Independent inquiry into antisemitism

An independent inquiry into antisemitism is taking place at Goldsmiths, with an open call for evidence.

The purpose of the inquiry is to determine whether Jewish students or staff have experienced antisemitism in the course of their studies or work at Goldsmiths.

It is also examining whether Goldsmiths has responded appropriately to any reports of antisemitism from students and staff and whether our processes and protocols are adequate.

The inquiry is being led by Mohinderpal Sethi KC, of Littleton Chambers. 

The inquiry comes amid a growing focus on the duty of all universities to address reports of antisemitism, amid rising numbers of reports of such behaviours at British universities. 

Call for evidence now open

Students, staff, alumni and members of the public and public groups are able to submit relevant evidence, views or insights to the inquiry.

Submissions are open from 18 May 2023 until 18 August 2023 and evidence must relate to the period from 1 September 2018 onwards.

Submissions can include supporting materials like photographs and video.

Mr Sethi KC seeks input from a wide range of voices and encourages any individual or group that has relevant evidence or views or insights on any matter within the scope of his independent inquiry to participate in this call for evidence. Those matters could include, but are not limited to:

Students

  • The student recruitment and admissions process
  • Teaching and learning, including the curricula, the learning environment and the timetabling of teaching and examinations
  • Student wellbeing and the chaplaincy provision, including the availability of prayer spaces
  • The physical environment for students, including student accommodation and catering
  • Communications to students
  • Events, including debates and lectures by visiting speakers

Staff

  • The recruitment process
  • The promotions process
  • The development and review processes
  • The grievance and disciplinary processes
  • Research
  • Events, including debates and lectures by visiting speakers

In addition, submissions could also relate to:

  • The experience of Jewish students and staff who have complained about antisemitism including whether Goldsmiths’ policies and procedures related to such complaints have been complied with
  • The experiences of Jewish students and staff and whether they have felt welcome, included and safe from antisemitism

Submit evidence by email

We are asking for submissions by email, which will be shared with Mr Sethi KC.

Submissions can include supporting materials like photographs and video.

You need to read our privacy statement before emailing.

Last updated: 18 May 2023 

Privacy statement

An independent inquiry is currently being undertaken into concerns relating to antisemitism which may have been experienced by Jewish students and staff in the course of their studies or work at Goldsmiths, University of London (“Goldsmiths’ College”). The Inquiry is being conducted by Mohinderpal Sethi KC of Littleton Chambers (the “Independent Inquiry Chair”). 

About this privacy notice

This Privacy Notice explains how Goldsmiths’ College and the Independent Inquiry Chair will use personal information, who it may be shared with and how you can exercise your privacy rights. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the use of your personal information, then please use the contact details provided at the bottom of this Privacy Notice. 

The purpose of collecting personal information

The purpose for which Goldsmiths’ College and the Independent Inquiry Chair will collect and process personal information is to conduct an independent inquiry into concerns relating to antisemitism which may have been experienced by Jewish students and staff in the course of their studies or work at Goldsmiths’ College (the “Inquiry”).  

Goldsmiths’ College is requesting that individuals and organisations submit evidence for the Independent Inquiry Chair to consider. The Inquiry is not a statutory inquiry. The Independent Inquiry Chair has no power to require witnesses to submit evidence or attend an interview (save as set out at paragraph 5.3 of the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry). The Independent Inquiry Chair will produce a written report on his findings (the “Report”) and make any appropriate recommendations.   

Goldsmiths’ College and the Independent Inquiry Chair are intending to use personal information in a number of ways. 

For example, the Independent Inquiry Chair will: 

  • examine evidence submitted to him; 
  • communicate with individuals who have submitted evidence; 
  • seek interviews with relevant witnesses; 
  • provide updates on the progress of the Inquiry to Goldsmiths’ College; 
  • make findings regarding the evidence submitted to him; and 
  • prepare and submit the Report to Goldsmiths’ College, which will be published in full save for any redactions the Independent Inquiry Chair considers in his discretion to be necessary or desirable having regard, amongst other matters, to applicable law and policy. 

Anyone who may be criticised in the Report prepared by the Independent Inquiry Chair will have the opportunity to correct any errors of fact in relation to that draft criticism prior to the Report being finalised (save where the Independent Inquiry Chair considers that to be impossible or inappropriate). Personal information may also be used by the Independent Inquiry Chair to comply with the law.

Additionally, Goldsmiths’ College will:

  • Act as the initial collection point for evidence submitted to the Inquiry and provide it to the Independent Inquiry Chair
  • Use information that comes into the possession of the Independent Inquiry Chair to fulfil the objectives of its Charter and to meet its legal and regulatory obligations

Personal information collected

Personal information will be collected, recorded and organised by Goldsmiths’ College and the Independent Inquiry Chair. Personal information may be submitted in response to a “call for evidence” by anyone who has knowledge of matters relevant to the Inquiry. In addition, the Independent Inquiry Chair may specifically request personal information from relevant individuals.   

