Statement from the University of Bristol confirms complaint made against Professor Steven Greer has not been upheld


By Flora Pick, Deputy Digital Editor

The University has issued a statement confirming that the complaint made against Professor Steven Greer by the University of Bristol Islamic Society has not been upheld.

It has been confirmed Professor Steven Greer, a law academic at the University of Bristol, has been cleared of a complaint made against him.

The University’s statement comes after an investigation of the formal complaint made by University of Bristol Islamic Society (BRISOC) regarding the content of his teaching, which was alleged to have amounted to Islamophobic speech.

The University has stated that, ‘although the complaint has not been upheld’, they ‘recognise BRISOC’s concerns and welcome further discussions with the society to explain [their] position’.

The University explained in their statement: ‘A QC appointed to review and advise on the content of the module found no evidence of Islamophobic speech and concluded that the material did not amount to discrimination or harassment and was intended as the basis for academic debate by the students who elected to study it. In addition, the issues discussed in relation to Islam were within the scope of the curriculum and therefore exempt from constituting harassment or discrimination under the Equality Act 2010’.

They add that, ‘It is disappointing that both parties chose to breach the confidentiality of the process before both stages had been completed. We acknowledge that this has had a regrettable impact on Professor Greer in particular, who has been the target of abuse after BRISOC released details of the complaint on social media’.

‘In response to claims that the human rights module taught by Professor Greer has been cancelled, we can confirm that this is not the case. The fundamental structure and content of the module remains; the changes made are of emphasis and in part designed to future proof the course by allowing a level of flexibility in the development of new teaching material to match students' current interests, the specialisms of the course's new conveners and their wish to deliver the material in a context that is both broad-reaching and respectful of sensitivities of students on the course’.

The university concludes that, ‘This university, like all universities, encourages all students to engage with, debate, analyse and critique ideas and theories of all kinds within its academic programmes. Ensuring that all members of our community can exercise their right to free speech has always been and remains at the heart of our mission’.

Professor Steven Greer has been approached for comment by Epigram.

Featured Image: Epigram / Megan Ip

The University of Bristol's full statement can be found HERE