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Guidelines Banner 6

Regulations

Regulation 20. Disciplinary and judicial matters

Regulation 20. Disciplinary and judicial matters

Definitions

Appeal Officer/Committee: an individual/committee appointed pursuant to Regulation 20 to hear and decide appeals from decisions of Judicial Officers/Committees and Disciplinary Committees.

Citing Commissioner: an individual appointed in accordance with Regulation 20 to review acts of foul play pursuant to Regulation 17.

Disciplinary Committee/Judicial Officer: a committee/individual appointed pursuant to Regulation 20 to hear, resolve and adjudicate on all matters of foul play set out in Regulation 17.

Judicial Tribunal: Judicial Officers, Disciplinary and Judicial Committees, Appeal Officers and Appeal Committees may each be referred to as a Judicial Tribunal.

Judicial Officer/Judicial Committee: an individual/committee appointed pursuant to Regulation 20 to resolve, hear and adjudicate on all matters set out in Regulation 19.

Panel Member: individuals appointed to Judicial Tribunals pursuant to Regulation 20.

World Rugby Appointment Scheme: The scheme by which appointments are made to certain International Matches as further detailed in Appendix 3.

World Rugby Judicial and Disciplinary Appointment Criteria: The criteria for Judicial Officers/Committees, Appeal Officers/Committees and Disciplinary Committees determined by the World Rugby Council that must be met by those who are nominated by Unions and Associations as set out in Appendix 1.

World Rugby Citing Commissioner Appointment Criteria: The criteria for Citing Commissioners determined by the World Rugby Council that must be met by those who are nominated by Unions and Associations as set out in Appendix 2.

20.1           General

20.1.1        Regulation 20 sets out the procedures functions and powers related to Judicial Officers, Disciplinary Committees, Judicial Committees, Appeal Officers and Appeal Committees (each a “Judicial Tribunal”).

20.1.2        Regulation 20 further sets out the appointment criteria for Citing Commissioners and members of Judicial Tribunals.

20.1.3        Judicial Tribunals constituted under these Regulations shall exercise their functions independently, including independently of (i) the parties to the Match and/or proceedings, (ii) the Unions, Associations or Rugby Bodies under whose jurisdiction responsibility falls for the relevant Match and shall not perform a legislative role in any Union, Association or Rugby Body involved in the Match and/or proceedings.

20.1.4        Judicial Tribunals shall be fully autonomous and, in particular, any decision they make shall be binding on the Player, Person, their national Union(s), Rugby Body(ies) and all other Unions, Associations, Tournament Organisers and their constituent bodies, none of whom shall have the power to affirm, revoke or alter any decision.

20.1.5        The standard of proof on all questions to be determined by Judicial Tribunals shall be the balance of probabilities unless otherwise specified in a particular Regulation. Judicial Tribunals shall have no discretion in this regard.

20.1.6        Unions, Associations and Judicial Tribunals shall ordinarily publish reports of their proceedings, findings and sanctions 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 and in the case of such bodies appointed by World Rugby, such publication shall be made through World Rugby. No member of a Judicial Tribunal shall comment to the media on a decision of that body.

20.1.7        Judicial Tribunals shall have absolute discretion in imposing orders as to the payment of costs in relation to any proceedings including the cost of holding the hearings, interpretation and legal costs, travel and accommodation costs of the members of the Judicial Tribunals and/or any other expenses necessary for the proper conduct of the hearing.

20.1.8        Hearings shall ordinarily take place in private, save where any of the parties wishes the hearing to take place in public. In such circumstances:

(a)     The party wishing to have the hearing take place in public shall make an application to the Judicial Tribunal seized of the proceedings setting out their reasons;

(b)    Judicial Tribunals shall grant such application (i) if all parties are in agreement; or (ii) if the Judicial Tribunal determines that it is the interests of justice to do so; and

(c)     “In public” in this context does not necessarily mean that the hearing shall take place in a publicly-accessible location but rather that the proceedings may be recorded and/or transmitted and viewed by the public on a live or recorded basis.

20.1.9        Judicial Tribunals:

(a)     shall be entitled to adjourn and/or postpone proceedings;

(b)     shall be entitled to determine whether witnesses that give evidence are able to remain within the room in which the matter is being heard after their evidence has been given;

(c)     may direct that an interpreter be present to partake in the proceedings;

(d)     shall be entitled to call on experts to provide specialist advice;

(e)     shall be entitled to be assisted by a legal advisor;

(f)      shall deliberate in private on their decisions.

20.1.10      The non-attendance of a party at a hearing and/or preliminary hearing in respect of which that party has received notice shall not prevent the matter being dealt with in their absence.

20.1.11      A decision of a Judicial Committee, Disciplinary Committee or Appeal Committee shall be valid if taken by at least a simple majority of the members of the Committee. No member of the Judicial, Disciplinary or Appeal Committee may abstain from participating in any deliberations or from voting. Where a Committee has an even number of members and they are unable to reach a unanimous or majority decision then the Chair of the Judicial, Disciplinary or Appeal Committee shall have a casting vote.

20.1.12      Any procedures, findings or decisions of Judicial Tribunals pursuant to disciplinary processes under these Regulations shall not be quashed or invalidated by reason only of any departure from the procedural Regulations, defect, irregularity, omission or other technicality unless such departure, defect, irregularity, omission or technicality raises a material doubt as to the reliability of the findings or decisions of these bodies or results in a miscarriage of justice.

20.1.13      Hearings by Judicial Tribunals shall, unless otherwise specified in the Regulations, ordinarily be heard in the country where the disciplinary proceedings originated or at a convenient venue nominated by World Rugby, Host Union or Tournament Organiser as appropriate. In appropriate circumstances technology may be employed to assist the process.

20.1.14      Hearings by Judicial Tribunals (save for private deliberations) may be recorded, in whole or in part, at the discretion of the Tribunal using  audio and/or audio-visual recording equipment or the services of a stenographer. The record of proceedings and all documents and other evidence/information associated with the proceedings shall be retained securely for a suitable period by World Rugby, Union or Tournament Organiser under whose jurisdiction the hearing took place and who shall promptly make the same available to World Rugby if it requires.

20.1.15      In respect of any matter not provided for in this Regulation 20, the Judicial Tribunal shall take a decision according to general principles of natural justice and fairness.

20.2           Appointment to the World Rugby Judicial and Disciplinary Panel

20.2.1        Individuals shall be nominated by Unions, Associations and World Rugby for appointment to the World Rugby Judicial and Disciplinary Panel (“the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel”). The Council shall consider all such nominees for appointment against the Appointment Criteria as set out in Appendix 1 and shall appoint a panel of individuals of such number as the Council shall think fit, each of whom shall be eligible to sit as a (i) Judicial Officer and/or Appeal Officer; or (ii) Member of a Judicial/Appeal Committee.

20.2.2        The Council shall appoint a chairman of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel (“Judicial Panel Chair”). The Judicial Panel Chair shall meet the Appointment Criteria applying to Appeal Officers as set out in Appendix 1. 

20.2.3        The Council shall appoint a Judicial and Disciplinary Panel Appointments Committee comprised of the Judicial Panel Chair, one representative nominated by the Six Nations Unions and one representative nominated by the SANZAAR Unions. 

20.2.4        Members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel shall be appointed for a period of up to four years, following which they shall, unless re-appointed by the Council, automatically cease to be a member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel. The Council may, at its discretion, remove any member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel where the member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel,

(i)      no longer meets the Appointment Criteria; or

(ii)     committed any serious or repeated breach of World Rugby’s Regulations Relating to the Game; or

(iii)    committed a criminal offence or acted in any manner that brought the Game and/or World Rugby into disrepute.

The decision of the Council in relation to the removal of any member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel shall be final and binding.

20.2.5        If a member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel is appointed to the Council, his or her membership of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel shall temporarily cease during the period of appointment as a Council member, following which they shall automatically be reappointed to the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel (subject to the four year appointment period referred to in Regulation 20.2.4 ).

20.2.6        The Judicial Panel Chair shall have the power, exercisable in his or her discretion, to co-opt from time to time additional persons with specialist skills and experience to sit on Judicial Tribunals to deal with cases that require such specialist skills and experience whether such persons are members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel or not.

20.3           The Appointment and Functions of Judicial Tribunals

20.3.1        The Judicial Panel Chair (or his or her designee) shall, in consultation with Judicial and Disciplinary Panel Appointments Committee appoint individual Judicial Tribunals from members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel to resolve, hear and adjudicate on the following:

(a)     alleged breach(es) of the Bye-Laws and/or the Regulations as set out in Regulation 19;

(b)     disputes arising under Regulation 4;

(c)     disciplinary matters arising out of Foul Play and/or Misconduct (Regulation 17 and Regulation 18) for all matches where the World Rugby Appointment Scheme applies; and

(d)     such other matters as the Council, Judicial Panel Chair or CEO may from          time to time refer to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee for adjudication.

20.3.2             When a Judicial or Disciplinary Committee is appointed to adjudicate on a case it shall, ordinarily, be made up of three members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel, one of whom shall be a Judicial Officer nominated to act as Chairman of the Committee. The Judicial Panel Chair shall, however, in any case, be entitled, at his or her discretion, to appoint a Judicial Committee of such number as he considers appropriate, up to a maximum of 5 and a minimum of 2.

