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Internal Dispute Procedure

Internal Dispute Procedure

(This Procedure was agreed by the Manor Park Sailing Club Committee on 10th February 2022)

1.0 General

1.1 The objective of this procedure is to set out ways by which a just outcome of an internal dispute between the members of the Manor Park Sailing Club (MPSC) (the Club), its sub sections and its affiliates may be secured as expeditiously as possible.

1.2 An 'internal club dispute' is a dispute involving an alleged breach of the club's rules, between either:

(a) two or more club members, any or none of whom may be an
officer of the club (the 'parties').

or (b) the MPSC and its subsections and/or affiliates (the parties),

1.3 Any dispute which involves an allegation that there has been a breach of Club Rules by a member must be dealt with as a complaint within the guidelines set out in this document

1.4 A failure by the Club or subsection or any of the parties to comply with these Guidelines shall be grounds for a complaint.

2. Sequence of Steps To Deal With a Dispute

2.1 The parties shall use any reasonable means to settle the issues between them informally and amicably.

2.2 If such a resolution cannot be achieved, the dispute shall be referred to the Commodore of the MPSC committee or, if the Commodore is a party to the dispute, to another officer of the club who is not a party who within seven days of the reference shall appoint an independent person to act as a mediator between the parties. The mediator may be a member of the club or a member of another club with similar aims and activities.

2.3 If the mediator is unable to bring about a satisfactory settlement within 21 days, the club committee shall within a further 14 days appoint a panel (the 'panel') to determine the dispute.

2.3.1 The panel shall consist of three persons who have not been involved in the dispute, either from the members of the MPSC or, if this is not possible or desirable, from the members of any other club with similar aims and activities. See also 2.3.2

2.3.2 Where the dispute involves a party that is a subsection and/or affiliate to the club, the subsection and/or affiliate may nominate one individual who has not been involved in the dispute to the panel. Should the subsection and/or affiliate not nominate an individual within the 14 days after the failure of mediation, the MPSC shall appoint an individual as 2.3.1

2.3.3 The parties shall be given the opportunity to object to any members of the panel at least 7 days before the scheduled date of the hearing. The club committee shall consider any such objections to decide whether they are justified and act accordingly

3. Procedure Before a Hearing

3.1 The panel members shall appoint one of their number to act as the Chair and either appoint another of their number, or alternatively appoint an additional person without any other powers, to act as the clerk of the hearing.

3.2 The Chair of the panel shall arrange the date of the hearing and notify the parties of the arrangements at least 14 days in advance of the date set.
The notified date shall not be changed unless one or more of the parties has a compelling reason for not being able to attend on the notified day or time.

4. Procedure at a hearing

4.1 The procedure shall be flexible and it shall be the responsibility of the Chair of the panel to ensure the orderly and effective conduct of the hearing.

4.2 The panel shall not be bound by the judicial rules of the courts of England and Wales governing procedure or the admissibility of evidence provided that the hearing is conducted in a fair and orderly manner and that each party is given a reasonable opportunity to give and call evidence address the panel and present their case. The Chair shall have the discretion to limit the number of witnesses that would otherwise have been called.

4.3 Witnesses shall normally be provided with an area outside the hearing room and not take any part in the hearing other than giving evidence and responding to questions.

4.4 The panel shall have the power to impose sanctions up to but not excluding revocation of Club Membership.

4.4 The findings of the panel are final and cannot be appealed.

5. Procedure after a hearing

5.1 The panel shall come to a decision as soon as reasonably practicable after the hearing and if possible announce its findings and decisions orally to the parties.

5.2 The Chair shall notify the parties and, if the club was not a party to the dispute, the club secretary in writing of its findings and decisions within five days of the hearing.

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