- The following terms have these meanings in this Policy:
- “Affected Party” – Any individual or entity, as determined by the Case Manager, who may be affected by a decision rendered under this Policy and who may have recourse to an appeal in their own right under this Policy
- “Appellant” – The Party appealing a decision
- “Case Manager” – An individual appointed by the Organization who may be any staff member, committee member, volunteer, Director, or an independent third party, to oversee this Appeal Policy. The Case Manager will have responsibilities that include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring procedural fairness;
- Respecting the applicable timelines; and
- Using decision making authority empowered by this Policy
- “Days” – Days including weekends and holidays
- “Individuals” – All categories of membership defined in the Ringette Canada Bylaws, as well as all individuals employed by, or engaged in activities with, Ringette Canada including, but not limited to, athletes, coaches, convenors, referees, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, committee members, directors and officers of Ringette Canada
- “Parties” – The Appellant, Respondent, Affected Party and any other Individuals or persons affected by the appeal
- “Respondent” – The body whose decision is being appealed
- Ringette Canada is committed to providing an environment in which all Individuals involved with Ringette Canada are treated with respect. Ringette Canada provides Individuals with this Appeal Policy to enable fair, affordable, and expedient appeals of certain decisions made by Ringette Canada. Further, some decisions made by the process outlined in Ringette Canada’s Discipline and Complaints Policy may be appealed under this Policy.
Scope and Application of this Policy
- This Policy applies to all Individuals. Any Individual who is directly affected by a Ringette Canada decision shall have the right to appeal that decision; provided there are sufficient grounds for the appeal under the ‘Grounds for Appeal’ section of this Policy.
- This Policy will apply to decisions relating to:
- Conflict of Interest
- This Policy will not apply to decisions relating to:
- Infractions for doping offenses
- The rules of ringette
- Decisions rendered at any Ringette Canada Competition, as defined in the Ringette Canada Competitions Policy
- Selection criteria, quotas, policies, and procedures established by entities other than Ringette Canada
- Substance, content and establishment of team selection criteria
- Volunteer/coach appointments and the withdrawal or termination of those appointments
- Budgeting and budget implementation
- Ringette Canada’s operational structure and committee or workgroup appointments
- Decisions or discipline arising within the business, activities, or events organized by entities other than Ringette Canada (appeals of these decisions shall be dealt with pursuant to the policies of those other entities unless requested and accepted by Ringette Canada at its sole discretion)
- Commercial matters for which another appeals process exists under a contract or applicable law
- Decisions made under this Policy
Timing of Appeal
- Individuals who wish to appeal a decision have seven (7) days from the date on which they received notice of the decision to submit, in writing to Ringette Canada’s office, the following:
- Notice of the intention to appeal
- Contact information and status of the appellant
- Name of the respondent and any affected parties
- Date the appellant was advised of the decision being appealed
- A copy of the decision being appealed, or description of decision if written document is not available
- Grounds for the appeal
- Detailed reasons for the appeal
- All evidence that supports these grounds
- Requested remedy or remedies
- An administration fee of one thousand dollars ($1000), which will be refunded if the appeal is successful.
- Upon receipt of an appeal in accordance with Section 6, Ringette Canada will appoint a Case Manager.
- An Individual who wishes to initiate an appeal beyond the seven (7) day period must provide a written request stating the reasons for an exemption. The decision to allow, or not allow, an appeal outside of the seven (7) day period will be at the sole discretion of the Case Manager and may not be appealed.
Grounds for Appeal
- A decision cannot be appealed on its merits alone. An appeal will only be heard if there are sufficient grounds for appeal. Sufficient grounds will only include the Respondent:
- Made a decision that it did not have authority or jurisdiction (as set out in the Respondent’s governing documents)
- Failed to follow its own procedures (as set out in the Respondent’s governing documents)
- Made a decision that was influenced by bias (where bias is defined as a lack of neutrality to such an extent that the decision-maker is unable to consider other views)
- Made a decision that was grossly unreasonable
- The Appellant bears the onus of proof and must demonstrate, on a balance of probabilities, that the Respondent has made a procedural error as described in the ‘Grounds for Appeal’ section of this Policy and that this error had, or may reasonably have had, a material effect on the decision or decision-maker.
- Upon receiving the notice of the appeal, the fee, and all other information (outlined in the ‘Timing of Appeal’ section of this Policy), the Case Manager may, at their sole discretion, direct the appeal to be heard first under Ringette Canada’s Dispute Resolution Policy.
