Skip to main content

This course introduces participants to the principles of Natural Justice – the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua) and the right to a fair hearing (audi alteram partem). More and more Natural Justice is being referred to the “duty to act fairly”, or the “duty of fairness”, but the end goal is the same:

  • The principles of natural justice exist as a safeguard for individuals in their interactions with the state.
  • These principles stipulate that whenever a person’s “rights, privileges or interests” are at stake, there is a duty to act in a procedurally fair manner.

Throughout this course, the principles are introduced and applied, in a a case approach, throughout the lifecycle of an academic appeal within a fictitious post-secondary institution bound, by law, to enable students to appeal decisions which affect their academic standing.

many hands supporting the scales of justice

I lived much of my life saying “It’s not fair.” This course has helped me understand one aspect of how our world can be fairer and why we need to strive for this. The added benefit was that I was able to direct my daughter to the course when she was faced with the need to appeal a grade decision in university.

Joseph Piero. Looking to better the world, one small step at a time.

Course details

Course number: MOOC–0131
Course title: Natural Justice and Academic Appeals

  1. Those wishing to understand the concept and principles of Natural Justice and how it can be applied in our world.
  2. Those who are, or may become, involved in an academic appeal, regardless of the role they may play.

Prerequisites: None
Registration Fee: None

Delivery details

  • Self paced independent study

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain the principles of Natural Justice.
  • Discuss the benefits of Natural Justice over legal proceedings.
  • Explain how the duty to be fair and procedural fairness can benefit our world.
  • Describe the benefits of stakeholder dispute resolution.
  • Explain how administrative law applies to post-secondary educational institutions.
  • List academic appeal stakeholders.
  • Describe a four stage academic appeal process.
  • Apply the principles of natural justice as they apply to academic appeals.
  • Differentiate between bias and the perception of bias.
  • Differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • Describe the codes of conduct for tribunal members during appeals.
  • Write a tribunal decision.
  • Explain freedom of information implications for academic appeals.

Time commitment

  • Varies depending on the path you choose, but full course completion would require about 20 hours.

Completion criteria

  • Self-assessment

Completion award

  • Statement of Completion
  • Digital Badge

To Register

Once registered

Note: If you are creating an account for the first time, it may take up to 24 hours before you are able to log in to BCIT to access your course.

  1. Access your online course at
  2. Login with your BCIT email address and password.
  3. Scroll down to your My Courses listing and click on the course link.