On 22 September 2011, a speech to have been given by David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, was subject to a protest by some thirty or so students and academics. An epistle was read to the minister and the stage afterwards occupied. Immediately after the event ended, an occupation of the venue – Lady Mitchell Hall – began. Some months later, a prosecution was begun by the University of Cambridge against a single graduate student, for his part in the initial protest. After pleading ‘not guilty’ to ‘impeding freedom of speech’, he was sentenced to seven terms’ rustication (suspension) by the University Court of Discipline. Following an appeal, as well as several active campaigns against the sentence by student and staff of the University, the University’s highest court, the Septemviri, reduced the sentence to one term’s rustication, while upholding the initial verdict and making ‘no criticism of the Court of Discipline, which conducted its proceedings with care’.
The following is a list of sources and documents pertaining to the case. The University’s handling of the affair has been criticized by many people concerned by the lack of transparency and accountability in the way it effected its statutory duties. This page attempts to redress this deficit by bringing together as many of the known sources as practical and legal.
The editors of this blog would be grateful should readers choose to contact them with observations about completeness or accuracy. For the sake of clarity, discursive materials like articles and public arguments have been omitted, except where these were deemed to be produced in association with some sort of official or disciplinary capacity relevant to the University’s internal processes.
University Council statement: http://bit.ly/uvKxQV
Description of the Court of Discipline: http://bit.ly/17h4tTv
Leaked record of the proceedings: http://bit.ly/J30gGE
Various documents relating to the University’s response to the protest: http://bit.ly/1f8AJx4
Other relevant documents: http://bit.ly/1jgNnra
24 April 2012: Discussion in the University Senate-House
REACTIONS TO APPEAL
Jeremy Prynne, who attended the appeal hearing as an observer, responds.
Other material, including analyses of the University’s disciplinary procedures and letters of concern written to the Vice-Chancellor.