Oxford Union’s Appellate Board declared that the Office of President-Elect is vacant until the end of Hilary Term, after which it will be offered to the incoming Librarian for Trinity 2024, Louis Wilson. Neither of the two candidates who ran for president-elect last term, Leo Buckley or Julia Maranhao-Wong, will be taking up the role.
Last term, Buckley was narrowly elected President in a hotly contested election against Maranhao-Wong. Shortly after the end of last term, two charges of electoral malpractice against him were then brought before a Union tribunal, which cleared him of one charge but found him guilty of harassment under Rule 33(a)(i)(28). Buckley was also suspended from the Union until 10th week of Trinity Term 2024.
According to a preliminary ex camera notice, the Appellate Board that sat yesterday unanimously decided to uphold Buckley’s conviction, disqualification, and suspension. The board also declared the office of President-Elect vacant, despite stating that “[T]his determination does not result from any assessment of the character or qualifications of any officer or candidate for office; instead, it reflects the considered judgment of the Appellate Board as to the proper path forward after a disqualification of this kind, as we will discuss in more detail in our report.”
The Appellate Board also stated that while they had not found the appeal attempt to be unreasonable, they did not disqualify any Election Tribunal panelists from sitting on future panels. It further explained: “The Appellate Board does, however, intend to make several important recommendations that we urge the Society to address with appropriate haste and care. We will detail these in our report.”
As a result of this decision, the office of President-Elect will remain vacant until the end of Hilary Term under Rule 38(b)(vi), after which it will be offered to the incoming Librarian for Trinity 2024 under Rule 12(c)(ii).
The rule of succession will also mean that the current Treasurer-Elect, Izzy Horrocks-Taylor, will become the Librarian-Elect. Meanwhile, the candidate elected Secretary and candidate elected for member of standing committee with the most votes in this term’s elections will become the Treasurer-Elect and Secretary-Elect respectively.
The Appellate Board’s final report is expected to be published after nominations open for the Hilary 2024 Elections. The notice states that the report will be the “definitive statement of the Appellate Board’s decisions as well as its reasons for making them.”