Forum: Protest Hearing Procedures

Questions on Redress and what action a Protest Committee can take.

Karl Kleinschrodt
Nationality: United States of America
Good afternoon sailing friends. Lets see if you all can settle a discussion among our group of sailors:

Question 1: What should be considered a reasonable amount of time when a competitor submits a request for redress, when the improper action being identified is the decision by the Protest Committee at a prior redress hearing? 
62.2. "...Other requests shall be delivered as soon as reasonably possible after learning of the reasons for making the request."
Within 2 hours?
Before any scheduled races are started on day 2?

Scenario: At a 2-day regatta, Boat A has a bad race on the first day of racing, and they request redress in an attempt to have the race abandoned. A redress hearing occurs and Boat A's bad race is abandoned by the Protest Committee. Boat B later learns of this and requests redress citing the hearing broke several rules including 62.1 (Boat A's score was not made worse by a minor RC error), USS Prescription 63.2(b), 64.2 (PC did not make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress.

Boat B's Request for Redress was denied because of "timing". 

Question 2: Is Boat B's only possible action to Appeal the decision to not consider their RFR? If their appeal is upheld, can an appeals committee take any action other than directing PC#2 to consider Boat B's Request for redress and hold a hearing?

Question 3: Hypothetically, if Boat B's RFR had been considered and PC#2 agrees that Boat A's redress hearing was improper, and the wrong decision had been made, what action can PC#2 take regarding the race that has been improperly abandoned?
Can PC#2 "reinstate" the race?
Can PC#2 direct the original PC to reopen Boat A's redress hearing, this time notifying all competitors?

Thanks in advance. 
Created: 20-Jul-15 19:49

Comments

P
John Porter
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
The PC could reopen the hearing if it believes that they made a significant error. An appeals committee could direct a reopening because of the procedural error of not notifying competitors. 
Created: 20-Jul-15 20:03
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Timing is critical. Boat B and the fleet may be out of luck.
RRS66.jpg 75.3 KB
Created: 20-Jul-15 23:50
Karl Kleinschrodt
Nationality: United States of America
0
Thanks guys. Your comments bring up a bit of a loophole we are seeing. In this scenario, no other competitors other than Boat A have the right to appeal because they were not a party to the redress hearing. 
Additionally, no other competitors have the right to request a reopening of the hearing because they were not a party to the redress hearing. 

So, is there any other action besides:
Request redress> RFR gets denied > appeal RFR decision to deny redress > appeals committee can take what action? 
Created: 20-Jul-16 00:04
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
A boat not a party to the original hearing may not appeal, but she may request redress herself.
Created: 20-Jul-16 02:33
P
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
Do not forget the other boats could have asked for redress themselves. If they did not why should we worry about them.
Created: 20-Jul-16 09:10
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
MIke,

Because:
  • In the USA, as a result of some very embarrassing Arbitration decisions, the US Sailing Prescriptions to rule 63.2 requires it;
  • elsewhere, once the protest committee has made a possibly mistaken decision affecting all boats without them being parties to the hearing, it's risky for the protest committee to try to 'make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected' without giving those boats the opportunity to be heard, and quite bluntly, it's not worth attracting the screams of pain and outrage, and then further requests for redress (valid and invalid, meritorious and unmeritorious) that are likely.

Maybe an IJ can get away with being hard-nosed at an Olympic or World Champs, but at an ordinary, even National Level regatta, I think it's better to keep the competitors happy.
Created: 20-Jul-16 13:23
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Karl Kleinschrodt
Created: Yesterday 19:49
asked some specific questions

Question 1: What should be considered a reasonable amount of time when a competitor submits a request for redress, when the improper action being identified is the decision by the Protest Committee at a prior redress hearing? 
 62.2. "...Other requests shall be delivered as soon as reasonably possible after learning of the reasons for making the request."
 Within 2 hours?
 Before any scheduled races are started on day 2?

No specific time is stated in the rule:  no specific time can be stated.

Time starts to run from ‘after learning of the reasons for making the request’, or possibly from the first reasonable time that a boat could have learnt of the reasons, that is, at earliest, after the publication of the redress decision by the protest committee.

Arguably, the ‘reasons’ for making the redress might not be disclosed in the bare outcome of the protest and may only be apparent from the full facts found, conclusions and applicable rules found by the protest committee in accordance with rule 65.1, which might not be published to a boat not a party to the original hearing until some time after the decision.  This would be an issue for the protest committee hearing the request for redress to determine.

The time to be allowed after learning of the reasons is the next thing the protest committee would need to determine.  The protest committee should take into account:

  • The urgency of submitting requests for redress is less than that for submitting protests:  protests at a regatta normally need to be scheduled for hearing as soon after racing as possible, redress hearings can normally be scheduled after protests are heard and, as in this scenario, may inevitably be delayed until some significant time after the publication of decisions of previous hearings.
  • Requests for redress against a protest committee may be complex and difficult and sufficient, but not excessive, time should be allowed for careful consideration of formulating the request;
  • It may be futile to apply too short a time, for example, where a protest decision was published late at night, rather than allowing, say, two hours after the publication of the decision, arriving at, say 1:00am for a time limit, a reasonable time would be some two hours after competitors could reasonably have attended the venue the following morning and had a chance to read the notice board, thus say, 10:00am.

