What to do before attending Disciplinary Panel Hearings
Read the Relevant Regulations/Procedures
Before attending the panel, read through the regulations/procedures you have been sent or directed to so that you are clear of the process, the possible outcomes and understand how the panel meeting will proceed.
Consider taking Someone to the Meeting to Support You
You can take a friend to panel meetings. This person must be UCL staff, Students’ Union UCL staff or a current UCL student. One of our advisors would be happy to guide you through the formal university process and accompany you to any panel meetings.
It is useful to have someone there to give you moral support; to ensure that the procedure is being followed, to add any relevant comments at the appropriate time if you wish them to, and to discuss the panel meeting with you afterwards.
Treat the Panel like an Interview
Although panel members do not judge the case on your appearance on the day, it is helpful if you can show that you are treating the panel meeting seriously.
Ensure that you Present Facts
The purpose of the panel meeting is to review the information that has been provided, to ask you questions about what has happened and to question the members of staff, where relevant in order to determine the facts.
If you can support your comments up with evidence, this will be useful to you.
It is best to be as honest and open as possible throughout the meeting.
Try to Remain Calm
The panel meeting may be stressful, but it is better for you if you can remain calm. The Chair will try and put you at ease – it is not a court of law but a chance for the university to establish and consider facts. If you are finding the meeting difficult, you should indicate you need a break or be prepared to accept one if it is offered to you.
Your ‘friend’ can be helpful here as they can support you if you become upset or distressed.
If you become emotional, don’t be afraid to request time to compose yourself.
Respect the Panel Members
The panel members are senior members of UCL who are there to make a decision about the case on the basis of the information available – both verbal and written.
It is not helpful to be hostile, argumentative or patronising. Instead focus on establishing the facts and remaining calm.
To have reached a panel meeting, the allegation will have been found to be significantly serious for it to be taken through this process. Even if you think the matter is not very serious, it is best if you do not suggest the allegation is trivial and unimportant.
The Student Member on the Panel
There will be a student member on the panel, normally one of the Sabbatical Officers. They have equal status with the other panel members. They are not there to speak on your behalf or argue your corner, their role is to represent the student body as a whole and the interests of all students.
Appealing a Decision
You can normally appeal a Panel decision, if you meet the specific grounds.
An Appeals Panel has the power to reverse or modify the outcome in any way, so not only could a penalty be reduced, it could also be increased if the Appeals Panel sees fit to do so.
If you need further advice before lodging an appeal, please contact the Advice Service to book an appointment.