Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
1. Firstly, you can sue the student union and the student officer who leaked the information for breach of confidence as they are not allowed to leak information in relation to an ongoing investigation. That is a clear breach of the confidentiality obligation which attends such disciplinary proceedings. Secondly, you can sue the person who made the false allegation of sexual harassment for defamation. Essentially, they were the source of the allegations. The repetition of those allegations by other student union members to one another attracts qualified privilege which means you cannot sue unless you can prove malice. This means that internal communications, including to the other student union officer will not be successfully actionable. However, the repetition by the student union officer to your friend is not covered by qualified privilege, so you will be able to sue that other student union officer for defamation as well.
2. Damages will not be substantial against the student union and the student union rep. they will be moderate for breach of confidence. However, you will get a good award of damages against the person who made the false allegation. I would advise you to see a solicitor and hire a barrister to issue legal proceedings. However, you should first write to each of the parties, via a solicitors letter and seek compensation.
Hi, thanks for the reply. It's not a sexual harassment accusation, just ("just!") harassment and/or bullying. I'm not so concerned about the amount of financial damages, just the acknowledgement that the accusation was false, in order to repair my reputation. How difficult is it to get a solicitors letter drawn up? I'm guessing it's going to cost a bit to do.
OK, thanks for the advice. Very helpful.