On 17 July 2023, the High Court handed down judgment following the hearing that took place against University College London (UCL) on 24 May 2023.
The judge rejected UCL’s proposal that the only way the claim should be allowed to proceed was if the Claimants had first gone through UCL’s internal complaints procedure and the OIA ombudsman.
The judge expressed her preference for the parties to settle the claim out-of-court without the need for a trial, and has put the claim on pause for eight months for that purpose, but she gave permission for either side to ask the court to cut short that period to four months in certain circumstances.
We will now be asking UCL to attend settlement discussions outside of the court process in order to try to reach a financial settlement for students. If the claim is not settled during this time, it will continue onwards to trial.
We shall also be bringing this legal precedent to the attention of all of the other universities that have responded to us by insisting that students must use their internal complaints procedures and the OIA ombudsman before being able to have their day in court. That now appears to be an untenable position for the universities to take.