UUK guidance on managing external speakers

On 22 November 2013, Universities UK (UUK) published guidance which is aimed at supporting universities in managing external speakers on campus. This guidance provides some useful points for HEIs to consider when dealing with external speaker requests, and also provides a summary of the various areas of law that are applicable.

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Binding contracts

As HEIs frequently enter into substantial contractual arrangements (although, generally, perhaps not in ‘spot’ markets), this case will be of interest as it highlights some of the factors relevant to the question of whether or not a contract has been created. In particular, the courts will examine the words and conduct (both during negotiations and subsequently) of the parties.

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Reasonable notice of termination

This decision sets out some relevant and noteworthy points for HEIs when considering reasonable notice periods where the contract is silent (or there is some other uncertainty) on the matter. While the outcome of this case is specific to its unusual and complex facts, the principles that were identified for deciding what notice is reasonable will be of general application.

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