News

Review of Exeter Uni’s law society launched in wake of racism row

By on
30

Exclusive: Law students invited to submit evidence

Image credit: Instagram @docswithoutborders

A review has been launched into the University of Exeter’s law society, the Bracton Law Society, just weeks after a number of its members were sanctioned for sending racist messages in a group chat. Undergraduate law students and LLM students have been invited to submit evidence on: the “cultural behaviour of the society”, “elected member’s delivery of their roles”, “the events and activities of the society” and “external influences on the society”.

Leading this review is the Bracton Law Society Review Board, which is largely made up of representatives from the guild, the college and the student body. The board has now met for the first time and is inviting submissions of evidence and/or testimony with the aim of creating “a more clearly inclusive and welcoming academic law society”.

Exeter’s law society, which has more than 1,000 members, was thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons this year when a number of its members, including committee members, exchanged racist messages on a WhatsApp chat called ‘Dodgy Blokes Soc’.

The 2018 Firms Most List

The messages included racist slurs such as: “dirty arab”, “bomb the mosques” and “guess who got a placement you n***a sluts”. The messages were made public when a fellow law student on the chat posted screenshots of them on Facebook.

An investigation was launched by the university soon after the messages came to light, and concluded with expulsions, suspensions and other sanctions.

Alongside this review of the law society, Exeter has launched “a new online hub, which will give greater prominence to all of our advice and guidance about racism, bigotry, abuse and harassment”. The Russell Group university has also established a commission with “a broad remit to recommend and implement new approaches, initiatives, programmes and policies which will ensure we work continually towards an open, diverse and safe university community for all our students, staff and visitors”.

Students can submit evidence to the Bracton Law Society Review Board via email or in person. The board will be inviting specific individuals, including elected officers of the Bracton Law Society, to attend meetings, too.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

30 Comments

Anonymous

This is really needed! I shudder to think that unless something is done to stop them, these ignorant scumbags make their way into the halls of power, and then we end up with horrors like the ones described in FT’s article Abuse of power: the truth about sexual harassment in Westminster

(3)(4)

Bumblebee

Two things I don’t understand about this story. First, was there any connection between the WhatsApp group and the BLS beyond the fact that the members of the WhatsApp group (all?) happened to be members of the BLS?

Secondly, who censored the offensive word in the following quote, LC or the person who wrote the message? “guess who got a placement you n***a sluts”.

I’d be grateful if anyone in the know could clarify.

(6)(3)

Anonymous

I am an enigma. I am a golden falcon. I am the bread that doesn’t need butter.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

You can’t say “enigma”.

Someone might mis-hear you!

(2)(2)

Anonymous

I don’t understand your first question — what other kind of connection could there be? Obviously the WhatsApp group wasn’t referred to in the law soc’s constitution or anything like that. The nature of a group like this is informal.

To your second q – the transcript of the chat is available – they were not self-censoring, LC has added the *s.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

THese LADS are absolute top bantah. I rate it 9/11

(13)(9)

Corbyn.Sympathiser

Don’t say such hurtful things you meanie..

Why don’t we all just grow nice beards like Jeremy, have lovely friendships with terrorists and rob people who work in the city.

OMG I love Jeremy so much and I really just want to lick his little beard … ooo yeah baby

(6)(13)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

Impostor. You are a Nazi.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Imposter!!!!!! Honestly, anyone who doesn’t like Corbyn is an alt right Nazi. None negotiable. Socialism is the only way. Labour is the only way

(0)(0)

Just Anonymous

To me, this looks uncomfortably like a witch-hunt.

(50)(25)

Dave Cameron

Witches don’t exist you dummy!

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Eh? You mean that the committee has already identified individuals it dislikes for other reasons and is going to frame them with spurious allegations of bigotry? That’s generally what witch hunt means. I very much doubt it applies in this case. There’s clear evidence that some members of the group were acting inappropriately, seems proportionate and non-hysterical to work out if those attitudes affected the group as a whole.

(1)(6)

Just Anonymous

Certain individuals have been found to have behaved badly.

There is no evidence any other individual has behaved badly – and certainly no allegation to that effect.

But now the entire group is coming under scrutiny merely because the original individuals were a part of it.

That is a witch hunt.

(25)(2)

Anonymous

Certain individuals who are all members of a group are known to have behaved badly. It’s reasonable to ask the question as to whether they felt empowered to do so because of the atmosphere of the group of which they were all members, especially given that the university has an obligation to provide a safe environment for all students. They haven’t just randomly picked on this society, and there’s no vested interest for the university in finding more offences (quite the reverse).

(3)(23)

Corbyn.Sympathiser

The key point about this story is that the wealthy are ruining everyone’s lives.

I say lets make everyone earn 32k and give the rest to poor people.

There would surely be no racism in the world if we give homeless people 23k per year.
Its a no-brainer

(4)(8)

Anonymous

I’m homeless and I’m a judge!

(1)(0)

Corbyn.Sympathiser

Youre not a real Judge

(1)(1)

Same Old Story

Havent you spotted its the usual friday diversity (yawn) story?

(5)(11)

Corbyn.Sympathiser

OMG Racist!!!

(14)(10)

Anonymous

Over 1,000 members – 3 or 4 immature, nasty little boys on a private WhatsApp group and now the whole society has to have a review of its practices? Good luck to next year’s committee getting sponsorship from any law firm with this publicity!

(4)(1)

UCL student

Exeter is worse than an ex poly

(2)(3)

Corbyn.Sympathiser

You are a stuck up little toff.

(3)(0)

UCL student

Ok sorry

(2)(3)

Anonymous

1. LSE
2. Oxbridge
3. Ucl, notts, Manchester
4. Ex-polies, brookes
5. Exeter
6. Open university
7. Getting taught law by some tramp you sucked off for payment
8. Durham

(3)(4)

loljkm8

Why do you distinguish Brookes from the other ex-poly universities? #brookesbaby

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Nottingham at 3?!?!?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

You joking but Exeter is bad.

In the same league as Winchester, Hertfordshire, London Met….

(0)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

a review that writes its conclusion (I.e. nothing to see here) before any kind of nuanced investigation has even started, no doubt…..

(0)(1)

Anonymous

We leave in the period of accountability, behave and act rationale, but always be alert of your environment.

For example I have the tech to identify everyone’s in the comment’s I.P address and name of devices if i wanted too. But that would not be ethical.

This is something you will all be seeing in the future.

(1)(4)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories