Guildhall called to account

May 26, 1995

The Majid case at London Guildhall University (THES, May 19) ought to be causing great public concern on three counts, apart from the central one of injustice to an individual. Guildhall has spent massive sums of public money fighting its corner and seems to wish to spend more. It ought to be accountable for this expenditure, as should other institutions which pay legal fees for their officers but not for a complainant. An industrial tribunal has found that Guildhall failed to act in good faith to give effect to a settlement of an earlier case.

Disciplinary procedures within institutions of further and higher education need not, and often do not, follow the rules of public courts. It is worrying if this can extend to their disregarding legal rulings in their subsequent internal processes.

The third problem concerns the difficulty of ensuring that officers who are found by legal process to have abused their powers or acted improperly are themselves brought to account for so doing. Many disciplinary procedures provide only for the discipline of employees who do not hold senior positions. The law needs reform in all these areas.

G. R. EVANS

Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

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