If you would like support regarding an academic integrity breach appeal, we're here to help.
What is an appeal against an academic integrity breach?
- After a Faculty Committee decides the outcome of an allegation of academic integrity breach, they will email you an outcome letter. The outcome letter will include information about how the outcome was reached and information about the possibility of appealing the outcome.
Which Deakin policies apply to the appeals process?
On what grounds can I appeal an academic integrity outcome to a higher committee?
- The university is currently transitioning to new appeal grounds. Please contact us to discuss which appeal grounds may apply in your particular case.
- An appeal can only be made to the University Appeals Committee on one or more of the following grounds.
For appeals of academic integrity outcomes related to actions that breached procedure from Trimester 1 2021 onwards, the possible grounds are:
- A misapplication of process occurred that resulted in material disadvantage to the student;
- The decision was manifestly wrong;
- The outcome imposed by the original decision maker was manifestly excessive, inappropriate or not available in the circumstances;
- New evidence that was not known or available at the time of the original decision is now available and could have affected the outcome of the decision (Academic Board Regulations, Part 11, pp. 15-16).
For appeals of academic integrity outcomes related to actions that breached procedure before Trimester 1 2021, the possible grounds are:
There is new information that could not reasonably have been provided at the time of the original decision, and that could have affected the decision or outcome;
- The outcome imposed was too severe;
- There was a misapplication of procedures resulting in some disadvantage to the student;
- The decision was unreasonable in the circumstances or cannot be supported by the evidence that was available at the time the decision was made;
- Relevant evidence was not considered or irrelevant evidence was relied on in reaching the decision;
- There was bias on the part of the Academic Integrity Committee (Student Academic Integrity Procedure, s.38).
How do I lodge an appeal?
If you believe that one or more of the grounds of appeal apply and you want to appeal to the University Appeals Committee (UAC), you can lodge an appeal online here.
You will need to submit:
- The online Student Appeal application form;
- A written submission detailing the grounds of your appeal and outlining the case for your appeal (see below for an example written submission);
- The Faculty Committee outcome letter (i.e. the original decision you are appealing); and
- Relevant documentary evidence in support of your case (e.g. medical certificate/report, letter of support, statutory declaration, evidence of integrity, etc). All documents must be in English. A certified translation must accompany documents in another language.
Is there a template I can use to write my appeal written submission?
When must I lodge an appeal by?
- You have 20 working days from the date of the Faculty Committee’s outcome letter to lodge an appeal.
What happens next?
- The Chair of the UAC will review your appeal application to determine whether you have provided grounds for an appeal.
- The UAC Chair may decide to dismiss your appeal if they find it lacks substance or does not meet the appeal grounds.
- If the UAC Chair decides to hear the appeal, they can either determine the matter on the basis of the written material alone or conduct an oral appeal hearing (Academic Board Regulations, Part 11).
- If an appeal hearing is granted, you will receive at least 5 working days’ notice of the hearing date and time.
What happens at the appeal hearing?
- The appeal hearing will happen in a meeting room on campus or via video-conference or phone.
- Appeal hearings are attended by at least 3 members of the UAC and a secretary.
- The UAC must limit the evidence it hears to matters relevant to the grounds of appeal.
- You will have the opportunity to present your case, focused on the ground/s of appeal that the UAC agreed to hear. You may also respond to any further documents/ statements the Faculty Committee may have provided to the UAC in response to your appeal application. The UAC members will ask you some questions and you may also ask questions.
- If you have a support person at your hearing, they may also be allowed to speak. Your support person can be anyone who is not a practicing lawyer. DUSA Advocates often accompany students to appeal hearings. If you want an Advocate at your hearing, please request this as soon as possible.
A decision of the UAC is reached in private by simple majority with the Chair having the casting vote. After conducting the hearing, the UAC can decide either to dismiss the appeal or to uphold the appeal in whole or in part.
If they decide to uphold the appeal they then either:
- Make a new finding,
- Impose outcomes (from the relevant Schedule of Outcomes), and/or
- Refer the matter back to the original decision maker to be re-heard in whole or in part (Academic Board Regulations, Part 11).
Where the only successful ground of appeal is the outcome (i.e. the penalty) was manifestly excessive/ inappropriate/ not available in the circumstances, or the outcome was too severe (for actions that breached procedure before T1 2021), the UAC may vary the outcome (penalty) but may not vary the decision of finding the allegation proven. The decision of the University Appeals Committee is final within Deakin University.
Where can I get further assistance?
For more information or to speak to an Advocate about your individual situation, contact DUSA. A DUSA Advocate can:
- Provide advice on possible grounds of appeal and discuss what you could include in your appeal submission,
- Provide feedback on your draft appeal submission,
- Attend the UAC hearing with you (if a hearing is granted), and
- Provide support and advice during any stage of the appeals process.
Please note that DUSA Advocates experience very busy periods, particularly at the end of each trimester where we need to assist a large number of students, so it is important that you book an appointment to see an Advocate as early as possible.
If you are considering an appeal, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a DUSA Advocate for advice that is personalised and specific to your circumstances. While DUSA makes every effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate and up-to-date, DUSA expressly excludes responsibility for any errors or omissions.