On April 1, 2016, legislation came into effect establishing the Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP or Panel) as the new adjudicative body responsible for hearing appeals of decisions made under the Rules of Racing. New Rules of Procedure were established by the HRAP to govern proceedings of matters before the Panel and to ensure a fair, open and accessible process for all parties.
A number of “housekeeping” changes have recently been made to the HRAP’s Rules of Procedure to clarify requirements and address minor issues that have come up over the past six months. These changes have been approved by the Panel and are effective immediately.
All appeals heard by the HRAP moving forward will be under its Rules of Procedure dated October 2016, available on the HRAP website at www.hrappealpanel.ca.
What are some of the key changes?
Most of the amendments were of a “housekeeping” nature, but there are a few key changes that will affect the process for a hearing before the HRAP.
Disclosure + Filing Documents with the HRAP. There has been some confusion in terms of disclosure requirements between the parties and how evidence should be brought forward at a hearing. Among other things, the Rules have been amended to clarify that parties are not required to file their disclosure/evidence with the HRAP in advance of the hearing (Rule 7.3). Disclosure is intended to be between the parties to ensure each party has the chance to review relevant documents before the hearing and prepare a response.
The HRAP has updated its Information Sheet: Disclosure/Information Exchange to clarify the new requirements. A copy has been attached to this notice for more details.
Appeal Book. Going forward, the HRAP will create and provide an Appeal Book to the parties in advance of every hearing (Rule 8.4). The Appeal Book will contain a copy of the Notice of Appeal, the decision(s) or ruling(s) being appealed, the Notice of Hearing and any other orders that the HRAP may have issued relevant to the hearing. The purpose of the Appeal Book is to ensure that the Panel members and all parties have the same basic documentation and official record relevant to the appeal accessible to them at the hearing.
Panel Threshold. Small changes have been made to the criteria and threshold for three member Panel hearings (commonly known as “A” appeals) (Rule 2.9(i) and (ii)). Going forward, a hearing will be typically classified as an “A” hearing, and thus have three members preside over it, where the decision under appeal imposes a monetary penalty greater than $2,000 (previously $1,000) and/or where the decision under appeal imposes a suspension of 15 days or more (previously 30 days). The other two criteria for three member Panel hearings (i.e. if the race has a potential purse of $200,000 or greater, and if the decision under appeal involves a certificate of positive analysis, medication control, or an equine biological sample) remain the same.
If you have any questions about these changes, or for more information generally about HRAP proceedings, please visit www.hrappealpanel.ca or contact the HRAP office at [email protected] or 416-326-8700 (or Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-522-2876).
The full document from the Horse Racing Appeal Panel is presented below, or available here.
(with files from the Horse Racing Appeal Panel)