Legal Office Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I ask for more detailed medical documentation if a student provides a letter of support from Support Services, recommending academic adjustment?
- One of my students is being disruptive in tutorials/lectures. Can I discuss this matter with a colleague?
- Can I share information about a student with their parent, partner or other family member?
- Can I provide a staff member of student's personal information to a third party (eg, bank, prospective employer etc)?
- I think there is a serious risk and/or imminent threat to health or life of one of my students. Can I disclose this information?
- Do I need legal advice?
- Is there a charge for SCU Legal Office advice or assistance?
- What are the University's legal entity details?
- Who has power to sign documents on behalf of the University?
- I've received a subpoena to appear as a witness in legal proceedings or to produce documents. What should I do?
- I have received a summons to appear for jury service. What must I do?
Q: Can I ask for more detailed medical documentation if a student provides a letter of support from Support Services, recommending academic adjustment?
The University's Disability and Equity team and the Support Services team each have experience and skills in assessing medical documentation and conditions, may have a more detailed knowledge of the student's medical condition or disability(s) and have strict guidelines for making recommendations for academic adjustments. It is appropriate to rely on the knowledge and expertise of these specialist services in making decisions about whether to make academic adjustments.
If you would like to clarify some points with the person recommending the adjustment (i.e. Support Services or other party), ask for the student's written consent to contact the person concerned before making the final decision. It is likely that the person recommending the adjustment will require a copy of the consent, before they discuss this issue with you.
Q: One of my students is being disruptive in tutorials/lectures. Can I discuss this matter with a colleague?
It is also important to remember that a student's disruptive behaviour may be associated with a disability or mental illness. Whilst disability or illness does not excuse disruptive behaviour or make it acceptable, it may provide some understanding of potential causes and influence the strategies used to address the behaviour as well which support services it may be appropriate to involve. If you think that a student's disruptive or concerning behaviour may be caused by illness or a disability, you may wish to approach the Head of Counselling and Disability Support Services.
Q: Can I share information about a student with their parent, partner or other family member?
The best course is to explain to the person requesting the information that you could speak with them if you had the consent of the student (preferably provided in writing).
There are limited exceptions to this rule. Disclosure is permitted:
- Where you believe, on reasonable grounds, that disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to prevent or lessen a threat of death or injury to the student or someone else; or
- If the University is required to disclose the information by law.
If you believe one of the above exceptions applies, you should consult the Privacy Officer on (02) 6620 3072 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I provide a staff member of student's personal information to a third party (eg, bank, prospective employer etc)?
Q: I think there is a serious risk and/or imminent threat to health or life of one of my students. Can I disclose this information?
Q: Do I need legal advice
- Receive any agreement from a third party which requires a signature on behalf of the University or by yourself as an agent for the University;
- You need for the Legal Office to prepare a Non-Standard Agreement for you; or
- You require advice/assistance interpreting or applying legislation or an existing arrangement
you need to complete the Legal Request Form attaching the document you need reviewed or instructions about the arrangement you would like the contract to reflect. See the Review of Non Standard Agreements and Other Legal Assistance section for further information.
If you need a Standard Agreement prepared, please contact one of the contract facilitators listed at the Standard Agreements page. If the body of a Standard Agreement is not changed, then you do not require a legal review prior to arranging execution of a Standard Agreement. However, if an arrangement is high risk or value, you may still wish to obtain it.
Q: Is there a charge for SCU Legal Office advice or assistance?
Q: What are the University's legal entity details?
The University should be described in any contract to which it is a party as:
SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY ABN 41 995 651 524 a statutory corporation established by the Southern Cross University Act 1993 (NSW)
The University's Australian Business Number (or ABN) is 41 995 651 524.
Q: Who has power to sign documents on behalf of the University?
Q: I have received a subpoena to appear as a witness in legal proceedings or to produce documents. What should I do?
If you receive a query from an outside party (such as a solicitor) about serving a subpoena, please direct them to the Subpoenas, Summonses and Notices section of the website or ask them to contact us directly on (02) 6620 3465 or at email@example.com.