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”Uniavisen’s article about my case against Kristian Heegard should not stand alone," writes former lecturer Michael Bjørn Hansen in this featured comment. He sued law student Kristian Hegaard for not adhering to the facts in a complaint about his teaching
Uniavisen’s 26 August article on my case against Kristian Hegaard cannot stand alone without comment. There is no basis for the complaint. And it is not true that the defendant should pay DKK 2,000 if he loses. I just need to have recognized that his statement was unauthorized, see the Danish penal code § 273, paragraph 1. That is: A cancellation. The actual context of the case is not made clear in the article, and this is the reason for this comment.
In law school, there has been a shift from classical instruction to group work. Something that is not entirely unproblematic. Most students are against it, but the group work has been given a higher priority. If a teacher neglects this, it can lead to dismissal.
” Kristian Hegaard was aware that groups had been constituted in class”
As a student politician Kristian Hegaard is fully aware of these new guidelines
When I as the instructor had received the order to give higher priority to group work, I immediately at the beginning of the semester started to set up groups.
Lists, upon which you could sign up, were circulated several times. And Kristian Hegaard did so too. The lists were circulated to everyone, including Kristian Hegaard, via the class mailing list. So Kristian Hegaard was aware that groups had been formed in class.
After attending class twice, Kristian Hegaard however submitted a complaint in which he stated:
“The teacher … has not even got them (the groups) set up yet in spite of numerous student requests.”
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in all the 38 years I have been employed at the university”
Furthermore, he wrote that he had “pointed out the situation to the teacher first” before he sent the complaint, and he urged the university to take ‘drastic ‘ measures in relation to me.
It was a very unpleasant complaint. I’ve never experienced anything like this in all the 38 years I have been employed at the university.
The claim that no groups were constituted, is 100 per cent at variance with the truth. It is documented with eight appendices presented in court.
It is also untrue, that he had “pointed out the situation” to me first. We never talked.
Via Google, I found out that Kristian Hegaard is a municipal politician, running for parliament and student politician. He is a very active person.
Since it is absurd to have a complaint with a false statement of fact from someone who wants to be a lawyer , I could only perceive the complaint as a political stunt.
To convince the Faculty of Law that this indeed was a complaint based on a false statement of fact and to show that I took the matter extremely seriously, I prepared a draft of a summons where I in the normal legal manner demonstrated the proper context of the case.
The Faculty did not recognize my documentation and did reply with any comments to my prepared summons. So after 10 days the court received by summons.
I have offered to settle the case. My only requirement is that Kristian Hegaard must withdraw his statement that groups were not constituted. He won’t.
This is why we unfortunately must meet in court.
“My only requirement is that Kristian Hegaard must withdraw his statement that groups were not constituted. He won’t.”
It says alot about the political culture in Denmark that a would-be MP for the Social Liberal presents himself in this way.
I have of late been contacted by several primary and secondary school teachers who support me and welcome the fact that I will not let myself be treated in this way. It is apparently not unusual for students to expose teachers to completely unreasonable attacks.
My lawsuit is not about an attack on the complaints system as such, but about defying a complaint based on a false statement of fact.
PS. I have been told that the student group United Lawyers Forenede Jurister has been running a campaign to support Kristian Hegaard. I do not know who started this campaign, and I do not know what the basis for this campaign is. It is notable that the United Lawyers 1) support that a complaint case can be filed on based on a false statement of fact and 2) denounce the adversarial principle (hearing both sides). This does not bode well for the rule of law. One must hope that these united lawyers, if they once graduate, do not ever get any positions of responsibility.