DCU student settles case over exclusion for alleged inappropriate behaviour

By Ann O'Loughlin

A Dublin City University student has settled his High Court case over a decision by college authorities to exclude him from his course over alleged inappropriate behaviour - which he said could be explained by "cultural differences".

Last May, Lifeng Han, a Chinese national who is a PhD student in computing, was given leave to bring judicial review proceedings after he was formally excluded last February over what a disciplinary committee decided was unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour.

During that application, which was heard on a one-side only represented basis, the court heard he had actually been excluded from classes and college facilities from September but continued to live on campus.

He now feared his accommodation could also be under threat because of the February disciplinary finding.

In his action, he claimed he was denied fair procedures including because a member of the disciplinary committee also had a prosecutorial role in the matter.

He said the allegations against him "could be explained by way of cultural differences", his counsel Frank Callanan said. However, he never got the opportunity to make that case.

The case came back today before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan who was told by Mr Callanan that it had been settled and a costs order could be made in favour of his client. Separate defamation proceedings could also be struck out, counsel said.

Mr Justice Noonan made the strike-out orders and congratulated the parties as he noted the case had been in the court list for some time.


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