20.3.3        Members of Judicial Tribunals shall not have any personal involvement with any case referred to them for adjudication or any connection with any of the parties involved in such matter. Where any uncertainty arises, the member in question shall refer the matter to the Judicial Panel Chair for consideration prior to accepting the appointment.

20.3.4        If a member of a Judicial Tribunal having been appointed to deal with a case is unable or unwilling to adjudicate then the member shall inform the Judicial Panel Chair (providing reasons) and the Judicial Panel Chair may; (1) appoint another member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel as a replacement; or (2) appoint a new Judicial Tribunal; or (3) allow the remaining Judicial Tribunal members to proceed and adjudicate on the case.

20.4           The Appointment and Functions of Appeal Committees

20.4.1        The Judicial Panel Chair (or his or her designee) shall, in consultation with Judicial and Disciplinary Panel Appointments Committee appoint individual Appeal Officers or Appeal Committees from members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel.

20.4.2        The functions of Appeal Officers or Appeal Committees shall be to hear and decide appeals from decisions made by Judicial Tribunals. The Judicial Panel Chair shall appoint Appeal Officers or Appeal Committees from members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel to hear such appeals.

20.4.3        When an Appeal Committee is appointed to adjudicate on a case it shall, ordinarily, be made up of three members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel, one of whom shall be nominated to act as Chair of the Appeal Committee. The Judicial Panel Chair shall be entitled, however, at his or her discretion to appoint Appeal Committees of such number as he or she considers appropriate, up to a maximum of 5 and a minimum of 2.

20.4.4        If a member of an Appeal Committee having been appointed to deal with a case, is unable or unwilling to adjudicate then the member shall inform the Judicial Panel Chair (providing reasons) and the Judicial Panel Chair the Judicial Panel Chair may: (1) appoint another member of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel as a replacement; or (2) appoint a new Appeal Committee; or (3) allow the remaining Appeal Committee members to proceed and adjudicate on the appeal.

20.5           The Appointment and Function of Citing Commissioners

20.5.1        Individuals shall be nominated by Unions, Associations and World Rugby for appointment to the World Rugby Citing Commissioner Panel (“the Citing Commissioner Panel”). The Council shall consider all such nominees for appointment against the Appointment Criteria as set out in Appendix 2 and shall appoint a panel of individuals of such number as the Council shall think fit, each of whom shall be eligible to act as a Citing Commissioner.

20.5.2        The Council shall appoint a Citing Commissioner Appointments Committee comprised of the independent Chair of the World Rugby Match Officials Appointments Committee, one representative nominated by the Six Nations Unions and one representative nominated by the SANZAAR Unions, and the World Rugby Citing Commissioner Manger. 

20.5.3        The independent Chair of the World Rugby Match Officials Appointments Committee (or his or her designee) shall, in consultation with the Citing Commissioner Appointments Committee, appoint individual Citing Commissioners from members of the Citing Commissioner Panel.   

20.5.4        The independent Chair of the World Rugby Match Officials Appointments Committee shall have the power, exercisable in his or her discretion, to co-opt from time to time additional persons with specialist skills and experience to act as Citing Commissioners whether such persons are members of the Citing Commissioner Panel or not.

20.5.5        The function of Citing Commissioners shall be to review foul play in all Matches falling under the World Rugby Appointment Scheme.

20.6           Judicial Tribunals - Power to Regulate their Own Procedures

20.6.1        The procedures of Judicial Tribunals in all proceedings shall be as the appointed Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer determines in each case. However, subject to the power to regulate its own procedures, it shall:

(a)     seek to conform generally with the procedures set out in the remainder of this Regulation 20; and

(b)     in the case of disciplinary proceedings pursuant to Regulation 17, seek to conform generally with the procedures set out therein; and

(c)     ensure that a Player and/or Person subject to disciplinary/judicial proceedings has a reasonable opportunity to be heard and be informed of the charge(s) and to present his or her case.

20.6.2        The Chair of the Judicial Tribunal shall be entitled to determine pre-hearing procedural and/or evidential matters. Such matters may include:

(a)     a pre-hearing conference convened for the purposes of giving directions for the hearing and clarification of the procedures; and

(b)     the requirement for any person to attend the hearing as a witness.

For the purposes of pre-hearing case management the Chair of the Judicial Tribunal may exercise this function without reference to the other Judicial Tribunal members.

