Academic Rules

A.  Academic Credit

1.  Course Hour Credit

1.1  Every upper year course and seminar shall be assigned a value of two, three or four credit hours, and every first-year course and seminar shall be assigned a value of two to eight credit hours, reflecting the time spent in formal class meeting or supervised research over one semester lasting approximately 14 weeks. (It should be noted that some intensive programs and research courses do have more than four credit hours. Please consult the Syllabus for a listing of the courses associated with the intensive programs and for the regulations concerning credit for research courses.) All Osgoode course syllabi are expected to include an explicit statement of the learning objectives of that course.

1.2  The method of evaluation in a course shall be such as to test a comprehensive knowledge of the subject matter in the course.

2.  First Year

2.1  Every first-year student shall successfully complete the following prescribed courses:

Course Credit Hours Term(s)
Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community 3 Taken over the first week of the Fall semester and the first two weeks of the Winter semester
Legal Process I 4 Taken over the Fall and Winter semesters.
Legal Process II 4 Taken over the Winter semester (commencing after Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community is completed)
Public and Constitutional Law 6 Taken over the Fall semester (commencing after the first week) and the Winter semester
Contracts 4 Fall semester (commencing after the first week)
Criminal Law 4 Fall semester (commencing after the first week)
Torts 4 Fall semester (commencing after the first week)
Property Law 4 Winter semester (commencing after Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community is completed)

2.2  In addition to the courses prescribed in Rule 2.1 above, every first-year student shall successfully complete one of the following elective courses:

Elective Course Credit Hours Term(s)
Legal Theory Seminar 3 Taken over Fall (commencing after the first week) and Winter (commencing after Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community is completed) semesters
Perspective Option 3 Winter semester (commencing after Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community is completed)

2.3  In the Fall term, in each First-Year section, at least one of Contracts, Criminal Law, Public and Constitutional Law, or Torts shall be taught in a format that includes weekly small-group meetings with the course instructor.

2.4  First-Year Electives

2.4.1  Legal Theory Seminar

a.  The Program & Records Office shall make available by the first week of the Fall term information about the Legal Theory Seminar(s) to be offered to first year students.

b.  Students may apply in writing to enroll in a Legal Theory Seminar. Applications must be submitted to the Program & Records Office by the end of the second week of the Fall term.

c.  Enrolment in a Legal Theory Seminar shall not exceed 15. Where applications exceed the available places, the instructor will have discretion to select students for enrolment based on the suitability of their background experience and educational interests to the learning format and objectives of the Legal Theory Seminar.

d.  Legal Theory Seminars shall hold their first meeting by the fourth week of the Fall term.

e.  A student may withdraw from a Legal Theory Seminar within three weeks after it first meets by notifying the Program & Records Office. A student who has requested withdrawal within the time limit shall be permitted to enroll in a Perspective Option to fulfill the elective requirement.

2.4.2  Perspective Option

a.  Each first-year student who is not enrolled in a Legal Theory Seminar shall select a Perspective Option by no later than mid-November.

b.  The first-year Perspective Option shall be selected from courses and seminars designated by the Academic Policy and Planning Committee, with the consent of the instructor.

c.  In designating and administering Perspective Option seminars, the Academic Policy and Planning Committee and the Associate Dean (Academic) shall have regard to the learning objectives specified for this elective, as approved by Faculty Council in October 2006. In particular a seminar may be designated as a Perspective Option only if:

i.  it goes beyond purely doctrinal analysis to focus in a sustained way on critical and contextualized perspectives on law (generally Perspective Options will achieve this objective by introducing students to central themes in one of the special disciplinary approaches to law such as legal sociology, criminology, legal history, feminist legal theory, law and economics, legal philosophy, law and social work, law and anthropology, law and international relations, or other like disciplines);

ii.  the course materials consist primarily of secondary literature in law or related disciplines (i.e. materials that go beyond cases, statutes and “black letter” analysis);

iii.  it is evaluated by way of a paper for at least 75% of the grade; and

iv.  it includes instruction on how to write a scholarly paper in law, including an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their work during the term.

d.  Enrolment in a seminar designated as a Perspective Option shall normally be limited to 23 in total, with places for upper year students normally limited to five and except in exceptional circumstances not to exceed eight.

e.  Except where criteria for admission are set by the instructor, in the event of a surplus of applicants over available places in a particular optional course or seminar, admission will be by lottery.

3.  Second and Third Year

3.1  All courses and seminars which are open to second and third year students are elective.

3.2  Prior to the end of May, each first and second year student shall prepare and file a plan of study for the next academic year.

3.3  The plan of study of each student will be subject to review by the Assistant Dean, Students or designate. While this is largely a monitoring function, with utmost deference being paid to the wishes of the student, in the event of a disagreement between the student and those responsible for the review of his/her plan, there shall be a right of appeal to the Associate Dean (Students).

3.4  Plans of study submitted for the second and third year shall comprise a program which:

a.  lasts two semesters;

b.  has an aggregate value of at least 60 credit hours (over the two years);

c.  has a minimum value of 13 credit hours in each semester;

d.  has a maximum value of 17 credit hours in each semester; and

e.  includes a seminar, course or other option in partial satisfaction of the Upper Year Research & Writing Requirements in Rule 3.6.

f.  The suggested program has 15 credit hours in each semester.

3.5  The Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) may, upon application by a student before the 10th school day of the semester affected, give permission for a student to file a plan of study that comprises a program which has a minimum value of less than 13 or a maximum value of more than 17 credits in a single semester.

3.6  Upper-Year Research & Writing Requirements:

a.  Students will be required, in each of second and third year, to successfully complete one of the following:

i.  a seminar or designated course in which the student writes a research paper as the primary mode of evaluation;

ii.  research paper under Rule 4.4;

iii.  Research Program under Rule 4.5; or

iv.  a major writing requirement in a Joint Program involving Osgoode Hall Law School and another faculty or department of the University.

b.  For the purposes of this Rule:

i.  “seminar” includes a seminar taken in another faculty or department of the University under Rule 4.9 or, with the permission of the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) in another University;

ii.  “designated course” means a course or Intensive Program designated by the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students);

iii.  a research paper constitutes the ”primary mode of evaluation” when at least 60% (or the equivalent) of the final grade in the seminar or course is based on the research paper;

iv.  a “research paper” means a paper at least 7,000 words in length, excluding notes, bibliography and appendices.

c.  Prior to filing of plans of study under Rule 3.2, the Program & Records Office shall publish a list of seminars and designated courses offered at Osgoode Hall Law School in the next academic year.

3.7 Osgoode Public Interest Requirement (OPIR)

3.7.1  As a condition of graduation, each student shall successfully complete a Public Interest Requirement consisting of:

  • 40 hours of financially uncompensated, law-related, public interest work; and
  • an additional three hours of reflection on the experience through either direct discussion or a five-page essay (essays may be written collaboratively, with the page requirement multiplied by the number of co-authors and including a brief discussion of the process of collaboration).

The 40 + 3 hours may be completed at any time during the student’s years of study, and must be completed prior to graduation. The hours may be completed while school is in session and/or over the holidays.

3.7.2  For the purposes of this Rule, the concepts of “law-related” and “public interest” shall be interpreted broadly.

“Law-related” work shall be construed in a manner that acknowledges the multiplicity of practice visions and contexts and would include: the application and interpretation of law; the formulation of legal policy; the drafting of legislation or regulations; law reform; public legal education; outreach to communities on legal issues; and participation in community organizing and community development activities.

“Public interest” shall be interpreted with a broad approach that would include activities such as: a) facilitating access to justice for individuals or groups who have limited or no such access (this may include access to legal information, access to advice and representation, access to the multiple forums in which law is constituted); b) participation in activities that seek substantive law reform; c) participation in activities that help to expose the law’s impact on the lives of those with limited access to justice; and d) the provision of services that helps to build the capacity of organizations or communities to engage with law and legal process.

Projects or organizations that promote hate or violence shall not be considered to meet the requirement of being in the “public interest”. The concept of “public interest” entails work on real issues and not simulations.

3.7.3  Foundations for OPIR will be established through the Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community course.

3.7.4  Completion of OPIR will be noted on the transcript.

3.7.5  Three years after OPIR is implemented, a review shall be conducted by a committee including the Clinical Education Committee and three representatives from participating organizations. Among other things, the committee shall consider:

  • retention of the discussion group and paper option;
  • whether three hours is sufficient for the discussion groups; and
  • whether credit should be given for all or a portion of OPIR.

3.8  Praxicum Requirement

a.  In either second or third year, each student shall successfully complete a praxicum designated course.

b.  For the purpose of this Rule, “designated” means a seminar, course or Intensive Program designated as meeting the praxicum requirement.

c.  Prior to filing of plans of study under Rule 3.2, the Program & Records Office shall publish a list of seminars and designated courses fulfilling the praxicum requirement offered at Osgoode Hall Law School in the next academic year.

3.9  Indigenous and Aboriginal Law Requirement [For students entering Fall 2018 and beyond]

a.  All graduates of the JD program must have completed at least one course that fulfills the Indigenous and Aboriginal Law Requirement (IALR)

b.  A course fulfills the IALR when it meets the following criteria:

i.  It is a lecture, seminar, or other for-credit course offering that carries at least three (3) credits;

ii.  The course content focuses primarily on Indigenous and Aboriginal legal issues and engages in a substantial way with all three of the following:

  1. Indigenous law (that stems from Indigenous communities);
  2. Aboriginal law (non-Indigenous law, including Canadian law, as it pertains to Indigenous people);
  3. Aspects of professionalism and/or practice skills related to serving Indigenous clients, which may include intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism.

c.  The following courses fulfill the IALR:

i.  Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian Law (2110.04, lecture course);

ii.  Directed Reading: Indigenous Realities and Perspectives (6001.04, seminar);

iii.  Comparative Law: Indigenous Legal Traditions (3040.03, seminar);

iv.  Rights & Reconciliation: Indigenous Peoples and Law (3390.03, seminar);

v.  Comparative Law: Indigenous Rights in Four Settler States (3041.03, seminar).

d.  A course not listed above can be recommended as fulfilling the IALR by approval of the Associate Dean (Academic) in consultation with the Academic Policy and Planning Committee and with ultimate approval from York Senate. Such an application would only be possible when the course instructor is considered knowledgeable in both Aboriginal and Indigenous law.

3.10  Principles of Administrative Law [Repealed beginning for Class of 2020]

As a condition of graduation, each student shall successfully complete Administrative Law (LAW 2010) or take the not-for-credit “Principles of Administrative Law Lecture” in person or online.

3.11  Curricular Streams

a.  Students may be admitted to a curriculum stream as early as the beginning of the second semester of first year, and no later than the beginning of the second semester of second year. In the event of a surplus of applicants over available places, selection shall be by lottery or on the basis of stipulated prerequisites or some combination of the two.  Students may transfer into the program if they have accumulated an appropriate profile of course credits, and may exit the program without prejudice if they do not wish to continue to meet its requirements.

b.  Successful completion of the requirements of a curriculum stream shall be noted on a student’s transcript.

c.  Responsibility for each stream shall be assumed by a Convenor appointed by the Associate Dean (Academic) after consultation with participating faculty members. The Convenor will consult closely with the Associate Dean (Academic) on behalf of participating faculty members to ensure the efficiency and high quality of the program.

