It is surprisingly often that high profile professional athletes from various sporting backgrounds find themselves before Tribunals (with their career and reputation in the balance) represented and advised by only a team manager, colleague or friend. These sports professionals are often before an experienced Judicial panel consisting of experts and lawyers. That imbalance, in Daniel’s opinion, rarely ensures that every point which could be made in the athlete’s favour is. That imbalance, in Daniel’s opinion, makes is less likely that a successful outcome will be achieved. read more
Yes. Whilst most Sport Governing Bodies include within their rules and regulations a provision allowing a friend or colleague to attend and support them during their disciplinary hearing this does not exclude the ability for the accused to have legal representation instead.
Many Sport Governing Bodies specifically say that a party can be legally represented should they wish within their Regulations. In the event that the Regulations or Rules do not say either way then it is likely, following representations from the instructed lawyer, that such support will be permitted both during and prior to the hearing.
It depends hugely upon the nature of the allegation. Plainly individuals in professions such as teaching, the law or medicine may well need to notify and thereafter face Professional Disciplinary Panels concerning a proven Sports Disciplinary Breach for a physical infringement.
In the majority of instances, an adverse finding from a first instance or appeal Tribunal will not end up in a loss of employment. I have been instructed to represent clients before both their professional and Sports Disciplinary Tribunals in the past. This not only ensures appropriate submissions are made at each stage, but also ensures that the same evidence is tested and heard before both separate bodies.
In some cases individuals are suspended from employment pending the outcome of either the Sports Disciplinary case or their Professional Governing Body. In certain circumstances applications can be made for the suspension to be lifted so as to ensure someone’s livelihood / client base is not unduly affected. Each case requires advise upon its own merits.
This depends. Most occupations do not require you to notify your employer of an alleged breach, many will require you to notify in the event that you admit or are found to have committed a Sports Disciplinary infringement. Plainly the severity of the allegation and nature of the accusation will greatly affect the necessity to notify. It is only if specific clauses within your contract of employment require notification of allegations or admitted / proven breaches OR if your particular Code of Conduct or other Professional Rules require such notification that you would be bound to so act.
I am able to advise on a case by case basis as to whether this is necessary and / or the point at which notification is required. Each case turns upon its own facts.
I have either heard cases as Tribunal Chair or represented as advocate a wide variance of careers including teachers, physiotherapists and lawyers. In most cases in the event of a successful challenge to the accusation the individual was not required to notify their employer or professional Governing Body.
In the majority of instances yes. All Sports Disciplinary Bodies should incorporate within their rules / Regulations a provision permitting an appeal from the first instance Tribunal’s finding on “guilt” or sanction imposed. The Grounds upon which an appeal is permitted vary as between sports, but in general they are when the Appellant is submitting that either:
The process by which an appeal is lodged varies as between sports, but generally a sports barrister would draft an appropriate notice and file it directly, or via the appellant, upon the Disciplinary Department.
NB – there are often strict notice periods in which an appeal can be lodged. Failure to do so within the appropriate period is highly likely to mean that an appeal cannot be heard.
NBB – I am frequently approached by individuals or the senior representatives of Professional Teams saying we’ve just had out appeal, we represented ourselves and we lost, we’ve now: obtained more evidence / found a new witness / decided we should have taken legal advise before the appeal / decided we should have been represented at the hearing…
Please do not wait until the case has been heard to take advice from an appropriately qualified Sports Barrister. Cases of this kind can have severe consequences, both financial and emotional. The sooner advice is sought the sooner we can address the issues and secure the best outcome possible. I frequently have to advise that there are no longer any other avenues of redress available to my client, but had they spoken to me sooner I could have done a great deal more. Please, please do not be the next person I have to say this to!
A Sports Barrister can advise upon all these issues and take you through the appropriate steps in bringing a successful appeal. In the majority of cases where I advise that an appeal ought be pursued I have seen the appellate tribunal reduce the sanction from that which was imposed at first instance. Often relevant features of mitigation, relevant comparable cases or simply a better presented submission lead to far less onerous sanctions being imposed.
As with previous questions DO NOT DELAY in seeking advice from a Sports Barrister. There are relatively short windows of opportunity to lodge an appeal and the grounds of an appeal. As soon as your judgement is received you can obtain provisional advice from The Sports Barrister at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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