Disciplinary Procedure

Where Exeter Rowing Club wish to discipline an individual or organisation who has contravened the organisations rules or code of conduct, or who is deemed to have brought the sport or organisation into disrepute.  This framework outlines the principles required to ensure a fair and transparent process is followed and natural justice is done.

Mediation

When wishing to discipline a member should first endeavour to resolve the matter by mediation. It is advisable that an independent person, normally the Chairman, is appointed to moderate this meeting.

  1. The disciplinary case should be set out by the organisation, including where possible details of any rules or agreements that have been deemed contravened.
  2. The mediator should advise the terms of the procedure, for example who may attend and the conduct of the meeting.
  3. Such mediation is not obligatory but may help to resolve the situation, clarify any misunderstandings or help identify the issues in dispute before a hearing is convened.
  4. The outcome of the mediation stage is not binding but may be referred to in any subsequent hearing or appeal as may any failure or refusal to participate in such proceedings.

Disciplinary Hearing

If a satisfactory resolution is not reached the organisation must set out in writing the details of the disciplinary case including, where possible, details of any rules or agreements that have been deemed contravened and sent to the person accused within a reasonable timescale. This notice should contain details of the disciplinary procedure, including timescales, and the right of appeal.

  1. A disciplinary hearings panel should be appointed by the organisation in line with its constitution. This will include the officers of the club and the welfare officer.
  2. At a minimum the panel should comprise a chairman and two independent members one of whom may have relevant ‘expert’ knowledge. All panel members must declare any conflicts of interest.
  3. The individual or organisation against whom the disciplinary action is being taken should signify his agreement to the constituted panel.
  4. The panel must give a fair and independent hearing to both sides of the dispute within an appropriate and agreed timescale.
  5. The individual or organisation against whom the disciplinary action is being taken has the right to be accompanied at the hearing.
  6. If either party chooses not to attend the hearing, the panel, if properly constituted, has the right to proceed with the hearing based on written submissions.
  7. The panel may wish to call on ‘expert’ witnesses for advice.
  8. Discussions should be well recorded.
  9. The result of the hearing, with sufficient reason to explain the result, must be communicated in writing to both parties within 14 days of the date of the hearing.
  10. The panel and the accused should be aware of the possible outcomes of the disciplinary hearing in line with the constitutional body’s jurisdiction. Possible disciplinary outcomes depending on the severity of the incident and the discretion of the committee are:-
    • Racing suspension
    • Membership suspension
    • Removal of privileges
    • Expulsion
  11. The panel are authorised to act on behalf of Exeter Rowing Club and will not need to go to the main club committee for authorisation to reach an outcome, including any disciplinary actions. However, a formal statement to the main club committee must be provided of the outcome and any disciplinary outcomes recorded.
  12. If the outcome of the hearing is unacceptable to either party they have the right to appeal.

Appeal Procedure

If either party wishes to appeal against the outcome of the disciplinary hearing they should set out the grounds on which they wish to appeal in writing. This letter should be sent to the chairman of the appropriate body within 14 days of the outcome of the initial hearing being known. An appeal should be granted where there is a “strong arguable case” that either:-

  • relevant information was ignored or not considered by the original panel; or
  • the disciplinary process was tainted by unreasonable bias or conflict of interests; or
  • the provisions of the disciplinary procedure were not adhered to; or
  • the original panel exceeded its jurisdiction; or
  • the findings of the original panel were irrational or otherwise exhibited an error of general law.
  1. Exeter Rowing Club must appoint an independent appeal panel to consider the appeal, none of whom have had any prior involvement in the matter. Normally this will consist of the Vice-Chairman, Vice-Secretary, Vice-Treasure and Vice-Captain(s)
  2. The appeal panel should be constituted along the same principles as the hearings panel outlined above.
  3. The chairman of the appeals panel should convene a hearing of the appeals panel in a timely manner and, in consultation with the other panel members, will decide the conduct of the proceedings. If appropriate he may request written submissions and the appeals panel may or may not require the parties to be attend. If they do attend the accused has the right to be accompanied.
  4. Discussions should be well documented.
  5. The outcome of the appeal panel, with sufficient reason to explain the outcome will be communicated to both parties within 14 days of the appeal panel hearing.
  6. The appeal panel and the accused should be aware of the possible outcomes of the disciplinary hearing in line with the constitutional body’s jurisdiction. Possible disciplinary outcomes depending on the severity of the incident and the discretion of the committee are:
    • Racing suspension
    • Membership suspension
    • Removal of privileges
    • Expulsion
  7. The appeal panel are authorised to act on behalf of Exeter Rowing Club and will not need to go to the main club committee for authorisation to reach an outcome, including any disciplinary actions.  However, a formal statement to the main club committee must be provided of the outcome and any disciplinary outcomes recorded.
  8. The outcome of the appeal will be final.