3.11.1  International, Comparative & Transnational (ICT) Law Program Curriculum Stream

Students must complete a minimum of 27 credits to satisfy the requirements for the ICT Stream, including:

a.  LW 2008 3.0 (Globalization & the Law);

b.  At least eight credits from LW 2004 4.0 (Comparative Law); LW 2040 4.0 (Conflict of Laws); and LW 2340 4.0 (Public International Law);

c.  LW 5008 3.0 (ICT Colloquium);

d.  At least 13 credits from:

  • LW 2004 4.0 (Comparative Law)
  • LW 2040 4.0 (Conflict of Laws)*
  • LW 2210 4.0 (Civil Law)
  • LW 2340 4.0 (Public International Law)*
  • LW 2440 3.0 (International Criminal Law)
  • LW 2470 3.0 (Refugee Law)
  • LW 2890 3.0 (International Business Transactions)
  • LW 3007 3.0 (International Dispute Resolution)
  • LW 3040B 3.0 (Comparative Law: Modern Constitutionalism in Comparative Perspective)
  • LW 3040F 3.0 (Comparative Law: Law, the Individual & Community)
  • LW 3040G 3.0 (Comparative Law: Comparative Constitutional & Foreign Relations)
  • LW 3350 3.0 (Canada/US/Mexico Business & Economic Relations)
  • LW 3440 3.0 (International Human Rights)
  • LW 3810 3.0 (Aerospace Law)
  • LW 4150 4.0 (International Taxation)
  • LW 4880 3.0 (International Environmental Law)
  • LW 5050 3.0 (International Banking)
  • LW 5310 3.0 (Labour Law, Globalization & NAFTA)
  • LW 5800 3.0 (Transnational Governance)
  • LW 5930 3.0 (Advanced Public International Law)
  • LW 5930A 3.0 (Advanced Public International Law: International Common Spaces)
  • LW 7008 3.0 (International Research & Placements)

e.  Included in the required minimum 27 credits, students must include at least three credits that satisfy the Law School’s Upper Year Research requirement.

f.  As part of the required minimum 27 credits, in consultation with the ICT convener, students must pursue at least one of the following opportunities. Students will be permitted to use up to a maximum of 10 credits from any one of these opportunities towards the ICT Curricular Stream.

  • Study at another law school as part of an exchange program;
  • Study at another law school on a Letter of Permission;
  • Enroll in an Intensive Program;
  • Enroll in a global classroom@ course;
  • Enroll in a Summer Study Program;
  • Participate in an Internship;
  • Participate in a Work/Study Practicum;
  • Engage in Supervised Research.

3.11.2  Litigation, Dispute Resolution and the Administration of Justice (LDA) Program Curriculum Stream

Students must complete a minimum of 25 credits to satisfy the requirements for the LDA Stream, including:

a.  LW 2490 4.0 (Evidence);

b.  LW 5007 3.0 (LDA Colloquium);

c.  At least one of the following:

  • LW 3960 2.0 and LW 3961 2.0 (Lawyer as Negotiator)
  • LW 3980 3.0 (Dispute Settlement)
  • LW 5070 3.0 (Labour Arbitration)*
  • LW 5960 4.0 (Theory & Practice of Mediation)

d.  At least one of the following:

  • LW 6020 3.0 (Mooting)
  • LW 2140 3.0 (Legal Drafting)
  • LW 3630 3.0 (Constitutional Litigation)
  • LW 5070 3.0 (Labour Arbitration)**
  • LW 5270 4.0 (Trial Advocacy)
  • LW 7140 3.0 (Innocence Project, Fall Term)
  • LW 7140 6.0 (Innocence Project, Winter Term)
  • LW 8000 3.0 (Community & Legal Aid Services Program)
  • LW 3007C 3.0 (International Dispute Resolution)

e.  At least one of the following:

  • LW 2040 3.0 (Conflict of Laws)
  • LW 2120 3.0 (Legal Profession)
  • LW 2230 3.0 (Civil Procedure II)
  • LW 2240E 3.0 (Criminal Law II)
  • LW 2442 4.0 (International Courts & Tribunals)
  • LW 2690 4.0 (Criminal Procedure)
  • LW 3007 3.0 (International Dispute Resolution)
  • LW 3010 3.0 (Administration of Civil Justice: Class Action)
  • LW 4090 3.0 (Litigating the Insurance Claim)
  • LW 5010A 3.0 (Administration of Criminal Justice)
  • LW 5450 3.0 (Advanced Evidence Problems).

f.  Students must take a sufficient number of credits from any of the courses listed above to satisfy the LDA Curriculum Stream’s minimum 25-credit requirement provided that the course(s) have not been previously taken to satisfy requirement c., d. or e.

3.11.3  Tax Law Program Curriculum Stream

Students must complete a minimum of 23 credits to satisfy the requirements for the Tax Stream, including:

a.  LW 3370.03 (Tax Lawyering)

b.  LW 2080.04 (Tax Law)

c.  LW 4100.04 (Taxation of Business Enterprises);

d.  Three credits from either LW 3006.03 (Tax Law as an Instrument of Economic and Social Policy), LW 5220.03 (Taxation Policy), or LW 3006.03 (Consumption Taxes in Canda)

e.  A minimum of ten additional credits from the following courses.

Note:  Courses used to satisfy one of the requirements listed in a, b, c, or d cannot be used to satisfy this requirement

i.  LW 5210.03 (Taxation of Corporate Transactions)

ii.  LW 5110.03 (Estate Planning)

iii.  LW 3006.03 (Tax Law as an Instrument of Economic & Social Policy)

iv.  LW 4080.04 (Taxation of Wealth Transfers)

v.  LW 4150.40 (International Tax)

vi.  LW 5220.03 (Taxation Policy)

vii.  LW 6022.02 and LW 6020.03 (Appellate Advocacy Workshop and a Tax Law moot)

vii.  Any Tax course or seminar offered in the JD program that is not listed above deemed suitable for credit by the Tax Stream Convenor and the Assistant Dean, Students.

3.11.4  Labour and Employment Law Program Curriculum Stream

Students must complete a minimum of 23 credits to satisfy the requirements for the Labour and Employment Law Stream, including:

a.  Two of the following courses:

  • LW 2315 4.0 (Labour and Employment Law)
  • LW 2515 4.0 (Collective Bargaining Law)
  • LW 2550 4.0 (Individual Employment Relationship)

b.  Two of the following seminars:

  • LW 5070 3.0 (Labour Arbitration)
  • LW 3260 3.0 (Occupational Health and Safety)
  • LW 3040N 3.0 (Comparative and International Labour Law)
  • LW 5060 3.0 (Advanced Labour)
  • Other seminar approved by the Convenor

c.  The LELP capstone course: 5550 3.0 (Labour and Employment Law and Policy Colloquium)

d.  Two labour and employment related courses or seminars from the following:

  • LW 2010 4.0 (Administrative Law)
  • LW 4270 4.0 (Immigration Law)
  • LW 2490 3.0 or 4.0 (Evidence)
  • LW 3840 3.0 (Entertainment and Sports Law)
  • LW 3960 4.0 (Lawyer as Negotiator)
  • LW 2008 3.0 (Globalization and the Law)
  • LW 3300 3.0 (Discrimination Law)
  • LW 3630 3.0 (Constitutional Litigation)
  • Other courses or seminars approved by the Convenor

e.  Students must also complete one of the following experiential opportunities:

  • participation in the Ministry of Labour Summer Co-op Program;
  • a semester in the Parkdale Community Legal Services workers’ rights division;
  • 40 hours of volunteer work that is labour and employment related (e.g. work at Toronto Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic); or other arrangement as approved by the Convenor.

4.  Alternative Ways to Obtain Academic Credit

With prior permission and upon compliance with the conditions stipulated, students may also receive academic credit in the manner provided as follows in Rule 4.

4.1  Law Journal

a.  Senior editors of academic legal journals whose Chief Editor is a member of faculty of Osgoode Hall may receive credit in second and/or third year to the value of four credit hours each academic year and not more than eight credit hours in total. Senior editors receiving credit must have at least two semesters of prior experience as a junior editor.

b.  The application for credit must be made before the end of the first course change period of the academic year. The faculty member in charge shall certify that the student is entitled to such credit by reason of having accepted responsibility for substantial editorial work of an academic character for at least two semesters.  In particular, such work shall include:

  • editing at least two articles or the equivalent for publication in the journal;
  • reviewing submissions to the journal;
  • participating in the administration of the journal; and
  • completing one written assignment.

4.2  Community Legal Aid Service Program (CLASP)

a.  Senior supervisory personnel (i.e. “Division Leaders”) of the Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP) may receive 15 credits, with three credits allocated to each of two seminars on the lawyering process (one in the Fall and the other in the Winter term) and nine credits allocated to the clinical component of CLASP. Of the nine clinical credits, five will be allowed to be earned in one semester and four in the other.

b.  Students enrolled in CLASP continue to receive a pass/fail grade for the clinical components of the program and a letter grade for each of the two seminars.

c.  Division Leaders must enroll in two three-credit seminars (one per term) entitled “Fundamentals of the Lawyering Process” as a co-requisite to the CLASP clinical program.

d.  The application for credit must be made before the end of the first course change period of the academic year.

e.  The CLASP Board of Management will notify the CLASP Counsel of entitlement to such credit by reason of the student having accepted responsibility for substantial supervisory work of an academic character, including regular meetings with the CLASP supervisor. The credit shall be certified by the CLASP Counsel.

4.3  Upper-Year Competitive Lawyering Simulations (Mooting)

a.  Students chosen to represent the Law School at a lawyering simulation competition may earn credits as a result of that participation. Lawyering simulations can include, but are not limited to, appellate advocacy, trial advocacy, mediation, arbitration and client consultation competitions.

b.  The number of course credits to be earned by a student for a particular lawyering simulation competition will be determined by the Associate Dean (Academic) in consultation with the Director of Mooting & Lawyering Simulations in light of the following criteria:

i.  If participation in the competition includes the completion of a substantial amount of legal research and writing, for example the preparation of a factum, students should receive three graded credit hours;

ii.  If participation in the competition does not require a substantial amount of research and writing, students should receive two graded credit hours;

iii.  In the case of appellate advocacy competitions, where students are required to participate in the Appellate Advocacy Workshop, they should receive two additional ungraded credit hours for successfully completing the workshop;

iv.  If a student is a member of a team that is successful at a preliminary qualifying competition and advances to another competition as a result, where the second competition takes place on a different date and involves a different problem than that which was the subject of the preliminary qualifying competition, they should receive two additional ungraded credit hours for participating in the further round and three additional graded credit hours if the further round also requires the completion of a substantial amount of legal research and writing, for example the preparation of another factum.

c.  Where a portion of the credits earned by a student participating in a lawyering simulation competition are graded, the grade to be awarded shall be decided by the faculty member who is serving as the Director of Lawyering Programs; in consultation with the coach(es) and/or faculty advisor(s).

d.  Students are to be selected to represent the Law School at lawyering simulation competitions through an open and fair tryout process. Tryouts will ordinarily be conducted by the Director of Lawyering Programs, with participation and advice from the President of the Mooting Society or his/her designate. However, the Director of Mooting & Lawyering Simulations may also delegate the responsibility for selecting students to represent the Law School at certain competitions to a faculty member who will also be serving as the coach of the team selected. Any such alternate selection process must also entail an open and fair tryout process.

e.  Student may participate for credit in only one lawyering simulation competition in a given academic year unless, in the judgement of the Director of Mooting and Lawyering Simulations, no other suitable candidates exist for the additional component.

f.  Students who have earned credit in a lawyering simulation competition will only be permitted to participate for credit in another lawyering simulation competition (whether the same or a new competition) when, in the judgement of the Director of Mooting & Lawyering Simulations, when no other suitable candidates exist for the competition.

