19.1 Breach of the Bye-Laws or Regulations
19.1.1 A Union or Association shall be subject to sanction by a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee if it is found to have breached the Bye-Laws or Regulations
19.1.2 A Rugby Body, Club or Person that contravenes these Regulations, brings World Rugby or the Game into disrepute, engages in conduct, behaviour or practices which may be prejudicial to the interests of World Rugby or the Game, wrongly discloses any confidential information obtained through connection with the Game, or which breaches the Code of Conduct shall be subject to sanction by the Union or Association having jurisdiction in respect thereof in accordance with the bye-laws, regulations, code of conduct or other undertakings or agreements of that Union or Association. In the event of non-compliance or improper implementation of this Regulation 19.1.2 by the Union or Association, or where World Rugby deems it appropriate, such Rugby Body, Club or Person shall be subject to sanction by a Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer appointed by World Rugby.
19.2 Procedures Relating to a Breach of the Bye-Laws or Regulations
19.2.1 Save where a different procedure is set out in a specific Regulation for a breach thereof, the following procedures shall apply in the event of an alleged breach of the Bye-Laws or Regulations.
19.2.2 A Union or Association must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, investigate each and every alleged breach of the Bye-Laws or Regulations occurring or committed within or relating to its jurisdiction and of which it has knowledge. Following such investigation, it shall take such action as is appropriate and thereafter report its decision and the procedures adopted to the CEO in writing within 28 days of its decision. The CEO shall submit the report to the Council.
19.2.3 In the event of the Council and/or CEO not being satisfied with the procedures adopted and/or decision reached by a Union or Association pursuant to Regulation 19.2.2 or in the event of a failure to investigate by that Union or Association, then the Council and/or CEO may refer the matter, via the Judicial Panel Chairman, or his or her designee, to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee or take such other action as it deems appropriate.
19.2.4 A Union or Association which considers another Union or Association to have so conducted itself as to be in breach of the Bye-Laws or Regulations may make a complaint of such conduct to the CEO. To be valid, such complaint must be made in writing, setting out full details of the complaint and should be received by the CEO not later than 28 days following the complainant Union or Association having knowledge of the said conduct. Upon receipt of any such complaint, the CEO shall initiate an enquiry into the matter which will include, as a minimum, obtaining the representations of the parties to the complaint. World Rugby shall, having assessed that there is a case to answer, formally inform the Union or Association charged and refer the complaint via the Judicial Panel Chairman, or his or her designee, to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee, for adjudication.
19.2.5 The Council or CEO may, whether at the request of a Union, Association, or of its own motion, initiate an enquiry into any alleged or apparent breach of the Bye-Laws and/or Regulations. Such enquiry shall be carried out by the CEO or his or her designee(s). The procedure for such enquiry shall be determined by the CEO but will include, as a minimum, obtaining the representations of the parties to the complaint. At the conclusion of any such enquiry, the CEO shall either submit a report to Council or, having assessed that there is a case to answer, formally advise the Union or Association that they have been charged with a breach of the Bye-Laws and/or the Regulations (and provide a copy of the charge sheet) and refer the matter via the Judicial Panel Chairman, or his or her designee, to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee for adjudication. The Council on receipt of the report may refer the matter via the Judicial Panel Chairman, or his or her designee, to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee or take such other action (if any) as is deemed appropriate.
19.2.6 Where there is a dispute under Regulation 4 arising from the same set of facts as an alleged breach under this Regulation 19.2, the process under this Regulation 19.2 may take place concurrently and/or subsequently to the process set out in Regulation 20.9. Evidence received pursuant to a disputes process under Regulation 20.9 may be considered for the purposes of a case under Regulation 19.2.
19.3 Referral to Judicial Officers or Judicial Committees
19.3.1 Where a matter is referred to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee, the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall, subject to Regulation 20, be entitled to deal with the matter procedurally as it considers appropriate provided that the parties concerned are aware of the case against them and are afforded a reasonable opportunity to make representations and present their case. For the avoidance of doubt, World Rugby shall have the right to be represented and shall be entitled through its nominated representative to make submissions during any proceedings conducted by Judicial Officers or Judicial Committees.
19.3.2 The decisions of Judicial Committees shall be made by majority. In the event of an even vote, the Chairman of the Judicial Committee shall have a casting vote.
19.3.3 All Judicial Committee members must take part in the deliberations of the committee and no member of a Judicial Committee may abstain from voting.
19.3.4 The decision of the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall, subject to the right of appeal under Regulation 19.5, be final and binding. Any sanction imposed by a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall not, ordinarily, take effect until the period allowed for an appeal in Regulation 19.5.1 has elapsed or the appeal has been determined. The decision of the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall ordinarily be published by World Rugby in full save where the Judicial Tribunal has directed otherwise (whether by application from any party to the proceedings or sua sponte) or where commercial or other sensitivities preclude publication in full.
