Co-Chair of the Title IX and Campus Discipline practice Patricia Hamill testified on April 2, 2019 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) at the full committee hearing on “Reauthorizing HEA: Addressing Campus Sexual Assault and Ensuring Student Safety and Rights.” As one of five witnesses who testified, Patricia was asked to testify on what a fair process in a campus disciplinary proceeding that involves alleged sexual assault should include.
Drawing on her experience of representing hundreds of students and academic professionals, she explained her perspective on these issues is bolstered by her personal background being a “feminist, married to a woman, graduate of a women’s college, and the mother of two teenage sons and a daughter who is in college.”
An Overview of Patricia’s Testimony
During her testimony, Patricia emphasized the idea that it is a fundamental principle of American jurisprudence that everyone is entitled to a fair hearing. In her written testimony, she outlined many procedural protections required for a fair, reliable process.
While these provisions have sparked particular opposition, she spoke of the importance of a live hearing and allowance of party advisors to question the opposing party as well as witnesses. These key protections are critical to an unbiased determination, ensuring credibility and reliability of all parties and witnesses.
Watch her opening statement below:
Read Patricia’s opening statement or watch the full live hearing (Opening statement at 43:10; participation in Q&A at 1:08:15; 1:58:44; 2:05). Her written supplemental testimony and responses to Questions for the Record (QFR) were submitted after hearing:
Learn more about Patricia Hamill’s testimony here.