Monash University master’s student Chinmay Naik was failed for a video assignment about the negative stereotypes surrounding certain dog breeds and failed again when it was re-marked.
The 23-year-old wants a Supreme Court judge to strike the result from his academic record and declare a pass for the video project.
Mr Naik believes the same examiner marked the assignment on both occasions in 2017, and claims this breaches the university’s policies and is “unlawful”
He previously took his case to the Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman and the Prime Minister’s Office but those bids were unsuccessful.
He’s now pleaded his case in a preliminary hearing and is hopeful of going to trial.
“I’ve heard from other students who were subject to similar controversial practises,” Mr Naik told reporters after representing himself in court today.
“After hearing their stories I felt like I was not just fighting a case for myself. It was for all of them.
On top of the re-marking issue, he claims he didn’t have time to complete the assignment as Monash was hesitant to grant special consideration on mental health grounds.
But the university’s lawyer Emily Latif asked the judge to resolve the case without a trial, claiming the court doesn’t have the authority to give Mr Naik what he seeks.
Ms Latif also said the re-marking process was followed and Monash did not have to reveal the identity of the second marker.
“The person is not wishing to have their identity disclosed and has concerns about the intensity of the scrutiny that might follow,” she told the court.
Mr Naik suggested another way to resolve the case would be for Monash to allow him to submit a new assignment.
For the initial project, students had to produce a current affairs-style video and Mr Naik explored negative perceptions around certain dog breeds, such as greyhounds.
Justice Melinda Richards will consider whether Mr Naik has an arguable case before determining whether it goes to trial.
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