Appeal Rules

  BC Rugby Appeal Rules 

1.  A Player, Club or Sub-Union (Appellant) may appeal to the Appeal Committee from a decision of the Discipline Committee; or from a decision of the Competition Committee that is appealable per the Competition Committee rules.  Any appeal must be lodged with the British Columbia Rugby Union ("BCRU") office or its nominated officer within 7 days of the date on which the decision of the Discipline Committee or Competition Committee has been notified.

2.  An appeal shall be deemed to have been lodged when a notice of appeal is received by the BCRU office together with any required deposit referred to in 4 below.

3.  The notice of appeal shall be in writing from the Appellant or a representative of the Appellant lodging the appeal and shall specify:

(a) The name of the Appellant lodging the appeal;

(b) The decision appealed against;

(c) The specific grounds of the appeal.

4.  Each notice of appeal shall be accompanied by a deposit of $200.00.  In the event of a required deposit not being paid, the appeal shall be deemed to be abandoned, save that the Appeal Committee Chair shall have power to extend the time for payment of the deposit.

5.  On the lodgment of the appeal the BCRU office shall make available to the Appeal Committee the record of the proceedings before the Discipline Committee or the relevant minutes of the Competition Committee.

6.  An Appeal Committee shall have power to conduct and regulate the appeal proceedings as it sees fit having regard to the circumstances of the case.

7.  The Appeal Committee shall at its discretion be entitled, in exceptional circumstances, to conduct a de novo hearing. Ordinarily, however, appeals will be heard based on the record of the decision by the Discipline or Competition Committee and the evidence received and considered by that Committee. Also, in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Appeal Committee, a combination of a de novo hearing and appeal on the record may be applied. In determining the basis on which an appeal is to be conducted the Appeal Committee shall have regard to the following principles:

(a) It will only be in exceptional circumstances that a de novo hearing in whole or part will be adopted on appeal.

(b) The evidential assessment of the Discipline Committee at first instance should not be overturned save as in circumstances where central findings of fact made by the Discipline Committee are clearly wrong.

(c) A de novo hearing in whole or part would ordinarily only be appropriate where:

(i) Further evidence is available and such further evidence was not, on full and proper enquiry, available at the time of the first instance hearing; and/or

(ii) the record and/or evidence received and submitted at the first instance hearing is unclear and/or the record is otherwise defective. Where the Appellant appeals against the sanction, the Appellant may request that the Appeal Committee review the sanction without the need for a personal hearing. The Appeal Committee may also determine that a personal hearing is not required in relation to any appeal but if he/she so wishes, the Appellant always has the right to appear and make representations in all cases or alternatively he may make representations by telephone and/or in writing.

8.  Subject to 7 above, the Appeal Committee Chair shall be entitled as he sees fit to deal with pre hearing procedural and/or evidential matters as may be applicable without reference to other members of Appeal Committees and may convene a pre-hearing conference for the purposes of giving directions for the hearing and clarification of the procedures. The Appeal Committee Chair may require any person to attend the hearing as a witness.

9.  The Appeal Committee Chair may delegate his authority to a member of the Appeal Panel.

10.  The Appeal Committee shall set a time, date and place for the hearing of the appeal which information shall be communicated by the BCRU office to the Appellant who has lodged the appeal. The Appellant will at that time also be notified of the names of the Appeal Committee Members and the fact that pending appeal, unless the decision is stayed per 10 below, the Player is not eligible to play the game save always that where a Player's suspension expires when his appeal is pending the Player will be eligible to play forthwith.  The Appeal Committee may choose to conduct appeal proceedings by telephone conference call or may allow participants to participate in appeal proceedings by telephone conference call.

11.  Prior to an Appeal hearing, the Appeal Committee Chair, or when the Appeal Committee has convened, the Appeal Committee, shall have the right, at their sole discretion, to stay the decision under appeal where in either case they determine that not doing so would significantly prejudice the Appellant, pending the completion of the Appeal Hearing.

12.  If a Member of the Appeal Committee is unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to hear the appeal, then the Appeal Committee Chair may, at his absolute discretion:

(a) Appoint a replacement; or

(b) Appoint a new Appeal Committee, or

(c) Allow the remaining members of the Appeal Committee to hear the appeal.

