‘Move on’ from fail

Monash stu­dent’s case dis­missed

Herald Sun - - NEWS - ASH­LEY ARGOON ash­ley.argoon@news.com.au

A SUPREME Court judge has urged a Mas­ters stu­dent to “move on” af­ter she dis­missed his le­gal ac­tion against Monash Uni­ver­sity for fail­ing an as­sign­ment.

Chin­may Naik, 23, had called on the court to strike out his fail grade of 12 out of 100 and award him an over­all pass for a video jour­nal­ism project ex­plor­ing neg­a­tive stereo­types of dif­fer­ent breeds of dog.

The as­sign­ment was dou­ble-marked, but still awarded a fail grade of 21 of 100. Mr Naik ar­gued Monash Uni­ver­sity had acted un­law­fully in its dou­ble-mark­ing of his project.

Supreme Court Judge Melinda Richards said she found no ar­guable case against the uni­ver­sity, which failed Mr Naik’s as­sign­ment af­ter grant­ing him a 19-day ex­ten­sion.

Jus­tice Richards en­cour­aged Mr Naik to “move on” from his fail grade or to seek le­gal ad­vice if he con­tin­ued in his bid against the uni­ver­sity.

“I un­der­stand you will be dis­ap­pointed by this out­come and I ex­pect, as you have done be­fore, you will con­sider what other op­tions re­main open to you,” Jus­tice Richards said.

“It’s not the end of the world, plenty of peo­ple fail a sub­ject and go on to have suc­cess­ful and re­ward­ing ca­reers.”

Jus­tice Richards also en­cour­aged Mr Naik to con­sider tak­ing up an­other unit of study to pass his Mas­ters of Jour­nal­ism de­gree, and to dis­cuss that with his doc­tor. Ac­cord­ing to the judg­ment, Jus­tice Richards agreed with the uni­ver­sity that the court didn’t have ju­ris­dic- tion re­lat­ing to mark­ings of as­sign­ments or “oth­er­wise de­ter­min­ing ques­tions of aca­demic merit”.

“These mat­ters are solely for the uni­ver­sity — ar­eas for aca­demic judg­ment where the court will not in­trude.”

How­ever, Jus­tice Richards did agree with Mr Naik that there was an “ar­guable case that the uni­ver­sity did not fol­low its rel­e­vant poli­cies in dou­ble-mark­ing” given the lack of doc­u­men­ta­tion and mys­tery as to the iden­tity of the sec­ond marker.

But Jus­tice Richards found that did not amount to a ju­ris­dic­tional er­ror that in­val­i­dated the de­ci­sion.

A hear­ing re­lat­ing to the mat­ter is still pend­ing be­fore the Vic­to­rian Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal. Mr Naik had ear­lier ap­pealed to the of­fice of for­mer prime min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, the Om­buds­man, In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner and Aus­tralian Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion.

All re­jected his bid.

Chin­may Naik

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