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The 10 Golden Rules in Managing Complaints & Discipline.

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Presentation on theme: "The 10 Golden Rules in Managing Complaints & Discipline."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 10 Golden Rules in Managing Complaints & Discipline

2 1: Respect the Rules “Do not fudge” Operate according to the rules at all times Question at the outset whether the matter can be resolved informally or via mediation Mediation is a confidential process which operates without prejudice to subsequent proceedings

3 2: Satisfy requirements of natural justice Giving the defendant an adequate opportunity to be heard The tribunal not being tainted by bias The tribunal / governing body acting in good faith The tribunal taking into account only relevant considerations The tribunal properly instructing itself as to the facts The tribunal acting in accordance with legitimate expectations The tribunal not acting irrationally, arbitrarily or capriciously

4 3: Investigate with an open mind Objective Transparent Do not jump to conclusions Assemble the facts

5 4: Charge based on evidence and in accordance with the rules Is there sufficient evidence to charge? Are disciplinary proceedings the best approach? Is informal resolution process more appropriate? e.g. mediation Set out the charge clearly in writing with reference to the rule that is alleged to have been breached and the evidence in support of the breach Provide an opportunity to respond in writing to the charge by a given date

6 5: Appoint an independent and impartial panel No member of the panel should have a vested interest in the outcome of the case Nor should any member be in a position where they may be perceived by others to have a vested interest Important to have a mix of legal and sporting expertise on the panel

7 6: Disclose full case and defence in advance of hearing Make sure there is a clear timetable leading up to the hearing This should include dates for statements to be exchanged No surprises on hearing day, the NGBs case and the athlete’s defence should be disclosed in advance of hearing

8 7: Hearing should make factual and legal findings Factual findings (did ‘x’ do ‘y’) made on the balance of probabilities “Legal” findings (is ‘y ‘a breach of the rules) are a matter of principle Answer to findings must be “Yes” or “No”

9 8: Always give written decision with reasons Fine to give verbal decision on the day of the hearing Fine also to provide a short summary of the tribunal’s decisions However, always follow with detailed reasons

10 9: Only sanction in accordance with rules Must be within the tribunal’s powers Discretion must be exercised fairly and rationally Must be proportionate to the circumstances proven If appropriate, can consider previous disciplinary record of defendant Also bear in mind any mitigating factors Always be aware of precedent value of decision, as well as past decisions

11 10: Right of appeal to an independent panel Composition of panel is crucial Consider writing Sport Resolutions into NGB rules What are permissible grounds of appeal? What is the timescale? Is the appeal a rehearing or a review? Is new evidence permissible? As before, ensure the rules / procedure set down are complied with

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