Forum: Protest Hearing Procedures

Authority in the RRS for PC’s to separate or combine protests

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
I was recently reviewing the RRS and I could not locate anything in there which specifically grants the PC authority to separate and/or combine protests because a single protest describes more than one incident, or that multiple protests pertain to the same incident.

Is the authority simply derived and based upon the consistent use of the singular reference to the word “incident” (“the incident”, “an incident”)?

 In the US, we have US65

The IJM has one short section on it K5 (below), but that is not a Rule. 

Am I missing an RRS or a Case?


K.5 Hearing More Than One Protest Concurrently
When there is a protest and a counter-protest, or when several protests appear to
relate to the same incident, they should be heard together in a single hearing. If
the protest committee has doubts about whether two protests are about the same
incident, it is preferable to assume that they are and start the hearing with all the
parties from both protests.

Multiple requests for redress about a single complaint are best addressed at a
single hearing. When considering the validity of protests concerning one incident,
each should be addressed in the order in which they were delivered. The protest
committee should decide whether each is valid and give the reasons for refusing
those that are not valid. Provided that at least one is valid, the hearing must
proceed.

When there are multiple counter protests, the competitor who delivered the first
valid protest would be the protestor, if his protest is valid. The protestor gives
evidence first and the protestee gives evidence, and summing up, last.

Created: 19-Oct-11 14:49

Comments

Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
See World Sailing Case 49
When two protests arise from the same incident, or from very closely connected incidents, they should be heard together in the presence of representatives of all the boats involved.
Created: 19-Oct-11 15:21
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Thanks Mark. Wording is pretty soft using “should” though. 

Seems we have clear procedural direction in 61.1(c) (below) of what to do if a boat is protested under 60.3(a)(2).  That protest power depends upon information from a valid protest and involvement of the boat in “the incident”. 

The 60.3(a)(2) protest power is significant as it’s one of the few ways that boat can be protested when not protested on the water and that power hinges on determination of what constitutes “an incident”. Seems there is room for the process and procedure for that determination to be better defined, like it is in 61.1(c) and as it is in determining validity. 

61.1(c) If the protest committee decides to protest a boat under rule 60.3(a)(2), it shall inform her as soon as reasonably possible, close the current hearing, proceed as required by rules 61.2 and 63, and hear the original and the new protests together.
Created: 19-Oct-11 15:56
Rob Overton
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Umpire
0
Angelo's right, of course.  There's no rule that permits combining hearings for different protests over the same incident.  On the other hand, there's no rule that prohibits it, either.  Should there be a statement in the RRS that protest committees may combine hearings under the conditions in Case 49?  It's too late to make changes in the 2021-2024 RRS, but if anybody has a suggestion for a rule, or for more words in a current rule, please let me know at rules@ussailing.org.

There's one other issue about combining hearings.  It's clear from rules 60.3(a)(2) and 64.1 that if, during  a hearing of a protest, the protest committee decides that another boat, not a party to the hearing, may have broken a rule, they may protest that boat, and the new protest requires a new hearing (which is combined with the original hearing and started over, from scratch).  My question is this:  Suppose, in a protest hearing, the protest committee decides a party to the hearing broke a rule, damage resulted, and the damage may have been significant.  Can the PC roll directly into considering redress for the damaged boat?  I think the answer is "no" but I'm not sure. If US Prescription to rule 63.2 applies, there definitely has to be a new hearing, and the protest committee must advertise that hearing; but what if that prescription does not apply?  The danger of simply granting redress is that the rest of the fleet was never informed of a redress hearing, and if boats oppose such redress their evidence will never be heard.  They can themselves then file for redress, but they must argue that the PC action was 'improper', and I'm not sure it was.
Created: 19-Oct-11 17:05
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Rob, I’d only add that the power cuts both ways, separating or combining, on which result hinges the 60.3 power to protest. 

If not changes in the rules, maybe a more formal process, like determining validity, could be warranted or useful.  
Created: 19-Oct-11 17:25
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Rob,

I think your'e on the wrong track.

The RRS are an 'open' rules set:  that which is not forbidden is permitted.

Generally, protest committees (or any committees for that matter) are in charge of their own procedures, except where the rules mandate otherwise ('shall' or 'shall not').

As to redress I was once advised by Jim Capron that if a protest committee contemplates giving redress as a result of a protest hearing, it is wise to hold a separate hearing to consider giving redress, or at least to record conclusions and decide the protest before considering redress.

If the US Sailing Prescription to rule 63.2 applies then that mandates that the protest committee gives notification to all boats of the time and place of the hearing, so I guess that means a separate hearing.