4.4  Research Papers

a.  A student may receive a total of nine hours of academic credit for three-hour credit research papers under the supervision of faculty members, during one academic year.

b.  Research papers will normally carry a credit value of three credit hours, but the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) may in the appropriate case grant permission for a student to pursue a research paper that carries a credit value of two or four credit hours.

c.  A student seeking permission to pursue a research paper shall submit to the Program & Records Office, not later than 10 days prior to the commencement thereof, a statement from the proposed supervisor stipulating:

  • the topic or field of research;
  • the amount of academic credit to be obtained and the date for submission of the completed research paper; and
  • consent to provide supervision.

d.  Any change in the conditions of supervision may only be obtained upon filing of a new statement by the supervisor.

e.  The supervisor, upon application by the student or upon his/her own motion, may permit or require the student to terminate a research paper upon such terms and conditions as he/she may decide, provided that the supervisor’s decision shall be subject to approval by the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students).

4.5  Research Program

a.  A student may receive academic credit for a Research Program of not less than 15 credit hours and not more than 30 credit hours, which may extend throughout his/her second and third years.

b.  A student will be permitted to pursue a Research Program if, in the opinion of the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students),

i.  the student’s academic record in the Law School and elsewhere, and other relevant evidence, shows promise of the ability to conduct with distinction a major program of research;

ii.  the proposed Research Program is within the student’s capacity, and his/her entire plan of study is otherwise satisfactory; and

iii.  he/she will receive adequate supervision.

c.  A Research Program will normally extend through the student’s three final semesters, but with the consent of the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) may extend through the final four or final two semesters.

d.  A student seeking permission to pursue a Research Program shall submit to the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) not later than 10 days prior to the commencement thereof, a statement from the proposed supervisor stipulating:

i.  the topic or field of research, and a tentative outline of research;

ii.  the amount of academic credit to be obtained and the date for submission of the completed research paper; and

iii.  consent to provide supervision.

e.  Any change in the conditions of supervision may only be obtained upon filing of a new statement by the supervisor, and with the consent of the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students).

f.  The Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) on application by the student or the supervisor, or upon its own motion, may permit or require the student to terminate a Research Program upon such terms and conditions as she/he may decide.

4.6  Clinical Education & Intensive Programs

a.  A student may receive credit for a Clinical Education or Intensive Program focusing on a particular area of or approach to law so designated by Faculty Council, for the number of academic credits allocated thereto by Faculty Council.

b.  Conditions of entry and methods of obtaining credit shall be as authorized by Faculty Council.

c.  A student desiring to enroll in one of the Clinical Education or Intensive Programs for the next academic year shall apply to the Office of Clinical Education and Intensive Programs on or before the Friday of the fourth week of the Winter Term.

d.  Selection procedures for the applicants to each Clinical Education or Intensive Program shall be carried out in the Winter Term of each academic year for the next academic year. The Director of Clinical Education will inform Faculty Council of the designated selection process dates for the next academic year at the final meeting of Faculty Council in each academic year.

e.  Selected applicants shall be notified at the same time on the designated date each year. Selected applicants shall have until 12:00 pm on the designated date to advise the Office of Experimental Education in writing whether the offer of a place in each Clinical Education or Intensive Program is accepted or declined. An applicant who neither accepts nor declines in writing an offer of a place by the specified time shall be deemed to have declined that offer.

f.  Those places in each Clinical Education or Intensive Program not accepted by a selected applicant shall be offered to the applicants on the alternate list once the initial offer has been declined. Each alternate so selected shall have two business days following the day the offer was made to confirm in writing that the offer of a place in the Clinical Education or Intensive Program is accepted or declined. An alternate candidate who does not accept the offer of a place in the Program within the specified period shall be deemed to have declined that offer.

g.  The foregoing procedure in paragraph (f) shall continue for applicants on the alternate list for each Clinical Education or Intensive Program until all the places in that Program have been filled, or the alternate list for it has been exhausted. Any places in a Clinical Education or Intensive Program remaining unfilled after the foregoing procedure, may be filled thereafter by Clinical Education & Intensive Programs on an ad hoc

h.  A selected applicant, having accepted a place in a Clinical Program or Intensive Program, will only be permitted to withdraw with the consent of the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) on the basis of reasons which are deemed to have substantial merit, upon consultation with the Program Director or the Director of Clinical Education as appropriate. Withdrawal after the commencement of an orientation period or a Program itself will be permitted by the Associate Dean (Students) only for the most compelling of circumstances. In either case, an applicant’s withdrawal from a Program after having accepted may be taken into consideration in respect of any future applications to any Clinical Program or Intensive Program.

4.7  Exchange Programs

a.  To be eligible for participation, a student must have successfully completed the first year of the JD Program at Osgoode Hall Law School (or its equivalent), and have maintained a cumulative average of B or better up to the time of departure. Transfer students are eligible to participate in the Osgoode Exchange Program, though restricted to a maximum of a single academic semester of study on Exchange.

b.  A student must submit a statement of why she/he wishes to study abroad, and a plan of study showing which courses she/he intends to take. Substantial departure from the plan of study will result in loss of academic credit.

c.  Courses will be taken on a credit/no-credit basis.

d.  Students will normally be permitted to study abroad for credit for not more than one year. Students may also receive up to four credits per academic year for summer study-abroad programs.

e.  Students may receive credit only for study at approved institutions. “Approved institutions” include:

i.  those which are party to an exchange agreement with the Law School or with York University;

ii.  those which are covered by an arrangement or agreement established by the federal or provincial government;

iii.  those which are administered by another Canadian law school;

iv.  those which are approved by the Association of American Law Schools; and

v.  any other high-quality program offered by a well-reputed university, if approved by the Assistant Dean, Students.

f.  Students are responsible for any failure to register or gain academic credit in an international program due to failure to meet entry criteria, to comply with visa, insurance or financial requirements, to secure adequate knowledge of the language of instruction, to complete the program for any reason, or to secure a passing grade. They accept the risk of administrative or other problems which result in their grades not being submitted to Osgoode in a timely fashion.  Failure to receive credit while studying abroad will result in the student having to take Osgoode credits in lieu.

g.  Students will receive credit only in accordance with the terms of a letter of permission issued in advance of enrolling in an international or exchange program. The letter of permission will stipulate both the number of credit hours to be received, and whether grades received will be on a credit/no-credit basis or will be recorded as the Osgoode equivalent of the grades awarded by the host institution.  A letter of permission will not be provided retroactively.  However, amendments may be made to the student’s plan of study on the same basis as elsewhere in the JD program, if requested in writing in a timely fashion by the student.

h.  Students may not normally receive credit for international internships or placements undertaken during the summer. However, credit may be awarded for such international placements or internships if they involve research which is intended to be incorporated into an independent research paper or project supervised by a faculty member.  At the discretion of the faculty supervisor, an international internship or placement may be awarded up to half of the total credit hours assigned to the paper or project to a maximum of four credit hours, provided the placement or internship involves research which will subsequently be used in that paper or project. The approval of the program director or faculty supervisor must be filed with the student’s request for a letter of permission to study abroad, and must set out the arrangements prescribed.  Retroactive requests for credit for international internships and placements will not be accepted.

4.8  Letters of Permission

a.  The Assistant Dean, Students may issue to a student who has successfully completed the first year of the JD Program at Osgoode Hall Law School (or its equivalent), a letter of permission allowing that student, upon conditions set forth in the letter, to receive credit toward the JD degree of the Osgoode Hall Law School for the work successfully undertaken at the other law school. Transfer students are eligible to receive Letters of Permission for study at another law school for up to a maximum of a single academic semester of study.

b.  Normally such letters of permission will not be issued for more than one semester’s or one academic year’s work at another law school, but in exceptional circumstances and where there would be real hardship to the student involved, permission may be granted for an extra semester’s work.

c.  The decision with respect to granting letters of permission will take into consideration, inter alia, the law school record of the student, the student’s reasons for wishing to spend a period of time elsewhere, the law school the student proposes to attend, and the program of courses the student proposes to undertake.

d.  This privilege may only be granted once during any student’s law school career.

e.  A student who is attending another law school on this basis must continue his/her registration at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.

f.  An appeal lies from the decision of the Assistant Dean, Students regarding the granting of Letters of Permission to the Associate Dean (Students).

4.9  Extra-disciplinary Courses

a.  A student may, with prior written approval of the Faculty or department involved and subject to approval of his or her plan of study, enroll in a maximum of three courses or seminars, not exceeding a total of nine credit hours, in other faculties or departments of the University, provided that the courses or seminars requested are integral to the development of a plan of study.

b.  Each such course or seminar will rank as a seminar for the purpose of the more than two seminars rule.

5. Registration Restrictions

5.1  Subject to Rule 4, and except with the permission of the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) to be given only in exceptional circumstances, a student shall not:

a.  be enrolled in more than two seminars in any semester;

b.  be enrolled in more than one Intensive Program over his/her second and third years;

c.  be enrolled in both a Research Program and an Intensive Program over his/her second and third years; or

d.  be enrolled in more than four seminars in addition to an Intensive Program or Research Program over his/her second and third years.

5.2  For the purpose of this rule, “seminar” includes research papers and courses in other faculties and departments.

6.  Submission of Final Papers and Supervised Research Papers

6.1  Except with the written permission of the two instructors involved, no student shall gain credit for two courses or seminars by the submission of a single final paper or supervised research paper. Such permission shall be given only if the proposed paper fits within the design of both courses or seminars, and involves effort equivalent to the credit requirements of both courses and seminars.

6.2  A final paper or supervised research paper written for credit shall be submitted in final form by the first day of the examination period of the semester for which the credit is earned, unless an earlier date is set by the instructor. If an earlier date is set by the course instructor, that date must be set out in the course syllabus.

6.3  Where a supervised research paper is written for credit in more than one semester, the paper shall be submitted in final form by the first day of the examination period of the last semester for which the credit is earned, unless an earlier date is set by the instructor.

6.4  Where a supervised research paper is written, including a paper written as part of a Research Program, and a date has been fixed for the submission of the paper, the paper shall be submitted in final form by the day so fixed.

6.5  The late submission of a final paper or supervised research paper shall result in an F grade unless the student has been granted an extension in accordance with Rule F below. The student will be permitted to submit, within 10 days after the examination period to which the petition relates, a Petition to the Grades Review Committee for consideration at its Spring meeting, which may include but is not limited to applying a late penalty or submitting the paper during the summer supplementary exam period.

B.  Evaluation in the First Year

1.  Definition

For the purpose of the Rules regarding Evaluation (Sections B and C), a final examination means a test written at the Law School by all students in a course at the same time within two weeks of the end of the semester or later.

2.  Evaluation in First-Year Courses

2.1  The course in Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community shall be evaluated exclusively through non-examination methods.

2.2  Evaluation in Legal Process I and Public and Constitutional Law shall conform to the following requirements:

a.  students shall be evaluated using at least two different methods including at least one non-examination method;

b.  any final evaluation may not count for more than 67% of the grade (except as a consequence of earlier evaluations being graded on a no-downside-risk basis); and

c.  instructors must provide feedback to students on their work at some point during the course, whether graded or ungraded, in a form that is designed to help prepare them for later evaluations in the course.

2.3  In Contracts, Criminal Law and Torts instructors must provide feedback (graded or ungraded) to students on their work by week 11 of the Fall semester. Feedback should be in a format designed to help prepare students for later evaluations in the course.  Instructors shall notify students in writing, in the first week of the course, of the date(s) of any test or other exercise to be completed for this purpose.

2.4  In Property Law instructors must provide feedback (graded or ungraded) to students on their work by week 10 of the Winter semester. Feedback should be in a format designed to help prepare students for later evaluations in the course. Instructors shall notify students in writing, in the first week of the course, of the proposed date(s) of any test or other exercise to be completed for this purpose.

3.  Evaluation in First-Year Electives

3.1  Legal Theory Seminars and Perspective Option seminars shall be evaluated by way of a paper approximately 5000 words in length, and requiring some degree of scholarly research, for at least 75% of the grade.

C.  Evaluation in the Second and Third Year

  1. In those courses where credit is otherwise to be obtained solely by taking a final examination, a student may elect to take an additional evaluation procedure.
  2. The nature and weight of any such additional evaluation procedure shall be determined by the instructor.
  3. The instructor shall inform students, by not later than the end of the first week of the semester, of the following:
    1. The nature of the additional evaluation procedure.
    2. Any time limits stipulated for participation in, or completion of, such procedure.
    3. The relative weight to be accorded the final examination and the additional procedure.
  4. A second or third year student has until the fourth week of a semester to notify the Program & Records Office if she/he wishes to undertake an additional evaluation procedure. The instructor of any course may, at his/her discretion, extend this deadline for such time as he/she thinks fit.
  5. A student who elects to undertake such additional procedure:
    1. may revoke the election by written notice to the Office of Admissions & Student Services at any time prior to the first date fixed for participation or, if none is stipulated, the date for completion;
    2. shall comply with the dates fixed for participation or completion, or be penalized for lateness, unless an acceptable excuse is provided; and
    3. shall forfeit any credit for the additional procedure unless it is completed.
  6. If a midterm evaluation is given, appropriate feedback or a grade should be given to students within a reasonable time.

D.  Administration of the Upper-Year Elective System

1.  Limited Enrolment Courses and Seminars

1.1  Courses shall normally be limited to an enrolment of 80 and except in exceptional circumstances shall not exceed 105. Seminars shall normally be limited to an enrolment of 15 and except in exceptional circumstances shall not exceed 20.

1.2  Basic courses or seminars may be designated by the instructor as academic prerequisites to advanced courses or seminars.

2.  Admission to Courses and Seminars

2.1  When a student files his/her plan of study covering two semesters, the student shall indicate in order of priority the ten courses or seminars in which he/she is most interested.

2.2  In assigning places in a limited enrolment course or seminar, priority shall be given to students who have marked it highest in priority of interest.

2.3  Where there is a greater number of qualified students indicating equal priority of interest than there are places available or where there are no students indicating priority of interest, available places shall be allocated on the basis of a lottery.

2.4  Students enrolled in the Intensive Program in Criminal Law, and in the Intensive Program in Immigration and Refugee Law are guaranteed admission to any prerequisite course, but insofar as guaranteed admission occurs, the students sacrifice their A and/or B priority.

2.5  Second and third year students who have been required to repeat a year shall normally be allowed to enroll in those courses for which they received a grade below C in the year they are required to repeat.

2.6  The Office of Admissions & Student Services will determine the admission of each student to courses and seminars and will advise him/her of his/her plan of studies prior to the commencement of the second and third years.

2.7  Students are not permitted to enroll in a course or seminar where the time for the classes or exams of that course or seminar conflict with those of another course or seminar in which the student is enrolled.

3.  Change in Electives

3.1  A student may change his/her plan of study prior to the first week of August and during the first 10 school days of the Fall and Winter semesters.

3.2  Notwithstanding Rule 3.1 and subject to Rule 3 of Section A, the Associate Dean (Students) may, in his/her discretion in exceptional circumstances, allow a student to withdraw from a course or seminar at any time, but a student so withdrawing shall not be permitted to select an alternative course or seminar in that semester.

E.  Examinations and Grading

1.       Examinations and Testing Procedures
  • Faculty/Student Colloquium:

In view of the desirability of affording a student alternative methods of demonstrating his/her ability in a relevant way, a faculty/student colloquium should be convened for the purpose of exploring specific alternatives to the final examination system.

  • Secondary Examiner:

A secondary examiner shall be designated by the Associate Dean (Academic) for each course in which one or more written examinations are given.  The secondary examiner shall review all examination questions in advance and offer comments and suggestions to the primary examiner.  In the case of disagreement, the decision of the primary examiner shall prevail.  Failure to comply with this requirement will not invalidate an examination.

  • Exam Invigilation:

During the writing of the examination, the instructor shall not remain in the examination room, but shall be available by phone at all times to answer queries from the Assistant Dean, Students or designate.

Examination questions must be handed in along with the examination answers at the conclusion of all examinations.  Following the completion of the examination period and the release of grades, examinations will be available for review by students in the Library as has been the practice in the past.

  • Use of Computers in Examinations:

Computers may be used for writing examinations, resources permitting. The use of computers is governed by the Law School’s code of academic honesty as set forth in the Academic Rules of the Law School, by guidelines issued by the Senate of York University, including the accommodations required for students with disabilities, and by procedures issued from time to time by the Associate Dean (Academic) and the Assistant Dean, Students.

  • Instructor – Student Grade Review:
  1. A student is entitled to a conference with the instructor regarding her/his grades, provided she/he makes an appointment for this purpose within three weeks after the grades have been released.
  2. Faculty members should make a serious effort to furnish each student with an explanation of why she/he obtained the result she/he did on the examination or projects used to evaluate her/his performance in each course or seminar. Wherever possible, the student should be informed as the course or seminar progresses.  Where this is not possible, the professor should either:
    1. make written comments and make available the exam paper or assignment;
    2. give the student an opportunity to attend a class where the exam or assignment is discussed generally; or
  • make available the exam or assignment to the student and encourage him/her to meet the professor privately to discuss it within three weeks of the work being returned.
  1. The instructor shall include in the course outline information about post-examination reviews of the exam and consultation with individual students.
2.       Grading and Credit
  • Grades:

A student shall receive one of the following letter grades for each course, seminar or program:

A+/A:              Excellent
B+/B:               Good
C+/C:              Acceptable
D+/D:              Marginal
F:                     Fail

  • Credit / No-Credit:

With the approval of Faculty Council, a course, seminar or program may be graded on a credit/no-credit basis and a student enrolled in the course, seminar or program shall receive one of the following evaluations:

Credit: indicating that the student has successfully met the requirements of the course, seminar or program;

No Credit: indicating that the student has not met the requirements of the course, seminar or program.

  • Grading Profile:
  1. All courses with more than 30 students are subject to the following rules governing the distribution of grades. These rules do not apply to courses with 30 or fewer students, seminars, and intensive programs, which are governed by section 2.3.b, below.
    1. The grading profile is
      A+/A:              15%
      B+/B:               60%
      C+/C:              20%
      D+/D/F:          5%
    2. An instructor is permitted a maximum variation of five percentage points from the grading profile, with any greater variation requiring the approval of the Grades Review Committee under section 2.3.vi below.
  • In the A+/A and B+/B ranges, the number of “plus” grades awarded in a range may not exceed one-third of the total number of grades in that range.
  1. In the C+/C range, the number of “plus” grades awarded may not exceed two-thirds of the total number of grades in that range.
  2. In the D+/D/F range, there is no restriction on the number of “plus” grades awarded.
  3. An instructor whose grades vary more than five percentage points from the grading profile in section 2.3.a.i shall submit an explanation to the Grades Review Committee. In deciding whether to permit this variation, the Committee may, inter alia, wish to take into account the size of the class.
  • The above rules apply before any changes made under the grade appeal procedures in section 6.2 below.
  1. All courses with 30 or fewer students, seminars, and intensive programs are subject to the following rules governing the distribution of grades.
    1. Where the median grade awarded in the class is higher than B+ or lower than B, the instructor shall submit an explanation for such variation to the Grades Review Committee. In a class with an odd number of students, the median grade is the central grade awarded, with an equal number of grades above and below it. In a class with an even number of students, the median grade is the lowest grade awarded in the top half of the class.
    2. The purpose of the explanation is to assure the Grades Review Committee that the instructor has addressed the grading process in an informed and conscientious manner.
  • Where the Committee is satisfied that the explanation meets this standard, it shall normally approve the grades awarded. Where the Committee is not satisfied that the explanation meets this standard, it may request the instructor to reconsider or change the grades awarded.
  1. In making this decision, the Committee shall be guided by the principle that the judgment of the instructor lies at the heart of the grading process and is normally entitled to deference.
  2. In all cases, the Grades Review Committee has the ultimate power to determine the grades awarded.
  1. After a Grades Review Committee has released the grades pursuant to rule 4.1(e) as follows, no instructor shall alter a grade awarded to a student except in accordance with the grade appeal procedures in rule 6.2 following.
  • Grade Point Average:
  1. The grade point average of each student shall be calculated on the following basis:

A+       =     9
A          =     8
B+       =     7
B          =     6
C+       =     5
C          =     4
D+       =     3
D         =     2
F          =     0
Allowed =   0

  1. In the calculation of student grade point averages, the grades are weighted according to the number of credit hours associated with each course, commencing with the 1996-1997 academic year:

Grade point averages thus calculated will be translated into the following letter grade averages:

