NPC Re-iterates its opposition to the Visitor

The NPC has responded to a further consultation on the University Visitor system, which still exists in the older Universities. The medieval and archaic system has been around for a number of years, where a student wishing to make a complaint beyond the University's own internal procedures must use the Visitor and not the courts.

A typical Visitor is likely to be Her Majesty the Queen, or the Archbishop of Cantebury, who will not have the appropriate professional experience to handle a complaint. As plans are going ahead to introduce an independent ajudicator, who will be a more appropriate person to deal with student complaints, the Department for Constitutional Affairs undertook a consultation to consider what roles the Lord Chancellor's office will play in the future who has Visitorial duties on the Queen's behalf.

There is still the possibility that when the independent ajudicator is in place there will be the possibility that a student can petition to the Visitor even though the independent ajudicator is a far better option. The Visitor's responsibilities will then need to be reformed, with many duties being reduced.

The NPC has appealed to see a complete abolishment in the ideal case. However, if they choose against this NPC suggests that a suitable person is chosen such as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is appointed. As well as this, NPC has suggested that the powers of the Visitor be considered carefully, including the need to have the Visitor's decision open to judicial review in light of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The response from the NPC can be viewed here.