Stage 3: Right of Appeal
If your complaint is not upheld or you are unhappy with the decision at Stage 2, you may appeal to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs.
Stage 3 Appeals should be submitted in writing, using the Student Complaints Appeal Form (Stage 3) to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in hard copy to Academic Affairs, Level 6, Administration Building, Queen’s University Belfast. The deadline for submitting an appeal will be 10 working days from the date of notification of the Faculty PVC/Director’s decision.
You can only appeal the outcome of a Stage 2 complaint on the following grounds;
- Procedural irregularity in the conduct of the investigation. You must be able to demonstrate how any procedural irregularity impacted on the investigation of the complaint. You should also submit any relevant evidence in support of your appeal.
- Evidence is available which was not reasonably available at the time of the original determination.
It is your responsibility to demonstrate how you meet the grounds of appeal and, if appropriate, explain why any new evidence was not available at the time of the original investigation or how the alleged procedural irregularity affected the outcome of the Stage 2 investigation.
The Director of Academic and Student Affairs will consider your grounds for appeal and will either uphold your appeal (if it is deemed to meet ground/s) or refer it to an Appeals Panel.
If your appeal is referred by the Director of Academic and Student Affairs, an Appeal Panel will convene, normally within 25 working days of receipt of the Appeal Form. The Chair of the Appeal Panel will normally request your attendance and/or that of the Faculty PVC/Director or any other person, who in the Panel’s judgment may have relevant information to contribute, including the Investigating Officer. If the attendance of any witness is requested, you and any person against whom the complaint has been made will be so advised.
A copy of the papers to be circulated to Panel members, you and any person against whom a complaint has been made, will be sent to the Chair of the Appeal Panel in advance. The Chair will advise Academic Affairs whether the attendance of any witness or any further information is required. Academic Affairs will make the appropriate arrangements or gather the necessary information, where possible.
Protocol for the Conduct of an Appeal Panel meeting
If you are called to a meeting, following introductions and an explanation by the Chair of the powers of the Panel, you will be asked to present your appeal and to explain how you meet the ground(s) for appeal.
The Faculty PVC/Director, who made the decision, will then be asked to respond and to explain their decision.
The Panel may ask you and/or the Faculty PVC/Director questions, and you will be afforded an opportunity to ask questions of each other, at the discretion of the Chair.
Witnesses may be called to give evidence to the Panel but will be present at the meeting only for as long as is necessary for them to do so. Witnesses may be questioned by the Panel members and, at the discretion of the Chair, examined, cross-examined and re-examined by you and/or the Faculty PVC/Director.
You will be offered the opportunity to sum up. The Faculty PVC/Director will then be offered the opportunity to sum up.
You and the Faculty PVC/Director will enter and leave the room at the same time.
Once the Panel is satisfied that it has heard all the relevant evidence and all persons involved, except the Panel members and secretariat, have left the room, the Panel will deliberate and, if possible, reach a decision. If the Panel requires further information, you, the person against whom the complaint has been made and the Faculty PVC/Director will be advised of the delay.
You will normally be advised of the Panel’s decision within eight working days of the decision being made. The Faculty PVC/Director and anyone against whom a complaint has been made will be advised of the outcome of the appeal, although details of the decision may not be disclosed to them.
The Appeal Panel may:
- Dismiss the appeal, giving reasons.
- Uphold the appeal in full or in part.
What if I am unhappy with the outcome of the Stage 3 appeal?
There is no further internal appeal against this decision of the Student Complaint Appeals Panel. However, a student who feels aggrieved by the process or decision of the Appeal Panel may submit a complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman. If you wish to make a complaint, you must do so within six months of notification of the Panel’s decision.