case on behalf of the University

you will then be asked to present your case and at this stage submit evidence, call witnesses etc

the Advocate may also question your witnesses

both you and the Advocate will be asked to make closing statements

both you and the Advocate will then leave the room in order to allow the Committee to make a determination

you and the Advocate will be asked back into the room and the decision of the Committee as to whether or not you have breached the Code of Conduct will be given to you orally

if the Committee finds that you are not in breach of the Code that will end the hearing and you may leave

if the Committee finds that you are in breach of the Code, then the Chair will ask the Advocate what the University considers to be an appropriate sanction in this particular case

you will then be asked if you have anything you wish to say or whether you wish to call witnesses or submit evidence on your behalf

you may be questioned on what you have said

both you and the Advocate will then leave the room in order to allow the Committee to make a determination on the sanction

you and the Advocate will be asked back into the room and the decision of the Committee will be given to you orally.

 

You are entitled to have legal representation if you wish, but you do not have to have any such representation. You should note that the costs of representation if any will be your responsibility alone and the University does not pay any costs arising from the Discipline process.

It depends. If you contest the facts then you need to present evidence which contradicts the facts alleged by the University. If you seek to mitigate the sanction then you should call witnesses or submit documentary evidence of the basis for the mitigation. In general evidence or witnesses should relate only to establishing the truth of your submission.

Nothing. You will receive a formal notification to this effect in the mail and the matter will be closed. Your file in relation to this matter will be held in University records for the legally required period of time.

The University will formally notify you of the outcome and will include details of the Appeals process. You now need to decide whether to accept the outcome of the hearing or to appeal it.  If you accept the finding of the Discipline Committee then you should contact Ms Jackie O’Shaughnessy if you have any queries. If you decide to appeal the finding, then you should follow the process and grounds for appeal carefully. Please refer to the Code of Conduct.

The University is aware that this is an upsetting time for you. In that regard, it offers the services of the Counselling section of the University who may help you deal with the emotional aspects involved. In addition, Student Academic Administration will assist you in every way possible to explain in full the consequences of any sanction and to chart your next steps.

No. Unless your enrolment has been terminated, the system is designed to permit you to recover from your mistakes. Provided that you comply with the relevant sanction, you will be free to continue with your studies.