General Principles

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General Principles

1) Staff members or students who feel that they have been subject to discrimination, harassment and vilification should act promptly. Correcting the situation immediately is in everyone’s best interests. Ignoring the concerns may make the situation worse because the parties concerned may misinterpret a lack of response as approval or condonation of the behaviour. Delay in making a complaint may cause difficulty for the University in conducting a thorough investigation and collecting evidence. All relevant parties are expected to take all reasonable steps to comply with the prescribed time limits. However, the Panel Convenor may extend the time limits specified on reasonable grounds and may consider a complaint which is out of time if the Panel Convenor considers that it is fair to do so.

2) Under the Policy, any staff member or student has the right to make a complaint about discrimination, harassment or vilification which is unlawful under the anti-discrimination laws in Hong Kong. The University has zero tolerance for any infringement and will handle each complaint fairly and expeditiously in strict confidence.

3) No staff member or student of the University shall be subject to victimization or reprisal for initiating a good faith complaint or for providing information in the complaint investigation process. However, the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action against any staff member or student making a false or malicious complaint or intentionally providing false information in any complaint or investigation process.

4) Every reasonable effort shall be made to ensure confidentiality and to protect the privacy of all parties concerned, in accordance with the existing University policies and applicable laws, particularly the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. All complaints will be received and handled in a confidential manner and any information relating to a complaint will only be disclosed to relevant parties on a strict need-to-know basis, particularly as regards the identities of the parties concerned.

5) Discrimination by way of victimization occurs when a person (“the discriminator”) treats another person (“the victimized person”) less favourably than in those circumstances he or she treats or would treat other persons, and does so by reason that the victimized person or any other person (“the third person”) has: 
  a) made an allegation or complaint against the discriminator or any other persons under the anti-discrimination ordinances;
  b) brought proceedings against the discriminator or any other persons under the anti-discrimination ordinances;
  c) given evidence or information in connection with proceedings brought by any person against the discriminator or any other persons under the anti-discrimination ordinances;
  d) done anything under or by reference to the anti-discrimination ordinances in relation to the discriminator or any other persons;
  or by reason that the discriminator knows the victimized person or the third person intends to do any of those things, or suspects the victimized person or the third person has done, or intends to do, any of them.

6) Under the above circumstances, the victimized person or the third person may file a complaint on the ground of victimization. If it is demonstrated that an act of victimization has been committed, the University will take actions according to the prevailing disciplinary procedures or other appropriate rules and regulations of the University.

7) The maintenance and retention of records of conciliation and investigation of complaints shall be kept for official record in strict confidence and in compliance with such policies and laws. However, if there is a criminal investigation or criminal proceeding, the University may need to provide the necessary information requested. Records may be made available to the University officials in accordance with and to the extent required by the University rules, regulations or policies or by law.

8) For an allegation that potentially may involve any breach of law, the University has the right to refer the case to the relevant law enforcement agencies for handling. In the event that the complaint is under criminal investigation by a law enforcement agency or is the subject of criminal or civil proceedings in court, the University may suspend its process. The University may resume its process if the criminal investigation is abandoned, not proceeded with, discontinued or completed, or following the dropping or completion of criminal or civil proceedings.

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