Tuesday 17 September 2019

Student excluded from DCU is allowed to appeal

DCU (stock image)
DCU (stock image)

Tim Healy

A Dublin City University student has been given leave by the High Court to challenge a decision by college authorities to exclude him from his course over inappropriate behaviour, which he says could be explained by "cultural differences".

Lifeng Han, a Chinese national who is a PhD student in computing, was formally excluded by the college authorities last February over what a disciplinary committee decided was unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted Frank Callanan, for Mr Han, leave to challenge the decision of the disciplinary investigation. The application was made on a one-side-only represented basis.

Mr Callanan said his client was excluded from classes and college.

However, Mr Han also lives on campus and now fears that his accommodation, as well as a €16,000 stipend he receives for living expenses, could be under threat.

His exclusion was formally notified following a disciplinary hearing last February. He sought to appeal the decision but was refused last month.

Mr Callanan said it was their case that he was denied fair procedures, partly because a member of the disciplinary committee also had a prosecutorial role in the matter.

Mr Han said the allegations "could be explained by way of cultural differences". However, he never got the opportunity to make that case, counsel said.

Mr Justice Noonan granted leave to bring the proceedings and also granted liberty to him to apply for an injunction in the event of any immediate danger to his accommodation.

The case comes back in October.


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