Over 8.49                     grade point average = A+

From 7.50 – 8.49          grade point average = A

From 6.50 – 7.49          grade point average = B+

From 5.50 – 6.49          grade point average = B

From 4.50 – 5.49          grade point average = C+

From 3.60 – 4.49         grade point average = C

Less than 3.60              grade point average = F

3.       Academic Standing and Transcripts
  • Academic Standing
  1. Immediately upon release of the Fall semester grades, students in all years who are in danger of not obtaining credit for the year will be specifically invited to discuss their papers with the instructor concerned, interviewed by the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students) and warned of the danger that they may not obtain credit for the year. If they wish to do so, they will be permitted to complete the year.
  2. All decisions as to whether a particular student passes or fails and whether any of her/his grades should be adjusted by the Grades Review Committee shall be taken at the end of the Winter semester of each year.
  3. A student will be failed and required to withdraw from the school if, in any academic year, she/he obtains:
    1. an F grade in any course, seminar or program; or
    2. a No Credit in any course, seminar or program graded on a credit/no-credit basis; or
  • a grade point average of less than 3.60.
  1. The grade referred to in this paragraph is the grade finally awarded to the student after faculty deliberation and exhaustion of supplemental privileges and appeals, if any.
  1. A student who has failed in a subject will normally be graded as “Allowed” by faculty decision where her/his grade point average (ignoring the failure) is not less than 4.75.
  2. A student who has obtained a grade of D, F or Allowed in any course will not be allowed to take another course in substitution therefore.
  3. A student who is failed and required to withdraw from the school will not normally be permitted to re-enter and repeat her/his year.
  • Transcripts:
  1. The portion of transcripts dealing with grades shall reveal only the letter grade in each course, the course size, the course average, the letter grade average earned each year by the student, the letter grade average of the class and the percentage of the class falling within each such letter grade average, but shall not reveal the actual grade point average or class rank.
  2. In the case of students enrolled in any course, seminar or program which involves a substantial portion of a semester’s work graded on a credit/no-credit basis, the instructor shall place in the student’s file, on or before February 15th for the Fall semester and on or before June 15th for the Winter semester, a letter evaluating the student’s performance in the course, seminar or program. The fact that such a letter of evaluation is on file shall be noted on the student’s transcript, and a copy of such a letter shall be attached to the student’s transcript.
  3. A student’s grades shall not be made public, nor shall they be disclosed to any person or institution without her/his consent.
4.       The Grades Review Committee
  • There shall be one Grades Review Committee comprised of six faculty members, including the Associate Dean (Academic) as Chair, ex officio,
  1. The Grades Review Committee shall meet in January and May or June of each year in order to consider the results of courses offered, respectively, in the fall and winter semesters, and again in August to consider the results of supplemental examinations, if any.
  2. The Grades Review Committees shall exercise all powers of the faculty members in Council in relation to examinations, grading, petitions, aegrotat standing, supplemental privileges, grade appeals and permission to repeat the year.
  3. The Grades Review Committee shall issue an annual report to Faculty Council summarizing its deliberations and making any recommendations.
  4. The Grades Review Committee shall release the grades for the Fall and Winter semesters immediately following their January, May or June meetings respectively.
  5. Grade lists prepared for Grades Review Committee meetings by the Office of Admissions & Student Services which identify students’ names and grades must remain in the Office of Admissions & Student Services with two exceptions:
    1. they may be produced during a Grades Review Committee meeting but must be returned to the Office of Admissions & Student Services at the end of the meeting;
    2. they may be held by the Dean, Associate Dean (Academic), Associate Dean (Students) and Assistant Dean, Students for the performance of their duties.
  • Petitions to the Grades Review Committee:
  1. Petitions based on medical, compassionate or equitable grounds for aegrotat standing or supplemental privileges shall be submitted to the Office of Admissions & Student Services in writing, together with all relevant material in support thereof, within 10 days after the examination period to which the petition relates.
  2. Petitions will be considered in the first instance by the Grades Review Committees for the relevant years at their May or June meeting.
  3. A Grades Review Committee of its own motion may refer any petition considered by it to the Academic Standing Committee.
  4. A student who has submitted a petition which has been considered by a Grades Review Committee may refer the petition to the Academic Standing Committee by submitting a statement to the Office of Admissions & Student Services in writing, together with all relevant material in support thereof, within 30 days of the release of the grades by the Grades Review Committee at its May or June meeting.
  5. A petitioner may attend a meeting of the Academic Standing Committee to present her/his case in person.
  • Aegrotat Standing:
  1. Aegrotat standing may, in the discretion of the Faculty, be granted to a student who, on medical, compassionate or equitable grounds, has been unable to write or to pass one or more examinations.
  2. A student will not be granted aegrotat standing unless her/his academic record taken as a whole justifies the assumption that she/he would have successfully passed the examination. In the case of first year students, the absence of any law school record will normally lead to denial of aegrotat standing, although a good pre-law record, coupled with satisfactory semester work and success in other examinations written, may lead to the granting of aegrotat standing.
  3. Notwithstanding that a student has been denied aegrotat standing she/he may be permitted to write supplemental examinations.
  4. A student granted aegrotat standing in one or more subjects shall receive a grade point average calculated without reference to such subjects.
  • Supplemental Examinations:
  1. Supplemental examinations are a privilege which may be granted by the Faculty in special cases. They are not to be considered a regular method of enabling students to complete the requirements of the year.
  2. A student may be permitted to write supplemental examinations only if:
    1. for medical, compassionate or equitable reasons she/he was unable to write, or to demonstrate her/his ability at the regular examinations;
    2. she/he received a final grade of D+, D, F, or DNW; and
  • she/he does not qualify for aegrotat standing.
5.       Academic Standing Committee
  • There shall be an Academic Standing Committee consisting of six members of faculty, (including the Chair), the Associate Dean (Students), ex officio, and two JD students who shall be elected by Faculty Council not later than at its regular meeting in April of each year.
  1. The Chair of the Academic Standing Committee shall have power to appoint to the Committee such alternate members as is required to replace any absent member.
  2. The Academic Standing Committee shall meet subsequent to the May or June meetings of the Grades Review Committees in order to review and decide such petitions as may be referred to it pursuant to sections 4.2(c) and 4.2(d). The Academic Standing Committee shall exercise all powers of the Grades Review Committees in relation to such petitions.
  3. The Academic Standing Committee shall meet from time to time, subsequent to the May or June meetings of the Grades Review Committees, in order to hear and decide such applications as may be made to it pursuant to section 5.3(a). The Academic Standing Committee shall exercise all powers of the faculty members in Council in relation to such applications.
  4. Only the members of the Academic Standing Committee and the Assistant Dean, Students, or designated alternate, shall be present after an applicant and any representatives have completed their submissions and the Committee has entered into the stage of its proceedings where it is deciding on an appropriate disposition of the matter in issue.
  5. The Academic Standing Committee shall meet from time to time as necessary to consider any grade appeals referred to it pursuant to section 6 below. The Academic Standing Committee shall exercise all the powers of the Grades Review Committee in relation to such appeals.
  6. The Academic Standing Committee may grant to a student who has permission to repeat the year a leave of absence for a period of one year. Such leave of absence may be extended, upon further application to the Academic Standing Committee, on a year to year basis.
  7. In the Rules and Procedures of Faculty Council (available in the Dean’s Office), Rule 5.21 shall not apply to the Academic Standing Committee.
  • Petition to the Academic Standing Committee:
  1. The Academic Standing Committee shall not entertain a petition for aegrotat standing or supplemental privileges that has not been submitted to and considered by a Grades Review Committee, unless the student establishes that there are substantial reasons for her/his failure to submit the petition to the Grades Review Committee.
  2. The Academic Standing Committee shall not review a petition referred to it under section 4.2(d) after the period specified for its referral unless the student establishes that there are substantial reasons for her/his failure to refer the petition within the specified period.
  3. The Academic Standing Committee shall not hear an application under section 5.3(a) that is submitted after the period specified for its submission unless the student establishes that there are substantial reasons for her/his failure to submit the application within the specified period.
  4. For the purposes of this section, ignorance of a period specified in the regulations and difficulty in deciding whether to submit or refer a petition or to make an application are not substantial reasons for a failure to comply with such a period.
  • Application to Repeat a Year:
  1. A student who has failed and is required to withdraw from the school may apply to the Academic Standing Committee for permission to repeat the year.
  2. Such applications shall be submitted to the Office of Admissions & Student Services in writing, together with all relevant material in support thereof, within 30 days of the release of the grades by the Grades Review Committee at its May or June meeting.
  3. A petitioner may attend a meeting of the Academic Standing Committee to present her/his case in person.
  4. Where a student:
    1. has done satisfactory work in one semester of an academic year but, due to medical, compassionate or equitable circumstances in the other semester of that year, has failed to meet the total requirements of the year, and
    2. has not been granted aegrotat standing or supplemental privileges, the Academic Standing Committee may permit the student to repeat one semester on the basis that if the student’s results in that semester together with her/his results in the semester unaffected by medical, compassionate or equitable circumstances would have constituted successful completion of an academic year if the semesters had been taken in the normal sequence, then the student shall be deemed to have successfully completed the academic year in question.
  • Mutatis Mutandis:
  1. The foregoing procedures shall apply mutatis mutandis to the supplemental examinations in August, except that:
  2. A petition that has been considered by a Grades Review Committee shall be referred.
  3. An application for permission to repeat the year shall be submitted to the Program & Records Office, in writing, together with all relevant material in support thereof, within ten days after the release of the grades by the Grades Review Committee at its August meeting.
6.       Grade Reappraisal
  • Subject to the requirements and procedures in section 6.2 following, a student may appeal a final grade in a course on one or both of the following grounds:
  1. A significant error or unfairness in the assessment of the grade;
  2. A defect in the evaluation process.

A claim that the instructor held political opinions different from the student’s, or employed theoretical or other perspectives different from the student’s in teaching or evaluating the student’s work, does not constitute a ground of appeal.  A claim that the grade given does not demonstrate the student’s knowledge of the subject matter or does not adequately reflect the student’s efforts to learn the material does not constitute a ground of appeal.

  • Appeal of a Final Grade:
  1. A student who wishes to appeal a final grade in a course may not commence a formal appeal until the student has made all reasonable efforts to meet promptly with the course instructor to obtain an explanation of the reasons for the grade, in accordance with section 1.5(a) and 1.5(b) of these regulations.
  2. An instructor may only request the Academic Standing Committee to change a student’s grade at this stage in order to correct a mechanical error. For the purpose of this section, “mechanical error” means an error that is obvious on the face of the paper, for example, a question or part of a question that was not marked or numbers that were incorrectly totaled.
  3. A student who is not satisfied with the explanation that has been given for the grade may submit an appeal form to the Academic Standing Committee requesting a change in the grade. All appeals must be accompanied by written reasons identifying the ground(s) of appeal and providing specific supporting arguments.
  4. Subject to the discretion of the Academic Standing Committee to extend the time because of exceptional circumstances, the appeal form must be submitted no later than 21 days after the student’s grade was mailed to the student, or was received by the student if not mailed. If the student has not had the opportunity to speak with the course instructor within this time, then the appeal form must be submitted no later than 10 working days after the student has met with the instructor.
  5. Upon receiving an appeal form, the Academic Standing Committee may,
    1. deny the appeal because it does not allege any ground(s) of appeal, does not provide specific supporting arguments, or was not submitted within the period allowed under paragraph 6.2(d) above; or
    2. accept the appeal, and begin the formal appeal process.
  6. The Academic Standing Committee may decide to refer decisions under paragraphs (d) and (e) to a panel or panels of the Committee. A panel shall consist of not less than two members. Any decision to deny an appeal by a panel consisting of two members must be unanimous.
  7. The Academic Standing Committee will inform the instructor when an appeal has been referred to the Committee. The Academic Standing Committee will invite the instructor to give, as soon as reasonably practicable, a written explanation for the student’s grade and to supply any information thought to be helpful about the grading scheme, grade profile, etc. for the course.  The instructor may recommend any change to the student’s grade that the instructor thinks appropriate, provided such recommendation is made in writing with reasons.  The Academic Standing Committee may either accept or reject a change recommended by the instructor and shall notify the student in writing, as soon as reasonably practicable, of both the instructor’s recommendation and the Committee’s decision.
  8. If a student wishes to continue an appeal after completion of the procedures in paragraph 6.2(g) above, the submissions of the student and the instructor shall then be forwarded to the members of the Academic Standing Committee (excluding any members who are parties to the appeal). The Academic Standing Committee shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, consider the submissions and information provided by the student and the instructor.  The Academic Standing Committee may, if it thinks a reasonable case has been made out for doing so, consult with an Independent Reviewer with knowledge of the subject area involved (the Independent Reviewer may already be a member of the Academic Standing Committee), and shall consider the Reviewer’s response equally with the submissions of the student and the instructor.  The Academic Standing Committee shall be able to receive any information it requests, including information about the content of the course and the degree of emphasis placed on various parts, the instructor’s method of evaluation and the marking scheme.
  9. The Academic Standing Committee shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, either:
    1. dismiss the appeal; or
    2. allow the appeal and assign the grade it believes should have been assigned.
  10. The Academic Standing Committee shall give its reasons in writing to the student and the instructor. In making its decision, the Academic Standing Committee must consider that the Osgoode grading profile will require instructors to make close judgment calls on papers and/or exams at the margins of each grade bracket.
  11. Where the Academic Standing Committee allows an appeal, it may either raise or lower the grade appealed.
  12. Where a grade is changed in accordance with this regulation, the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee shall report the change to the Manager, Academic Programs & Records.
7.       Relief against Literal Application

Notwithstanding the provisions of these rules, the Grades Review Committees and the Academic Standing Committee shall have the power to relieve against the literal application of these rules in order to ensure that students are dealt with fairly and in keeping with the spirit of the rules.  However, this power will only be exercised in exceptional cases.

F. Procedure for Granting of Final Examination Deferrals and Final Paper Extensions

This rule governs requests for the granting final examination deferrals and final paper extensions. Extensions, deferrals, waivers or other alterations to in-term course requirements are governed by Rule G, below.

1.       Purpose

The purpose of granting a deferral or extension under these guidelines is to provide a student with an opportunity to be evaluated under conditions in which the student’s performance reflects her or his abilities and preparation, and not the impact of the medical, compassionate, or equitable grounds for which the student was granted the deferral or extension.  The guidelines are not intended, and should not be used, to grant deferrals or extensions to students in order to provide them with additional time to prepare or any other advantage in relation to other students.  The purpose of these guidelines is solely to provide reasonable accommodation to students who have medical, compassionate, or equitable grounds that would have a significant impact on their performance.

2.       Medical, Compassionate or Equitable Grounds
  • These guidelines establish a procedure whereby students may obtain permission to write an examination or paper on a deferred/extended basis where they are unable to write the examination at the scheduled time or submit the paper by the scheduled deadline due to medical, compassionate or equitable grounds that would have a significant impact on their performance.
  • In these guidelines, ”medical, compassionate, or equitable grounds” shall be interpreted so as to ensure the attainment of the objects described in paragraph 1, consistent with their meaning in the ”Academic Rules of Osgoode Hall Law School” as interpreted by the Grades Review Committee and the Academic Standing Committee. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, examples of medical, compassionate or equitable grounds would include: mental or physical illness just prior to or during the examination or paper deadline; the death, hospitalization or serious illness of a near relative or of an individual with whom the student has a close personal relationship; the breakup of a marriage or close personal relationship; spousal abuse; and the illness of a relative for whom the student is the primary caregiver.
  • In order to justify a deferral, the medical, compassionate or equitable grounds must be such that they would significantly impair the student’s performance in the exam or paper. The grounds must also be distinguishable from those which every student has to combat.  For example, most students suffer a certain amount of pre-exam anxiety.  If a student seeks deferral on the ground of anxiety, she or he must be able to establish that it is of a different order of magnitude than that which the average student suffers.
3.       Procedure
  • Where a student believes that her or his performance on one or more examinations (“the Examination”) or papers will be significantly impaired due to medical, compassionate or equitable grounds, the student shall, prior to the commencement of the Examination or deadline for the paper, attempt to bring the matter to the attention of the Assistant Dean, Students or her/his designate and request permission to write the Examination on a deferred basis or submit the paper on an extended basis. As soon as is reasonably practicable, the student shall submit a written application to the Assistant Dean, Students setting out the student’s name, student number, permanent and semester addresses and telephone numbers, along with a clear statement of the nature of the medical, compassionate or equitable grounds.  The student shall also provide any documentation requested by the Assistant Dean, Students, acting reasonably in respect of those grounds.  Where the application is based on medical grounds, the student shall normally supply documentation from a medical practitioner setting out the nature, extent and duration of the illness or malady.
  • The Assistant Dean, Students shall review the grounds put forward, including the documentation, if any, provided by the student and, if necessary, meet with the student. The Assistant Dean, Students shall determine whether the medical, compassionate or equitable grounds would significantly impair the student’s performance in the Examination or on the Paper that is the subject of the application.  Where the Assistant Dean, Students is of the opinion that the student’s performance would be significantly impaired, as described in paragraph 2.1, the Assistant Dean, Students shall grant the deferral. In reviewing the Deferral or Extension request, the Assistant Dean, Students may consult with the Associate Dean (Students).
  • If the Assistant Dean, Students grants permission to write the Examination on a deferred basis, the time for writing the deferred Examination shall be based on the prescribed Deferral Schedule published each term. Generally, for the Fall term examinations this Schedule shall be in the first week of classes in the Winter term, and for Winter term examinations, this Schedule shall be the week immediately following the Winter term examinations.  The extended deadline for submitting a paper shall be agreed upon between the Assistant Dean, Students and the student but shall be no later than the last day of the Deferral Schedule.
4.       Confidentiality

Prior to receiving permission to write an Examination on a deferred basis, a student shall be required to sign a standard-form confidentiality agreement, whereby she or he agrees not to discuss the Examination with any other student at Osgoode Hall Law School prior to the writing of the deferred Examination.  Breach of the terms of the confidentiality agreement shall be regarded as a serious academic offence and subject to the sanctions for Academic Offences as set out in the Academic Rules of Osgoode Hall Law School, Section H – Academic Offences.

5.       Deferred Examination and Extended Paper
  • The Assistant Dean, Students shall inform the professor in the course that a student has been granted permission to submit a Paper on an extended deadline or write an Examination on a deferred basis. In advance of the prescribed deferral date, Faculty shall submit a deferred exam different than the regular examination in the course.
  • The Assistant Dean, Students shall make all reasonable efforts to preserve the student’s anonymity. Save in exceptional circumstances, the deferred examination shall be written prior to the Grades Review Meeting so that the deferred exam can be graded using the regular examination numbers.
6.       Further Deferral

If a deferred exam or paper submission deadline has been scheduled but the student does not submit the paper or write the deferred exam on that date (the “deferral date”), the student will receive an F grade for the paper or deferred exam. The student will be permitted to submit, within 10 days of the deferral date, a Petition to the Grades Review Committee for its Spring meeting, requesting relief which may include but not be limited to applying a late penalty (papers only) or writing a supplementary exam or submitting a paper for that course during the Summer supplementary exam period.

7.       No Derogation from Existing Rights

These guidelines shall not affect the rights of students who are unable to write an examination due to medical, compassionate or equitable grounds and who:

  1. on reasonable grounds, fail to apply for a deferred examination; or
  2. are refused permission to write a deferred exam;

to petition for relief from the Grades Review Committee and the Academic Standing Committee.

8.       Reporting

Without revealing the identities of any students involved, the Assistant Dean, Students shall report annually to the Grades Review Committee at its May or June meeting on the numbers of exam deferrals granted or denied and the nature of the grounds on which deferrals have been granted or denied.

G. Procedure for Granting In-term Academic Accommodation

This rule governs individual requests for extensions, deferrals, waivers or other alterations of course requirements other than final evaluations. Final evaluations are governed by Rule F, above.

1.       Types of In-Term Academic Accommodation

Students may request different types of in-term academic accommodation, including:

  1. extending the deadline for an assignment;
  2. deferring a midterm examination/test;
  3. waiving all or part of a participation component in a class; and
  4. alteration of a course requirement.
2.       Grounds for In-Term Academic Accommodation

Students may request in-term academic accommodation(s) based on medical (including mental health), compassionate or equitable grounds that would have a significant impact on their performance.

3.       Requesting In-Term Academic Accommodation
  1. Requests made to the Instructor

Students may submit their request for in-term academic accommodation directly to their instructor. Requests must be:

  1. made in writing;
  2. barring exceptional circumstances, received by the instructor before the assignment deadline, midterm test date and/or as soon as the need for accommodation arises; and
  • accompanied by supporting documentation.

In these instances, the instructor may, at her/his discretion, provide reasonable accommodation or may refer the request to the Assistant Dean, Students.

  1. Requests made, or referred, to the Assistant Dean, Students

Students may submit their request for in-term accommodation to the Assistant Dean, Students. Requests must be:

  1. made in writing;
  2. barring exceptional circumstances, received by the Assistant Dean, Students, before the assignment deadline, midterm test date and/or as soon as the need for accommodation arises; and
  • accompanied by supporting documentation.

Where the Assistant Dean, Students is of the opinion that the student’s performance would be significantly impaired if relief were not granted, the Assistant Dean, Students will act as a liaison between the student and the instructor in order to provide the student with reasonable accommodation.

  1. If a deferred midterm examination/test or an extended assignment deadline has been scheduled but the student does not submit the assignment or write the deferred midterm examination/test on that date, the student will receive an F grade for the assignment or deferred midterm examination/test.
4.       Appeals
  1. An appeal lies from the decision of the instructor and/or the Assistant Dean, Students regarding the granting of in-term academic accommodation, as determined in Section 3 above, to the Associate Dean (Students).
  2. A student who receives an F grade for an assignment or deferred midterm examination/test in accordance with Section 3.c. above will be permitted to submit, within 10 days after the deferred date or extended deadline to which the appeal relates, an appeal to the Associate Dean (Students), requesting relief which may include, but not be limited to, applying a late penalty (assignments only) or providing a further extension (assignments only), or writing a further deferred midterm examination/test. All forms of relief must be completed before the start of the examination period for the applicable term.
  3. An appeal under clause 4.a. and 4.b. above will be considered on the merits of each particular case, based on specific and documented grounds. Both procedural anomalies as well as other compassionate grounds will be considered.

H. Academic Offences

On February 17, 2011, the Senate of York University approved the revised Senate Policy, Guidelines and Procedures on Academic Honesty (the “Senate Policy”).  The Senate Policy defines York University’s commitment to academic honesty (Section 1) and identifies what constitutes an offence against standards of academic honesty, provides the range of penalties that may be invoked, and identifies factors to be considered when penalties are imposed (Section 2).  The Senate Policy also provides procedures for the investigation and resolution of cases of alleged violations of academic honesty (Section 3) and indicates the order of Faculty or Senate hearings of a charge for breach of academic honesty (Section 4).

All Faculties of the University are deemed to be covered by the Senate Policy.  Consistent with the Senate Policy, Osgoode Hall Law School has established the following complementary procedures specific to the investigation and resolution of alleged violations of the Senate Policy involving students in Osgoode-based programs.

1.       Osgoode Hall Law School Implementation of the Senate Procedures Governing Breach of Academic Honesty*

The procedures below are consistent with those specified by the Senate Policy, Guidelines and Procedures on Academic Honesty.

