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No 6283

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Vol cxliii No 6

pp. 82–107



1 November, Thursday. All Saints Day. Scarlet Day.

4 November, Sunday. Commemoration of Benefactors. Scarlet Day. Preacher before the University at 11.15 a.m., The Rt Rev’d Stephen D. Conway, of Selwyn College, Lord Bishop of Ely (Lady Margaret’s Preacher).

6 November, Tuesday. Discussion at 2 p.m. in the Senate-House (see below).

9 November, Friday. Michaelmas Term divides.

20 November, Tuesday. Discussion at 2 p.m. in the Senate-House (see below).

24 November, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 2 p.m.

Discussions at 2 p.m.


6 November

24 November, Saturday at 2 p.m.

20 November

4 December

Notice of a Discussion on Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 107) to attend a Discussion in the Senate-House, on Tuesday, 6 October 2012, at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1. Report of the General Board, dated 10 October 2012, on the establishment of a Professorship of Hypoxia Signalling and Cell Biology (Reporter, 2012–13, p. 48).

2. Report of the General Board, dated 10 October 2012, on the establishment of a Readership in Quantitative Sociology (Reporter, 2012–13, p. 49).

3. Report of the Council, dated 22 October 2012, seeking authority to commence development of University land at North West Cambridge (Reporter, 2012–13, p. 59).

Notice of a Discussion on Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 107) to attend a Discussion in the Senate-House, on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1. Report of the Review Panel, dated 22 October 2012, to the Council and the General Board, of the Review of the University’s IT infrastructure and support (Reporter, 2012–13, p. 57).

2. Consultation paper on amendments to the Second Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the pay and grading scheme for non-clinical staff (see the Notice below).

Consultation paper on amendments to the Second Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the pay and grading scheme for non-clinical staff: Notice

The Council and the General Board have issued a consultative paper (see to seek the views of the University on proposed changes to the pay and grading structure for non-clinical staff (Reporter, 2004–05, p. 745).

The main proposals are:

1. Improved recognition of University Senior Lecturers (USLs) and their contribution to teaching, examining, and other non-research activities. This will be achieved by a two contribution-point extension to the scale of stipends for the University Senior Lectureship and the introduction of an annual contribution exercise.

2. Reform of market supplements to improve clarity, transparency, and flexibility. This will be achieved by the abolition of new market supplements and the introduction of advanced contribution supplements for academic staff and market pay for other staff. It is also recommended that existing market supplements are incorporated into underlying stipend where appropriate.

3. Extension of grade 12 salary scale to enable the University to continue to compete effectively with other world-leading universities in recruiting and retaining staff of the highest calibre. This will be achieved by introducing an overlapping extension to bands 1 to 4 of grade 12, the incorporation of the professorial minimum spine point into band 1, and revisions to the band 1 criteria.

It is recommended that the proposals are implemented from 1 October 2013. Changes to the USL salary scale, if approved, will be implemented from 1 October 2014 to provide sufficient time for amendments to be made to the senior academic promotions guidance. Based on data from 31 January 2012, approximately 900 staff will be affected by the proposals.

The consultation exercise will take place during Michaelmas Term 2012. The consultative paper will be brought forward for consideration at the Discussion on 20 November 2012. Individual submissions can be made until 14 December 2012 to The views of Institutions, School Councils, and Faculty Boards will also be sought. The University will also conduct an Equality Assurance Assessment. A Report setting out final recommendations will be published in the Lent Term.

Consultation Paper

Discussion of 24 April 2012 on a Topic of Concern: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

The Council has considered the remarks at the Discussion on 24 April 2012 about the following topic of concern: the selective and unreasonable punishment of a single student for a collective act of protest by students and senior members.

The Council notes that a number of speakers in the Discussion posed specific questions for response by the Council. Rather than replying singly to each and every question raised, the Council, noting its discretion under Statute A, Chapter VIII, paragraph 4, believes that the following reply, and reference to the decision of the Septemviri, covers the substantive points raised.

The Council would emphasize that the University’s Courts are bodies independent of the Council and over which the Council accordingly has no jurisdiction. The Council did not, therefore, seek to interfere with or to comment upon the case while it was in process and remained subject to appeal. Since the Discussion, the Septemviri has heard an appeal by the student in question against both his conviction by the Court of Discipline and the sentence imposed by that Court. The student was represented on appeal by Mr Michael Beloff, QC, and Mr Tristan Jones, both of Blackstone Chambers, Temple, London. The Septemviri upheld the student’s conviction, but allowed his appeal against sentence, and substituted a sentence that he be rusticated for one Full Term and that his right to use the University’s premises and facilities be suspended for the same period.

A copy of the decision of the Septemviri has been published, and is available to view online at Those who raised questions in Discussion about freedom of expression and the competing rights of a student to protest (on the one hand), and a speaker to deliver a lecture and her or his audience to listen to it (on the other hand), are invited to read the decision of the Septemviri, and especially its consideration of the issue as to whether the prosecution in this case and/or the sanction imposed on the student were proportionate and justified under article 10(2) of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council refers to that exposition as a reasoned statement as to the proper balancing of rights in a case such as this, and as to the appropriate approach to sanction where such rights are infringed.

The Council notes the finding of the Septemviri that the Court of Discipline erred in this case by imposing a deterrent sentence. However, the Council does not accept that such a finding implies that the court procedures or mechanisms as laid down in Statutes and Ordinances are necessarily flawed or deficient. If anything, the result demonstrates that the system, including its integral appellate process, works effectively to remedy any internal failings at first instance. While some commentators may continue to criticize the ultimate outcome of this matter, the student himself is not seeking (so far as the Council is aware) to challenge the overall fairness of the process, either with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator or in the courts. The Council will wish to return to the question of how it might review the court processes.

The existing processes are not only those to which any student assents on becoming a junior member of the University but are rigorous in their protections of a student who is charged. In particular, as regards the composition of the Court, the student may choose whether the Court of Discipline comprises, in addition to the Chairman, two members of the Regent House and two persons in statu pupillari, or four members of the Regent House. In this case, the student chose that there should not be any student membership of the Court. The four members of the Regent House who sat with the legally qualified Chairman and tried this case at first instance were drawn by lot, and the student was entitled to object for good cause to any of the members of the Court. In addition, the student was entitled to be represented by any person of his choosing, and his Tutor and the Head of his College were entitled to attend.

A number of speakers raised points of legal argument in Discussion as potential grounds to dispute the decision of the Court of Discipline. The Council considers that the proper place for such arguments was within the judicial process on behalf of the student, to whom it was open to rely on such arguments on appeal if his legal representatives considered them to carry any merit, and the Council does not consider it appropriate separately to canvas such arguments outside that process.

A number of speakers also requested to know why only one student had been charged in connection with the protest inside Lady Mitchell Hall on 22 November 2011. This question was also posed by Mr Beloff QC at the public hearing before the Septemviri on 22 June 2012. At that hearing the University Advocate responded by informing the Septemviri that in March 2012 she had received an unsigned letter which stated that the 72 persons listed at its foot had all been involved in the events of 22 November, directly or indirectly, either actively or in a supporting capacity, and asking the University Advocate to charge them before the appropriate university court.

The Advocate explained that she had written back, within a week, individually to each of the 72 named persons at their Colleges as given, referring them to Statute B, Chapter 6, paragraph 28 of Statutes and Ordinances, which sets out her powers as Advocate. She advised that under this provision she could only issue a charge if she received a formal complaint from a member or employee of the University, and that the complaint had to be supported by appropriate evidence, enabling her to assess whether or not to bring a charge, and she told each of the 72 persons what they had to do if they wished the matter to be considered further. She informed the Septemviri that she had not received any further communication from any of the 72 persons named. All she had received back were five of her original letters, returned by the College in question and stamped ‘no longer at this address’. The Septemviri accepted that explanation and the Council repeats it here as a record of the University Advocate’s position.

Report of the Council, dated 28 June 2012, on the technical review of the Statutes: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

The Council has considered the remarks at the Discussion on 2 October 2012 (Reporter, 2012–13, p. 37) and consulted with the Chair of the Technical Advisory Group.

The Council notes that the Technical Advisory Group’s stated purpose was to carry out ‘a process of technical review of the Statutes, and Ordinances as necessary, […] with the aim of simplifying and clarifying the University’s statutory provision. Much detailed material now contained in the Statutes should be transferred to the Ordinances’ (Reporter, 2009–10, p. 992). The Council Report of 28 June 2012 (Reporter, 2011–12, p. 747) sets out the recommended changes to the Statutes, showing the provisions which it is proposed should be retained in, and moved from, the Statutes to provide clarity and divide the principles from the agreed processes by which those principles are upheld. It further notes that the introduction of the Special Ordinance is intended to simplify the procedure for approving certain changes to the constitutional framework by removing one step – approval by the Privy Council – not to remove the important internal scrutiny of those changes. As Professor Forsyth observed at the Discussion, there is no delegation of legislative power away from the Regent House included in the proposed New Statutes.

The changes are intended to remove from the purview of the Privy Council provisions that can appropriately be reviewed and approved by the University alone, following existing internal approval procedures. Statutory provisions that have been identified as requiring the Privy Council’s oversight will continue to receive that oversight when changes are proposed.

The Council agrees with Professor G. R. Evans on the importance of the provisions concerning the conduct of business and the delegation of powers. However, it sees these as matters of process that are of particular significance to members of the University, and it is therefore proper that such matters should be subject to internal scrutiny and approval, without the need for approval from the Privy Council.

The Council notes Mr D. J. Goode’s concern about the transfer of certain employment-related provisions out of the Statutes, and believes that he was referring to the reorganization of material currently included in Statute U. However, it considers that it is possible and appropriate to relocate the detail of these provisions elsewhere within the University’s legislation: the matters of principle, including the principle of academic freedom, remain enshrined in the Statutes.

The views of the Regent House are being sought at this stage on the proposed legislative framework, as set out in the June Council Report. The Council emphasizes that there will be an opportunity for any concerns to be raised on the final wording of the New Statutes and Ordinances when they are submitted for approval in due course. The Council has therefore submitted a Grace to the Regent House (Grace 1, p. 106) that approval in principle be given to the proposed New Statutes and Ordinances.