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Melbourne Student Takes Uni to Court After Failing Assignment

The 23-year-old has already tried getting his results overturned by the Human Rights Commission and Malcolm Turnbull.

by Gavin Butler
17 September 2018, 5:46am

Image via Shutterstock

A student is taking his university to the Supreme Court after they failed him, twice, for an assignment. Twenty-three-year-old Chinmay Maik has launched legal action against Monash University in the hope that a judge will wipe the fail mark and instead give him a pass for a journalism assessment he submitted last year.

Chinmay, who describes himself on Facebook as “a pragmatic optimist”, refuses to accept that his video essay about society’s prejudice towards certain breeds of dogs is anything but passable. After failing the first time, he requested for the assignment to be re-marked. After failing the second time, he tried to get the result overturned by the Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman, and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. And when that also failed, Chinmay took his quibbles to the court of law.

Representing himself in the Supreme Court on Friday, the 23-year-old laid out his theory that the same examiner marked his assignment on both occasions.

"I want an exemption from the result on the grounds the university did not conduct the review and re-marking procedures they were supposed to," he said. And while he admits it would be “brave” of the judge to overrule the university’s decision, Chimnay remains confident that he can win the case and finally get a pass, according to Fairfax.

"I believe no such orders have been made before,” he said. “But I've presented some strong evidence and facts so that the judge will have to consider them."

It’s not entirely clear whether a Supreme Court judge even has the power to override a fail mark and award a uni student a pass. Addressing the court on Friday, Justice Melinda Richards said: "My preliminary view is that the most I would be able to order is for the university to re-assess the video essay.”

Monash University’s lawyers, meanwhile, insist that Chimnay’s case is too weak to succeed, and have asked that it be resolved without a trial. A spokesperson for Monash asserted that “The university strenuously denies the claims made by this individual and will defend its position. Monash maintains that it has acted appropriately and that its academic policies and procedures have been followed.”

The trial returned to court today.

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