What happens at a disciplinary tribunal hearing?

The University has three disciplinary tribunals -

A disciplinary tribunal for academic staff - dealing with complaints against members of the academic staff; a disciplinary tribunal for members of the administrative staff - dealing with complaints against members of the administrative staff; and a disciplinary tribunal for students dealing with complaints against students. Similar principles apply  to all three disciplinary tribunals.

In the disciplinary tribunal, the University, represented by a disciplinary prosecutor, prosecutes the individual who harassed you. An "indictment" is filed against the accused / defendant. The prosecutor must collect the evidence, meet with the witnesses and prepare a "case" - similar to what happens when someone is criminally prosecuted. The prosecution is, of course, based on your testimony and perhaps the testimony of other victims and witnesses.

It is important to emphasize that you are not the prosecutor, and it is not you who must conduct the proceedings. You do not have to worry about legal representation, but you do have the right, if you wish, to appoint a representative or escort to be with you during proceedings. However, this representative may not take an active part in the disciplinary proceeding.

What happens if I submit a formal complaint to the Commissioner?


The Commissioner will meet with you to hear what happened and record your complaint in full. She will then ask you to read the complaint and make corrections, if necessary. After you confirm that the written complaint faithfully represents your words, you will be asked to confirm it with your signature.

The Commissioner will begin an inquiry into the matter immediately. If there is a concern that there are additional victims, the Commissioner will try to locate them, while maintaining maximum discretion. The person against whom the complaint is made will be summoned to an inquiry before the Commissioner, who will provide him with the details of the complaint and request his response, which will also be recorded. If the Commissioner believes that there is room to expand the inquiry, she may summon additional relevant persons. The Commissioner will make every effort to complete the inquiry as quickly as possible. After the inquiry, the Commissioner will forward the conclusions to the disciplinary tribunal (except in cases where she believes there is no basis for the complaint or in minor cases that she can handle herself through mediation or by agreement).

Can I file an anonymous complaint and request that my identity not be revealed to the person about whom I am complaining?

You may contact the Commissioner even if you do not intend to file a formal complaint. The Commissioner will do everything possible, including – with your consent – talking to the person against whom you have complained, without disclosing your identity. However, unless you consent to testify before the disciplinary tribunal, that person cannot be brought before the tribunal or punished. If you wish not to be exposed, the Commissioner will not disclose your identity without your consent. Even an anonymous complaint may be beneficial, since the harasser will be warned (however, in the case of a complaint in which the very conversation with the harasser will expose your identity, the harasser cannot be summoned to an inquiry without your consent to reveal your identity).

Who do I turn to?

You should contact the Commissioner for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment: Susie Seligman.

Susie Seligman is an administrative staff member and she is authorized to handle any complaint against employees, lecturers or students. Every University campus has a deputy commissioner with whom you can talk initially in urgent cases.

• The harasser is my thesis supervisor, and if I submit a complaint it may damage my personal and professional advancement. How can the University help me, so that I can complete my degree without being harassed?

Besides the personal support you can receive after filing your complaint, the University can also provide you with academic support. It will help you in finding an alternative lecturer, in extending the dates for your submission of papers and in providing you with any additional assistance you need to complete your studies.

I am afraid that if I file a complaint, I will be labeled a "troublemaker" and that this will affect my academic career.

The Law for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment was accompanied by a change in society's attitude towards the victim of harassment and the perpetrator. Today, sexual harassment is punished not only with a criminal sentence, but also by the public. A person who is harassed is not at fault, and the University administration has a duty to provide full protection to anyone who has been harassed, and to ensure that they are not harmed.

And what if the harasser subsequently persecutes me?

Persecution in the context of a complaint of sexual harassment is a serious criminal offense. Immediately upon receiving the complaint, the University Commissioner for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment will ensure that all necessary measures are taken to ensure that the harasser will not be able to affect your course grade or anything else related to you.

Did the lecturer sexually harass me?

"At first, I just thought he admired me because I was smart and did well academically. It was very flattering…however, I suddenly began noticing the way he looked at me, and then he invited me to his place for coffee and to discuss a paper I had submitted. I am always trying to avoid him, but he doesn't leave me alone and keeps coming up to me and saying all kinds of intimate stuff. I have another two months until the end of this course. Should I bother to file a complaint?"

 -Yes!! This is sexual harassment (there are, of course, many different kinds of sexual harassment). If he is doing this to you, it's possible that you are not his first or last victim. Submitting a complaint will help the University to dismiss harassing lecturers and to continue working towards the creation of a safe learning environment on campus.

I was sexually harassed at University. What do I do?

 The harasser broke the law. You are probably not harasser’s first or last victim, and we encourage you to file a complaint with the Commissioner for Sexual Harassment at the University. Filing a complaint will enable the University to assist you, as well as help us dismiss harassing lecturer(s) and continue working towards creating a safe learning environment on campus.

You also have the option of filing a complaint with the police and filing a civil suit against the harasser in the labor court. A third option is to report the harassment without pursuing disciplinary action, as specified below, and the University shall take note of the report.