Lecturer turns to European Court of Human Rights in university fight

November 7, 1997

Lecturer Gill Evans is set to turn to the European Court of Human Rights in her fight against Cambridge University.

Last week, Dr Evans, who remains a lecturer after 18 years at Cambridge, took the univeristy to an industrial tribunal, alleging her sex has barred her from promotion. Although the Bury St Edmunds tribunal reserved judgement, Dr Evans has made fresh claims this week that the university has breached confidentiality rules, and its code of practice on harassment complaints.

"The university disclosed to the Tribunal, without my consent, the papers of a grievance case I brought in 1994. These papers are supposed to be confidential," she said.

In a statement, Cambridge denied this. A spokeswoman said: "The university respects the need to keep staff (matters) as confidential as possible, but when faced with a case brought against it by an employee, the university is entitled to produce documentation in its defence.

"The revealing of the 1994 grievance by the University was not contrary to the new Grievance Procedure of the University (Statute U), nor contrary to the university's new bullying and harassment code."

Dr Evans, who in August won leave in the High Court for a judicial review of Cambridge's procedures for promoting academic staff, believes the disclosure has breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which secures the "right to respect for private and family life".

Dr Evans insists that she would have allowed the grievance papers to be disclosed.

The disclosure is also contrary to Cambridge's grievance procedures, legally binding under the 1988 Education Reform Act, and it breaches a new code of good practice on harassment promising protection and confidentiality to complainants, she claimed.

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