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Independent external review of student disciplinary process

Background

Following the Group Chat incident, the University of Warwick are reviewing our student disciplinary processes.

The Council has asked Dr Sharon Persaud, a solicitor with over 25 years of experience, to lead the independent review. She was a partner at Bindman & Partners, practising in criminal defence, with a particular focus on cases which engaged wider issues of civil liberties and the rights of those disadvantaged in the criminal justice system. She previously worked as a specialist appeals lawyer in the Criminal Appeal Office at the Court of Appeal and between 2013-2018, as a publicly-appointed Commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission. She also served as an independent peer reviewer for the Legal Services Commission and has lectured on criminal law, evidence and procedure.

As an independent external reviewer, Dr Persaud will be free to decide how best to conduct the review. We will be asking her both to produce a “lessons learnt” and to make recommendations for our future student disciplinary processes and procedures. Those recommendations will go to the Senate and Council, on which the Students' Union is represented. We envisage there will then be a final consultation on the recommendations before final decisions are taken.

Updates

Preparatory groundwork is complete on logistics, collation of evidence, briefing and identification of who Dr Persaud wishes to speak to for further evidence gathering. Those conversations will take place in April.

Next steps

  • The independent review will form interim recommendations in May, then come together with the the Joint Group to share their findings and align their work streams.
  • The final recommendations will be reported to the University Senate in June and the Council in July with the intention of the final report being shared publicly over summer 2019.