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Sobell Bridge Club Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures
1. Requirements of the Schedule
This Schedule prescribes the powers of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee and procedures to be followed after an offence. It will comply with and follow the EBU disciplinary procedures and any variations thereof that are made from time to time. The Club shall act through its Conduct Officer and Disciplinary Sub Committee for the enforcement of standards prescribed in clause 12 of the Constitution. The Club shall have additional powers as set out in the clauses below.
2. Receipt of allegation
Any person making a complaint against one or more members of the Club under the terms of clause 12 of the Constitution, must do so in writing to the Conduct Officer of the Club within 4 weeks of the offence.
3. Conduct Officer
The Executive Committee of the Club shall appoint a Conduct Officer through its powers to appoint Officers under clause 12 of the Constitution. The Conduct Officer, in consultation with members of the Executive Committee, shall be responsible for investigating complaints against the Club’s members and to determine whether a disciplinary offence should be referred to the Club’s Disciplinary Sub Committee.
4. Disciplinary Sub Committee.
The Executive Committee of the Club shall appoint the Disciplinary Sub Committee through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 12 of the Constitution. The Disciplinary Sub Committee shall, determine sanctions for offences admitted by the defendant, hear charges of offences and determine whether those charges are proved and if proved, to determine the sanction to be imposed.
The Disciplinary Sub Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five: one member must be a member of the Executive Committee. At least three of its members must be present when it makes a decision to uphold a complaint and impose sanctions on the offending member. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Disciplinary Sub Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.
5. Conflicts of Interest and Independence of the Conduct Officer and Disciplinary Sub Committee
The Conduct Officer and any member of the Disciplinary Sub Committee who is in any way personally involved in the allegations within a complaint will be disqualified from participating in the Sub Committee’s handling of the complaint.
The Conduct Officer cannot be a member of the Disciplinary Sub Committee.
6. The Complaints Process
6.1. Notice of Meetings.
Where a written complaint is made, the Conduct Officer, in consultation with members of the Executive Committee, will determine whether such complaint or matter falls within the scope of the Disciplinary Rules and whether further action is warranted. If it does the Conduct Officer shall write, within 2 weeks of the complaint being received, to the Defendant, seeking the Defendant’s comments on the substance of the complaint or matter that has been raised. The Conduct Officer shall also be entitled to make such further investigations and enquiries as he/she considers appropriate. The Conduct Officer shall also be entitled to seek advice both from within the Club and from the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee, and to obtain external legal advice.
6.2.Complaint not justified.
If the Conduct Officer, following consultation with the Executive Committee, decides that the complaint is not justified, all parties shall be notified and the matter ended.
If the Conduct Officer, following consultation with the Executive Committee, decides that the complaint is justified, he/she may, offer a verbal caution to the offending member, which if accepted, ends the matter.
If the caution is not accepted by the offending member, or the Conduct Officer does not feel a caution is appropriate, he/she shall refer the case to a hearing by the Disciplinary Sub Committee. The Defendant shall be notified, in writing, within two weeks of this decision and of his right to make a written submission to the Disciplinary Sub Committee and to attend the hearing. The Defendant shall have the right to be accompanied by a person to speak on his/her behalf. The Disciplinary Sub Committee shall give at least two weeks notice of the hearing to the Defendant.
6.4 Disciplinary Sub Committee Procedure
a. Complainant states case against Defendant. Complainant can bring witnesses.
b. Defendant or representative asks questions of the Complainant.
c. Panel, acting through the Chair, asks questions of the Complainant.
d. Defendant or representative asks questions of witnesses.
e. Panel, acting through the Chair, asks questions of witnesses.
f. Defendant states case. Defendant can bring witnesses.
g. Complainant or Representative asks questions of Defendant.
h. Panel, acting through the Chair, asks questions of the Defendant
i. Complainant and then Defendant sum up their cases.
j. Panel withdraws for discussions
k. Panel produces written reasons for their decision and sanctions are decided, if complaint is upheld.
l. Defendant is informed of the decisions.
6.5. Disciplinary Sub Committee’s Sanctions
If after the hearing the complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Sub Committee may in its absolute discretion:
(a) Give a written reprimand to the offending member(s),or
(b) Suspend the offending member(s) from all or some of the competitions sponsored or licensed by the Club for such period as it shall determine.
(c) Expel the offending member(s) from the Club.
If the complaint is against a member of the Executive Committee then in addition to any other sanctions applied, the Disciplinary Sub Committee shall have the power to suspend such member from the Club’s Executive Committee and any of its sub committees for such a period that it shall determine.
Any sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Sub Committee must be communicated to the offending member(s) in writing within twenty one days of the hearing
Any Sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Sub Committee shall take effect as soon as time for appeal has elapsed except that, if the Defendant has filed Notice of Appeal within the time allowed, the Sanction shall not take effect until such Appeal has been determined
Every Defendant found guilty of an offence by the Club Disciplinary Sub Committee has the right to appeal to the County Disciplinary Committee. Appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the Association within twenty one days of the written communication of the Club’s Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the Defendant.
6.7. Referral to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee
At any time the County Disciplinary Committee may refer a complaint to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee for its consideration. In doing so the County Disciplinary Committee shall have fully discharged its responsibilities under this Schedule.
Notes on the Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures
It cannot be overstated that if an allegation is made then the club should consult with the EBU to determine the procedure to be followed.
Written guidance is available for the process of a Hearing & also advice for members of the Disciplinary Committee.
The club may wish to appoint the Conduct Officer and members of the Disciplinary Sub Committee in a number of ways, however it may be beneficial to appoint the Conduct Officer annually with members of that committee & all members of a Disciplinary Sub Committee appointed on an ad hoc basis. This has the benefit of having the Conduct Officer to receive any allegations & members of the Disciplinary Sub Committee to be appointed from those without prior knowledge of the case. Hopefully if no cases arise no appointments need be made apart from the Conduct Officer.