1. Softball Canada is committed to providing an environment in which all Participants involved with Softball Canada are treated with respect and fairness. Softball Canada provides Participants with this Appeal Policy to enable fair, affordable, and expedient appeals of certain decisions made by Softball Canada. Further, some decisions made by the process outlined in Softball Canada’s Discipline and Complaints Policy may be appealed under this Policy.
SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY .
2. This Policy applies to all Participants. Any Participant who is directly affected by a decision by Softball Canada shall have the right to appeal that decision provided there are sufficient grounds for the appeal under the ‘Grounds for Appeal’ section of this Policy.
3. This Policy will apply to decisions relating to:
4. This Policy will not apply to decisions relating to:
TIMING OF APPEAL
5. Participants who wish to appeal a decision have seven (7) days from the date on which they received notice of the decision to submit, in writing to Softball Canada, the following:
6. A Participant who wishes to initiate an appeal beyond the seven (7) day period must provide a written request stating the reasons for an exemption. The decision to allow, or not allow, an appeal outside of the seven (7) day period will be at the sole discretion of the Case Manager and may not be appealed.
GROUNDS FOR APPEAL
7. A decision cannot be appealed on its merits alone. An appeal may only be heard if there are sufficient grounds for appeal. Sufficient grounds include the Respondent:
8. The Appellant must demonstrate, on a balance of probabilities, that the Respondent has made a procedural error as described in the ‘Grounds for Appeal’ section of this Policy and that this error had, or may reasonably have had, a material effect on the decision or decision-maker.
9. Upon receiving the notice of the appeal, the fee, and all other information (outlined in the ‘Timing of Appeal’ section of this Policy), Softball Canada and the Appellant may first attempt to resolve the dispute pursuant to Softball Canada’s Dispute Resolution Policy or through the Early Resolution Facilitation services offered by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC).
10. Appeals resolved by mediation under the Dispute Resolution Policy or through Early Resolution Facilitation at the SDRCC will result in the administration fee being refunded to the Appellant.
SCREENING OF APPEAL
11. Should the appeal not be resolved by using the Dispute Resolution Policy or through resolution facilitation at the SDRCC, Softball Canada will appoint an independent Appeal Manager (who must not be in a conflict of interest) who has the following responsibilities:
12. If the appeal is denied on the basis of insufficient grounds, because it was not submitted in a timely manner, or because it did not fall under the scope of this Policy, the Appellant will be notified, in writing, of the reasons for this decision. This decision may not be appealed.
13. If the Appeal Manager is satisfied there are sufficient grounds for an appeal, the Appeal Manager will appoint an Appeals Panel which shall consist of a single Arbitrator, to hear the appeal. In extraordinary circumstances, and at the discretion of the Appeal Manager, a Panel of three persons may be appointed to hear the appeal. In this event, the Appeal Manager will appoint one of the Panel’s members to serve as the Chair.
PROCEDURE FOR APPEALS HEARING
14. The Appeal Manager shall notify the Parties that the appeal will be heard. The Appeal Manager shall then decide the format under which the appeal will be heard. This decision is at the sole discretion of the Appeal Manager and may not be appealed.
15. If a Party chooses not to participate in the hearing, the hearing will proceed in any event.
16. The format of the hearing may involve an oral in-person hearing, an oral hearing by telephone or other electronic means, a hearing based on a review of documentary evidence submitted in advance of the hearing, or a combination of these methods. The hearing will be governed by the procedures that the Appeal Manager and the Panel deem appropriate in the circumstances, provided that:
17. In fulfilling its duties, the Panel may obtain independent advice.
18. The Panel shall issue its decision, in writing and with reasons, within fourteen (14) days after the hearing’s conclusion. In making its decision, the Panel will have no greater authority than that of the original decision-maker. The Panel may decide to:
20. The Panel’s decision may be appealed by any of the Parties to the SDRCC in accordance with the Canadian Sport Dispute Resolution Code.
21. If the circumstances of the appeal are such that adhering to the timelines outlined by this Policy will not allow a timely resolution to the appeal, the Appeal Manager and/or Panel may direct that these timelines be revised.
22. The appeals process is confidential and involves only the Parties, the Appeal Manager, the Panel, and any independent advisors to the Panel. Once initiated and until a decision is released, none of the Parties will disclose confidential information to any person not involved in the proceedings.
FINAL AND BINDING
23. No action or legal proceeding will be commenced against Softball Canada or Participants in respect of a dispute, unless Softball Canada has refused or failed to provide or abide by the dispute resolution process and/or appeal process as set out in Softball Canada’s governing documents.
24. By agreement between the Parties, the internal appeal process may be bypassed and the appeal may be heard directly by the SDRCC.