It is certainly desirable that all protest and redress hearings be finalised before racing begins on the following day so that competitors have up to date results on which to base their regatta strategies.

There is little a protest committee can do to affect when boats will submit requests for redress consequential on protest decisions.

Scenario: At a 2-day regatta, Boat A has a bad race on the first day of racing, and they request redress in an attempt to have the race abandoned. A redress hearing occurs and Boat A's bad race is abandoned by the Protest Committee.

Boat B later learns of this and requests redress citing the hearing broke several rules including 62.1 (Boat A's score was not made worse by a minor RC error), USS Prescription 63.2(b), 64.2 (PC did not make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress.
 
Boat B's Request for Redress was denied because of "timing".

Question 2: Is Boat B's only possible action to Appeal the decision to not consider their RFR?

B is a party to the hearing of her request for redress and may appeal the protest committee’s conclusion that the request was invalid for time and the decision to close the hearing

B might also request a reopening under rule 66, particularly if there was evident non-compliance with US Sailing Prescriptions.

If their appeal is upheld, can an appeals committee take any action other than directing PC#2 to consider Boat B's Request for redress and hold a hearing?

Strictly speaking, no, an Appeal Committee can only take the action described in rule 71.2 with respect to the decision being appealed (rule 70.1(a).  The Appeal Committee should only have information about the hearing being appealed.  Information about the preceding hearing that was the subject of the request for the redress is, strictly, irrelevant.

Possibly, where information about the protest committee’s procedures in the preceding hearing was provided as part of the appeal, an Appeal Committee might go a little beyond it’s powers and provide advice to the protest committee about how it should deal the whole matter if it directed that the hearing should be reopened, particularly if the protest committee, in its comments on the appeal, ‘telegraphed’ to the Appeal Committee that it would welcome such advice.

What the Appeal Committee definitely cannot do is interfere with the decisions of the preceding hearing.

 Question 3: Hypothetically, if Boat B's RFR had been considered and PC#2 agrees that Boat A's redress hearing was improper, and the wrong decision had been made, what action can PC#2 take regarding the race that has been improperly abandoned?

Why would there be a ‘PC#2’?

This is one event, with one protest committee or jury.  It should be the same protest committee hearing B’s request for redress as heard and decided A’s request.

That said, if B persuaded the protest committee that her request for redress should be granted, the best decision for the protest committee then, would be to give redress by:

·         deciding to reopen the initial hearing, and

·         providing opportunity for B and other boats to become parties to that hearing and bring evidence and argument; and then

·         subsequently scheduling and conducting an ‘all-in’ hearing of the original request for redress.

If it has come to a boat (B) requesting redress against the protest committee with respect to a previous redress and abandonment decision, it’s probably best to give the whole fleet a chance to be heard, and probably not a good idea to make a further significant decision with only limited participation by the competitors.

Can PC#2 "reinstate" the race?

Well, in giving redress the protest committee can do whatever is ‘as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats’.

But, see above: having once made a big decision without allowing participation by all boats affected, the protest committee would be very unwise to make a similar decision, again without providing an opportunity to all boats.

Can PC#2 direct the original PC to reopen Boat A's redress hearing, this time notifying all competitors?

Unless you have an hierarchical arrangement of protest committees such as panels with a large International Jury, one protest committee can hardly ‘direct’ another protest committee, but why or how would there be two protest committees?

Created: 20-Jul-16 13:30
Karl Kleinschrodt
Nationality: United States of America
0
Thank you for the thorough response John. As I understood, the "PC#2" was comprised of the original PC, with the addition of a more experienced judge being called in to sort out what was rumored to be an improper original redress hearing. 

It sounds like it's quite difficult to have a redress decision changed after a hearing, if one is not aware of hearing and is therefore not a party. We will have to monitor the notice board from now on when racing against certain competitors. 
Created: 20-Jul-21 17:50
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Karl,

I think PC#2 should be considered to be 'the protest committee' for the event/race.  If you have gone to the trouble of shipping in a senior judge to 'sort things out' then that senior judge should continue to sit on the protest committee that deals with the reopened original redress hearing, which may well be where his/her skills will be of most value.

It has always been somewhat difficult for a boat that was aggrieved by a redress decision but was not a party to the original hearing to  get the decision changed.  The path of requesting redress against the original decision has always been the way to go.

Yes of course you need to monitor the noticeboard.(electronic or otherwise).  That's an expectation upon which all the procedural provisions of the RRS are based.

What you might see on the notice board is:
  • a Protest Notice or schedule detailing time, place and other information about the redress hearing, which would enable you (under US Sailing Prescription to rule 63.2) to make yourself a party to the hearing:  or
  • a Results posting or a written protest decision, which will tell you that a redress hearing has been held, and you might then request redress.
Created: 20-Jul-21 22:58
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