THE LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN CANADA.
AuthorKRIVY, GARY JOSEPH PAUL.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of the study was to analyze the legal rights and responsibilities of Canadian university students in order to provide information to university administrators. Three specific procedures were used to obtain data. The first, a compilation of Canadian higher level court cases involving students, produced 40 cases which were heard between 1848 and 1981. The second procedure led to approximately two dozen articles and books related to student rights and responsibilities. A summary of the cases and opinions published in legal articles was presented since no compilation of such information had been previously attempted. The third procedure was to send a questionnaire to the registrars of Canada's 51 degree-granting institutions requesting information on the concerns of universities regarding legal rights of students and asking for information on lower level court cases which they knew had taken place between their institution and students. Forty-five responses were received which included information about 37 cases. A brief outline of the cases was presented. An analysis of the legal proceedings and opinions published in legal articles identified a pattern of rights and responsibilities for students and institutions. Rights and responsibilities were discussed with regard to court adjudication into university affairs, the role of the Visitor, Board of Governors, the power of acts, discrimination, public v. private institutions, refusal of admission, natural justice and the existence of a contractual relationship. It was found that the rights of students did differ among the provinces. It was not possible to predict what circumstances would result in students, universities or others being the plaintiff in a legal proceeding. An analysis of questionnaire responses indicated that the majority of respondents were concerned about protection against legal proceedings by students. This concern had increased in recent years due to student awareness about legal rights and administrator concern about possible suits. The 37 cases reported by respondents followed a similar pattern of grievances to those heard at the higher court levels. Steps were being taken by institutions to handle the disputes of students internally so as to prevent grievances from reaching the courts. Based on the material presented in the study, guidelines were formulated for consideration by university administrators. These guidelines dealt with practical matters such as appeal committees, the calendar, and privacy of educational records.
Degree ProgramHigher Education