  • Purpose

The following procedures are provided for the investigation and resolution of cases of alleged violations of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty involving students in Osgoode-based programs. In these procedures, the term “student” includes a York graduate or undergraduate student, a York graduate, a former York student, or a student who is applying to take, is taking or has taken a York course.

  • Jurisdiction
  • Allegations of a breach of academic honesty by a student in a course offered by Osgoode shall be dealt with by Osgoode. In cases of students from other Faculties, the student’s home Faculty (or Faculties) shall have observer status at a hearing and may make submission as to penalty. For students in joint programs or where allegations arise in more than one Faculty, the Faculties will agree on which Faculty will have jurisdiction over the proceedings.
  • All allegations of breaches of academic honesty other than those in course work shall be communicated by the administrator, committee or other person with direct knowledge (faculty, staff, clinical supervisor, etc.) to the student’s home Faculty.
  • Should a matter arise for which there appears to be no clear Faculty jurisdiction, the Senate Appeals Committee shall determine which Faculty shall have carriage of the matter.
  • Appeals of decisions of a Faculty committee are considered by the Senate Appeals Committee.
  • Investigating Potential Academic Misconduct

If a person (or persons) suspect(s) a breach of academic honesty:

  • on assignments, term papers, essays, theses and dissertations, etc., the matter shall be reported to the concerned course instructor or supervisor. For courses, if the evaluator is not the course instructor, the evaluator shall retain possession of the suspect material and provide a written report, together with the confiscated material, to the course instructor;
  • on non-course work, the person discovering the potential breach of academic honesty, shall retain possession of the suspect material and provide a written report, together with any confiscated material to the Associate Dean (Academic);
  • in an examination, the invigilator, in cases of suspected impersonation, shall ask the student concerned to remain after the examination and shall request appropriate University identification or shall otherwise attempt to identify the student. In other cases of suspected breach of academic honesty, the invigilator shall confiscate any suspect material. In all cases, the student will be allowed to complete the examination. The invigilator(), if other than the course instructor, shall give a full report, together with any confiscated material, to the Associate Dean (Academic) (See the Senate Policy and Guidelines on the Conduct of Examinations for further information);
  • for research not conducted as part of a course, major research papers/projects, comprehensive examinations, theses and dissertations, person(s) suspecting potential academic dishonesty shall report the matter to the Associate Dean (Academic).
  • Initiating an Investigation of Potential Academic Misconduct
  • When a faculty member or course instructor directing a course, or having or sharing responsibility for a student’s research, examination, or dissertation preparation, or a staff member or person employed to assist in the administration of evaluations, or other person suspecting potential academic dishonesty becomes aware of a possible violation of academic honesty, it is the responsibility of that person to forthwith notify the Associate Dean (Academic) and initiate an investigation of the matter.
  • It is the responsibility of the Associate Dean (Academic) and the faculty member, course instructor or other person suspecting potential academic dishonesty to collect or assist in the collection of the necessary information and to be prepared to act as a witness at any committee hearing of the matter. The course instructor, faculty member or other person suspecting potential academic dishonesty is not called upon to determine whether or not a breach of academic honesty has occurred, nor to impose punishment, mild or severe.
  • Once notified of a potential breach of academic honesty, the designated Faculty office shall post a block on enrolment activity in the course. The student may not drop or be deregistered from the course for any reason, nor may transcripts be released to the student until a final decision is reached. A request by a student for a transcript to be sent to another institution or to a potential employer will be processed, but if the student is found guilty of a breach of academic honesty, the recipients of the transcript will be provided automatically with an updated transcript.
  • If the investigation relates to work already presented for evaluation but not yet evaluated, the course instructor or faculty member may elect to defer the evaluation of the work until after the matter has been dealt with. Normally, any evaluation of a work which relates to a charge will not be entered into the student’s record until after the matter is concluded.
  • If the faculty member, course instructor or other person suspecting potential academic dishonesty decides to proceed with a formal complaint alleging a breach of academic honesty, the complaint shall be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean (Academic) as soon as is reasonably possible. The complaint shall contain a full, but concise, statement of the facts as perceived by the complainant and be accompanied by all available supporting evidence.
  • The Associate Dean (Academic) will normally take carriage of an alleged breach of academic honesty, including when an apparent breach of academic honesty is not tied to a student’s enrolment in a specific course (examples of such infractions include ‘falsification of an academic record’, ‘improper research practices’, ‘obstruction of other’s academic activities’) ().
  • Exploratory Meeting
  • When a complaint is received by the Associate Dean (Academic) an exploratory meeting shall be arranged to determine whether or not there are reasonable and probable grounds to proceed with a charge of breach of academic honesty. At least seven calendar days’ written notice of the meeting and a brief description of the reason for the meeting shall be provided. At this meeting, convened and chaired by the Associate Dean (Academic), the student may be accompanied by a representative and the Associate Dean (Academic) may have another person present.
  • The exploratory meeting will result in one of the following:
    1. It is agreed by all parties that no breach of academic honesty occurred. No records of the matter shall be retained.
    2. If the student wishes to admit to a breach of academic honesty, a document signed by the student and the Associate Dean (Academic) which includes the admission, a summary of the matter and a joint submission as to penalty shall be forwarded to the Faculty committee which deals with allegations of breach of academic honesty. In such cases, the agreed-upon penalty shall not exceed failure in the course. The responsible Faculty committee receiving such a joint submission will normally impose the penalty suggested, but if it is of the opinion that some other penalty would be more appropriate, it shall arrange for a hearing of the matter, to which the student and faculty member will be invited.
  • If the student wishes to admit to a breach of academic honesty but no agreement is reached on recommended penalty, a document signed by the student and the Associate Dean (Academic), which includes the admission, a summary of the matter and individual submissions by the student and the Associate Dean (Academic) as to penalty shall be forwarded to the responsible Faculty committee, which shall arrange a hearing of the matter, to which the student and faculty member will be invited.
  1. If the student elects not to attend the meeting, and if those present find sufficient grounds to proceed with a charge of breach of academic honesty, a summary of the matter shall be forwarded to the responsible Faculty committee, which shall arrange a hearing of the matter, to which the student will be invited.
  2. If the Associate Dean (Academic) decides that sufficient grounds exist to proceed with a formal charge of academic misconduct and the student does not admit to this alleged breach of academic honesty, a formal charge shall be prepared and submitted to the responsible Faculty committee. The charge shall contain a full, but concise, statement of the facts as perceived by the complainant and be accompanied by all available supporting evidence. The Associate Dean (Academic) will forward the documents contemplated in items iii. and iv. above and this section to the responsible Faculty committee.
  • Formal Hearing
  • The Associate Dean (Academic) shall give to the student and to the case presenter who is to present the case for Osgoode a written copy of the charge, a copy of the materials submitted by the course instructor or faculty member or other complainant which includes a summary of the evidence, a copy of the procedures to be followed and not less than 21 calendar days’ written notice of the time and location of the hearing. If the student wishes to waive all or part of the notice period, she/he should inform the Associate Dean (Academic) in writing. If the student wishes to file a written response to the charge, it must be received by the Associate Dean (Academic) within 14 calendar days of the date on which the charge was sent to the student. The Associate Dean (Academic) will send a copy of the student’s response to the charge to the case presenter. Both the student and the case presenter must inform the Faculty committee of their intention to call witnesses and file names of these witnesses at least seven calendar days prior to the hearing.
  • Prior to the hearing, if a student acknowledges the accuracy of the charges, the student may waive the right to a hearing by submitting a written statement that both admits guilt and waives the right to a hearing.
    1. In this statement, the student may make submissions as to appropriate penalty and give reasons. If the Associate Dean (Academic) concurs with the penalty recommendation of the student, a jointly signed submission will be forwarded to the Faculty committee. In such cases, the agreed-upon penalty shall not exceed failure in the course. Should the Faculty committee find that some other penalty would be more appropriate, it shall arrange for a hearing of the matter.
    2. If the Associate Dean (Academic) and student do not agree on a recommended penalty, individual submissions as to penalty shall be made by the student and case presenter to the committee at a hearing of the matter.
  • Only the Faculty committee members, a recording secretary, the case presenter, the student, the student’s representative(s)/adviser(s) (who may be lawyers), a representative of Osgoode and the witnesses may be present at a hearing. The matter will be heard before a committee consisting of three faculty members selected by lot by the Associate Dean (Academic) from among the entire eligible faculty. Upon the request of the person charged with an academic offence, the committee shall consist of two faculty members selected by lot by the Associate Dean (Academic) from among the entire eligible faculty and one member selected by lot by the Associate Dean (Academic) from among all eligible student members of Faculty Council. Where any committee member cannot serve, she/he shall be replaced by another faculty or student member, similarly selected. Committee members shall be at “arm’s length” from the student charged with a breach of academic honesty. Committee members are not at “arm’s length” if they have had a significant personal or professional relationship with the student charged (). Witnesses shall be present at the hearing only while testifying. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the committee. The committee shall arrange for a recording secretary to take notes of the hearing. A record prepared from these notes will constitute the official record of the proceedings. Parties may, if they wish, arrange for their own written record of the hearing to be taken. The committee shall select one of its members to act as Chair. The Chair of the committee has full authority to assure an orderly and expeditious hearing. Any person who disrupts a hearing, or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the committee may be required to leave.
  • The committee shall consider the facts and circumstances of the case and determine whether there has been a breach of academic honesty. If a finding of academic misconduct is determined, the committee shall hear submissions as to the appropriate penalty and then decide the penalty.
  • If a student fails to appear at a hearing after proper notice, the hearing may proceed, a decision may be made and sanctions may be imposed, unless the student can establish, in advance of the hearing and to the satisfaction of the committee, that there are circumstances beyond her or his control which make an appearance impossible or unfairly burdensome.
  • Parties must be allowed a full and fair opportunity to present their evidence and to respond to the evidence presented against them. Parties are allowed to cross-examine each other’s witnesses in matters related to the charge. The committee has the discretion to make rulings as to admissibility of evidence or the suitability of cross-examination. The committee is not bound by formal rules of evidence applicable in courts of law.
  • When the parties have presented all available relevant evidence and witnesses, each party may present a final argument. Following this the parties shall be excused without further discussion. The committee shall then enter into closed session to determine whether a breach of academic honesty has occurred. A finding of academic misconduct supported by a majority of committee members shall be binding.
  • If the committee does not render a finding of academic misconduct, all records of the charge and hearing will be held by the student’s home Faculty until such time as appeals procedures are exhausted or abandoned. Thereafter, a record consisting of the complaint and the decision letter will be placed in a confidential file retained in the Office of the Dean of the student’s home Faculty.
  • Following a finding of academic misconduct, the committee shall next allow both parties to make a presentation as to suitable penalty. At this point the committee may be made aware of other academic offences in the student’s file. The committee will again enter into closed session and decide upon the sanction. A decision by the majority of the committee to impose a particular penalty shall be binding. The decision of the committee, as described in Item 4.8 of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty, must be communicated to the parties in writing, delivered by hand or by mail. A record of the offence, the proceedings and the finding will be retained in the Office of the Dean of the student’s home Faculty, regardless of the severity of the penalty, and be held for a time consistent with the University’s records retention guidelines. This record is for internal academic purposes only. A note shall be placed on the Student Information System to bar withdrawal from the course.
  • If the student is found to have committed a breach of academic honesty in work related to a funded research project, the Vice President Academic shall be notified and the Vice President or a designate shall determine whether to notify the granting agency.
  • If a student from another institution enrolled in a joint program or attending York on Letter of Permission is found to have committed a breach of academic honesty, notice of the Committee’s findings will be sent to the other institution.
2.       Order of Faculty or Senate Hearings on Academic Honesty

The following indicates the order in which a Faculty or Senate committee should proceed when hearing a charge of breach of academic honesty. The committee may alter the order in the interests of fairness or in cases where multiple students are charged with related offences.