20.6.3        The Judicial Tribunal shall endeavour to ensure that disciplinary/judicial proceedings are heard in the presence of the Union, Player and/or Person who is the subject of the proceedings. Nothing in the Regulations, or otherwise, shall prevent a Judicial Tribunal hearing and determining disciplinary/judicial proceedings in their absence where the Union, Player and/or Person concerned (and/or their representatives) do not attend the hearing. However hearings may only be held in the absence of any of the parties if those parties have first been given the opportunity to attend and have declined or not responded to the opportunity to attend without reasonable excuse or consented to a hearing in absentia. In such circumstances the Judicial Tribunal may take any written representations into account in making its decision.

20.6.4        If a member of a Judicial Tribunal is unwilling or unable, for whatever reason, to hear the matter referred to them then World Rugby, Host Union or Tournament Organiser may, at its discretion:

(a)     appoint another member to the Judicial Tribunal as a replacement;

(b)     appoint a new Judicial or Appeal Officer or appoint a new Judicial Tribunal;

(c)     allow the remaining members of the Judicial Tribunal to hear the matter; or

(d)     appoint a Judicial or Appeal Officer to take the place of the Judicial Tribunal.

20.6.5        Where a hearing is pending, the Judicial Tribunal may, prior to the hearing, require the following of the subject of the hearing:

(a)     the subject of the hearing shall supply the Judicial Tribunal with full particulars of the case that will be presented on their behalf at the hearing and any witnesses intended to be called by them;

(b)     provide it with copies of any documents or reports that may be relied on by the subject of the hearing at the hearing; and

(c)     comply with such directions as shall be considered appropriate by the Judicial Tribunal at, or prior to, the hearing.

20.7           Judicial/Disciplinary Committee and Judicial Officer - General Procedures

20.7.1        The general procedures relating to proceedings of Judicial Tribunals set out above shall apply. The Council may prescribe additional regulations for the conduct of Citing Commissioners and members of Judicial Tribunals and may from time to time vary, revoke or replace any such regulations in accordance with the procedures set out in the World Rugby Bye-Laws.

20.7.2        Any Union, Association, Player, Person and/or Connected Person who is required to attend a hearing to answer charges or allegations shall be entitled to be represented at the hearing including by a Union representative and/or by legal counsel.

Evidence

20.7.3        The Judicial Tribunal shall be entitled to receive such evidence and in such form as it thinks fit (including evidence in writing), notwithstanding the evidence may not be admissible in civil or criminal proceedings and shall be entitled to attach such weight to that evidence as it sees fit.

20.7.4        First-hand accounts from persons present at the hearing as to their observations of the incident in question are to be preferred. Hearsay evidence may be accepted. However, caution will be exercised before hearsay evidence is accepted in preference to first hand evidence and generally less weight is likely to be given to hearsay evidence. 

20.7.5        Judicial Tribunals should not permit the introduction of opinion evidence other than expert opinion evidence. Expert opinion evidence is only likely to be permitted when the evidence falls outside the everyday knowledge of members of the Judicial Tribunal.

20.7.6        Where a direction is given by a Judicial Tribunal it shall be the responsibility of the Union, Association, the Player, Person or witness concerned to ensure that it is complied with, notwithstanding any travel or other arrangements that may need to be made and/or altered. In any case where a direction given by the Judicial Tribunal is not complied with, the Judicial Tribunal may refuse to allow the evidence of the Union, Association, Player or Person or witness to be given in any other form.

20.7.7        The Judicial Tribunal may direct that the Union or Tournament Organiser be represented (for the avoidance of doubt, not necessarily by legal counsel). If so, the Union or Tournament Organiser shall appear by counsel and/or by any representative of the Union or Tournament Organiser at the hearing, in such capacity as the Judicial Tribunal requires, to provide assistance to the Judicial Tribunal in the discharge of its duties.

20.7.8        Offences and breaches of Regulations may be established by any reliable means, including admissions. The following rules of proof shall be applied by the Judicial Tribunal:

(a)     they shall have the discretion to accept any facts established by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction or professional disciplinary tribunal which is not the subject of a pending appeal as irrefutable evidence against the Player or Person to whom the decision relates of those facts; and

(b)     where the Player or Person is charged with an offence and/or breach and fails or refuses without reasonable justification to appear at a hearing (in person or by way of technology) of which they have been given reasonable notice, the Judicial Tribunal may draw an inference adverse to the Player or Person.

20.7.9        Unless it otherwise directs, the procedure of the Judicial Tribunal at a hearing will be as follows:

(a)     the Chair or Judicial Officer will explain the procedure to be followed;

(b)     for cases involving Misconduct or breaches of the Code of Conduct and/or Anti-Corruption and Betting Regulations:

(i)      the charges will be read; and

(ii)     the Player or Person will be asked to confirm if they admit that they have committed the act or acts of Misconduct or breaches of the Regulation(s) for which the Player or Person is charged;

(c)     for cases involving Ordering Off/citing, the procedures set out in Regulation 17 shall be followed;

(d)     evidence from the Player or Person if they elect to give evidence, and from any witnesses to be called will be heard; and

(e)     final submissions will be heard.

