Disciplinary Panel Procedures
RoR Disciplinary Panel Procedures apply to any enquiry before a Disciplinary Panel but they are subject to any specific requirements set out in the Retraining of Racehorses Rules and Regulations (‘the Rules’).
1.These provisions apply to any enquiry before a Disciplinary Panel but they are subject to any specific requirements set out in the Retraining of Racehorses Rules and Regulations (‘the Rules’).
2.1 There shall be a pool of not less than 5 persons who are appointed by the RoR Board of Trustees and who shall be available for selection to sit on the Disciplinary Panel.
2.2 The members of any Disciplinary Panel selected from the pool to conduct an enquiry will in normal circumstances be selected by the Chief Executive.
2.3 The Chief Executive shall provide to any person provisionally selected sufficient details of the matter in question and the individuals concerned so as to enable any person provisionally selected to declare any interest and to disqualify himself or to seek any waivers of objection as appropriate prior to final selection.
Role of the Chairman
3.1 Each Disciplinary Panel shall have a Chairman who shall be selected by the members of the Disciplinary Panel.
3.2 Where the notification of charges includes a statement to the effect that RoR considers the matter suitable for a preliminary hearing such a hearing will be held unless the Chairman decides otherwise.
3.3 The Chairman shall give such directions as he considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring a fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings.
Conduct of enquiry
4. So far as reasonably practical in the circumstances of any particular case and subject to Paragraph 6 of these provisions, the Chairman of a Disciplinary Panel must ensure that
4.1 in respect of any matter said to give rise to a contravention of any provision of the Rules, short particulars are provided in writing to any person who is at risk of Disciplinary Action being taken against him, sufficient for him to understand the matters to be addressed in the enquiry;
4.2 the Rules in question are identified to that person;
4.3 statements and documents to be relied upon by RoR are provided to that person;
4.5 the person is allowed a reasonable time to enable him to deal fairly with the matters raised in the statements and documents;
4.6 oral evidence is heard only in the presence of the person who shall be given a fair opportunity to question any witness;
4.7 the proceedings are conducted in private;
4.8 having decided that the person is in contravention of any provision of these Rules, but before deciding what Disciplinary Action to take, both that person and RoR are given an opportunity to address the Disciplinary Panel regarding both the nature and extent of any Disciplinary Action to be taken; and
4.9 subject to Paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2, summary reasons are provided for decisions sufficient to enable any person against whom Disciplinary Action has been taken to understand what material facts have been found by the Disciplinary Panel and why any particular Disciplinary Action is to be taken.
5.1 Where it is not convenient for summary reasons to accompany a decision, reasons should be provided
5.1.1 within a reasonable time of the decision; and
5.1.2 in writing if so requested by any person against whom Disciplinary Action is to be taken.
5.2 No reasons are required in any case where any Disciplinary Action taken for a contravention of a particular Rule or Rules falls within such range as is set out in any guidelines from time to time issued by the Authority.
6.1 The Chairman of a Disciplinary Panel may decide that because of special circumstances the enquiry is to be conducted in a manner which involves a substantial departure from the procedure set out in Paragraphs 4 and 5 and, if he does, he will on an application made by any person subject to the enquiry give reasons for his decision.
6.2 In all other cases reasons need not be given for decisions concerning the conduct of an enquiry.
6.3 The Chairman will normally determine questions of procedure on the basis of written submissions without a hearing.
7.1 The provisions of Paragraphs 7.2 to 7.5 do not apply to the extent that the Chairman or RoR, in writing, waives the application of some or all of such requirements.
7.2 At the time that RoR notifies a person who is the subject of the enquiry that an enquiry has been convened, and supplies him with particulars of the matters and evidence on which RoR relies, RoR will also provide him with a form for completion and that person must, before the enquiry, complete the form disclosing
7.2.1 whether he admits to being in contravention of these Rules (see also Paragraph 10);
7.2.2 whether, and to what extent, he admits the evidence of any statement obtained by RoR and given to him (this is necessary even if a person admits to a contravention);
7.2.3 the nature of the case he intends to advance at the enquiry;
7.2.4 the identity of any witness he intends to call together with a summary of their evidence or a copy of their statement; and
7.2.5 the time he estimates he will require to present his case at the enquiry.
7.3 Unless RoR otherwise determines, the completed form must be delivered to the Chief Executive of RoR7.3.1 before the end of the period of 10 days starting with the date of receipt of the form; or
7.3.2 seven days before the date of the enquiry, whichever is the earlier.
7.4 Where there is a failure to return the form in accordance with Paragraphs 7.2 and 7.3, the Disciplinary Panel may
7.4.1 refuse to allow any evidence which is not disclosed in accordance with Paragraph 7.2 to be given at the enquiry, or
7.4.2 adjourn the enquiry and make an order for costs pursuant to the powers of RoR under Rule 5.2.
