Navigating the fairness test

By Michelle Power, Dominic Ellis and Lucinda O’Dwyer

Procedural fairness issues faced by the higher education sector are often sensitive, difficult to navigate and have far-reaching consequences for students and institutions, particularly those concerning individual student rights.

Although decision-makers may comply with institutional guidelines and regulations, they can still fail to afford students general procedural fairness as required by law. This can result in a declaration that the university’s decision is invalid, meaning potential reputational damage for the institution, among other consequences.

Two recent cases highlight the importance of higher education institutions providing procedural fairness when exercising powers to suspend or exclude students from classes or campus areas. We look at both cases, examining the lessons to consider when exercising decision-making powers…

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