Dalhousie Law Journal


Clive B. Lewis


University Students, Procedural Fairness, England, Canada, judicial scrutiny, conduct of affairs, procedural review, academic writing, academic staff


Universities have recently been subjected to increased demands for judicial scrutiny of the conduct of their affairs, especially in the area of procedural review. Much of the academic writing has concentrated on these developments as they affect the academic staff of the university.' This article seeks to redress the balance by considering procedural fairness in the context of university decision-making as it affects students. A study of university decision-making provides a useful framework for a more general consideration of the new approach to "procedural fairness" with its emphasis on balancing the nature of the decisions against the competing interests of those involved to assess what specific procedures are required in a particular context. Universities are complex institutions performing a number of functions in their relations with their student population. Each university has its own institutional structure and differs in the way that it distributes these functions among the various university committees and bodies.2 In principle, there seem to be three broad categories of decisions affecting students, reflecting the different aims of a university.