20.7.10      For cases involving citing complaints initiated by a Citing Commissioner, Misconduct or other breaches of the Regulations, the Judicial Tribunal may request that a person be available to present the case and set out the basis of the citing complaint, Misconduct or other charges.

20.7.11      The Player or Person subject to disciplinary/judicial proceedings may admit the offence at any time in which case the Judicial Tribunal should proceed immediately to hear submissions in relation to sanction.

20.7.12      Where disciplinary/judicial proceedings, however arising, are taken against more than one Player or Person as a result of incidents or arising from the same incident or series of incidents, such proceedings may be heard by a Judicial Tribunal at the same time, provided there is no prejudice to any person against whom the disciplinary proceedings are taken.

20.7.13      Upon the finding of a breach of the Bye-Laws and/or Regulations Judicial Tribunals shall be entitled to impose such sanctions and orders as they think fit which may include the penalties and orders set out in Regulation 19.4.

20.8           Appeal Committees and Appeal Officers – Power to regulate their own procedures

20.8.1        The Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer are entitled to receive and shall be provided with all available records of the proceedings before the Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer.

20.8.2        An Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall have the power to conduct and regulate the appeal proceedings as it sees fit having regard to the circumstances of the case but shall generally conform to the procedures stated in this Regulation 20. 

20.8.3        The Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall have the power to order that a de novo hearing in whole or in part be adopted on appeal. A de novo hearing in whole or in part would ordinarily only be appropriate where it is established that it is in the interests of justice that a re-hearing of the case in whole or in part is necessary. In the case of an appeal which proceeds in whole as a de novo hearing the procedure to be adopted, the burden of proof and all evidential and other matters shall proceed as if the hearing was a first instance hearing before a Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer.

20.8.4        Except where an appeal proceeds in whole or in part, and then only with respect to that part, as a de novo hearing and subject to clause 20.8.3 above, appeals and any question of fact arising on appeal will be heard and determined based on the record of the decision and the evidence received and considered by the Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer.

20.8.5        Except where an appeal proceeds in whole as a de novo hearing it is for the Appellant to establish that the decision being challenged on appeal:

(a)     was in error (either as to central factual findings or in law); or

(b)     in the interests of justice should be overturned; or

(c)     the sanction imposed was manifestly excessive or wrong in principle; and/or

(d)     the sanction imposed was unduly lenient.

20.8.6        Except where an appeal proceeds in whole or in part, and then only with respect to that part, as a de novo hearing, appeals shall be conducted on the basis that:

(a)     the evidential assessment or decision involving an exercise of discretion or judgment of or by a Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer shall not be overturned save in circumstances where the relevant findings made by the Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer are manifestly wrong; and/or

(b)     the evidential assessment or decision involving an exercise of discretion or judgment of or by a Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer shall not be overturned save in circumstances where the Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer applied wrong principles in the exercise of its/his discretion which has resulted in an erroneous decision being made; and/or

(c)     new or additional evidence not offered before the Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer shall only be considered by the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer where the party offering such evidence establishes that it was not, on reasonable enquiry, available at the time of the proceedings before the Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer.

20.8.7        Where the Appellant appeals against the sanction and/or cost order alone, the Appellant may request that the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer review the sanction without the need for a personal hearing. The Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer may also determine that a personal hearing is not required in relation to any appeal but if they so wish, the Appellant always has the right to appear and make representations in all cases in person or by way of technology or alternatively they may make representations in writing.

20.8.8        The Chair of the Appeal Committee and the Appeal Officer shall be entitled to determine pre-hearing procedural and/or evidential matters. Such matters may include:

(a)     a pre-hearing conference convened for the purposes of giving directions for the hearing and clarification of the procedures; and/or

(b)     the requirement for any person to attend the hearing as a witness.

For the purposes of pre-hearing case management, the Chair of the Appeal Committee may exercise this function without reference to the other Appeal Committee members.

20.8.9        The Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall set a time, date and place for the hearing of the appeal which shall be notified by World Rugby, the Host Union or Tournament Organiser to the Appellant(s) who has lodged the appeal.

20.8.10      Where a Player is suspended, provisionally suspended or had other sanctions imposed, such suspension and/or sanction shall remain in place pending the outcome of an Appeal.

