In 1994, the Council of
Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP), now Universities UK (UUK), published
the Final Report of the Task Force on Student Disciplinary Procedures - commonly
referred to as the Zellick Report. These non-statutory guidelines provided
advice to UK universities on handling circumstances where a student’s alleged
misconduct may also constitute a criminal offence.
In 2016, a Taskforce established byUUK to examine violence against women, harassment and hate crime received
evidence highlighting concerns about the Zellick guidelines. In particular, it
was noted that, since the guidelines were published, there had been substantial
and important developments in the sector and in the law (for example, the Human
Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010). As a consequence, there were
concerns that the guidelines did not adequately reflect the various duties and
obligations that universities have in relation to their students or assist
universities in handling the most complex and sensitive incidents, particularly
those involving sexual violence.
The Taskforce therefore initiated a review of the Zellick Report.
Pinsent Masons LLP worked closely with members of a steering group to produce
new guidelines for the sector on how to handle student disciplinary issues
where the alleged misconduct may also constitute a criminal offence. These guidelines
relate to all types of student misconduct which may constitute a criminal
offence and provides some specific recommendations in relation to sexual
The guidelines are drafted in general terms and are relevant to all