Club Discipline & Appeals Process

York Knavesmire Harriers

Club Discipline and Appeal Process

 

The club will follow the following step-by-step process in dealing with any disciplinary issues. This process follows that advocate by England Athletics. 

Step 1:

All members are first encouraged to raise any possible issues of conduct, welfare or safeguarding with the club’s appointed Welfare Officers. These Officers will provide confidential and trained support in the handling of issues raised, and will seek to resolve any issues, constructively and sensitively, without any further escalation wherever possible. If the issues raised is perceived to be of a criminal nature, the Welfare Officers have the power to pursue immediate escalation to the appropriate local authority (e.g. the police) but in other situations, the following internal procedures would be followed. 

Step 2:

Issues of conduct that cannot be resolved in consultation with the Welfare Officers should be submitted in writing to the Club Secretary. (Where the matter relates to the Club Secretary, submit the complaint to the Club Chair or Treasurer.) The content of a complaint will include specific details and evidence in relation to the infringement of Club Rules or any other offence or misconduct carried out during or in association with club activities which might reasonably be considered as bringing or having the potential to bring the Club into disrepute. 

Step 3:

Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Club Executives (i.e. Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) shall, having taken, and subject to, such advice as they consider it prudent to take in the circumstances, write to the Member or Members concerned to inform them of the complaint and to invite them to comment in writing within fourteen days upon the relevant allegations. 

Step 4:

On completion of step 3, the Club Executives will determine if the complaint has sufficient grounds and is capable of being pursued based on the evidence/statements provided. If the matter is sufficiently evidenced a process will be pursued. The Club Executives will appoint 3 club members to sit on the Disciplinary Panel, none of whom have had any direct interest or involvement in the matter. 

Step 5:

The Disciplinary Panel will consider the matter on receipt of the initial complaint and formal responses from the member(s) involved. The Disciplinary Panel will have the power to suspend temporarily from membership any Member accused of an offence or misconduct, pending further investigations or enquiries. This suspension shall be to facilitate the investigation and be without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation. 

The Disciplinary Panel will make such further enquiries as it thinks fit and will offer a reasonable opportunity to any Member concerned, who may be accompanied by a supporter, if so desired, to meet with it and answer the allegations and the Disciplinary Panel will hear such witnesses as are reasonably produced. The Disciplinary Panel will make such procedural provisions as necessary for the just and efficient disposal of the case. 

If the Disciplinary Panel is satisfied that an offence of misconduct has been committed by a Member, then it may impose one or more of the following actions:

  1. note the offence or misconduct but take no further action 
  2. formally warn the Member concerned as to future conduct 
  3. suspend or disqualify the Member from club athletic competition, club coaching and/or administration and/or use of the Club’s premises for some definite or indefinite period 
  4. recommend to the relevant governing body that the Member be disqualified from any involvement in athletics for some definite or indefinite period and/or 
  5. terminate the membership or such other penalty as the Disciplinary Panel considers appropriate All parties concerned will be provided with the Disciplinary Panel’s formal written outcome notification within seven days of the decision. 

Step 6:

Appeal Process: The communication notifying the decision of the Disciplinary Panel shall also set out the right to Appeal. The accused and/or the Complainant, may appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Panel, by serving a Notice of Appeal on the Club Executives within seven calendar days of receiving the written decision. The Notice of Appeal must state the grounds on which the verdict of the Disciplinary Panel is challenged. The Club Executives shall acknowledge a Notice of Appeal within seven calendar days of its receipt and will cast a decision regarding ‘the grounds on which the verdict is challenged’, if there are sufficient grounds/evidence provided to support the challenge, the Appeal Panel process will commence (Step 6.1), if there are insufficient grounds, the appeal will be dismissed. 

Step 6.1:

The Club Executives shall appoint an Appeal Panel of three members who have not been involved directly, either in the events giving rise to the Hearing, or in the initial Disciplinary Hearing itself. 

The Club Executives shall inform all parties concerned of the composition of the Appeal Panel. Either party may object to the composition of the Appeal Panel by notifying the Club Executives of the Objection and setting out the reasons for such an Objection no later than seven calendar days from the date of being informed of the composition of the Panel. 

The Club Executives, within fourteen calendar days from the date of receipt of an Objection, will notify in writing the parties that either: 

the composition of the Panel has changed, in which case the Club Executives shall provide details of the new Appeal Panel 

or 

the composition of the Panel has not changed, in which case the Club Executives shall give reasons why it has not accepted the Objection 

Within fourteen calendar days from the date the Club Executives respond to the Objection above (as appropriate), the Club Executives shall give such directions to all parties that include: 

the date and place at which the Appeal Panel will meet to determine the Appeal 

whether the appeal will proceed by way of written submissions or an oral hearing 

and 

whether the parties should be required to submit statements of their evidence and/ or written submissions prior to the hearing and, if so, a timetable for doing so and the procedure for exchanging such statements and written submissions 

 

Powers of the Appeal Panel

The Appeal Panel shall meet on the date fixed by the Club Executives. The Appeal Panel may at its sole discretion disregard any failure by a party to adhere to this appeal procedure and may give such further directions as may be appropriate. 

Any such hearings shall be in private unless all parties agree otherwise, or unless the Appeal Panel directs. The Appeal Panel shall have power to make a decision on the facts as it thinks fit and may: 

Quash the original decision 

Confirm the original findings 

Request that the case be reheard (re-trial) 

Increase the original sanction 

Abate the original sanction 

 

The Appeal Panel shall inform all parties of its decision within fourteen calendar days together with written reasons for its decision. The decision of the Appeal Panel shall be final. The Appeal Panel shall decide on any issue by majority.

A supporter can be a legal representative, who must be named, and may accompany the Complainant/Accused throughout the appeal process. 

 

Records of Hearings and Appeals 

The decision of a Disciplinary Panel, including Appeal Panel, shall be recorded and retained in confidential records for a period of six years by the Club. Supporting documentation shall also be retained in the same fashion. 

 

Notification to UK Athletics (UKA) and England Athletics (EA) 

Where appropriate the Panel Chair, once the Appeal notice has expired, will inform EA/ UKA 

Disciplinary Hearing – details of a decision, including sanctions imposed, will be communicated to EA and/or UKA if it is considered necessary to ensure compliance with a sanction, or for the safety and well-being of those engaged in athletics activity. EA/ UKA may determine to publish details on their websites. 

  Appeal Panel – details of a decision, including sanctions imposed, will be communicated to EA and/or UKA if it is considered necessary to ensure compliance with a sanction, or for the safety and well-being of those engaged in athletics activity. EA/UKA may determine to publish details on their websites. Co-operation of All Parties The procedures described in these Discipline Procedures assume that all parties will co-operate in the interest of resolving the issue in question. In the absence of such co-operation, or if it is withdrawn at any stage, the Club reserves the right to proceed with a Hearing or an Appeal based on such evidence and information as it is able to obtain. 

When dealing with a complaint, the Club Executives or nominated Club representative shall be entitled to take, or omit to take, such action as is recommended pursuant to legal advice received from a legal practitioner whom the Club Executives reasonably believe is competent to provide such advice and/or EA’s legal representative service for affiliated members.

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