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General principles

These principles must be applied throughout the process in order to achieve fair and proper consideration of applications.

Natural justice

6.1 ‘natural justice’ is defined as ‘due process of law’ or the ‘requirements of procedural fairness’. There are two principles:

  1. no person may be a judge of his/her own cause
  2. the person must have the opportunity to be ‘heard’ fairly

6.2 Accordingly, all persons involved in the procedure and in the consideration of applications should be fully conversant with the guidance contained in this document. They should undertake their roles in a manner which is scrupulously fair in relation to applications that have been submitted.

Fairness and declaration of interest

6.3 If any person involved in the preparation or presentation of documentation or in the consideration of applications has a personal interest that may affect the impartial consideration of applications, or be perceived by others to do so, they should declare this and withdraw from the appeal process for the post.

6.4 With regard to appeal panels, all members should be aware that:

  • a systematic approach in forming a view of an application is desirable
  • the process of evaluation is a collective activity and all decisions should be arrived at collectively
  • if all members agree immediately on the same overall assessment, this can be accepted without discussion. Differences in individual members' evaluations should be discussed and a consensus reached. Detailed discussion will in most cases lead to collective agreement on the assessment

Equal opportunity

6.5 The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. See the University's full statement of policy.

Confidentiality and the Data Protection Act, 1998

6.6 Members of the appeal panels and University staff involved in the procedure should note that the process of consideration is confidential and that certain documentation in the guidance may not be disclosed to applicants or other persons who are not members of appeal panels or otherwise appropriately involved in the process.

6.7 The University's policy in relation to the Data Protection Act, 1998 is to respect confidentiality of information provided by referees in so far as this is compatible with the requirements of the Act and other relevant legislation.

Procedural adjustments and interpretation of guidance

6.8 The Chair of the HR Committee shall have authority, on behalf of the General Board and Council, to make any reasonable change or adjustment to the procedure, interpret aspects of the guidance mentioned in the document where doubt arises as to its meaning, or take other action that may be necessary to ensure the fair and efficient management of this scheme.