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Appeal Panel Seeks Feedback

Published: June 20, 2019 10:14 am ET

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The Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP or Panel) is seeking stakeholder feedback on its Rules of Procedure as part of its ongoing commitment to continually enhance and improve its adjudicative process.

In April 2016, the HRAP assumed responsibility for hearing appeals of decisions made under the AGCO’s Rules of Racing. New Rules of Procedure were established at that time by the HRAP to govern proceedings and to outline the practices and processes that would apply to appeals before the new tribunal. The stated objective of the Panel’s Rules of Procedure was (and remains) to provide a fair, open and accessible process to all parties.

Over the past three years, the HRAP has made a number of minor “housekeeping” changes to its Rules of Procedure, for the most part to clarify requirements and address procedural issues that have come up since the tribunal was created. For instance, in October 2016, the rules around disclosure were amended to better specify how and when evidence should be provided to the Panel. Small changes have also been made to the criteria and threshold for three member Panel hearings (commonly known as “A” appeals) and new and revised rules introduced to formalize and simplify both the adjournments process and the withdrawals of appeals.

This is the first time that the HRAP has formally consulted on its procedural rules. The Panel appreciates that after three years of operation, there are a number of parties and individuals who have developed extensive experience appearing before the Panel, and who might therefore have some feedback on how the process can be improved. The objective of this consultation is to leverage the insights of these parties to ensure that the HRAP’s process remains efficient and effective and meets the needs of the horse racing industry.

The Horse Racing Appeal Panel is looking for feedback in three broad areas:

  1. Streamlining the Appeal Process - Do you think that appeals before the HRAP are heard and managed in a timely manner? Are there any Rules of Procedure that could be changed to increase efficiency, simplify resolution of matters or streamline the appeals process?

  2. Disclosure - Disclosure is the exchange of material/evidence (including witness lists) between parties. Disclosure helps to ensure that parties have relevant information before hearings, and as such, the chance to review and prepare a response. In this way, the sharing of information through disclosure avoids the element of surprise and helps to ensure that hearings run as smoothly as possible.
    Do you think that the disclosure process, as provided under the HRAP’s existing Rules of Procedure, support efficient hearings? Are there any Rules of Procedure that could be changed to improve the disclosure process or make it more efficient?

  3. Best Practices - Are there any areas of the appeal process you find particularly difficult or cumbersome and you think can be streamlined or made more straightforward in some way? In this respect, are you aware of any practices used by other adjudicative bodies that would work well for the HRAP?

Comments are welcome and will be received until July 12, 2019.

The Panel will review and consider any potential changes to its Rules of Procedure and is currently aiming to introduce an update to its Rules of Procedure in the fall of 2019.

A copy of the current Rules of Procedure can be found here. Other helpful reference material can be found on the HRAP website, including information about current and past appeals and a plain language guide and information sheets that summarize and explain the HRAP’s adjudicative process.

Remember, this isn't a process to change the Rules of Racing – these are established by the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Under the Horse Racing Licence Act, the HRAP only has authority to determine its own practices and procedures. It is these practices and procedures, embodied through the Panel’s Rules of Procedure, that are the focus of this consultation.

Please click here to email comments or suggestions. Alternatively, you can reach HRAP at:

  • Mail: 90 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario M2N 0A4

  • Fax: 647-723-2198


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