20.8.11      If a Member of the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer is unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to hear the appeal, then World Rugby, Host Union or Tournament Organiser through an independent process may, at its absolute discretion:

(a)     appoint a replacement; or

(b)     appoint a new Appeal Committee or new Appeal Officer; or

(c)     allow the remaining members of the Appeal Committee to hear the appeal.

20.8.12      Appeal Committees and Appeal Officers shall:

(a)     have the power to direct that World Rugby, Union or Tournament Organiser be represented. If so, World Rugby, Union or Tournament Organiser shall be represented by a designated disciplinary officer (or his or her nominee) and may appear by counsel at the hearing of the appeal in such capacity as the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer requires, to assist them in the discharge of their duties;

(b)     may permit such other persons to be present at the hearing of the appeal as they see fit;

(c)     in any case where a witness has been required to attend and refuses and/or fails to attend the hearing, the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer may decide whether or not to allow the evidence of that witness to be given in any other form;

(d)     be entitled to determine whether witnesses that give evidence are entitled to remain within the room in which the appeal is being heard after their evidence has been given; and

(e)     subject to clauses 20.7.3 to 20.7.5 be entitled to receive evidence in such form as it/they think fit (including evidence in writing), including evidence which may not be admissible in a court or tribunal and should be entitled to attach such weight to that evidence as they see fit.

20.8.13      Save where the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer decides to hear the entire case de novo, the Appellant shall have the burden of proving that the decision being challenged should be overturned or varied.

20.8.14      The Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall have the powers ascribed to them in Regulation 19.6 including the power to deal with sanctions and costs as set out therein.

20.8.15      The decision of the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall be advised to the parties as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the hearing and shall be final and binding on notification to the Union, Association, Player and/or Person. Where they consider it appropriate, the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer may deliver a short oral decision at the conclusion of the hearing (with their reasons to be put in writing and communicated to the parties at a later date) or they may reserve their decision.

20.8.16      Relevant parties heard by the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall be entitled to a copy of the Appeal Committee's or Appeal Officer’s written decision which shall be provided by the Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer as soon as practicable after it is available.

20.9           Procedures Relating to Disputes over Player Status, Player Contracts and Player Movement[1]

20.9.1        Disputes arising out of those matters referred to in Regulation 4 may be referred, by Unions or Associations only, to the CEO. To be valid, such referral must be made in writing and should be received by the CEO not later than 28 days following the complainant Union or Association having knowledge of the said conduct. As a minimum, the referral should contain the following information:

(a)     Details of the complainants;

(b)     Details of the respondents;

(c)     Full details of the background to the dispute including any documentary evidence;

(d)     Details of any other party relevant to the dispute.

20.9.2        Upon receipt of any such referral, the CEO (or the CEO’s nominee) shall send the referral to the respondents who shall respond within 14 days (of receiving the referral) with the following information:

(a)     Initial response to the dispute;

(b)     The provision of any representations and/or documentary evidence;

(c)     Details of any other party relevant to the dispute;

(d)     Any other relevant information pertaining to the dispute.

20.9.3        Upon receipt of all information provided for in 20.9.1 and 20.9.2, the CEO (or the CEO’s nominee)  shall initiate an enquiry into the matter which will include, as a minimum, referring the parties to mediation for the purposes of resolving the matter. The appointment of the mediator shall be agreed between the parties and World Rugby and any cost shall be borne by the parties. The parties may conclude a binding outcome through the mediation process in which case the matter shall be deemed settled on a final and binding basis.

20.9.4        If the matter is not resolved through mediation, the parties shall inform World Rugby and World Rugby shall refer the matter via the Judicial Panel Chair, or his or her designee, to a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee for adjudication.

20.9.5        The Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee appointed shall, subject to the provisions of this Regulation 20, have the discretion to determine the procedures to be adopted prior to and at any hearing in connection with such a dispute. The Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall have the power to order that any other party relevant to the dispute be joined to the proceedings before the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee.

20.9.6        The decision of the Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee shall be binding on the Union, Association, Person, Club or other Rugby bodies who are parties to the dispute upon notification of the Judicial Officer’s or Judicial Committee’s decision. 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.

20.9.7        An appeal against the decision of a Judicial Officer or Judicial Committee in relation to the issues referred to in 20.9.1 above may be lodged with the Judicial Panel Chair in accordance with Regulation 19.5. The Judicial Panel Chair shall refer the matter to an Appeal Officer or Committee for final and binding adjudication. The decision of the Appeal Officer or Committee will, subject to any requested redactions from the parties to the proceedings (and approval by the Appeal Officer or Committee), be published by World Rugby.

20.10         Variation and Correction of Decisions

20.10.1      Subject to the following provisions of Regulation 20.10, a finding, ruling, determination, sanction imposed, or other order (“Decision”) made by a Judicial Officer/Committee, Disciplinary Committee, Appeal Officer/Committee may be varied or rescinded by such Judicial Tribunal within the period of 28 days from the time of notification of the written decision.

