​Widerspruchskommission

The Litigation Committee at the University of Luxembourg is an independent administrative body tasked with resolving certain categories of disputes between “users” of the University of Luxembourg (i.e. current, former and/or potential students of the University) and the University’s decision-making bodies, by law, via a (quasi-judicial) adversarial procedure. The Litigation Committee was partly inspired by the mediaeval notion of universities according to which the professors and students formed a community and any disputes had to be settled “internally”. The Luxembourg Act of 27 June 2018 concerning the organisation of the University of Luxembourg (hereafter the “Act”) did not opt for the most radical form of this model: the Litigation Committee does not have a monopoly over dispute resolution and does not have the status of a court. The Luxembourg courts retain jurisdiction for the vast majority of these disputes (but not all). However, any (current, former and/or potential) student who wishes to bring a complaint before the Administrative Tribunal must first submit his/her grievances to the The Litigation Committee.

President of the Litigation Committee

Contact

Composition of the Litigation Committee

Members

  • Prof. Dr Séverine Menetrey, President, designated member of the teaching staff (FDEF)
  • Prof. Dr Stefan Braum, designated member of the teaching staff (FDEF)
  • Joana Patricia Pereira Cardoso, designated member of the student delegation (FDEF)
  • Max Bintener, designated member of the student delegation (FDEF)
  • Maristella Fatichenti, designated member of the administrative, financial and technical staff (FDEF)

Deputy members

  • Prof. Dr Luisito Bertinelli, designated member of the teaching staff (FDEF)
  • Prof. Dr Frank Hofmann, designated member of the teaching staff (FHSE)
  • Ulisse Saverio Bassi, designated member of the student delegation (FHSE)
  • Leonid Gnutov, designated member of the student delegation (FSTM)
  • Dr Hélène Langlois, designated member of the administrative, financial and technical staff (FDEF)

Before transmitting your appeal

Please first read the FAQ below as well as the information available on these links

FAQs

In general, the remit of the Litigation Committee does not cover all disputes between students and the University. For example, the committee may not rule on any complaints by students regarding inappropriate behaviour by a member of teaching or administrative staff (for example harassment, violence, etc.). For complaints of this nature, students should contact the superior in this context, namely the Rector, and/or make direct contact with public authorities such as the police or the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The remit of the Litigation Committee is limited to ruling on the validity of certain formal decisions taken by some University bodies.  

The nature of these “formal decisions” is laid down in article 46 (1) of the 2018 Act on the UL, which provides two categories:

“Article 46. Litigation Committee 

(1) A Litigation Committee is set up by the University Council with the following powers: 

1. to rule on appeals against disciplinary sanctions decided by the Rector;
2. to rule on appeals against decisions taken on the basis of the provisions in articles 32 to 37 and article 39.”

The first category is “disciplinary sanctions”, formal decisions taken by the Rector concerning a student. 

The second category of “decisions” covers all formal decisions taken both in the context of teaching at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral levels and in the context of research undertaken by students enrolled in a doctoral thesis. Thus, for example, a secondary school student who has not been admitted to a course (decision of non-admission within the framework of a numerus clauses, article 32 of the Act of 27 June 2018 on the organisation of the University of Luxembourg) or a candidate who contests a decision related to the recognition of his or her prior experience (article 33 of the same Act) or a student who has been excluded from a certain study course (articles 34 and 36 of the same law) may refer to the Litigation Committee.

Read carefully the articles 32 to 39 of the Act of 27 June 2018 concerning the organization of the University of Luxembourg to make sure that your appeal falls within the remit of the Litigation Committee.

If the appeal is against a “disciplinary sanction”, the deadline is very short: “seven days from the date of notification of the decision” to impose a sanction (article 47 (1) Act).

If the appeal is against a “decision” within the meaning of article 46 (1) 2° Act (“decision taken on the basis of articles 32 to 37 or 39 of the Act”), the deadline is longer: “one month” from the date of notification (article 48 Act).