  • The Chair shall:
  • introduce the parties and members of the committee;
  • identify the nature of the case and evidence before the committee.
  • The presenter’s case:
  • briefly describe the case to be presented, in an opening statement;
  • present support for the charge through oral testimony of complainant and witnesses, and through documentary evidence;
  • the student (or her/his representative) may ask questions of each of the presenter’s witnesses at the close of that person’s testimony;
  • committee members normally ask questions at the end of each person’s testimony but may interrupt if clarity is required.
  • The student’s case:
  • briefly reply and indicate main arguments in an opening statement;
  • present support for her/his case through oral testimony provided by her/himself and witnesses as well as documentary evidence;
  • the presenter may ask questions of each of the student’s witnesses at the close of that person’s testimony;
  • committee members normally ask questions at the end of each person’s testimony but may interrupt if clarity is required.
  • The presenter shall be allowed to present testimony or other evidence in reply to new issues raised in the student’s case which were not raised in the original presentation.
  • At any time, the committee may require other witnesses or the production of other written or documentary evidence and may, if it sees fit, adjourn the hearing after allowing both parties the opportunity to speak to the adjournment.
  • Following the presentation of evidence, the parties are entitled to make closing arguments and to summarize briefly the main points of their cases, but no new evidence may be introduced. This will proceed in the following order: the student (or her/his representative) followed by the presenter.
  • The committee will move into closed sessions for deliberations and decision. If there is a finding of academic misconduct, the committee will then consider submissions as to appropriate penalty, then return to closed sessions and decide on the appropriate penalty.
  • The written decision of the committee shall include:
  • the names of committee members and all who appeared;
  • a summary of the cases of the parties;
  • the committee’s findings of fact, decision and reasons; and
  • the route of appeal.
3.       Osgoode Guidelines on use of Collaborative Study Materials in Examinations

The York University Senate Policy on Academic Honesty (the “Policy”) contains a number of offences against the Standards of Academic Honesty. One of these is cheating (Section III A 2.1). The Policy provides a number of examples of cheating, which include:

  • “submitting work prepared in collaboration with another or other member(s) of a class, when collaborative work on a project has not been authorized by the instructor”

 

  • “submitting work prepared in whole or in part by another person and representing that work as one’s own”

In light of these examples of cheating in the Policy, certain questions have arisen as to their impact on practices such as student collaboration in the preparation of a “summary” of course material, which may be brought into an open-book examination, or the practice of using a widely-circulated summary as an aid in an examination context. Thus, students may each write different sections of a summary, or jointly produce all or part of a summary, or use a summary prepared in a previous year and available online. If a section of a summary is reproduced in an examination, where that section was not written by the student reproducing it, the question arises as to whether this constitutes an academic offence, in light of the language of the Policy above. A similar situation arises where students collaborate on the production of “sample” answers to questions that may be asked in an open-book examination, where several students reproduce that sample answer in the examination. There may also be other examples of pre-prepared or jointly-prepared study materials.

This memo from Academic Policy and Planning Committee (APPC) is intended to provide some guidance on these issues. For the sake of simplicity, the examples provided in the paragraph above will be referred to as “collaborative study materials”. 1.1 is addressed to JD students. 1.2 is addressed to instructors.

  • Guidance to Students on Use of Collaborative Study Materials in Examinations
    • In all cases, your approach to the use of collaborative study materials in an examination context should be guided by the Policy referenced above and any specific instructions provided on these issues by your instructor
    • Unless your instructor advises otherwise, you should assume that s/he is expecting that your examination answers represent your own individual work. In particular, while collaborative study materials may be used as a learning/study aid, the answers you give in your examination must be your own and should be expressed in your own original words. For example, unless you prepared the study materials yourself, you should not reproduce material from them verbatim, because the instructor is assuming that the work is your own work. Also remember that instructors, where appropriate, may give credit for the originality of the analysis or legal opinion provided in an examination answer.
    • It is acceptable to reproduce excerpts from cases, statutes or other legal materials in answering examination questions. The accurate transmission of concepts and tests established in authoritative cases or other legal materials is a skill being acquired at law school. Check with your instructor as to their expectations about the requirement to provide citations for cases and statutory provisions that you reproduce in exam answers.
    • If you are uncertain about the appropriate use of any form of study materials in an examination context, it is your obligation to consult the instructor.

3.2  Guidance to Instructors on Use of Collaborative Study Materials in Examinations

3.2.1     In light of the examples of cheating above, drawn from the Policy, APPC requests that instructors be clear with students as to their expectations concerning the use of collaborative study materials in an examination answer context.  APPC assumes that the foundational principle is that students are being awarded individual grades for individual intellectual effort, unless a different norm has been established with the class in advance.

3.2.2    Please review with your class the guidance being provided to students in the memo above, and if you wish to deviate from it, be explicit with the class about how you will do so in the context of your examination.  Note that while the Policy makes clear that instructors may authorize the presentation of collaborative work, it does not provide an alternative to the principle that representing work prepared by someone else as your own is an academic offence.

3.2.3    From the perspective of the Associate Dean (Academic)’s office, one key issue in the application of the Policy is whether the student is “submitting work” done by another when they draw upon collaboratively-prepared materials.  Another is the issue of whether the student is representing the work as their own work when it is not.  An important part of the analysis will be what the instructor’s expectations were about the nature and extent of collaboration in preparing the examination answers.  Please be as clear as possible about this with students.

3.2.4    Note that the Senate Policy says that “(I)t is the responsibility of the faculty member to forthwith notify” the Associate Dean (Academic)’s office and initiate an investigation, where the faculty member “becomes aware of a possible violation of academic honesty”.

I. Extended Time Program and Leave of Absence

1.       Extended Time Program Guidelines
  • 1 First-year students accepted into the Extended Time Program will normally be required to carry between 13 and 23 credit hours over two semesters.
  • 2 Second- and third-year students accepted into the Extended Time Program will normally be required to carry between 13 and 17 credit hours over two semesters.
  • 3 The Extended Time Program has been approved on a pilot project basis and will be reviewed after four years (1998-1999). The following regulations concerning this program were approved by Faculty Council in March 1993 and February 1995.
  • 4 The Extended Time Program is available to first, second and third year students completing the JD degree.
  • 5 Admission to the first year of the Extended Time Program is determined by the Admissions Advisory Committee.
  • 6 Admission to the Extended Time Program is determined only after an applicant has been determined admissible to the JD Program through one of the existing categories.
  • 7 Admission to the Extended Time Program is limited to a maximum of five students in any one academic year, with a total program of 30 students in all three years of the JD Program at any one time.
  • 8 The division of the required first-year courses shall be determined by the Academic Policy and Planning Committee once the first-year curriculum revision is complete, allowing for a balance of courses and progression of studies.
  • 9 Students are allowed to enter or leave the Extended Time Program in any year level of the JD Program, again subject to current program entry provision relative to students already enrolled at Osgoode.
  • 10 The Academic rules shall be applied to the Extended Time Program and to a student in the Program so that as near as possible, and subject to the fairness principle expressed in Rule 7 of Section E, a student in the Program shall be in the same position as a student who is not in the Program.
  • 11 When the following Rules are applied to a student in the Extended Time Program, the words “semester” and “academic year” shall have the same meaning they have when applied to a student not in the Program: Rules 4.6(c), 6.1 and 6.2 of Section A; Rules 3 and 4 of Section C; Rules 3.1 and 3.2 of Section D; and Rule 4.1(e) of Section E.
  • 12 When the following rules are applied to a student in the Extended Time Program, the word “semester” shall mean a period made up of two semesters; and the words “academic year” shall mean a period made up of two academic years: Rules 3.4, 4.1(a), 4.4(a), 4.9(b) and 5.1(a) of Section A; Rules 3.1(c), 5.3(a) and 5.3(d) of Section E.
  • 13 When Rule 4.5(c) of Section A and Rule 2.1 of Section D are applied to a student in the Extended Time Program the references of “two”, “three” and “four” semesters shall read to mean four, six and eight semesters respectively.
  • 14 When Rule 4.1(b) of Section A is applied to a student in the Extended Time Program, the words “academic year” shall be read to mean the first academic year of the period made up of two academic years which constitutes each of the second year and the third year of a student in the Program.
  • 15 Rule 3.1(a) of Section E shall be applied to a student in the Extended Time Program as if the opening clause of the Rule reads as follows: “Immediately upon release of the Fall semester grades and of the Winter semester grades of the first academic year of the period made up of two academic years which constitutes each of the second year and the third year for a student in the Program.”
  • 16 When Rule 3.1(b) of Section E is applied to a student in the Extended Time Program it shall be deemed to include a provision that an interim decision whether any grade of such a student should be adjusted by the Grades Review Committee may be taken at the end of the Winter semester of a year that is the first academic year of the period made up of two academic years which constitutes each of the second year and the third year for a student in the Program.
  • 17 When Rule 4.2(b) of Section E is applied to a student in the Extended Time Program it shall be deemed to include a provision that a Petition of a student in the Program may be considered in the first instance by the Grades Review Committee at its May or June meeting at the end of the Winter semester of a year that is the first academic year of the period made up of two academic years which constitutes each of the second year and third year for a student in the Program.
2.       Leave of Absence

1 Students will not be permitted a leave of absence during the first year of their JD studies except in exceptional circumstances. After completion of the first year of JD studies, a student may request and receive, on a pro forma basis, one leave of absence of not more than two consecutive semesters. A request for any further leaves of absence may be granted only in the most exceptional circumstances.

A request for a leave of absence should be submitted to the Assistant Dean, Students or the Associate Dean (Students).

If this course is used to satisfy the requirements of b., then it may not be used in d.

If this course is used to satisfy the requirements of c, then it may not be used to satisfy the requirement in d.

If this course is used to satisfy the requirements of d, then it may not be used to satisfy the requirement in c.

For ease of reference, the numbering of this document is consistent with the numbering used in the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.

At Osgoode, the practice of anonymous examinations requires that invigilators not report to course instructors but to the Associate Dean (Academic) directly.

At Osgoode, it is the Associate Dean (Academic) rather than the faculty member or course instructor who will normally have responsibility for the conduct of the investigation, exploratory meeting and hearing of cases of alleged breach of academic honesty.

  • Individuals asked to serve as committee members shall be told the identity of the student(s) involved. A potential committee member is required to disclose any relationship that may mean that she/he is not at “arm’s length” from the student charged. Simply knowing a student or having taught a class that she/he has taken does not normally disqualify a potential committee member.