University of North Carolina System: Law Guaranteeing Right to Counsel

Category: Due Process

  • NC law levels playing field for accused college students

    September 10, 2013

    Robert Shibley, executive vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), says few people realize that college students facing serious, nonacademic disciplinary charges don’t have the right to be represented at the hearings by an attorney.“Universities have been free, of course, to be represented by attorneys in those same courts, so this new law in North Carolina – the Students & Administration Equality Act – gives students the ability to actually have some equality in those hearings,” explains Shibley.FIRE says college students across the U.S. regularly face “life-altering consequences” for serious offenses such as rape, theft, and harassment; and […]

    » Read More

  • New N.C. law allows college students right to an attorney

    September 9, 2013

    North Carolina college students no longer have to worry about facing non-academic disciplinary charges from their universities without legal counsel.On Aug. 23, Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a statewide bill that granted students in the state the right to an attorney in campus courts. Under the Students & Administration Act, students who attend North Carolina’s public universities have the right to be represented by a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate.The law is the first of its kind in the USA.Though the new rules cover students and student organizations facing disciplinary charges for violating the university’s code of conduct, they do not […]

    » Read More

  • CJ Editorial: UNC Students (and Due Process) Prevail

    September 5, 2013

    If your child is a K-12 student in a North Carolina public school and faces an offense that could lead to suspension or expulsion, she has a legal right to seek the help of a lawyer. If she’s enrolled at one of the UNC system campuses, however, and is charged with theft or sexual harassment, until recently she had to represent herself before a tribunal of administrators and had to face her accusers with no legal help.The General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory leveled the scales a bit for students attending the UNC system who are accused of crimes or […]

    » Read More

  • Balancing the scales for students

    August 30, 2013

    Students in our state’s university system returning to class this fall will be afforded a valuable new right previously denied to them: access to an attorney when accused of campus crimes. That’s because last week, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law provisions guaranteeing college students this right – a right all of us off campus take for granted.North Carolina parents should know that colleges these days operate what amounts to their own parallel justice system. N.C. State, for instance, holds hearings for offenses including theft, harassment, assault, drug and weapons possession, stalking and rape. And until last week, 18- and […]

    » Read More

  • Law gives students right to attorney

    August 28, 2013

    Students will no longer have to stand alone in campus courts.Under a new law, intended to level the playing field for students on trial in UNC-system campus courts, students are guaranteed the right to a representative in non-academic trials.North Carolina is the first state to guarantee students’ right to an attorney in campus courts. The Students and Administration Equality Act, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Aug. 23, does not apply to trials run by an entirely student staff.Under the law, students facing most non-criminal charges — such as academic dishonesty — are not entitled to a representative. Those students […]

    » Read More

  • New law allows NC students to hire attorneys for campus disciplinary hearings

    August 27, 2013

    RALEIGH — Students once asked to represent themselves in front of faculty and peers during school disciplinary hearings, now have the chance for their attorneys to stand by their side."We wouldn’t consider a courtroom outside of a school environment to be just if the accused wasn’t allowed to have an attorney. But that’s been the rule in college tribunals," said Robert Shibley, senior vice president for the Foundation for Individual Rights & Education.Shibley’s foundation advocated for the legislation."These are serious occasions for students who are accused of things. It can change the entire course of your life if you’re charged […]

    » Read More

  • EDITORIAL: Constitution-free campuses

    August 27, 2013

    Millions of young Americans are welcoming their first taste of freedom away from home as college classes begin around the country. The experience is soured on a growing number of campuses where administrators have set up a Constitution-free zone that denies basic freedoms. At Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, S.C., freedom of the press took a hit last week. Distribution of a local alternative newspaper was prohibited on campus because the paper carried too many alcohol-related articles and advertisements. An Oakland University student was officially declared “persona non grata” and kicked off campus for writing an entry entitled “Hot for teacher” as part […]

    » Read More

  • New law gives North Carolina public college students the right to a lawyer in campus courts

    August 27, 2013

    Students at public colleges in North Carolina generally have the right to a lawyer in campus disciplinary proceedings under a new law signed by the governor on Friday.The law (PDF) says students in disciplinary hearings have the right to representation, by lawyers hired at the students’ expense or by nonlawyer advocates, report Inside Higher Ed and the Washington Free Beacon. There are two exceptions where there is no right to a lawyer—when the campus court is a student honor court fully staffed by students, or when the allegation concerns academic dishonesty.The law is believed to be the first of its kind, Inside Higher Ed reports. […]