- Appeals resolved by mediation under Ringette Canada’s Dispute Resolution Policy will cause the administration fee to be refunded to the Appellant.
Screening of Appeal
- Should the appeal not be resolved by using the Dispute Resolution Policy, the Case Manager has the following responsibilities:
- Determine if the appeal falls under the scope of this Policy
- Determine if the appeal was submitted in a timely manner
- Decide whether there are sufficient grounds for the appeal
- If the appeal is denied on the basis of insufficient ground, because it was not submitted in a timely manner, or because it did not fall under the scope of this Policy, the Appellant will be notified, in writing, of the reasons for this decision. This decision may not be appealed.
- If the Case Manager is satisfied there are sufficient grounds for an appeal, the Case Manager will appoint an Appeals Panel which shall consist of a single Arbitrator, to hear the appeal. In extraordinary circumstances, and at the discretion of the Case Manager, a Panel of three persons may be appointed to hear the appeal. In this event, the Case Manager will appoint one of the Panel’s members to serve as the Chair.
Determination of Affected Parties
- In order to ensure the identification of any Affected Parties, the Case Manager will engage with Ringette Canada. The Case Manager will determine whether a party is an Affected Party at his or her sole discretion.
Procedure for Appeal Hearing
- The Case Manager shall notify the Parties that the appeal will be heard. The Case Manager shall then decide the format under which the appeal will be heard. This decision is at the sole discretion of the Case Manager and may not be appealed.
- If a Party chooses not to participate in the hearing, the hearing will proceed in any event.
- The format of the hearing may involve an oral in-person hearing, an oral hearing by telephone, a hearing based on a review of documentary evidence submitted in advance of the hearing, or a combination of these methods. The hearing will be governed by the procedures that the Case Manager and the Panel deem appropriate in the circumstances, provided that:
- The hearing will be held within the appropriate timeline determined by the Case Manager
- The Parties will be given reasonable notice of the day, time and place of the hearing
- Copies of any written documents which the parties wish to have the Panel consider will be provided to all Parties in advance of the hearing
- The Parties may be accompanied by a representative, advisor, or legal counsel at their own expense
- The Panel may request that any other individual participate and give evidence at the hearing
- The Panel may allow as evidence at the hearing any oral evidence and document or thing relevant to the subject matter of the appeal, but may exclude such evidence that is unduly repetitious and shall place such weight on the evidence as it deems appropriate
- If a decision in the appeal may affect another party to the extent that the other party would have recourse to an appeal in their own right under this Policy, that party will become a party to the appeal in question and will be bound by its outcome
- The decision to uphold or reject the appeal will be by a majority vote of Panel members
- In fulfilling its duties, the Panel may obtain independent advice.
- The Panel shall issue its decision, in writing and with reasons, after the hearing’s conclusion. In making its decision, the Panel will have no greater authority than that of the original decision-maker. The Panel may decide to:
- Reject the appeal and confirm the decision being appealed;
- Uphold the appeal and refer the matter back to the initial decision-maker for a new decision; or
- Uphold the appeal and vary the decision.
- The Panel may also determine whether costs of the appeal, excluding legal fees and legal disbursements of any Parties, will be assessed against any Party. In assessing costs, the Panel will take into account the outcome of the appeal, the conduct of the Parties, and the Parties’ respective financial resources
- The Panel’s written decision, with reasons, will be distributed to all Parties, the Case Manager, and Ringette Canada. In extraordinary circumstances, the Panel may first issue a verbal or summary decision soon after the hearing’s conclusion, with the full written decision to be issued thereafter. The decision will be considered a matter of public record unless decided otherwise by the Panel.
- The appeals process is confidential and involves only the Parties, the Case Manager, the Panel, and any independent advisors to the Panel. Once initiated and until a decision is released, none of the Parties will disclose confidential information to any person not involved in the proceedings.
Final and Binding
- The decision of the Panel will be binding on the Parties and on all Ringette Canada Individuals; subject to the right of any Party to seek a review of the Panel’s decision pursuant to the rules of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC).
- No action or legal proceeding will be commenced against Ringette Canada or Individuals in respect of a dispute, unless Ringette Canada has refused or failed to provide or abide by the dispute resolution process and/or appeal process as set out in Ringette Canada’s governing documents.
This Policy is subject to review at least once every three years
Date of last review: September 2019
The publication of Ringette Canada policies will be in the English and French languages. In the case of conflicting interpretations, the English version will prevail.