Clare College Cambridge

Disciplinary Code

Council Regulations for the Constitution of the Court of Discipline and the Conduct of Disciplinary Proceedings in cases of misconduct by members of the College in statu pupillari [made under Statute 29(5)]

A. Minor Acts of Anti-Social Behaviour

1. Complaints about minor acts of anti-social behaviour (for example excessive noise, cooking smells, untidy rooms, etc) should, in the first instance, be dealt with informally. If this fails to resolve the matter, complaint may be made to the UCS or MCR Committee or to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students may in his or her discretion refer complainants to a member of the UCS or MCR Committee.

2. The Committee shall have no power to impose any penalty but may attempt through a representative to remedy matters by discussion or persuasion. If the UCS or MCR Committee are unwilling or unable to resolve the matter, they shall report that fact immediately to the Dean of Students. The UCS and MCR committees shall keep a record of all complaints and of the action taken.

3. Where the Dean of Students has any reason to believe that there may be some deeper problem which requires consideration and possible treatment by other means, he or she shall inform the student's Tutor.

4. If reasonable attempts by the Dean of Students to resolve the matter fail, or if the behaviour complained of persists, the Dean of Students shall deal with the matter in accordance with regulations 9-20.

B. Compensation and Charges for Damage to College Property

5(a). On receipt of a complaint about straightforward damage to college property, the Dean of Students shall investigate the facts promptly, draw the attention of the student to the procedures outlined below, and give the student an opportunity to make representations to the Dean of Students before imposing any charge.

5(b). Notwithstanding reg. 5(a), if there is a standard charge (exclusive of administrative charges) of under £15, this may be imposed by the Senior Housekeeper and reported to the Dean of Students. If dissatisfied, the student may complain to the Dean of Students who shall then proceed under regulations 5(a), 6, 7 and 8. Charges for unauthorised over-night guests shall continue to be dealt with by the Dean of Students.

6. The Dean of Students may at any time reach an agreement with the student on an appropriate charge. The terms of such an agreement shall be recorded on the standard form and sent to the student and his or her Tutor and the Senior Tutor.

7. If agreement cannot be reached, the Dean of Students shall convene a meeting to which the student, his or her Tutor and any relevant witnesses shall be invited. The student may, if he or she wishes, be accompanied by any other member of the College. The Senior Tutor shall be informed about any such meeting and the outcome.

8. The Dean of Students, having heard any representations made by the student and any others attending the meeting, shall make a finding of the facts, and if it appears that damage to college property has occurred for which the student is responsible, may impose an appropriate charge. The charge may consist of (a) a basic charge not exceeding £10 to cover administrative inconvenience caused to college officers and staff in repairing the damage; and (b) the reasonable cost of reinstating the damaged property. The charge and the reasons for it shall be recorded on the standard form and sent to the student, his or her Tutor, the Senior Tutor, and the complainant.

Please see Compensation and Charges for Damage to College Property for the standard tariff of charges. 

C. More Serious Complaints

9. The Dean of Students may also receive complaints of misconduct which are of a more serious character than those described in regulations 1 or 8 above. Examples of such misconduct are serious or repeated damage, defacement to or misappropriation of College property; actual or threatened violence; alcohol or drug abuse; endangering the safety, health or property of any person; conduct contrary to the College policy statement on harassment; disrupting or impeding the activities and functions of the College; or failing to observe the terms of a code of practice for the organisation and conduct of meetings etc in the College issued under the provisions of section 43 of the Education (No 2) Act 1986.

10. On receipt of a complaint under regulation 9, the Dean of Students shall investigate the facts promptly, and shall by written notice draw the attention of the student to the procedures outlined below. The Dean of Students shall decide whether or not to drop the matter, provide or arrange informal counselling or advice, or deal with the matter under the disciplinary procedure outlined below.

11. Before proceeding further, the Dean of Students may convene a conciliation meeting, and shall do so if the student so requests. The student and his or her Tutor shall be invited to any such meeting. The student may, if he or she so wishes, be accompanied by any other member of the College. The Dean of Students may also invite to this meeting the complainant or any other person involved. The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to resolve the matter informally by agreement.