The University Act adopted in 2018 does not include any systematic exceptions to the Language Act of 24 February 1984. The only activity for which a “multilingual” system that departs to a certain extent from the traditional trilingual system provided by the aforementioned Act of 24 February may be applied by University bodies, under article 31 (6) Act, is the “teaching of study programmes”. So none of the provisions adopted by the University of Luxembourg regarding the specific language arrangements at the University of Luxembourg (Internal Regulations, version 2019: par.[4]; University of Luxembourg Study Regulations approved by ministerial decree of 21 May 2019: articles 37, 51, 59 and 62) concerns the Dispute Committee. Relations between any claimant (an individual) and the Dispute Committee (an administrative body) remain governed by the aforementioned Act of 24 February 1984, especially its articles 3 and 4. These authorise the use of French, German or Luxembourgish for requests to administrative bodies. Under the same Act, the administrative body should, “as far as possible”, reply in the same language.
So the claim may be written in one of these three languages. In practice, given that the applicable legal texts are written in French, the Dispute Committee strongly encourages claimants to use French. The Committee may also receive appeals in English. Except in rare cases, the decision is written in French.

The complainant should send an email to the chair of the Litigation Committee using the form below.

Even if formulated by a lawyer or another representative, the appeal must be submitted using this form.

Important: Allegations are not enough; they need to be proven! Include evidence or items that may be used to constitute evidence to back up your claim.

For appeals against a disciplinary sanction:

1) State the facts and grievances caused by the decision and explain why you consider the decision to be unlawful.
2) Attach the decision of the sanction

For appeals relating to a refusal of registration:

1) State the facts and explain why you consider the decision to be illegal
2) Attach:

  • Your application documents sent to the SEVE,
  • The letter of refusal from the SEVE,
  • The reply to the administrative appeal
For appeals relating to a contested mark:

1) State the facts, identifying the subject, the Professor, the programme director and the steps taken with them to contest the result
2) Attach the exchanges with the professor and the programme director concerning the contested mark

For appeals relating to a refusal to re-enrol or an exclusion from a programme:

1) State the facts and explain why you consider the decision to be illegal
2) Attach the decision to refuse re-enrolment and/or exclusion from the programme

The Litigation Committee invites you to read the Article 34 of the Law of 27 June 2018 on the organization of the University of Luxembourg.

The chair or the secretary of the committee will then contact you by email to let you know whether you have provided all the necessary information for your appeal and if anything more is needed.

The Litigation Committee adopts an adversarial procedure.

If the case allows, the procedure will be in writing. While complying with the adversarial principle, the chair of the Litigation Committee may ask each party for further details and submit questions for reflection by both parties. All elements that are linked to the appeal are regularly updated in a folder that will be shared with all parties for their review and possible reply.

If the matter is particularly complex, an oral procedure will take place. For the oral part of the procedure, the Litigation Committee invites both parties to attend a hearing. The date of the hearing is set and communicated by the president of the Litigation Committee. At the hearing, an adversarial debate takes place between the parties and between the parties and the Committee.

Each party may attend the hearing accompanied by the person or people of their choice. In particular, each party may be assisted by a legal adviser (lawyer, etc.), who may speak.

After the hearing, the Litigation Committee meets to discuss the case. The members of the Litigation Committee decide independently, in accordance with the law; they are not bound by any instructions. The decision of the Litigation Committee requires at least three votes in favor from the members present (article 46 (3) Act).

The duly reasoned decision is sent by email to the complainant and to the other party. It confirms, rescinds or amends the contested decision.

Except in certain cases (lesser disciplinary sanctions, see above), decisions of the Litigation Committee may, in turn, be contested by seeking a judicial review in the Administrative Tribunal within a time limit “of one month” (see information on calculating time limits above) from the date of notification of the decision (article 47 (2) Act, article 48 Act).

Further information about the internal functioning of the Committee can be found below.