It’s an exciting time. Your child is leaving home and starting a new life with freedoms they had only wished for before and a whole raft of exciting experiences waiting for them. Yes, there might be some time to study but what many are really looking forward to is the bar (not the legal one), the parties, the new friendships, the new sexual relationships and the new way to define themselves.
These can all be enjoyed safely and pleasurably and can open up so many opportunities for your child’s future, but sometimes things can go wrong. When they do, the consequences can be devastating and life changing, with more extreme cases leading to university misconduct investigations that result in expulsion from the university, and even exclusion from their ability to practice in certain professions. Reputations can be ruined and friendships lost, and what should be the most fulfilling time can become the most destructive.
Since #MeToo and #Everyonesinvited, we at Bindmans have seen an increase in university sexual misconduct investigations and proceedings. Every university and even colleges within the same university have different procedures, some a lot fairer than others. Some openly refuse legal representation to be allowed, some make it conditional, some welcome it. If you or your son/daughter become subject to a university misconduct investigation it is essential that swift and experienced expert legal advice is obtained at the outset. Sexual misconduct investigations can be swift and statement taking or interviews can take place within a few days of the formal complaint being made. Depending on the nature of the allegation and the wishes of the complainant, the police may be informed, and the student may be suspended immediately. Appeal time limits can be short.
University should be a life changing experience, but for all the right reasons.