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Student misconduct

Appealing a misconduct outcome

If you have been the subject of a misconduct process where a finding and/or penalty has been made by the Registrar, you may wish to appeal to the Student Disciplinary Committee (SDAC) on either of the following grounds:

  • you consider the finding of misconduct to be unreasonable or it cannot be supported
  • you consider the penalty to be imposed as being excessive or inappropriate.

To be eligible for a disciplinary appeal, you will need to submit your appeal within 20 working days of receiving your penalty notice from the Registrar.

Requirements for a disciplinary appeal


For your appeal to be considered and heard by the SDAC, you need to demonstrate that you have met all of the requirements for a disciplinary appeal. An appeal must:

  1. be lodged in writing with the Student Affairs Unit within 20 working days of the date of the notice
  2. specify one or more grounds of appeal, as prescribed above and
  3. include all relevant supporting documents.

You can find more information about this in Part 5 of the University of Sydney (Student Discipline) Rule 2016 (pdf, 382KB).

Prepare your appeal

You will need to provide a written appeal letter and all relevant supporting documents. If you are an undergraduate student, you may wish to contact the SRC to assist you, or if you are a postgraduate student, you may consider contacting SUPRA for guidance around your application.

You can include supporting documents with your appeal letter, such as medical certificates, character references, details around mitigating circumstances or relevant sections of university policy, forms or correspondence with the University.

Submit your appeal

To submit an appeal to the SDAC you need to log in and complete the Misconduct appeal form.

You will need to upload a written appeal letter and any other relevant supporting documents with your application.

Late appeals

If you require longer than the 20 working days to submit your appeal, you need to contact the Student Affairs Unit at sau.appeals@sydney.edu.au before the deadline. You will need to provide a reason why you should be granted an extension to submit your appeal and include documents that support the extension request. If your extension is approved, you will be provided written advice on the new deadline for your submission.

What happens next

The Registrar or their nominee will assess whether your appeal satisfies the requirements to move to a hearing before the Student Disciplinary Committee (SDAC) in accordance with the University of Sydney (Student Discipline) Rule 2016 (pdf, 382KB).

Application assessment

The Appeals Coordinator will be in contact with you to advise if your application has been successful.

If you have not satisfied requirements, you will be advised that your appeal does not qualify for hearing and the decision made by the Registrar or their nominee will stand. You will also be advised of next appeal steps external to the University.

If your appeal moves to a hearing before the SDAC, the Appeals Coordinator will contact you to confirm the time, date and location for the hearing. You will be given at least 10 working days notice before the hearing. You are expected to attend the hearing in person, however, in exceptional circumstances, arrangements can be made for you to attend through video conference.

Hearing

When your hearing has been confirmed, you will receive a copy of the Office of Legal Council’s submission five working days prior to the hearing. This will detail the University’s position as to why your penalty should remain in place.

You may bring a support person to the hearing. A support person may include but is not limited to a parent or friend. They do not have a right to speak on your behalf, however the Chair of the SDAC will consider any request for them to do so.

The SDAC Panel will consist of three members, two staff and one student. A legal representative for the University of Sydney will also be present, as well as a member of the Student Affairs Unit to facilitate the hearing. The SDAC will review all written submissions prior to your hearing. The hearing itself is formal and the chair will have flexibility to manage the hearing in the way that they want to. You may be asked questions about your submission where the panel requires further detail or clarification. The SDAC chair will provide you the opportunity to respond to their queries and/or provide oral submissions.

The hearing may take place in person or using technology such as Zoom or Skype. If your support person or legal representative is not with you in person, you may have an opportunity to discuss issues with them privately during the course of the hearing.

The SDAC will consider all of the information presented. They will deliberate and come to a decision. This decision-making process may occur on the same day or in the weeks, following your hearing.

Outcome

After the hearing, the Appeals Coordinator will provide you with a copy of the SDAC decision report. This will take approximately 10 – 15 working days. The decision of the SDAC is final. There are no further internal appeal options.

External appeals options

Options for further appeal include complaints to the NSW Ombudsman. The NSW Ombudsman can be contacted at Level 24, 508 George Street, Sydney 2000, by email at nswombo@ombo.nsw.gov.au, or by phone on 02 9286 1000.
Where relevant, applications may also be made to the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Equal Opportunity Commission and NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

Last updated: 04 August 2020

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