Law pioneer sues over sacking

May 9, 1997

AN ACADEMIC at the centre of a row in Hong Kong City University's law faculty plans to sue for wrongful dismissal after being ousted from the department last month.

Derek Roebuck, a founder of the decade-old faculty and a former department head, was sacked last week following a dispute over poor standards of English which has split the faculty.

The major faculty shake-up also saw Wang Guiguo, Professor Roebuck's adversary, step down as dean of law.

Professor Wang will remain as professor of comparative and Chinese law, while university president Chang Hsin-kang will temporarily take over as faculty dean.

The row was sparked by Professor Roebuck's claims that many students could barely understand English, the medium of instruction, and that many were being passed regardless of their ability.

An inquiry into further claims that Professor Roebuck was asked to raise pass rates found no evidence of corrupt practice.

Professor Roebuck said he had been ousted because of his efforts to "clean up the faculty" before leaving Hong Kong.

Professor Chang said that Professor Roebuck has been sacked in the interests of the university.

The university also announced that a five-member review panel would be set up to scrutinise the running of the faculty over the next few months.

Recommendations from the panel for the future development of the faculty are expected before the start of the next academic year in September.

Professor Roebuck had been scheduled to leave the university in the summer, after he and two colleagues were told last year that their contracts would not be renewed.

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