20.10.2      A Judicial Tribunal may at any time, on the application of a party to the relevant proceedings or otherwise, correct an accidental slip, error or omission in a Decision.

20.10.3      The power conferred by Regulations 20.10.1 and 20.10.2 may not be exercised in relation to any Decision if an appeal, or an application for leave to appeal, against that decision has been determined.

20.10.4      A Decision shall not be varied or rescinded under this Regulation 20.10 except by the Judicial Tribunal constituted as it was when the Decision was issued.

20.10.5      Where a Decision is varied under this Regulation 20.10 the sanction or other order, as so varied, shall take effect from the date on which it was originally imposed, unless the Judicial Tribunal otherwise directs.

20.11         Other Procedures relating to proceedings of Judicial Officers, Judicial Committees, Disciplinary Committees, Appeal Officers and Appeal Committees

20.11.1      In respect of any matter not provided for in this Regulation 20 the relevant Judicial Tribunal shall take a decision according to general principles of justice and fairness.

20.12  Mediation

20.12.1      In the event of a dispute between Unions and/or Associations, the Unions and/or Associations concerned may request the CEO to appoint a mediator to assist in settling the differences between the parties. The costs of such mediation shall be borne by the Unions and/or Associations making the request,

20.12.2      Save for as set out in Regulation 20.9.3, only where the CEO and all the parties who are involved in a dispute consent in writing may a matter be referred to a mediator for consideration in accordance with Clause 20.12.1 above.

[1]  Disputes arising out of Regulation 4 will, preferably, be adjudicated on by members of the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel who are experienced in player issues including, but not limited to, training and development, and may include eminent ex-players.

Appendix One: World Rugby Judicial and Disciplinary Panel Appointment Criteria

Below are the criteria determined by the World Rugby Council against which Judicial and Disciplinary Panel members nominated by Unions and Associations will be considered. No person who is an office holder or employee[1] of a Union shall be eligible for appointment to the Judicial and Disciplinary Panel.

Criteria for Chairs of World Rugby Disciplinary Committees / Judicial Officers

Key Experience

  1. Chairs of World Rugby Disciplinary Committees / Judicial Officers shall:
    1. be senior legal practitioners of at least seven years standing or serving or retired judges independent of Unions/Associations; and
    2. have demonstrable, proven and recent (i.e. within the last 2 years) judicial experience at adult men’s/women’s international (e.g. Six Nations, Rugby Championship, Regional Competitions) and/or professional club level (e.g. Super Rugby, EPCR, Premiership, Top 14, Pro14, NPC, Currie Cup or equivalent); and
    3. have either: (i) attended and successfully completed in the past 24 months a World Rugby judicial training workshop; or (ii) be scheduled to attend a World Rugby judicial training workshop in the next 12 months (and attend and pass); or (iii) have successfully operated at Tier 1 v Tier 1 and/or in a World Rugby tournament, during the past 2 years; and
    4. have an in-depth recent knowledge of the Laws and skills of the Game and the relevant World Rugby

Key Skills

  1. Chairs of World Rugby Disciplinary Committees / Judicial Officers shall possess the following key skills:
    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  
  2. Further, they shall have and demonstrate the ability to:
    1. Chair meetings and hearings.
    2. Work collaboratively and as part of a team with others.
    3. Reach collegiate decisions.
    4. Inspire respect and confidence.
    5. Maintain authority when challenged.
    6. Work at speed and under pressure.
    7. Organise time efficiently and produce clear reasoned decisions expeditiously.
    8. Engage in training and feedback to retain up-to-date knowledge of the game and foul play issues.
    9. Engage positively with all judicial colleagues and World Rugby employees and volunteers.
  3. Further, international hearings and communications with players, their representatives, Unions and fellow panel members are ordinarily conducted through the English language. In addition, any appeals require a record of the proceedings in English for the Appeal Committee’s consideration. Therefore, Chairs of Disciplinary Committees / Judicial Officers must be able to conduct proceedings in the English language and draft written decisions in the English language. A fluency in another/other World Rugby language/s would be an
  4. Nominees must have the capacity and ability to commit to potential hearing ‘slots’, with sufficient scope for necessary flexibility.
  5. All appointees must engage in the review and feedback of their decisions with the Judicial Panel Chair via the Judicial

Criteria for Chairs of World Rugby Appeal Committees / Appeal Officers

Key Experience

  1. Chairs of World Rugby Appeal Committees / Appeal Officers shall:
    1. be senior legal practitioners of at least ten years standing or serving or retired judges independent of Unions/Associations;
    2. have demonstrable, proven and recent experience (i.e. within the last 2 years) over a period not less than 3 years in first instance and/or appeal of rugby disciplinary proceedings (i.e. as a judicial officer or chair of disciplinary committees and/or appeal officer or chair of appeal committees) at adult men’s/women’s international level (e.g. Six Nations, Rugby Championship, Regional Competitions); and
    3. have an in-depth recent knowledge of the Laws and skills of the Game and the relevant World Rugby Regulations.

