No decisions have taken at the time of writing about what should change; the only thing that has been decided is that we should look at every statute and consider them as a whole set. We are considering
- changing the language, to make the meaning clearer for everyone
- shortening the statutes where they contain detailed operational matters that are not of concern to the Privy Council and moving these to our Regulations instead
- strengthening the statement that protects academic freedom
- amending the statute that specifies the objectives of the Students’ Union, in recognition that the SU has recently become an independent charitable body.
Some documents have been prepared for the project board overseeing this work, and for other stakeholders, to test out various ideas of what a new set of statutes might look like. We have looked closely at many sets of statutes that have recently received Privy Council approval, and at two in particular – those of Nottingham and King’s College – that are especially easy to read. These are written in language that is simpler for non-lawyers to understand, and are considerably shorter than our present set (which take up 35 pages).
We wonder if shorter sentences and paragraphs might make our governance arrangements more accessible to staff and students, and more transparent as a result. We are interested to consult widely with staff and students to test this theory and to find out what people think is of core importance and what is purely operational.