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R (on the application of CLARKE) v CARDIFF UNIVERSITY

The participation of two lecturers in decisions of a university's extenuating circumstances committee and a subsequent appeal board, dismissing a student's application for extenuating circumstances to be taken into account in relation to a failed assessment, were unfair where both lecturers had been the subject of the student's original complaint and had given evidence of what, in their view, had occurred.

8 September 2009

The claimant ex-student (C) applied to quash a decision of the extenuating circumstances committee of the defendant university dismissing her application for extenuating circumstances to be taken into account in relation to an assessment that she was adjudged to have failed. C had been studying the Bar Vocational Course. At the conclusion of the course she was adjudged to have failed in two topics: negotiation and advanced criminal law, and as a result failed the entire course. In relation to the negotiation assessment, C asked the university to consider an extenuating circumstances application. She claimed that two lecturers had taken her aside moments before the exam to question her in relation to university-wide concerns of cheating in a different exam, which had caused her undue stress. C's application was considered and dismissed by the university's extenuating circumstances committee. That committee was chaired by one of the lecturers who had taken C aside before the assessmen...

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