19.4.1 Upon finding a breach of the Bye-Laws and/or Regulations has been committed, Judicial Officers and Judicial Committees shall be entitled to impose such sanctions as they think fit. Such sanctions may include, but shall not be limited to:
(a) a caution, warning as to future conduct, reprimand and/or a fine;
(b) a suspension for a specified number of Matches and/or a specified period; a requirement that a Match or Matches be played with the exclusion of the public; the cancellation of a Match result and, where appropriate, the replaying of a Match; the forfeiture of a Match or matches and/or tie(s); the deduction or cancellation of points; the immediate or future expulsion or suspension from a tournament(s) or competition(s); or any such similar sanctions;
(c) cancellation or refusal of the registration of any Person registered in contravention of the Regulations;
(d) a recommendation to the Council that a Union or Association be expelled or suspended from Membership of World Rugby. Subject to the provisions of Bye-Law 6(f), only the Council shall be competent to expel or suspend a Union or Association and any such expulsion or suspension shall only have effect if approved by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at a properly convened and quorate Council meeting;
(e) an order that any Union, Association, Rugby Body, Club or Person pay compensation and/or restitution;
(f) the withdrawal of other benefits or membership of World Rugby, including, but not limited to, the right to apply to host International Tournaments; and
(g) any combination of the penalties set out in 19.4.1(a) to (f) above.
19.4.2 Judicial Officers and Judicial Committees shall be entitled to make such order in relation to cost as is deemed appropriate.
19.4.3 In determining the appropriate sanction under these Regulations, a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall be entitled to take account of mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances shall include, but shall not be limited to, the repetition of a breach of a particular Bye-Law or Regulation.
19.5.1 A Union or Association, or World Rugby (through the Executive Committee or CEO), may appeal against the decision of a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee, against the sanction imposed and/or any costs order. To be valid, any such appeal, together with the written grounds of appeal, must be lodged with the Judicial Panel Chairman, or his or her designee, within 14 days of the date of the written decision of the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee.
19.5.2 On receipt of a notice of appeal and the grounds for appeal within the time limit set out in Regulation 19.5.1, an Appeal Committee shall be appointed by the Judicial Panel Chairman or his or her designee. The Appeal Committee shall, ordinarily, be made up of three members of the Appeal Panel, under the Chairmanship of a senior legal practitioner who shall, subject to Regulation 19.5.3 and Regulation 20, have the discretion to regulate the procedure prior to and at any Appeal Committee hearing.
19.5.3 The Appeal Committee shall determine the basis on which an appeal will proceed, including the standard of review and may, in its discretion rehear the whole or any part of the evidence given before the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee (as the case may be) as it considers appropriate. For the avoidance of doubt World Rugby shall have the right to be represented and shall be entitled through its nominated representative to make submissions in any proceedings conducted by Appeal Committees.
19.5.4 The Appeal Committee shall have full discretionary power to hear and receive such further evidence as it thinks fit, provided it is established by the appellant that such evidence was not, on reasonable enquiry, available at the time of the original hearing.
19.5.5 For appeal hearings procedural matters shall be determined by the Appeals Committee Chairman. Decisions of the Appeals Committee shall be made by majority. In the event of an even vote, the Chairman of the Appeal Committee shall have a casting vote. All members of an Appeal Committee must take part in its deliberations and no member of the Committee may abstain from voting.
19.5.6 Where an appeal relates to a recommendation by a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee that a Union or Association be expelled or suspended from membership of World Rugby, the appeal will be heard by the Council. In the event of such an appeal, a meeting of the Council shall be convened by the CEO as soon as reasonably practicable. The procedures on any such appeal, including, but not limited to, the standard of review shall be determined by the Council. The Council may confirm the suspension or expulsion and/or impose such other punishment or penalties as it considers fit. The decision of the Council shall be made by a two-third majority of members present and shall be final and binding. The decision of the Council shall be effective immediately on written notification to the Union or Association concerned.
19.6 Powers of Appeal Committees
19.6.1 An Appeal Committee shall have the power to:
(a) allow or re-affirm, or dismiss the appeal;
(b) vary the decision in such manner as it shall think fit (including power to reduce, uphold, decrease or cancel any sanction);
(c) make such further order (in relation to costs or otherwise) as it thinks fit; and
(d) take any other step which in the exercise of its discretion the Appeals Committee considers it would be appropriate to take in order to deal justly with the case in question.
19.7 Notification of Appeal Committee Decision
19.7.1 The parties to the appeal shall be notified in writing as soon as reasonably practicable following the conclusion of the hearing. On notification to the Union or Association the decision shall be final and binding. The decision of the Appeal Committee shall ordinarily be published in full by World Rugby save where the Judicial Tribunal has directed otherwise (whether by application from any party to the proceedings or sua sponte) or where commercial or other sensitivities preclude publication in full.