Visitor PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Jun 7, 2021

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The visitor, in accordance with English and Welsh law and history, is an overseer of an autonomous ecclesiastical or eleemosynary institution, often a charitable institution established for the continuous distribution of founder’s alms and bounty, who may interfere with the internal affairs of that institution. These visitors are mainly visited by cathedrals, chapels, schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals.

Many visitors fulfill their ex officio role, serving as the British sovereign, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor, Lord President of the Council, Lord Chief Justice, or the bishop of a particular diocese. The rest can be appointed in different ways, depending on the constitution of the organization. Bishops usually attend their own cathedrals. The Queen usually delegates her guest functions to the Lord Chancellor.

During the reform of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the 19th century, Parliament ordered visits to universities to investigate and change the statutes of universities and colleges.


There is a ceremonial element in this role, and the visitor may also be asked for advice when an institution expresses doubts about its authority under its charter and statutes. However, the most important visitor function was in academic institutions, where the visitor had to identify disputes arising between the institution and its members.

The right of a visitor, and not a court, to rule on alleged deviations from the statutes of academic colleges were established in the case of Philips v. Bury, 1694, in which the House of Lords overruled a judgment of the Court of King’s Bench.

The Higher Education Act of 2004 transferred visitor jurisdiction to handle complaints from English and Welsh university students to the Office of the Independent Judge.

This position also exists in universities in other countries that follow the English and Welsh models (Scotland does not have such an office), although, in many countries, the role of visitors in filing complaints has been delegated to other authorities.

In the Republic of Ireland, the Universities Act 1997 revises the visitor’s purpose, functions, and responsibilities. When the university does not have a visitor, the visitor can be appointed by the government and must be either an incumbent or a former Supreme Court judge, or a retired Supreme Court judge.

In Fiji, the Court of Appeal in Muma v USP stated that in default, the president of the country would attend the university founded by the queen as Fiji later became a republic.

The Governor of Victoria attends all Victoria universities but only performs ceremonial duties.

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