Appendix 9 – Code of Conduct for QMU Court

This page provides details of the responsibilities of the members of the University Court.

Code of Conduct for the Court of Queen Margaret University [1]

This code has been drawn up with the aim of clarifying the responsibilities of members of the University Court. It is intended to be helpful rather than restrictive and is based on the Nine Principles of Public Life in Scotland [2]:

  • Duty
  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability and Stewardship
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership
  • Respect

It should be read in conjunction with the following statutory and legal documents -

  • Statutory Instrument 2007 N0 116 Education Scotland, The Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Scotland) Order of Council 2007
  • Memorandum of Association of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (available from the University Secretary’s Office)
  • Standing Orders of the Court
  • Financial Memorandum with Scottish Funding Council

A Member should:

  1. Support the aims and objectives of the University and promote the interest of the University and its students in the wider community.
  2. Be aware of the instruments, articles, and the financial procedures for the University.
  3. Work cooperatively with other members in the best interests of the University.
  4. Acknowledge that differences of opinion may arise in discussion of issues, but when a majority decision of the Court prevails it must be supported.
  5. Base his/her view on matters before the Court on an honest assessment of the available facts.
  6. Acknowledge that, as an individual member, he/she has no legal authority outside meetings of the Court and its committees.
  7. Understand that an individual member does not have the right, other than through the chair and Court’s agreement, to make a statement or express opinions on behalf of Court.
  8. Resist any temptation or outside pressure to use the position of court member to benefit him/herself or other individuals or agencies.
  9. Declare openly and immediately any personal conflict of interest arising from a matter before the Court or from any other aspect of membership.
  10. Respect the confidentiality of those items of business which the Court decides from time to time should remain confidential.
  11. Take or seek opportunities to enhance his/her effectiveness as a member through participation in training and development programmes, and by increasing his/her own knowledge of the University.
  12. Give priority, as far as practicable, to attendance at meetings of the Court and its committees.
  13. Have regard to his/her broader responsibilities as a member of a public institution including the need to promote public accountability for the actions and performance of the Court.



  1. Updated December 2017
  2. While higher education institutions are not public bodies, the Nine Principles of Public Life in Scotland, which incorporate the seven ‘Nolan Principles’, provide an appropriate and recognised definition of ethical and responsible behaviour for those involved in higher education governance.