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New Appeals Structure Approved

Turf Club and I.N.H.S. Committee Members Approve introduction of New Appeals Structure

At the General Meeting of the Turf Club and I.N.H.S. Members held today at the Curragh, Members approved the introduction of the new Appeal Structure with effect from 1st February 2006.

The new structure provides for the setting up of an independent Appeals Body to conduct and determine appeals from Acting Stewards, the Referrals Committee and the Licensing Committee.  Members of the body will consist of a chairman and deputy chairman, each of whom shall be a retired judge or a retired or practicing solicitor or barrister of at least 15 years experience (and neither of whom shall be or ever have been a member of either the Turf Club or I.N.H.S. Committee), two vice-chairmen and six ordinary members who shall be Members of the Turf Club and I.N.H.S. Committee, but not currently serving as Stewards.

The Appeals Body shall sit in two divisions each composed of three members.  The first division will be presided over by the chairman or deputy chairman and the second division will be presided over by one of the vice-chairmen.  Two ordinary members shall always sit on each division when it is hearing an appeal.

A person making an appeal to the Appeals Body shall be entitled to express a view as to which division should hear the appeal.  The chairman or deputy chairman shall have complete discretion to decide which division should hear an appeal but, in exercising such discretion, they will take into account the consequences for the appellant regarding any penalty or penalties that might be imposed on the hearing of the appeal.

The New Appeals Body will come into being on 1st February 2006 and transitional rules were approved to cover appeals and referrals in the system which have not been heard prior to that date.  A further announcement will be made in advance of the commencement date to name the persons appointed to the Body, including the chairman, deputy chairman and vice-chairmen.  The setting up of the New Appeals Body will also coincide with the opening up of appeals to the press.  From 1st February 2006, members of the press will be able to attend appeals where most of the evidence is on video.

Welcoming the approval of rules to pave the way for the introduction of the New Appeals Structure, the Senior Steward, Pierce Molony, said that “the setting up of the New Appeals Structure and the opening up of appeal hearings to the press further enhances the transparency of the appeals procedure.”

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