After a judge ruled the University of California-San Diego's campus hearings for sexual assault accusations were "unfair," the Los Angeles Timeswrote an editorial asking: "Can colleges handle sexual assault cases fairly?"

The short answer, for those of you who often read about the topic here, is "no." Colleges and universities will always be beholden to pressure – whether it's from admissions offices fretting about a lack of new students, or from the federal government telling them to find more students responsible.

But the Times takes a more nuanced approach. The editors first acknowledge that UCSD didn't provide the accused student adequate due process by limiting right to cross-examination and by separating the accused and accuser by a screen.

"Hearings like this one are not criminal proceedings, and they cannot result in prison sentences or other criminal sanctions," the Times'editors wrote. "But fundamental due process rights should apply even in quasi-judicial settings. Most sexual assault victims don't lie, of course — and they should certainly be treated with respect and sensitivity — but the rights of the accused cannot be sacrificed to make their accusers feel comfortable. The accused deserve a full and fair opportunity to cross-examine, ask questions, challenge statements and look into the eyes of their accusers."

The "most … don't lie" assertion is debatable, to say the least, especially on college campuses where there are no consequences for lying (and I would also object to calling them "sexual assault victims" if they are lying).

That being said, accusations should be trusted, but verified – preferably by the police. And the Times even suggests that, "ideally," accusers should go to the police. But if colleges are going to continue adjudicating sexual assault – which is not mandated by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights – then they should take more cues from the criminal justice system and provide fairer hearings.

The Times' isn't the first editorial board to question whether colleges and universities were adequately handling sexual assault accusations (from the side of accused students). In March, the New York Daily Newsalso questioned whether colleges should be handling accusations, specifically questioning the wisdom of regulating sexual encounters.

The Timesalso joins law professors from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard in advocating for more due process rights for accused students.

Colleges and universities shouldn't be pretending to be investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, but that's not likely to change any time soon. But to avoid further lawsuits, schools are at least going to have to create fairer hearings.