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ERIC Number: EJ821893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0953-9964
Challenges to "Academic Immunity"--The Beginning of a New Era?
Davies, Mark
Education and the Law, v16 n2-3 p75-96 2004
While the term "academic immunity" is not one usually used, in practice academics in higher education institutions (HEIs) have been immune from legal challenges to their key professional activities. The historical position in the UK has seen both university visitors and the courts consistently refusing to interfere with decisions described as having the nature of academic judgment. HEIs may have contractual obligations to students for the provision of the agreed syllabus with sufficient numbers of skilled staff, but they and the academics who work for them retain very significant freedom in terms of the detailed provision of the academic "product". In this article the author considers the prospect of "academic immunity" surviving recent changes in other areas of law, notably the introductions of the Human Rights Act 1998, the abolition of the immunity advocates enjoyed against claims in negligence and the coming into force of key aspects of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act. The author concludes that a continued refusal by the courts to look behind the academic decision making process is untenable. This in turn has significant implications for quality control within HEIs and for the future development of academics as a profession. (Contains 74 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom