Send visitors packing

May 12, 2000

It is indeed high time for the government to take a lead in settling the issue of the visitor ("Visitors may have outstayed welcome", THES, May 5).

There is an argument (as yet untested in the courts) that non-chartered higher education institutions may also be subject to a visitorial jurisdiction, exercisable in appropriate cases by the crown. Such an extension of the visitor's authority would further strain under-resourced government departments and create an uncertainty that would not be helpful in resolving disputes.

Statutory reform should be introduced as soon as possible to bring to an end the current dither.

John Hall. Head of legal education. Eversheds, London.

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