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University of Birmingham: Stop the Clampdown on Protests

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University of Birmingham: Stop the Clampdown on Protests


Why this is important

The University of Birmingham has started an unprecedented clampdown on protest this year. Two students, Kelly Rogers and Simon Furse, have been suspended from the University for their Part in an occupation in November. Hattie Craig was given a 6 month suspended sentence, meaning that if she breaks any university regulation she will immediately be suspended.

The university currently have a possession order over the whole campus for an entire year, meaning that they can evict anyone from the campus at any time. Their definition of the campus includes university halls meaning that the possession order could be used to evict students who they deem to have breached their tenancy agreements. The university used this possession order to evict a peaceful occupation in two days with no legal process.

The universities procedures are unfair and unlawful: they deny students the right to legal representation in disciplinaries, which goes against the human right to a fair hearing. The procedures use a criteria of balance of probabilities, meaning that decisions can be made on hunches and suspicion rather than evidence. Finally there are no guidelines for what constitutes an offence, or on what sentence should be applied in which situation.

We call on the University of Birmingham to:

1. Immediately lift the nine month suspensions of Kelly Rogers and Simon Furse.
2. Lift the onerous and inhibitive restrictions on the activity of Hattie Craig.
3. Lift the draconian year long possession order of the whole university campus.
4. Reform their disciplinary procedures to include: the right to legal representation, a sentencing criteria of proven beyond reasonable doubt rather than the balance of probabilities, and sentencing guidelines.

Posted July 30, 2014
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