The Badminton World Federation has established an External Judicial Experts Group to hear all doping and ethics-related cases from 1 June this year.
It is a major step forward in bringing external expertise into its judicial procedures for handling ethics-related cases. External expertise has been used since 2009 to judge doping cases, however, following a review of the judicial procedures, both doping and ethics-related cases will now be heard by external experts.
Members of this body, comprising lawyers, scientists and medical practitioners, have been appointed by Council to ensure independent expertise across specific fields as well as geographical representation. Those confirmed to date are Kevin Carpenter (Britain), Professor Toni Graff-Bauman (Germany), Sylvia Schenk (Germany), Dr. P. S. M. Chandran (India), Rune Bård Hansen (Norway) and Annabel Pennefather (Singapore) (profiles). Three more appointments will be made shortly.
As chairman. Rune Bård Hansen, a judge of the Court of Appeals in Norway and a member of various BWF Doping Hearing Panels since 2010, will select individuals from this group to serve on either a doping hearing panel or an ethics hearing panel as cases arise.
This key development is the result of amendments to the BWF Constitution approved by the membership in May and the revised Judicial Procedures which came into effect from 1 June, 2017. This follows significant amendments to the BWF Code of Ethics and the related Codes of Conduct approved by Council at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur in March.
“The BWF has determined that, as an international federation, we should have the greatest possible independence in the judgment of cases relating to the integrity of our sport and the people running our sport, should a case need to be brought against any badminton-related personnel,” said BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.
“Previously, only our Doping Hearing Panel was made up of external expertise. We had an internal Disciplinary Committee which dealt with general disciplinary cases in badminton as well as ethics-related cases. Now, both doping and ethics related cases will be handled by panels formed from our newly-constituted External Judicial Experts Group.”
Under its enhanced regulations, badminton’s world-governing organisation has also created the position of Referral Officer whose role is to assess whether there are sufficient grounds to bring a case in either doping or ethics related cases. This role will be undertaken by an independent legal expert.
Various other regulations and rules pertaining to judicial matters have been strengthened to ensure fair, transparent, systematic and consistent application of principles and procedures covering reporting, investigations, referral, respondent rights, hearings and appeals.
By 1 January 2018, the BWF will have a new electronic version of the BWF Handbook integrating all governance, ethics and judicial rules as well as the sport’s regulations.