12. In the event that no conciliation meeting takes place, or, if no agreement is reached, the Dean of Students shall convene a formal disciplinary hearing to which the student, his or her Tutor, the Senior Tutor, and any relevant witnesses shall be invited. The student may, if he or she wishes, be accompanied by any other member of the College. If the student fails or refuses to attend, the Dean of Students may dispose of the case in his or her absence.

13. The Dean of Students shall, having heard any representations by the students and others attending the hearing, make a finding of the facts, and if it appears that the student's conduct warrants this, may

(a) impose a sentence, or

(b) refer the case to the Court of Discipline, provided that the Dean of Students shall refer the case to the Court of Discipline if the student so requests before the Dean of Students has imposed a sentence under para (a).

14. A sentence imposed by the Dean of Students under regulation 13(a) may include one or more of the following:

(a) an oral warning in the case of a minor infringement;

(b) a written warning if the infringement is regarded as more serious or there is a failure to improve or change behaviour during the currency of a prior warning;

(c) a penalty including a fine and/or the withdrawal of a privilege generally or for a stated period and/or a requirement to leave college accommodation;

(d) an award of compensation

15 A written warning shall give details of the complaint, the improvement or change in behaviour required and the timescale (if any) for doing this, and should warn the student that failure to improve or modify behaviour may lead to a penalty or a referral to the Court of Discipline. Where a fine and/or award of compensation or other penalty is imposed this shall be recorded on the standard form stating the offence found to have been committed, and the penalty imposed, and this form shall be sent to the student and his or her Tutor and the Senior Tutor.

16. The Dean of Students shall not in respect of a single offence impose on any person a fine exceeding £175, or award compensation exceeding £250. [These amounts shall be revised annually in line with the amounts specified in respect of the University Summary Court.] 

D. Appeals

17. If a charge is imposed by the Dean of Students under regulation 8, or a penalty or award of compensation is imposed under regulation 14, the student shall have a right of appeal to the Court of Discipline both against the finding that an offence has occurred and against the charge, penalty or order of compensation. Written notice of appeal, setting out the grounds thereof, shall be lodged with the Master within 28 days of notification of the decision of the Dean of Students.

18. Any charge, penalty or award of compensation imposed by the Dean of Students shall have immediate effect; provided that the Chairman of the Court of Discipline shall have power to suspend any of these until the conclusion of any appeal. 

E. Records and Confidentiality

19. The Dean of Students shall keep a brief written record of all meetings with students and Tutors, and records of all correspondence relating to discipline, including emails. Email may be used for communication with a student, except for the issue of formal written warnings, or the imposition of charges, penalties or awards of compensation.

20. All investigations by the Dean of Students shall so far as is reasonably practicable be treated as confidential, and all meetings and hearings shall be held in private unless the Dean of Students in his or her discretion permits the attendance of any other person or persons and subject to regulations 11 and 12. The Dean of Students may in his or her discretion publish any finding, charge, award of compensation or other sentence, but the name of the student shall not be published and the record of the proceedings shall otherwise remain confidential. 

F. Court of Discipline

21. The Court shall consist of (a) the Master or his or her nominee as Chairman; and (b) three Fellows; and (c) three student members.

22. The three Fellows shall be invited by the Master to sit for each case. They shall be drawn from a panel of not less than six Fellows nominated by the Council at the beginning of each academic year and listed in order of priority.

23. In a case involving an undergraduate, the three student members shall be drawn from a panel of not less than six undergraduates nominated by the UCS Committee at the beginning of each academic year in an order of priority, but who need not be members of the UCS Committee.

24. In a case involving a postgraduate student, the three student members shall be drawn from a panel of not less than six postgraduate students nominated by the MCR Committee at the beginning of each academic year and listed in order of priority, but who need not be members of the MCR Committee.

