LAWYERS Say: Students Accused of Rape Must be Judged Under Higher Evidence Standard

For the past six years, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has threatened to revoke federal funding from colleges that don’t use the “preponderance of evidence” standard, which requires only 50.01 percent certainty that a student committed rape. That is too low for the American College of Trial Lawyers. In a report highlighting failures of due process in Title IX investigations, the group calls for use of the “clear and convincing” standard. The report examines multiple areas where colleges are depriving students of common protections in judicial proceedings. They include the right to be accompanied by counsel, ability to cross-examine complainants and witnesses, access to evidence, consideration of partiality, and provision of a written summation of facts and conclusion. By Brian Bensimon

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