BHA’s first Judicial Panel Chairman begins recruitment process for expanded Disciplinary and Licensing Panel

03 Feb 2017 Disciplinary Integrity

  • Disciplinary and Licensing Panel members and chairmen sought
  • Former jockeys and trainers encouraged to apply 
  • Applications close on 24 February 2017

Former jockeys and trainers are among those being called to step forward as His Honour Brian Barker, C.B.E. QC, the newly-appointed Judicial Panel Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA)’s quasi-judicial panels, commences his search for new Disciplinary and Licensing Panel members and chairmen.

The appointed Panel chairmen and members will play a key role in upholding the integrity of Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport by being responsible for holding enquiries under the Rules of Racing, hearing appeals against the BHA’s racecourse Stewards’ decisions and, where appropriate, imposing penalties in accordance with the Rules.

The opportunity to become a member of the enlarged Disciplinary and Licensing Panel is open to anyone with relevant expertise, whatever their background. Legally-qualified chairmen are also being sought. Roles are being offered on the basis of a fixed, three-year contract which can be subject to renewal.

A recently published review of the structure, composition and operation of the BHA’s Disciplinary Panel, Appeal Board and Licensing Committee by independent expert Christopher Quinlan QC stated that the BHA’s current disciplinary system is legally robust and fair, but a number of recommendations were made which Mr Quinlan considered necessary to bring the BHA’s approach in line with best practice in sports governance and to increase confidence among participants and stakeholders.

They included the appointment of the new Judicial Panel Chairman, now filled by His Honour Brian Barker C.B.E. QC, who is responsible for overseeing an increase in the size of a merged Disciplinary Panel and Licensing Committee under open competition, including any suitably-qualified people with horseracing knowledge. All existing Panel members have been invited to apply for the new positions.

A further recommendation of the Quinlan review means that among those being encouraged to come forward are former jockeys and trainers whose direct experience of the sport could make them ideal candidates to assist in the formulation of disciplinary verdicts. Current racecourse Stewards will not be able to sit on Disciplinary matters.

Both legally-qualified and lay individuals are sought to fulfil these important positions, although all candidates must demonstrate a good knowledge and appreciation of horseracing and Disciplinary and Licensing processes in sport. Individuals with veterinary expertise are also sought.

His Honour Brian Barker, C.B.E. QC, said:

“My first priority, having been appointed as Judicial Panel Chairman, is to recruit an enhanced and skilled Disciplinary and Licensing Panel. The BHA impressed me by its commitment to implementing all of the recommendations from the excellent report by Christopher Quinlan QC. I intend to honour that commitment and ensure that all of the actions I take are in line with the recommendations and intentions of that report.

“Former jockeys and trainers and others connected with the sport could make a significant addition to the Disciplinary and Licensing Panel. They are well placed to understand the nuances and intricacies of a sport in which they have played an active part. This system seems to work very well for the BHA’s  Stipendiary Stewards, some of whom are former professional jockeys, and there is no reason why the same should not apply to Disciplinary Panels.”

Prospective candidates have until 24 February 2017 to lodge an application, and more details can be found here

Notes to Editors:

1. The Quinlan Review can be found here:

2. More information about His Honour Brian Barker C.B.E. QC’s appointment as Judicial Panel Chairman can be found here: