Committee Against Sexual Harassment - Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The University is committed to equal opportunity in academic pursuits and employment. Any form of discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated. The University shall take any and all necessary steps to eliminate and prevent its occurrence on campus.

Sex discrimination and sexual harassment are prohibited by law. Sexual harassment if and when it occurs may adversely affect the work of University staff members and the learning environment of its students.

The University is committed to eliminating and preventing sexual harassment. A Task Force on Education and Training has been established to promote awareness of the need to prevent sexual harassment. Please refer to Annex 1 for more details on education and publicity for prevention of sexual harassment.
The University's policy and procedure against sexual harassment ("the Policy") sets out the mechanism for dealing with allegations or complaints of sexual harassment and for providing proper redress if and when harassment occurs. By clearly stating the University's stance on sexual harassment and putting an appropriate procedure in place, the University aims to cultivate a sense of justice, fairness and openness in the University community in relation to gender equality and the furtherance of mutual respect.
A Panel Against Sexual Harassment ("the Panel") shall be responsible for conciliation and complaint investigation of cases involving staff members or students.
Written complaints are not required to trigger conciliation, but a written complaint must be filed if a complaint investigation process is to be initiated. After complaint investigation process is initiated, an Investigation Team will be established with a view to submitting a fact-finding report to the Convenor of the Panel Against Sexual Harassment ("the Panel Convenor") within prescribed time limits. Among other things, this report will include a determination as to whether or not an act of sexual harassment has been committed.
The Panel Convenor shall notify the complainant and the complainee of the findings of the fact-finding report. Subject to the findings of the report, the complainant or the complainee will have the right to appeal to an Ad Hoc Panel formed by three members of the Panel Against Sexual Harassment to review the facts/findings. The Ad Hoc Panel's decision on the facts will be final and will be reported to the Panel Convenor. The Panel Convenor shall prepare a final report and submit the report for consideration by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor designated to handle matters relating to sexual harassment ("the designated Pro-Vice-Chancellor"). After reviewing the report, the designated Pro-Vice-Chancellor will convey his/her decision in writing to the complainant and the complainee. If there is a finding of sexual harassment, the complainee will have the right to appeal to the Vice-Chancellor on the designated Pro-Vice-Chancellor's specific decision on the case. The decision of the Vice-Chancellor will be final.
If the conduct of the relevant staff member or student warrants disciplinary action, the University reserves the right to invoke the relevant disciplinary procedures and to take appropriate disciplinary action against the staff member or student concerned.
The internal University procedures do not affect the right of the complainant to lodge a complaint directly with the Equal Opportunities Commission or the Police, or to take civil action in the District Court.
A flow chart on handling sexual harassment complaints is appended in Annex 2 for illustration.

1 March 2016