25. Any student appearing before the Court shall have the right to have his or her case heard and determined by the Chairman and the three Fellows acting without student members.

26. The Court shall hear and determine

(a) any complaint referred to it by the Dean of Students under regulation 13 (b);

(b) any appeal under regulation 17

27. Where a complaint is referred under regulation 13(b), the Dean of Students shall serve a notice on the student containing particulars of the nature, time and place of the alleged offence, and shall send a copy thereof to the student's Tutor and to the Master. The Chairman of the Court shall give reasonable written notice to the student, the student's Tutor, and the Dean of Students, of the time and place appointed for the hearing of the complaint.

28. Where an appeal is lodged under regulation 17, the Chairman of the Court shall send a copy thereof to the Dean of Students and to the student's Tutor, and shall give them and the student reasonable written notice of the time and place appointed for the hearing of the appeal. The Dean of Students shall provide the Court with copies of all records of meetings, emails and written statements pertaining to the case.

29. The Court shall determine its own procedure, and shall seek to avoid undue formality, and to ensure that the matter is heard and determined as expeditiously as is reasonably practicable. The Court shall make such inquiries of persons appearing before it and witnesses as it considers most appropriate for the clarification of the issues before it and generally to the just handling of proceedings.

30. In any hearing of a complaint or an appeal, the student shall be entitled to be represented by his or her Tutor or Director of Studies or any Fellow or junior member of the College, or, in the discretion of the Court, by any other representative. The complaint shall be presented by the Dean of Students or his or her nominee. Both the student and the Dean of Students shall be entitled to call witnesses. The Court may in its discretion itself call any witness who appears to be able to give evidence relevant to the complaint.

31. The hearing of any complaint or appeal before the Court shall be held in private provided that the Court may in its discretion permit the attendance of any other person or persons.

32. The Court shall not find any complaint proved against the student unless it is satisfied that the complaint is proved beyond reasonable doubt, and, in a case falling under regulation 25, unless at least three members of the Court concur in finding that the complaint is so proved.

33. The Court shall when hearing a complaint have power to impose a penalty as the student's offence deserves, or to order the payment of compensation, or to recommend to the Council that the student be expelled or rusticated (sent out of residence for a period which prevents a student from counting a term or terms) under Statute 29(6). No recommendation for expulsion or rustication of a student shall take effect until the Council has given consent. The Council shall first give such student the opportunity to make representations to them either orally or in writing as the student may choose.

34. The Court shall when hearing an appeal have power to quash, confirm, or vary the finding of the Dean of Students, and may either set aside, confirm, increase or reduce the charge, penalty or award of compensation imposed by the Dean of Students.

35. Subject to regulation 33, the decision of the Court shall be final.

36. The Court shall provide the student with a written statement of the reasons for their finding and sentence, and shall send a copy to the student's Tutor, the Senior Tutor, and the Dean of Students. The Court may in their discretion publish the finding and any sentence, but the name of the student shall not be published, and the record of the proceedings shall otherwise remain confidential.

37. The Visitor of the College (the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge) has the power to correct, and if appropriate punish, any irregularity in the Master or Fellows. A student who has reasonable grounds for alleging that there has been any such irregularity in respect of these regulations may apply to the Master to request a visitation. 

G. Criminal Proceedings

38. The fact that any person has been, or is liable to be, prosecuted in a court of law in respect of an act or conduct which is the subject of proceedings before the Dean of Students or Court of Discipline shall not affect the jurisdiction or powers of the Dean of Students or Court of Discipline; but the Dean of Students and the Court of Discipline shall consider the advisability of referring the matter to the police, and, if they so refer the matter, shall adjourn the proceedings for such time as is reasonable in the circumstances to enable a prosecution to be undertaken.

39. Evidence that a person has been convicted of an offence by or before any court of law, or that any court of law has found proved an offence with which the person was charged shall, for the purposes of proving that the person committed the offence or was guilty of an act or conduct in respect of which he or she was so charged, be admissible in any proceedings before the Dean of Students or the Court of Discipline.