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.
You can also find information about appeals at deakin.edu.au/students/dean-of-students/student-appeals
On what grounds can I appeal an academic integrity outcome to a higher committee?
An appeal can only be made on one or more of the following six grounds (s.38, Student Academic Integrity Procedure):
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 at deakin.edu.au/students/dean-of-students/student-appeals. You will need to submit:
When must I lodge an appeal by?
You have 20 working days from the date you were notified of the Faculty Committee’s decision to lodge an appeal.
What happens next?
The Chair of the UAC will consider your appeal application. They will dismiss your appeal if they find it does not meet the minimum threshold to proceed to hearing or if they find it to be lacking in substance in relation to the grounds for appeal (s.11, Student Appeals Procedure).
If your appeal is not dismissed, it will proceed to a hearing and you will receive at least 5 working days’ notice of the appeal hearing.
You can bring a support person with you to the appeal hearing, provided they are not a practicing lawyer.
A decision of the UAC is reached in private by simple majority with the Chair having the casting vote.
If the Committee hearing the appeal determines that one or more grounds of appeal have been established they then decide whether to uphold, vary or set aside the original (Faculty Committee) decision and/or outcome.
Where the only successful ground of appeal is excessive penalty, the UAC may vary the penalty but may not vary the decision of finding the allegation proven.
If they decide the matter should be reheard (in whole or in part as the case requires), they may either:
The decision of the University Appeals Committee is final and binding.
Where can I get further assistance?
For more information or to speak to an Advocate about your situation, contact DUSA.
A DUSA Advocate can provide advice on possible grounds of appeal, 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.
Example written submission for appeal
Date: <insert date>
Dear Deakin University Appeals Committee members,
Re: Appeal against a faculty decision or outcome regarding a proven breach of academic integrity in Assessment Item: in <insert unit code> Assessment item <insert name of Assessment Item> in <insert Trimester, year>
I want to appeal against a decision of a Faculty Academic Integrity Committee to <insert decision and outcome (penalty) as indicated on the faculty outcome letter> pursuant to section 29 of Deakin University Regulation 4.1(2) - Academic and Research Integrity.
[Include a brief introduction here] Provide some information about yourself. You may wish to include information on your academic history to date, evidence of your integrity, steps you have taken to improve your referencing/academic writing if relevant, etc.
I am appealing on the grounds of . [Then use whichever subheadings below are relevant and include an explanation for each ground you are appealing on.]
Explain the new information/supporting documentation you now have that you were not previously able to provide and how this evidence either supports you not having breached academic integrity or supports the circumstances surrounding the breach of academic integrity that occurred.
Outcome too severe
Explain why you believe the outcome (penalty) is too severe in light of the evidence already presented. You can only refer to the evidence that you previously submitted.
Misapplication of procedure
Provide details of the university procedure/s that were not followed. Describe how you think this has disadvantaged you in relation to the decision to find the breach of academic integrity proven and/or the outcome (penalty) you received.
Explain why the decision was unreasonable in the circumstances or cannot be supported by the evidence that was available to the faculty committee at the time they made the decision.
Detail the evidence that was not considered and/or why you think the faculty committee relied on irrelevant evidence in reaching a decision.
Detail why you believe the faculty committee was biased and what impact you think this had on their decision to find the breach of academic integrity proven and/or the outcome (penalty) you received.
[Conclusion] Summarise your main points and include how the decision has affected you or will affect you.
<insert your name>