Published Tuesday, 21 September 2010
A graduate has taken the unusual step of going to the high court to challenge the result of his degree.
Andrew Croskery has brought a judicial review to overturn his 2:2 in electrical engineering from Queen's University Belfast. It is one of the first cases of its kind to be heard by the high court.
Croskery, from Co Down, Northern Ireland, claims that if he had received better supervision he would have instead obtained a 2:1. His barrister claimed he had been denied a right to appeal against his classification because he had already graduated from Queen's this summer.
Tony McGleenan argued that the university's stance was not compliant with his client's human rights.
He said: "It is obviously an important case for the applicant. He avers his employment prospects have been jeopardised … in this competitive job market. It's also clearly an important case for the university."
The court heard how a "board of visitors", whose members include two judges, considers student appeals and complaints.
Nicolas Hanna QC, for Queen's, argued that the judicial review application should be dismissed as the court was not the proper forum for the challenge.
He said: "The jurisdictional issue is so clear that it is unarguable and therefore, I submit, leave should be refused."
The judge, Mr Justice Treacy, adjourned the case to allow further arguments on the point about whether the court should have jurisdiction.
His decision, expected next month, will determine whether the legal challenge can proceed.
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