13.  Appeal Committees shall be entitled to call on experts to provide specialist advice, including legal advice.

14.  An appeal should, where practicable, be heard within 14 days of its lodgment.

15.  The Appeal Committee shall have power to postpone or adjourn the hearing of an appeal.

16.  In any appeal, the Appeal Committee may direct that the BCRU, the Discipline Committee or the Competition Committee be represented. If so, the BCRU shall appear by representative at the hearing of the appeal in such capacity as the Appeal Committee requires, to provide assistance to the Appeal Committee in the discharge of its duties.

17.  The Appellant may be represented before the Appeal Committee by a representative and/or legal counsel.

18.  Where any question of fact arises on an appeal before the Appeal Committee it may be determined by reference to the record of proceedings before the Discipline Committee.  However, the Appeal Committee, in its discretion, may rehear or receive written evidence in respect of the whole or any part of the evidence given before the Discipline Committee, as it considers appropriate.

19.  The Appeal Committee shall have full discretionary power to hear and receive such further evidence on an appeal as it thinks fit. Ordinarily, such evidence would only be accepted where it can be established that such evidence was not, on full and proper enquiry, available at the time of the original hearing. The Appeal Committee shall be entitled to receive such evidence as it thinks fit, notwithstanding the evidence may not be legally admissible.

20.  If in its discretion, an Appeal Committee admits further evidence at a hearing, there shall be no cross-examination of witnesses except to the extent allowed by the Appeal Committee.

21.  In any case where a witness required by the Appeal Committee refuses or fails to attend before the Appeal Committee, the Appeal Committee may decide whether or not to allow the evidence of that witness to be given in any other form.

22.  The Appeal Committee shall be entitled to determine whether witnesses who give evidence may be in the room in which the appeal is being heard prior to or after giving their evidence.

23.  Save where the Appeal Committee decides to hear the entire case de novo (in which circumstances the applicable first instance standards and burdens shall apply), the Appellant shall have the burden of proving that the decision being challenged should be overturned or varied.

24.  The Appeal Committee's deliberations on its decision shall take place in private.

25.  A decision of an Appeal Committee shall be valid if taken by at  Members of an Appeal Committee may abstain from any decision. When an Appeal Committee has an even number of Members and the Members of such Committee are unable to come to a unanimous or majority decision, then the Chairman of the Appeal Committee shall have the casting vote.

26.  In exercising its jurisdiction, an Appeal Committee shall have power to:

(a) Dismiss the appeal, quash, vary or increase any decision and/or penalty appealed against; and/or

(b) Order that the whole or any part of a deposit be refunded; and/or

(c) Take any other steps that it considers necessary to deal justly with the appeal.

28.  The decision of the Appeal Committee shall be advised to the parties as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the hearing and shall be final and binding on notification to the Appellant, his representative, if any, or his sub-Union. Where it considers it appropriate, the Appeal Committee may deliver a short oral decision at the conclusion of the hearing (with its reasons to be put in writing and communicated to the parties at a later date) or it may reserve its decision.

29.  Relevant parties heard by the Appeal Committee shall be entitled to a copy of the Appeal Committee's written decision which shall be provided by the Appeal Committee as soon as practicable after it is available.

30.  In all proceedings before Appeal Committees, referees and/or touch judges may only give evidence of fact, not opinion.

31.  The standard of proof on all questions to be determined by the Appeal Committee shall be the balance of probabilities.

32.  Procedures or proceedings under this policy or any decision of a Discipline Committee or Competition Committee shall not be quashed or held invalid by reason only of any defect, irregularity, omission or other technicality unless such defect, irregularity, omission or technicality raises a material doubt as to the reliability of the findings or decisions of a Discipline Committee or Competition Committee or results in a miscarriage of justice.

33.  No member of an Appeal Committee should comment to the media on a decision of that committee.  The President of the BCRU may release a copy of a decision to the media when it is available; or if a full written decision is not immediately available, release to the media a brief resume of a decision.

34.  In respect of any matter not provided for in this Regulation the Appeal Committee Chair or the Appeal Committee shall make any decision it deems appropriate according to general principles of natural justice and fairness.

35.  The Appeal Committee, prior to a hearing or at any stage during a hearing, may amend the offence for which the Player or Person has been Ordered Off or cited unless, having regard to the circumstances of the case, such amendment cannot be made without causing injustice.

Currently appointed members of the Appeal Panel

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Copyright BC Rugby Union 2012