Regulations for Disciplinary Investigations by the Proctors under Statute XI
Council Regulations 2 of 2006
Made by Council on 1 June 2006
Amended on 11 June 2009 (date of effect 1 October 2009), 12 May 2011 (date of effect 1 October 2011), 29 November 2016 (Gazette, Vol. 147, p. 127, 10 November 2016), 17 January 2017 (Gazette, Vol. 147, p. 179-180, 8 December 2016). and 18 June 2019 (Gazette, Vol.149, p.564, 20 June 2019).
1. In these regulations, unless otherwise stated:
(1) references to sections are to sections of Statute XI;
(2) references to colleges shall include colleges, societies, Permanent Private Halls, and other institutions designated by Council by regulation as being permitted to present candidates for matriculation;
(3) references to breaches or alleged breaches are to breaches or alleged breaches of the Disciplinary Code under sections 2 and 3;
(4) ‘student’ or ‘students’ means the student member or members of the University (as defined in section 1 (a)) alleged to be in breach of the Disciplinary Code;
(5) where notice has to be given a specified number of ‘clear days’ before an interview or hearing, the day of receipt of the notice and the day of the interview or hearing shall be excluded from the calculation;
(6) any notice sent by the Proctors shall be deemed to arrive on the day after dispatch, unless the contrary is proved.
2. Regulations 1-13 inclusive shall apply to the Proctors in the exercise of their powers and duties under sections 26, 28, 29, 30, 43, 47 and 50.
3. Any investigation undertaken under these regulations shall be carried out:
(1) with all reasonable expedition; and
(2) in a manner which is just, fair, and reasonable in the light of all the circumstances.
4. The Proctors may make enquiries through their staff or any other appropriate person as to the circumstances of the matter under investigation and in addition may delegate their powers and duties under Statute XI to a suitably trained member of Congregation to act on their behalf in cases where there are allegations of sexual misconduct.
5. If at any time the Proctors, in consultation with the University Marshal, are of the opinion that evidence available appears to disclose the commission of a serious criminal offence, they shall consider whether it is appropriate to seek the views of the appropriate police force before proceeding further internally.
6. Once the Proctors have decided to investigate they will usually send the student a summary of the allegations made against them and will inform the Dean of the student’s college that an investigation is to take place and which provisions of the Code of Discipline the student is alleged to have breached.
7. In the light of details disclosed in the initial investigation and any further enquiries, the Proctors shall take steps to interview or otherwise request information from individuals connected with the matter alleged, or request their staff or any other appropriate person to conduct interviews on the Proctors’ behalf, and assemble such material as may be relevant as evidence.
8. (1) Any interview shall be contemporaneously recorded.
(2) If the interview is recorded in writing, both the student and anyone accompanying the student shall be invited to sign the record as the record taken at the interview; should this be declined, the investigator shall endorse the record that this facility has been offered and declined.
9. Any individual invited for interview by the Proctors may be accompanied by a student member or a member of University, college or Oxford University Student Union staff.
10. Where the Proctors intend to interview a student who is suspected of committing a breach they shall, except in urgent cases, send a notice to the student at least two clear days before the date of the interview stating the date, time, and place and sufficient other particulars to identify the alleged breach.
11. At the start of the interview the student shall be advised:
(1) that he or she does not have to answer any questions, but that anything that he or she does say may be used by the Proctors in evidence against him or her;
(2) that any refusal to answer a question may be taken into account in determining his or her guilt or innocence of the breach alleged; and
(3) that, if the alleged conduct could constitute a criminal offence, the police might be able to obtain any records from the disciplinary process in a future investigation.
12. If, in the course of an interview, a student who was not a suspect discloses evidence that he or she might have committed the breach in question or any other breach, the Proctors shall adjourn to consider whether that is indeed the case, and if so shall caution the student as in regulation 11 above before proceeding further.
Immediate fines imposed under section 29(2)
13. (1) Where a Proctor or other person duly authorised by the Proctors under section 29 (2) proposes to impose an immediate fine he or she shall serve a notice in writing on the student member concerned stating the reason for the imposition of the fine and the amount of the fine, and notifying the student member of his or her right of appeal to the Student Disciplinary Panel.
(2) An immediate fine shall not exceed the maximum permitted under regulation 1 of Council Regulations 6 of 2006 (referring to section 31 (3) (a) of Statute XI).
