19 Feb 2001 Pre-2014 Releases

Independent Chairman For New Appeal Board

Published: 19 February 2001

The Jockey Club is to introduce a new Appeal Board from 1st March as part of a package of measures that take account of the Human Rights Act.

The new Appeal Board, which replaces the Disciplinary Review Committee, will comprise a legally qualified and independent Chairman supported by two Members of the Jockey Club.

Sir Edward Cazalet, the recently retired High Court Judge, and three QC’s have agreed to form the panel from which the independent Chairman will be drawn for any particular appeal.

Christopher Foster, Executive Director of the Jockey Club, said: “We are delighted that four such well qualified men, having fully reviewed our intended procedures, have agreed to make themselves available to chair an Appeal Board.

“The Jockey Club intends to exercise its disciplinary and licensing functions fairly, rationally and proportionately, although access to the High Court for aggrieved parties ultimately provides compliance with Article 6 of the Human Rights Act when it is required. However, we hope that people will not feel it necessary to resort to that. The measures we have taken to make our procedures more transparent, together with the new Appeal Board, should minimise those occasions where aggrieved persons are exposed to the expense and delays of taking action in the Courts.

“Other sporting bodies have also had to consider the implications of the Human Rights Act and the changes introduced by the Jockey Club are similar to those recently brought in by the Football Association.”

Notes for Editors

1. The four members of the panel of independent chairmen are:

– The Hon. Sir Edward Cazalet – former High Court Judge
– Bruce Blair QC
– Jeremy Gompertz QC
– Richard Hartley QC

2. Decisions of the Appeal Board are determined by a majority of two, one of which must be the Chairman. A failure to reach a decision will result in a re-hearing before a different Appeal Board.

3. Access to an Appeal Board will be available for :-

– any matter first heard by the Disciplinary Committee
– enquiries heard under Rules 155 – 158 (failure to obtain the best possible placing) where the penalties are not less than £750 and/or 5 days suspension
– refusals by the Licensing Committee to grant licences on “fit and proper persons” grounds.

4. The package of measures introduced to take account of the Human Rights Act include:-

– the setting up of a new Appeal Board with independent representation
– the publication of the guidelines for Disciplinary Committee enquiries
– expanded notices giving the reasons for decisions by the Disciplinary Committee
– the availability of the criteria on which Licences and Permits are granted.

5. The relevant rule changes and the regulations governing the procedures for the new Appeal Board, together with the guidelines for Disciplinary Committee Enquiries will be published in this week’s Racing Calendar.