News

Abertay law grad sues uni over probe into ‘offensive’ gender comments

By on
12

Lisa Keogh was cleared of wrongdoing earlier this summer, but is now taking legal action for ‘stress caused at the most crucial part of my university career’

Image credit: Wikicommons/Dr V White

An Abertay law graduate who was subject to a two-month investigation after describing a woman as “someone with a vagina” during an online seminar is taking legal action against her former university for allegedly breaching the Equality Act.

Lisa Keogh, 29, hit headlines earlier this year after being reported by classmates for making what they described at the time as “offensive” and “discriminatory” comments during a class on gender and feminism.

But as reported by Legal Cheek, Keogh was eventually cleared of wrongdoing following an internal investigation by the Dundee-based university. At the time, Abertay said it was “legally obliged to investigate all complaints”.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Law School Most Lists

The mature law graduate took to Twitter this week to confirm she is taking legal action against her former uni for the “stress caused at the most crucial part of my university career”.

The Mail Online further reports that Keogh’s legal team believe that the university is in “breach of the Equality Act 2010 by pursuing her for ‘expressing her gender critical beliefs'”.

A spokesperson for Abertay University said:

“I can confirm the university has received a letter from Ms Keogh’s solicitor. We won’t be making any further comment at this time.”

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

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

12 Comments

Concerned of Counsel

I’d be interested to know more about this.

When I was at Uni, we would often have discussions in seminars that would involve us firing off ideas in answer to questions. Sometimes the answers would or could be controversial, but that seemed to be encouraged in the 2000s.

If this was a seminar where students were being asked to give an answer to the question “What is a woman?” then this seems like a politically motivated setup to out those with “Wrongthink” views and pounce on anyone who says the “wrong” thing.

Even if one disagrees that a woman is a ‘person with a vagina’, should expressing a view to the contrary this really provoke this amount of hate and punishment?

(56)(4)

Anon

If you read the University’s statement, the complaint wasn’t about the view she expressed. It was that she was being abusive towards other students in the class. The other students’ account of how she was behaving hasn’t been published.

If the University has a legal obligation to investigate complaints about students being abusive towards others, what else could it have done in this case? Break the law and not carry out an investigation solely because of the views Lisa has? And then be accused of favouring her over others who are investigated?

She received no punishment.

(9)(18)

Scared of 2021

The problem is that another student found the WORDS themselves to be “abusive”.

It’s like how some trans activists regard trying to debate the issue as “violence” to which they regard using physical Violence as legitimate “self defence”.

Change the meaning of the words and you disguise the reality.

(12)(2)

Anonymous

What if i am upset about a trans activist stating their views

(5)(0)

The Thought Police

You’re not allowed to be.

A Student

I agree that the context of the comment is very important.

However just like any other protected character such as sexuality or race. Those discussions need to be held with a level of sensitivity or simply not at all.

The University policy is “The University will take any complaint seriously and will seek to resolve any grievance that it upholds.
Individuals will not be penalised for raising a grievance, even if the grievance is not
upheld, unless the complaint is both untrue and made in bad faith.”

It would need to be investigated to see if a transphobic comment WAS made as that could impact the mental health and studies of others.

(2)(7)

David

“… investigated to see if a transphobic comment WAS made”. I don’t believe that “transphobic” has a legal definition. As for the act of stating scientific facts impacting “the mental health and studies of others”, those people are obviously looking to control free speech.

(4)(1)

Antiwoke

There’s a difference between being inclusive, being liberal, and being wOkE

Whoever complained about her statement literally caused her unnecessary stress and the institution to spend unnecessary resources investigating

(15)(8)

A Man

There seems to be an ever increasing popularity for harassing people who speak truthfully and in a democratic society but is not good enough for those that like to marginalise freedom of expression when it doesn’t match their agenda. I for one believe that a woman… ie a female with organs that allow her to procreate and carry a baby in her womb is just that a woman. And any attempt to portray that biological fact as being incorrect… deserve to be permanently ignored by all….

(25)(5)

Ziggy

If I self identify as a zebra is it abusive to tell me I’m really a human?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Good. I hope she sues the sh*t out of them and wins.

(24)(6)

David

She wasn’t abusive (I believe the meeting was recorded) and the complaint against her was malicious. Abertaty should have identified that immediately rather allowing it to drag on. In my view the university is liable.

(5)(0)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories