Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge
pp. 111–114

In this section


Legal Powers

The Council shall have authority to take legal advice, retain solicitors, and bring, defend, or conduct legal proceedings on behalf of the University as they may think necessary or desirable in the interests of the University.

Appeals to the Council

Subject to the provisions of the Schedule to Statute C, the Council shall hear appeals from any person who comes within the jurisdiction of the University Tribunal under Statute D II 2 and upon whom a University authority has, under Statute A II 12 and in accordance with an Ordinance or with a rule made under Ordinance, imposed a sentence, provided that such a person has delivered to the Registrary, within twenty-eight days after notice of the sentence imposed by the University authority concerned, written notice of his or her appeal to the Council. The Council shall have power to quash the finding or to vary the sentence within the limits of the power of that authority, and the decision of the Council shall be final.

Reserved Business

Under the provisions of Special Ordinance A (vii) 5 proposals for the conferment of degrees or titles of degrees, and any matter which would for a Faculty Board be reserved business under the provisions of Regulation 11 of the General Regulations for the Constitution of the Faculty Boards, shall be reserved business for the Council, and shall apply to any member of the Council in class (d) who is not in statu pupillari as if he or she were in statu pupillari.

Review of Decisions of the Applications Committee

The Council shall establish a procedure for the review of decisions taken by it in respect of individuals in exercise of its powers in respect of allowances of terms under the regulations for Residence and the Precincts of the University and its powers under the regulations for allowances to candidates for examinations. No person who applies for review under the procedure so established shall be entitled to apply also for review of the same matter under the procedure for determining complaints by members of the University in statu pupillari established under the regulation for complaints by students (p. 209).

Review of decisions of the Applications Committee of the Council: procedure

1. A student, or her or his Tutor with the student’s consent, may seek review of a decision in relation to that student made by the Applications Committee.

2. A request for review shall be made in writing, stating the grounds of review, normally within three weeks( of written notification of the Committee’s decision (unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Registrary or a deputy permits a longer period). If the request includes, in the opinion of the Chair of the Committee, relevant additional information not previously available, the Committee will reconsider its decision at its next meeting following receipt of the request. If no such additional information is included or if, on reconsideration, the decision is reaffirmed by the Committee, the procedure described in the following paragraphs shall apply.

3. The Registrary or a deputy will appoint a reviewer chosen from a panel of potential reviewers maintained by the Council. Exceptionally, a panel of three reviewers may be appointed. If so, references below to ‘the reviewer’ shall be construed accordingly.

4. The reviewer will consider the request, the documentation available to the Committee (less any confidential medical information), the Ordinances which apply to the Committee’s decision, and the Committee’s Notes of Guidance. He or she will obtain an opinion from the Committee, seek such other information as he or she may require and, at her or his discretion, may hold a hearing (but there is no obligation to hold a hearing). The reviewer will issue an adjudication in writing as soon as possible, stating findings of fact, conclusions, and, if any, recommendations, for consideration by the Committee. The reviewer shall be concerned with determining whether there is evidence of: inadequate consideration of the matter by the Committee; the Committee having made a decision, to the detriment of the student, which is inconsistent with the relevant Ordinances or its own Notes of Guidance; or material circumstances of which the Committee was unaware and which were of such a nature as, had the Committee been so aware, to have been likely to cause the Committee to have reached a different decision.

5. The Committee shall normally accept the recommendation of the reviewer. If, exceptionally, the reviewer’s recommendation is not accepted, a written explanation shall be provided to the reviewer, the student, and her or his Tutor and shall be submitted to the Council. The Committee may decide not to accept a recommendation in any instance in which: (i) the reviewer has sought to make a decision replacing that of the Committee; (ii) the reviewer’s recommendation is inconsistent with the Ordinances governing Allowances; or (iii) the reviewer’s recommendation is such that, were it to be accepted, it would set a precedent which would not be in the interests of the proper conduct of Committee’s business or in the wider interests of the University. The Council (or an officer appointed by it) should be satisfied that the Committee’s written explanation is consistent with one or more of these instances.

6. The conclusion of the Committee’s consideration of any recommendation of a review is the normal final point of decision within the University. Any subsequent review would normally be by the national Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, or exceptionally, if relevant, some other University review (for example by the Commissary under Statute A I 13 and A IX 3–10 and the rules of procedure (p. 61) or under Statute A IX 1.

7. A reviewer may summarily dismiss an application which seems to her or him to be vexatious or frivolous.

Notice by the Council

Statement of intention

In carrying out their functions as the principal executive and policy-making body of the University the Council will consult the Regent House on questions of policy which in the Council's judgement are likely to prove controversial. They will do this by submitting a Grace to the Regent House for the approval of a provisional decision or statement of intention; where appropriate, such a Grace will allow for the expression of a preference between alternative options. The Council will give consideration to remarks made at any Discussion of such matters and to the outcome of any vote on them.

Election of Members of the Council

Members in classes (a)–(c)


1. At each election of a member or members of the Council in any of classes (a), (b), and (c) voting shall be as set out in Regulations 2–7 below.

2. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the Single Transferable Vote regulations.

3. The period during which votes may be cast by all members of the Regent House shall be determined by the Vice-Chancellor, who shall give public notice of that period, provided that, for an election held in the Michaelmas Term, voting shall commence at least ten days after the promulgation of the Roll of the Regent House and the latest time for casting a vote shall not be earlier than the tenth day after the day appointed for the commencement of voting.


4. In order to be eligible in any class a candidate must be nominated on a paper sent to the Vice-Chancellor so as to arrive not later than noon on the tenth day before the date appointed for the commencement of voting. The paper must contain (a) a statement signed by two members of the Regent House, certifying that they nominate the candidate for election as a member in that class, and (b) a statement signed by the candidate certifying that he or she consents to be so nominated. No person shall be nominated for election in more than one class. On the receipt of each nomination the Vice-Chancellor shall forthwith publish it by causing it to be posted outside the Senate-House. A nomination may not be withdrawn after such publication.

5. Not later than the last day for the receipt of nominations each person nominated for election shall send to the Registrary a curriculum vitae, details of which shall be published for the information of members of the Regent House.

6. There shall be a separate vote for each class of members to be elected.

7. An election shall not be deemed invalid owing to the misdirection, late arrival, or non-arrival of any material relating to the election.

Members in class (d)(iii)

8. The annual election of the member in category (iii) of class (d) shall be held jointly by Cambridge University Students' Union and the Graduate Union in accordance with an electoral scheme for the conduct of such election which shall be submitted to the Council jointly by the President of the Cambridge University Students' Union and the President of the Graduate Union each year.

9. For the purposes of Special Ordinance A (ii), the term ‘student in the University’ shall mean any person eligible to vote in elections for the office of President as governed by the constitutions of the Cambridge University Students' Union and the Graduate Union as determined from time to time, or who would be so eligible but who has resigned his or her membership of the Union.

Members in classes (a)–(d)

10. After an election the Vice-Chancellor shall arrange for the counting of the votes and shall publish the result of the election as soon as conveniently possible.

Nomination of Members of the Council in Class (e) (External Members)

Nominating Committee.

1. The Council shall discharge its duty of making nominations for appointment by Grace of members of the Council in class (e) on the recommendation of a Nominating Committee which shall consist of:

  1. (a)a member appointed by the Council on the nomination of the Proctors and Deputy Proctors either (i) from among those current members of the Council in class (e) or (ii) from among former members of the Council in class (e);
  2. (b)the Vice-Chancellor;
  3. (c)two members elected by the Regent House from among those who at the time of election are current members of Council in classes (a), (b), and (c);
  4. (d)four members of the Senate elected by the Regent House.

2. The member in class (a) shall be appointed to serve for two years starting from 1 October in a year when the calendar year is odd, and shall be in the chair. No member of the Council in class (e) shall serve on the Nominating Committee when his/her own reappointment to the Council is being considered.

3. An election of one member in class (c) and two members in class (d) of the Nominating Committee shall be held during Full Easter Term when the calendar year is odd. Members in classes (c) and (d) shall be elected to serve for four years from 1 October next following the aforementioned election. The election shall be conducted in accordance with Regulations 1–7 and 15 of the regulations for the election of members of the Council. If at any election the total number of vacancies is not filled, the Vice-Chancellor shall arrange a further election to fill such vacancies as are unfilled.

4. No person may be a member of the Nominating Committee in class (d) who is a member of the Council, or who holds the University office of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Registrary, or Director or Deputy Director in the University Offices.

5. If a member in class (d) of the Nominating Committee, or any person nominated for election as a member in that class, becomes a member of Council, or is appointed to any of the offices in Regulation 4, or ceases to be a member of the Senate, that member’s seat shall thereupon become vacant, or the nomination shall thereupon become invalid, as the case may be.

6. The provisions of Special Ordinance A (vii) 1(b) shall apply to the initial appointment of a member in class (a) and to the filling of a casual vacancy in class (a), save that no Ordinance may be made permitting the filling of a casual vacancy by co-option. The provisions of Special Ordinance A (ii) 3 regarding the filling of casual vacancies in the membership of the Council shall apply to the initial elections of members in classes (c) and (d) and to the filling of casual vacancies in classes (c) and (d).

7. A retiring member of the Nominating Committee in classes (a), (c), or (d) who has served for four or more consecutive years shall not be eligible to serve again as a member of the Nominating Committee in classes (a), (c), or (d) until one year has elapsed after the end of his or her previous period of service.


8. The Registrary shall be Secretary of the Nominating Committee.

9. The Nominating Committee shall make arrangements for:

  1. (a)public advertisement of the intention to make a nomination;
  2. (b)consultation with the Audit Committee about the requirements for the chairing of that committee, having regard to the need for compliance with any relevant requirements of the Financial Memorandum with the Higher Education Funding Council for England as to the chairing of the Audit Committee.

10. The Nominating Committee shall submit a recommended name to the Council for each vacancy, together with a statement by the person so recommended that he or she consents to nomination and consents to serve, if appointed by Grace, for the period and in the role concerned.