Key Skills

  1. Chairs of World Rugby Appeal Committees / Appeal Officers shall possess the following key skills:
    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  
  2. Further they shall have and demonstrate the ability to:
    1. Chair meetings and hearings.
    2. Work collaboratively and as part of a team with others.
    3. Reach collegiate decisions.
    4. Inspire respect and confidence.
    5. Maintain authority when challenged.
    6. Work at speed and under pressure.
    7. Organise time efficiently and produce clear reasoned decisions expeditiously.
    8. Engage in training and feedback to retain up-to-date knowledge of the game and foul play issues.
    9. Engage positively with all judicial colleagues and World Rugby employees and volunteers.
  3. Further, international appeals and communications with Players, their representatives, Unions and fellow Appeal Committee members are ordinarily conducted through the English language. Therefore, Chairs of Appeal Committees / Appeal Officers must be able to conduct proceedings in the English language. Fluency in another/other World Rugby language/s would be an
  4. Nominees must have the capacity and ability to commit to potential hearing ‘slots’, with sufficient scope for necessary flexibility.
  5. All appointees must engage in the review and feedback of their decisions with the Judicial Panel Chair via the Judicial

Criteria for Disciplinary/Appeal Committee Members (ex-players/coaches/ referees)

Key experience

  1. Committee Members shall:
    1. have experience in the modern/professional game (playing, coaching or refereeing) ordinarily within the last 10 years.
    2. be independent of Unions and not involved or intending to become involved in the international/professional game (for example, in an elite coaching/assistant coaching or referee manager/assessor capacity) through until at least Rugby World Cup 2023 to ensure their independence from players who may appear in cases before them throughout the relevant period.
    3. have an in-depth recent knowledge of the Laws and skills of the Game.

Previous experience sitting on hearing panels may be helpful but is not essential.

Key Skills

  1. Committee members shall possess the following key skills:
    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  
  2. Further they shall have and demonstrate the ability to:
    1. Participate in meetings and hearings.
    2. Work collaboratively and as part of a team with others.
    3. Reach collegiate decisions.
    4. Inspire respect and confidence.
    5. Maintain authority when challenged.
    6. Work at speed and under pressure.
    7. Organise time efficiently and contribute to the review of written decisions expeditiously.
    8. Engage in training and feedback to retain up-to-date knowledge of the game and foul play issues.
    9. Engage positively with all judicial colleagues and World Rugby employees and volunteers.
  3. Further, International hearings and communications with players, their representatives, Unions and fellow panel members are ordinarily conducted through the English language. In addition, any appeals require a record of the proceedings in English for the Appeal Committee’s consideration. Therefore, Committee members must be able to read documents (e.g. citing/referee forms/statements and judicial decisions) and participate in proceedings in the English language. A fluency in another/other World Rugby language/s would be an

Time commitment

  1. It is important that former players, coaches and referees considering nomination are made aware of the time commitments required. Committee members will need to be available for potential judicial appointments during international tournaments / tour windows in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Nominees should be made aware that although appointments will be made in advance of each tour/tournament by the Judicial Panel Chair (based on factors including merit, neutrality and logistics), hearings themselves are ordinarily scheduled at short notice so nominees will need to be readily available by telephone/email and have reasonable flexibility with their work/other commitments. Nominees must have the capacity and ability to commit to potential hearing ‘slots’, with sufficient scope for necessary flexibility. Hearings may be conducted in person but often Committee members join remotely using video conference technology. The arrangements in place for a particular tour/tournament will be advised in advance of any potential
  2. Committee members must engage in the review and feedback of their decisions with the Judicial Panel Chair via the Judicial

Disciplinary matters

Judicial and Disciplinary Committee members are required to notify the Judicial Panel Chair immediately in the event that they have been or are the subject of an investigation and/or disciplinary process and/or sanction by a professional or industry body, government or other authority, Club, Rugby Body, Union or Association. In such case the Judicial Panel Chair shall refer the matter to the World Rugby Council.

[1] Note: For the avoidance of doubt, receipt of fees for disciplinary services and/or reimbursement of expenses related exclusively to the provision of such services does not constitute “employment” for the purposes of these Regulations