(3) An immediate fine shall be paid to the Clerk to the Proctors within two working days of the date of imposition, whether or not the student member intends to appeal.
(4) If the student member wishes to appeal against the imposition of the fine, or the amount of the fine, he or she shall be entitled to appeal to the Student Disciplinary Panel in accordance with Statute XI and regulations made under that Statute and apply for suspension of payment of the fine in accordance with regulation 15 (12) below.
14. In any case in which the Proctors consider that it may be appropriate to exercise their powers under section 31, they shall send a notice to the student:
(1) informing him or her of the alleged breach against him or her, identifying by reference to the relevant provision in Statute XI the act or omission alleged to constitute the breach;
(2) giving full particulars of the alleged breach or breaches, including the date or dates or approximate date or dates on which or between which each breach is alleged to have been committed and the place at which the breach is alleged to have taken place;
(3) explaining to him or her the powers of the Proctors under section 31, including the penalties available, and the right of appeal;
(4) explaining to him or her the alternative procedures of referral to the Student Disciplinary Panel, the penalties available, and the rights of appeal;
(5) asking the student whether he or she wishes the matter to be dealt with by the Proctors under section 31 instead of being referred to the Student Disciplinary Panel;
(6) asking the student to reply to the Proctors in writing within seven days of the sending of the letter;
and the Proctors shall annex to the notice a copy of these regulations unless previously provided by the Proctors.
15. Where a student has agreed in writing to the matter being dealt with under section 31, the procedure shall be as follows:
(1) the Proctors shall notify the student in writing of the date of the hearing, giving at least two clear days’ notice;
(2) the student shall be entitled to be accompanied or represented by a member of Congregation;
(3) the student may apply for an adjournment of the hearing, which the Proctors may grant if they consider it reasonable to do so;
(4) the Proctors may proceed with a hearing in the absence of the student except where they consider that his or her absence is due to circumstances beyond his or control.
(5) the Clerk to the Proctors shall read out the details of the alleged breach;
(6) the Proctors shall ask the student whether he or she understands the breach he or she is alleged to have committed;
(7) if the student confirms that he or she understands the breach that he or she is alleged to have committed, the Proctors or a person appointed by them shall provide a brief summary of the case and ask the student whether he or she accepts that he or she has committed the breach;
(8) if the student accepts that he or she has committed the breach,
(a) he or she shall be invited to make a statement in mitigation of the breach and may call witnesses relevant to any findings and penalty;
(b) if the student calls witnesses, the Proctors may call evidence in reply;
(9) if the student does not accept that he or she has committed the breach,
(a) the Proctors or a person appointed by them and the student shall be entitled to give evidence at the hearing, to make an opening speech, to call witnesses, and to question any person (including a party) who gives evidence.
(b) the student will usually be required to put his or her questions through the Proctors and may be required to put them in writing;
(c) the Proctors shall present their case first;
(d) closing statements may be made, with the student being given the opportunity to speak last.
(10) the student shall be asked to withdraw while the Proctors consider their findings and any penalty;
(11) the Proctors shall announce their findings and any penalty;
(12) where a fine and/or compensation is to be imposed, it shall be paid within seven calendar days to the Clerk to the Proctors;
(13) if the student appeals to the Student Disciplinary Panel, he or she may apply to the Proctors or to that Panel under section 49 (1) for an order suspending or postponing the imposition of any penalty imposed by the Proctors;
(14) the Proctors shall be responsible for ensuring that a written record of the proceedings is made;
(15) the Proctors shall send to the student a written record of their findings and any penalty imposed and inform the Dean of the student’s college of the outcome of any penalty imposed.
16. In any other case, proceedings shall be instituted by the Proctors by delivery to the Secretary to the Student Disciplinary Panel of a notice giving details of the alleged breach or breaches which shall include, by reference to the relevant breach of the Disciplinary Code specified in sections 2 or 3:
(1) the act or acts or omission or omissions alleged to constitute the breach;
(2) the date or dates or approximate date or dates on which or between which each breach is alleged to have been committed;
(3) where relevant, the time and place at which each breach is alleged to have been committed;
(4) where relevant, the person or property alleged to have been affected by each breach;
(5) copies of all statements and any other evidence obtained in the course of their investigation.