The categories of personal information which will be processed in relation to the Inquiry and the Report include: 

  • Biographical personal information such as name, date of birth, contact details, relationship to Goldsmiths’ College, educational history, disciplinary records and findings; and
  • Special category personal information such as information relating to racial or ethnic origin, physical or mental health, information revealing religious or philosophical beliefs or political opinions, as well as information about criminal allegations

Legal basis

The primary legal basis relied on for lawful processing by Goldsmiths’ College is Article 6(1)(e) of the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation ('UK GDPR'), processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. This is because the College is a public authority founded under Royal Charter and it has a duty to integrate consideration of equality and good relations into its day-to-day business of delivering public benefit through teaching, study, public service and research. 

The primary legal basis relied on for lawful processing by the Independent Inquiry Chair is Article 6(1)(f) of the UK GDPR, processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data. The legitimate interests in this context include: 

  • The ability of the Independent Inquiry Chair to examine and produce an evidence- based, balanced analysis of the information presented to him; 
  • The ability of the Independent Inquiry Chair to make recommendations in relation to any findings of antisemitism.  

The following applies to the processing of personal data both by Goldsmiths’ College and the Independent Inquiry Chair: 

  • Where applicable, personal information may be processed on the basis of the consent of the data subject under Article 6(1)(a) of the UK GDPR; 
  • Personal information may also be processed on the basis that it is necessary to comply with a legal obligation under Article 6(1)(c) of the UK GDPR; and 
  • In relation to special category personal information and personal information relating to criminal allegations, the additional legal bases for processing under Articles 9 and 10 of the UK GDPR and section 10 of the Data Protection Act 2018 include: 
     
    • Processing is necessary for the purposes of the prevention or detecting of an unlawful act (see paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 2018); 
    • Processing is necessary for the purposes of complying with, or assisting other persons to comply with a regulatory requirement (see paragraph 12 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 2018); 
    • Processing is necessary for protecting an individual from neglect or physical, mental or emotional harm or protecting the physical, mental or emotional well-being of an individual (see paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 2018); or 
    • (where applicable and appropriate) the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing. 

Who will personal information be shared with and why will it be shared? 

Personal information may be shared with other individuals who are taking part in the Inquiry, and may be included in the Report. The Independent Inquiry Chair will protect personal information, including removing identifiers and redacting details which could be used to identify individuals, where it is appropriate to do so. 

During the course of the Inquiry, personal information may be shared with the following groups of individuals: 

  • The Independent Inquiry Chair and anyone appointed to support the Independent Inquiry Chair in conducting the Inquiry; 
  • Other witnesses to the Inquiry, where this is required to examine the evidence and to make relevant findings of fact; 
  • Goldsmiths’ College to fulfil the objectives of its Charter and to meet its legal and regulatory obligations; 
  • Any competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court or other third party where it is believed that disclosure is necessary (i) as a matter of applicable law or regulation, (ii) to exercise, establish or defend legal rights, or (iii) to protect your vital interests or those of any other person. 

You may wish to share information with the Independent Inquiry Chair on an anonymous basis. If you wish to request anonymity, you should notify the Independent Inquiry Chair as soon as possible and he will consider whether he is able to agree your request or whether he requires further information to understand why you have made the request before determining it. However, it may not be possible for the Independent Inquiry Chair to make findings or draw conclusions in relation to evidence provided anonymously. This in turn may prevent Goldsmiths’ College from taking disciplinary or other action in connection with that evidence. 

Data retention 

Personal information will be held by the Independent Inquiry Chair until the conclusion of the Inquiry. At the end of the Inquiry, personal information will be retained until any relevant limitation periods in relation to the Inquiry have expired. It will then be deleted.  

International Transfers 

Personal information will not be transferred overseas. 

Your data protection rights

You have the following data protection rights: 

  • If you wish to access, correct, update or request deletion of your personal information, you can do so at any time using the contact details provided under the “How to contact us” heading below; 
  • In addition, you can object to the processing of your personal information, ask the Independent Inquiry Chair to restrict the processing of your personal information or request portability of your personal information. Again, you can exercise these rights by contacting us using the contact details provided under the “How to contact us” heading below; 
  • Similarly, if the Independent Inquiry Chair has collected and processed your personal information with your consent, you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect the processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent; 
  • You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about the collection and use of your personal information. For more information, please contact the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113. www.ico.org.uk

The Inquiry will respond to all requests received from individuals wishing to exercise their data protection rights in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

Questions about the use of personal information

Find out how to ask questions or raise concerns about the use of personal information.

Updates to this Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice may be updated from time to time. When this Privacy Notice is updated, appropriate measures will be taken to inform you, consistent with the significance of the changes made. 

You can see when this Privacy Notice was last updated by checking the “last updated” date displayed at the top of this Privacy Notice. 

Submit your evidence by email

Submit evidence by emailing evidence@gold.ac.uk.

Next steps

Mr Sethi KC will consider each submission and respond appropriately, which could include calling people for interview to gain further understanding of any issues.

On completion of the inquiry, a report of its findings will be published on the Goldsmiths website.

The inquiry will be able to recommend any appropriate actions, including restorative actions, that Goldsmiths should take as well as recommend any required lesson learning.