    » Read More

  • NC law allows university students facing discipline to hire an attorney

    August 26, 2013

    Public university students facing disciplinary charges may now hire an attorney to help them throughout the process, according to a new state law.The legislation, signed into law last week by Gov. Pat McCrory, could change the tenor of student conduct hearings at UNC system campuses across North Carolina. In the past, students could have an attorney advise them informally, but for the most part lawyers were barred from presenting evidence, cross examining witnesses or other direct representation during campus proceedings.The new law would apply in student conduct matters, but not in cases of academic misconduct. It would allow students to […]

    » Read More

  • Students Lawyer Up

    August 26, 2013

    Campus officials like to say that student disciplinary hearings are not court proceedings. There is no such thing as a finding of guilt — only "responsibility" — and even in the most serious cases where students are suspended or expelled, they say, the purpose is more to teach good citizenship than it is to punish wrong behavior.Which is why a new law in North Carolina, the first of its kind, has them worried. The legislation, signed into law on Friday, guarantees any student at a public institution in the state the right to legal representation, at the student’s expense, during campus judiciary […]

    » Read More

  • North Carolina now the first state to give college students the right to an attorney

    August 25, 2013

    North Carolina college students still have to worry about paying for textbooks and waking up in time for class, but thanks to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, they no longer have to face disciplinary charges from their universities without representation.On Friday, McCrory signed a landmark piece of legislation, the “Students and Administration Equality Act,” that ensures public university students the right to an attorney in campus courts.“Students across America are regularly tried in campus courts for serious offenses like theft, harassment, and even rape,” said Robert Shibley, who is Vice-President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group that helped to pass […]

    » Read More

  • North Carolina Students Granted Right to Attorney at Campus Courts

    August 23, 2013

    North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a law granting college students the right to an attorney in campus courts, Friday, that had previously been denied to students facing disciplinary charges.Under the “Students and Administration Equality Act,” college students and student groups will now be guaranteed the right to have an attorney present in non-academic disciplinary proceedings. North Carolina university system policies had prohibited students from having legal counsel when interacting with administrators during proceedings.“We are immensely gratified that the legislature and governor of North Carolina have taken this critical step in giving students a fair chance for justice,” said Robert Shibley, senior vice president […]

    » Read More

  • 2013 in Review: Threats from Washington, Victories in the States

    December 30, 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) looks back on a year that was headlined by dire threats to free speech and student rights on campus.

    » Read More

  • National and Local Media Spill a Lot of Ink on New NC ‘Right-to-Counsel’ Law

    September 3, 2013

    On August 23, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law that made the state the first in the country to grant public university students facing non-academic disciplinary charges the right to an attorney. Since its signing, the landmark piece of legislation has received widespread media coverage. Outlined below is a brief recap of some of the most prominent coverage: “North Carolina Becomes First State to Guarantee Students Option for Lawyer in Disciplinary Hearings,” Inside Higher Ed “North Carolina Now the First State to Give College Students the Right to an Attorney,” Red Alert Politics “North Carolina Students […]

    » Read More

  • ‘The Washington Times’ Rings in the Academic Year with a Warning

    August 28, 2013

    In an editorial welcoming the start of the academic year, The Washington Times issues a warning to students returning to campus this fall. Citing FIRE’s annual speech code report and troubling developments such as the federal “blueprint” for sexual harassment policies, the editorial laments the lack of freedom on today’s campuses and that far too many students are “forced to hand over their constitutional liberties as a condition for receiving their diploma.” But the news isn’t all bad; the Times praises North Carolina’s recent law granting students the right to counsel in non-academic disciplinary proceedings as evidence of the potential […]

    » Read More

  • KC Johnson on the Flawed Assumptions Made by Critics of NC Representation Law

    August 27, 2013

    Writing for Minding the Campus today, Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson questions critics of the new North Carolina law that allows the state’s public university students to be represented by an attorney for non-academic campus disciplinary hearings. Perhaps most troubling is the ever-persistent presumption of guilt among some administrators. Johnson writes: UNC-Asheville’s vice chancellor for student affairs expressed skepticism about the law, commenting that the college disciplinary process differs from the lhegal process, since “a key component of the developmental process of responding to student misconduct is for the student to take responsibility for their own behavior and to learn […]

    » Read More

  • North Carolina Becomes First State to Guarantee College Students’ Right to Attorney

    August 23, 2013

    RALEIGH, N.C., August 23, 2013—Today, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill granting public university students in the state facing non-academic disciplinary charges the right to an attorney. The law, which is the first of its kind nationwide, ensures that students attending the state’s public colleges and universities possess rights similar to those already enjoyed by North Carolina’s K–12 students under state law. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) worked with a bipartisan group of state legislators to enact the protection into law. “Students across America are regularly tried in campus courts for serious offenses like theft, […]

    » Read More