7.5 A member of the Disciplinary Panel may, in the absence of the Chairman, exercise any of the functions under this Paragraph.
8. All questions concerning the admissibility of evidence shall be for determination by each Disciplinary Panel in its discretion and a panel shall not be bound by any enactment or rule of law relating to the admissibility of evidence before a court of law or statutory tribunal.
9.1 A Disciplinary Panel shall reach its decision by simple majority and any such decision shall be announced as the decision of the panel.
9.2 Reasons given for decisions shall not include references to any minority opinion or dissenting view.
10.1 Any person who attends an enquiry that is conducted in private must respect the privacy and confidentiality of the enquiry proceedings and of the evidence and of all documents and submissions prepared in connection with them.
10.2 All evidence and representations shall be privileged even if the hearing is not conducted in private but this provision is not intended in any way to constrain what a Disciplinary Panel may refer to in its written reasons even though these may be released for general publication.
10.3 Without prejudice to Paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2, RoR may, at any stage of disciplinary proceedings publish any report or 'press release' regarding the proceedings, including (but not limited to)
10.3.1 the details of proceedings for contravention of any provision of these Rules which have been taken against any person (including any facts alleged in support),
10.3.2 any topics of the enquiry or appeal hearing, and
10.3.3 any direction or finding made or Disciplinary Action taken.
10.4 It is irrelevant for the purposes of Paragraph 10.3
10.4.1 whether the publication is made
10.4.1.1 at the stage of investigation, enquiry or appeal; or
10.4.1.2 in the public press and media, on the RoR website or in such other manner as RoR may consider appropriate, and
10.4.2 if publication is made at the enquiry stage, whether the hearing is held in private or open to representatives of the media.
10.5 Without prejudice to Paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2, RoR may share such evidence, documentation, submissions or representations with any person where it is of the opinion that to do so may assist the initiation, conduct or defence of any criminal or quasi criminal investigation or proceeding, or the regulatory or disciplinary process of any trade profession or sport whether in the UK or elsewhere.
Time to consider new allegations
11. If a Disciplinary Panel considers that a person appearing at the enquiry may be liable to Disciplinary Action on account of conduct, or of contravention of a Rule, which has not previously been notified to him by RoR (and whether in addition to or in substitution for the conduct or Rules of which he was notified), the Chairman shall ensure that the person is given a reasonable time to deal with the new allegations or addition or substitution of Rule, including by adjourning the proceedings in an appropriate case.
Appointment of assessors
12.1 A Chairman may appoint one or more legal or scientific assessors to assist a Disciplinary Panel, may take advice from such persons and may also be assisted by a Secretary for each enquiry from amongst the persons employed by RoR.
12.2 The Chairman shall ensure that the roles of such assessors and Secretary shall be limited to the provision of advice and assisting in the preparation of reasons consequent to the Disciplinary Panel's findings and that such persons shall not participate in the making of the decision itself.
Adjournment and non-attendance
13. A Disciplinary Panel may adjourn a hearing for such period and upon such terms (including as to costs) as it considers appropriate.
14.1 This Paragraph applies where a person who is required to attend a hearing fails to do so.
14.2 If the Disciplinary Panel is satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds for the failure to attend, it may proceed with the hearing in such manner as it considers appropriate, including making its decision concerning any alleged contravention of these Rules by the person and taking any Disciplinary Action against him.
Standard of proof
15. Where any fact or matter is required to be established to the satisfaction of the Disciplinary Panel, the standard of proof shall be the civil standard.
16.1 Where the horse is in joint or other multiple ownership the Chairman shall determine how many representatives from amongst the Owners shall attend.
16.2 Where an enquiry concerns the possible disqualification or suspension of a horse on account of the alleged presence of a Prohibited Substance, the Owner, or in the case of a joint or other multiple ownership, the representative shall be
16.2.1 given notice of the enquiry;
16.2.2 provided with all statements and documents to be relied upon by RoR; and
16.2.3 permitted to attend the enquiry to question witnesses and make submissions.
17. Notices and communications to persons who are bound by these Rules shall be sent by first class post or by fax or by e-mail to the address or number as appropriate currently maintained for such Person at the RoR Office.
18.1 RoR will make arrangements for the hearing to be recorded notwithstanding that the hearing may be taking place in private.
18.2 Any such recording shall belong to RoR and, subject to Paragraph 18.3, no person shall have the right to compel the production of it or a copy or a transcript save as required by law in connection with civil or criminal proceedings and subject to meeting any costs or expenses of RoR incurred in providing it.
18.3 A person who has commenced an appeal by lodging a notice of appeal will, as soon as practicable, be provided with a transcript for use in connection with the appeal.
18.4 Copies and transcripts of recordings shall at all times remain confidential.