'Racist' law society disbanded by University of Exeter

University of Exeter Image copyright University of Exeter
Image caption The university said it was "committed to eradicating" any discrimination and harassment

A university law society has been disbanded following a major review into racism.

Screenshots of "racist" messages in an Exeter students' WhatsApp group sparked outrage when they were shared in March.

An internal investigation found Bracton Law Society's conduct "fell short of the standards and values of the university and the students' guild".

The society, which was founded in 1965, would be replaced by a "new, distinct law society", the university said.

A spokesman for the University of Exeter said: "After an incident involving students from the Bracton Law Society earlier this year, the university launched a major investigation that determined individual sanctions on those involved.

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Image copyright Arsalan Motavali
Image caption The messages were sent between members of the Bracton Law Society

"This included expulsions, suspensions, and other significant penalties."

The law society, which has more than 1,000 members, is one of the largest student societies on campus.

Lily Hayes, current president of the Bracton Law Society, said she was "incredibly proud" of the society's efforts to improve diversity and make "all law students feel welcome" in the wake of the scandal.

Ms Hayes, who was elected in July, added: "Whilst this isn't the end, at this point I would like to thank, on behalf of this year's committee, all of our members who have supported us this term.

"We will be looking to the future and are determined to support all those continuing in their legal careers both within the BLS and the new law society that will emerge."

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