Monash University journalism student Chinmay Naik has faced the Supreme Court in an attempt to have his failed assignment overturned.
The master’s student failed a video assignment about the negative prejudice towards certain dog breeds, receiving 12 out of 100 after submitting it 19 days late.
After the assignment was re-marked and failed again, the 23-year-old unsuccessfully attempted to have the result changed by the Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Naik wants a judge to strike the result from his academic record and declare a pass for the assignment.
He believes the same examiner marked the assignment on both occasions, claiming this breaches the university’s policies and is “unlawful”.
Naik’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 practices,” Naik told Fairfax after representing himself in court on Monday.
“After hearing their stories, I felt like I was not just fighting a case for myself. It was for all of them.”
“There will be a good precedent set if this matter goes to trial,” he said.
Naik wants to work as a journalist once his studies are complete.
“I hope the media will accept me with open arms because I’ve shown the courage and tenacity to fight for my rights,” he said.
On top of the re-marking issue, Naik 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 Naik what he seeks.
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.
Naik suggested another way to resolve the case would be for Monash to allow him to submit a new assignment.
Justice Melinda Richards will consider whether Naik has an arguable case before determining whether it goes to trial.