Section 4. Petitions
Article 14. Petitions
- Anyone with a direct interest has the right to submit a petition in writing concerning the way in which a higher education institution has acted or is acting towards him/her or someone else under the Code of Conduct.
- Before submitting a petition to the National Commission concerning the way in which a higher education institution has acted or is acting towards him/her or someone else under the Code of Conduct, the petitioner first lodges a complaint regarding the action to the competent authority of the higher education concerned, in observance of the provisions of Chapter 7 of the Code of Conduct.
- The National Commission deals with petitions as referred to in the first paragraph, except in those cases as referred to in Article 20, first and second paragraph.
Article 15. Submitting a petition
- A petition always contains:
- the name and address of the petitioner;
- a copy of the identity card of the petitioner;
- the submission date;
- a description of the action that is the subject of the petition, the name of the person who has acted in this manner and the name of the person towards whom the action has taken place, if he/she is not the petitioner;
- the grounds of the petition;
- the way in which a complaint has been submitted with the higher education institution, and if possible the findings of the investigation of the complaint by the higher education institution, its opinions and any conclusions.
- In case the petition is written in a different language than the Dutch or the English language, and a translation is needed to properly investigate the petition, the petitioner provides a Dutch or English translation.
- If the requirements of this article are not satisfied, the National Commission gives the petitioner the opportunity to rectify the omission within a stipulated period.
Article 16. Confirmation of receipt
The secretary will confirm receipt of the petition in writing within five working days after the day of receipt.
If the petitioner has been addressed incorrectly, the secretary forwards the petition as soon as possible after recording the date of receipt to the correct authority, and notifies the petitioner immediately.
Article 17. No suspensive effect
Submittal of a petition to the National Commission does not suspend the coming into force of the decision.
Article 18. Costs of the petition procedure
- Any costs incurred by the petitioner in relation to this complaint (*1), are for his/her own account.
- Contrary to the provisions of the first paragraph, should in the opinion of the National Commission serious reasons exist, the National Commission can compensate the petitioner after a request to this effect. This compensation will be charged to the higher education institution relating to the petition.
(*1) With respect to costs that the complainant properly incurred in connection with the complaint procedure, such as the fees of a legal assistance counsellor, experts, travel costs and the fee of an interpreter/translator.
Article 19. Competence of the National Commission
The National Commission is only competent to judge the behaviour of a higher education institution which occurred after the day on which the inclusion in the Register has taken effect.
Article 20. No obligation to process the petition
- The National Commission can decide not to process a petition, or to discontinue the consideration thereof, if:
- the petitioner does not satisfy the requirements as referred to in Article 15, first and second paragraphs of these Rules and Regulations;
- the petition is manifestly unfounded;
- the interest of the petitioner is manifestly insufficient or the seriousness of the action is manifestly insufficient;
- the requirements of Article 14, second paragraph of these Rules and Regulations, have not been satisfied;
- the petition refers to an action of which a complaint has been lodged by the higher education institution concerned, unless this complaint should already have been concluded in accordance with the applicable complaint policy of the higher education institution concerned;
- the petition refers to an action against which another procedure has been submitted or another mechanism is already in place;
- the investigation of the petition is already being processed or has been concluded, except if a new fact or a new circumstance has been revealed which could result into a different opinion of said action;
- after intervention by the National Commission and in the opinion of the National Commission, the petition of the petitioner has been met properly;
- the petition refers to an action for which a relevant warrant of arrest has been issued by the public prosecutor or is subject to prosecution, or if the action forms part of the criminal investigation or prosecution of a punishable action and a relevant warrant of arrest has been issued by the public prosecutor or is subject to prosecution.
- Furthermore, the National Commission may either decide not to consider or to discontinue the procedure if a petition is submitted more than one year after:
- consideration of the complaint has been concluded by the higher education institution, or should have been concluded in accordance with the prevailing complaint policy at the higher education institution.
- the action to which the petition relates took place.
- In case the National Commission does not consider a petition based on the first or second paragraph, the Commission informs the petitioner stating the reasons as soon as possible but no later than 8 weeks after receipt of the full, substantiated petition in writing.
- Should the National Commission discontinue the consideration, it also informs the higher education institutions as referred to in the third paragraph, and, if applicable, the person whose
action is the subject of the petition.
Article 21. Explanation of Point of View
- The National Commission will give the higher education institution, the person who has committed the action related to this petition, and the petitioner the opportunity to explain their points of view and to respond to the arguments used.
- The National Commission decides whether the explanation should be written and/or oral and whether or not this explanation should be given by the petitioner, the higher education institution and the person who has committed the action related to this petition in each others presence or separately.
Article 22. Obligation to provide information
The higher education institution and persons working under its responsibility – even after concluding employment - as well as the petitioner will provide the National Commission the necessary information and appear after receiving an invitation to this effect.
Article 23. Processing time
- The National Commission will conclude the petition within twelve weeks after the receipt of a fully submitted petition. In case of a pro forma complaint the period referred to in the first sentence starts on the date of receipt of the grounds on which the complaint is based.
- The National Commission cannot postpone conclusion for more than eight weeks.
- The secretary gives a written notice of postponement to the petitioner, the higher education institution and to the person whose action is the subject of the petition.
Article 24. Findings and opinion
After the procedure has been concluded, the secretary of the National Commission informs the petitioner, the higher education institution, the person whose action is the subject of the petition as well as the Education Inspectorate in writing, supported by reasons of the findings of the investigation into the action and the opinion of the National Commission. Recommendations, conditions or a disciplinary measure as referred to in Article 26, may form part of the opinion.
Article 25. Consequences
- If the National Commission upholds the petition, it can order the higher education institution to make a new decision or perform another action with due observance of its opinion.
- Part of such opinion may be a compensation of the costs by the higher education institution in relation to the petition, as referred to in Article 18 of these Rules and Regulations.
- If the National Commission upholds the petition, it can include recommendations, conditions or a disciplinary measure.
Article 26. Disciplinary measure
The disciplinary measure referred to in the previous Article can consist of an obligation to report and/or to examine, whereby a mark can be included in the Register, or the removal of the higher education institution from the Register.
Article 27. Registration and publication
- The secretary ensures registration of the petitions filed with the National Commission.
- Registered petitions and conclusions are published in the annual reports, on the Internet site and in publications of the National Commission.
Article 28. Petitions concerning the National Commission
Petitions concerning the National Commission, its secretary or its researcher are to be submitted to the chair of the National Commission.
Artikel 29. Verzoekschriften Registerbeheerder
Petitions concerning the Register Administrator are to be submitted to the Register Administrator. This section, with the exception of Article 25, paragraph two and three, as well as Article 26, equally applies to petitions concerning the Register Administrator.
Article 30. Investigation
Insofar as the nature of the provisions is not incompatible, this section applies accordingly to investigations initiated by the National Commission.