US Sailing prescribes that when redress has been requested or is to be considered for one or more boats:
  1. Any other boat may participate in the hearing.
  2. The protest committee shall make a reasonable attempt to notify all boats of the time and place of the hearing and the reason for the request or for considering redress, and boats shall be allowed reasonable time to prepare for the hearing.
  3. The protest committee shall request redress for the other boats that participate in the hearing or request in writing to do so, making them parties to the hearing. It need not state a reason for such a request; this changes rule 62.2.

Of course, if it looked really simple, the protest committee might make an error and consider redress without notification to all boats, then if there is any disquiet, quickly give notice and hold an all-in redress hearing, then reopening the original hearing if necessary.

Speaking of rules about protest committee procedures, the US Sailing prescription 3 states The protest committee shall request redress ... .

The powers of a protest committee to initiate protests and redress are stated in rule 60.3

Rule 60.3b provides that a protest committee may call a hearing to consider redress, but does NOT empower a protest committee to 'request redress'.

Created: 19-Oct-11 21:17
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Suppose, in a protest hearing, the protest committee decides a party to the hearing broke a rule, damage resulted, and the damage may have been significant.  Can the PC roll directly into considering redress for the damaged boat?  I think the answer is "no" but I'm not sure.  If US Prescription to rule 63.2 applies, there definitely has to be a new hearing, and the protest committee must advertise that hearing; but what if that prescription does not apply?

Given your question is “can” they, I would say “no” when USP 63.2 applies and “yes” when it does not. 

The danger of simply granting redress is that the rest of the fleet was never informed of a redress hearing, and if boats oppose such redress their evidence will never be heard.  They can themselves then file for redress, but they must argue that the PC action was 'improper', and I'm not sure it was.

I think you are 100% correct.   That USP is the one that I see most frequently excluded from events, specifically the NOOD’s I believe turn that off in their standard SI’s.  

How about reopening?  RRS 66 first sentence does not seem to limit where/how  “new evidence become available”.  What if a competitor, not a party to the original hearing, convinces the P.C. that they have evidence that was not avail, couldn't the P.C. decide to reopen the hearing within the rules?

RRS 66; The protest committee may reopen a hearing when it decides that it may have made a significant error, or when significant new evidence becomes available within a reasonable time.
Created: 19-Oct-11 21:27
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Consider the last sentence of rule 64.2

When in doubt about the facts or probable results of any arrangement for the race or series, especially before abandoning the race, the protest committee shall take evidence from appropriate sources.

So unless a protest committee was in NO doubt about facts or probably results, then I think making a decision about redress without other boats affected would certainly be an improper action.

Problem with reopening a protest hearing that gave redress is that the only parties to the reopened hearing are the original parties to the protest, so other boats affected can't have a representative hearing all the evidence and asking questions.






Created: 19-Oct-11 21:41
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Problem with reopening a protest hearing that gave redress is that the only parties to the reopened hearing are the original parties to the protest, so other boats affected can't have a representative hearing all the evidence and asking questions.

Yes, but they could be called to give their evidence under 63.3's "other evidence it considers necessary".  They could not ask questions, but the original parties and the PC could ask them questions and then the PC can reconsider their original redress arrangement.

PS .. it's not a perfect solution, but it does give the other boat(s) an opportunity to give evidence after the fact, if the PC believes it rises to new and significant standard.
Created: 19-Oct-11 22:10
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Ok, I could use some help with understanding what the last sentence of 64.2 is trying to say. 

Consider the last sentence of rule 64.2

When in doubt about the facts or probable results of any arrangement for the race or series, especially before abandoning the race, the protest committee shall take evidence from appropriate sources.

How can a PC be “in doubt about the ... probable results of an arrangement...”?

Is this simply saying that it’s incumbent upon the P.C. to take the current results and standings, apply the accommodation to that data and fully realize what the end result will “probably” look like before finalizing the accommodation?  Or is it making a different point?
Created: 19-Oct-12 13:05
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Recall that the first sentence of rule 64.2 requires the protest committee, in deciding what redress to give

... shall make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress.

This presents the protest committee with two tasks:
  1. identifying all boats that may be affected;  and
  2. assessing the fairness of any redress contemplated for the requester, on each of those other boats.

Just relying on evidence from one boat requesting redress, these tasks will be quite difficult for a protest committee, so that they would quite likely have doubt about their conclusions.

I would suggest that what the RRS sentence is trying to do, without actually saying it, is to do what the US Sailing Prescription does, that is, tell the protest committee to give all boats in the race an opportunity to be heard.


Created: 19-Oct-13 23:35
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