Säännöt - Rules

Rules 2017 – Confirmed 20 June 2017

I Objective, task, and competence of the board 

 

 

§1. Objective and task of the board. The sports arbitration board is an independent and impartial legal protection party whose task is to issue solutions to sports-related appeals. 

 

The board may also act as an arbitral panel and issue statements as stipulated in chapters V and VI. 

 

 

§2. Competence of the board. The board is competent to process the following types of appeals:  

 

1) Appeals on association decisions regarding 

a) ending an individual’s membership in the association, 

b) disciplinary procedures, 

c) limitation of membership rights, or 

d) whether a decision is in breach of the rules of the association.  

In addition to the rules referred to in Section 8 of the Associations Act, the rules of the association refer to other general regulations on the operations of an association, including disciplinary, competition, and licence regulations, but not the sport-specific rules. 

 

2) Appeals on the decisions made by the league organising the competition operations, regarding 

a) disciplinary actions or 

b) whether a decision is in breach of rules on competitive operations, excluding the sport-specific rules, 

if the league is committed to the competence of the board. 

 

3) Appeals on decisions regarding whether or not to select an athlete for elite competitions,   

a) if the selection criterion clearly defined by the sport federation or the Finnish Olympic Committee has not been followed, or  

b) if the decision discriminates against an athlete based on gender, age, conviction, opinion, origin, or other reason related to the person without acceptable reason. 

 

4) Appeals on decisions which the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports FINCIS has made based on the Finnish anti-doping regulations. 

 

 

§3. Limitations to the competence. The board is not competent to process any other appeals than those referred to in section 2. 

 

The board is not competent to process appeals on decisions made by associations which are not committed to the competence of the board.  

 

Appeals are only processed if all possibilities to appeal required by the rules of the organisation in question and the Finnish anti-doping regulations have been used. 

 

The board cannot process a matter which has been solved or which is being processed in a general court of law or court of arbitration. 

 

 

II Composition of the board 

 

 

§4. The chair, vice chairs, and members of the board The board consists of a chair, a sufficient number of vice chairs, and at least 17 other members. 

 

 

§5. Appointing the board. The Finnish Olympic Committee invites the chair and vice chairs for the board term among people who have experience in the assignments of a judge, and appoints people with a degree required for the office of a judge as the other members of the board. Members of the board are selected among people familiar with sport legislation who know the operations of sport organisations and the conditions of athletes. Before appointing the board, the Finnish Olympic Committee must hear the representative sport organisation and other experts. 

 

Persons reaching the resignation age for judges as defined in the Act during the term cannot be selected as members. 

 

A board member cannot act in the board as advocate or assistant.  

 

 

§6. Term of the board. The term of the board is four calendar years. 

 

 

§7. Secretaries of the board. The board appoints the number of secretaries it needs during its term for the preparation of matters. A secretary prepares the matter appointed to them for the processing of the board.  

 

 

§8. Quorum. The board is quorate when the chair or vice chair and at least two other members are present. 

 

The chair or vice chair is quorate to decide on a matter alone if the appeal was cancelled or the matter can be left unexamined based on subsection 4 of Section 3, subsection 3 of Section 10, subsection 2 of Section 12, or Section 13, or if it can be resolved without requesting an answer based on Section 17. The chair or vice chair can also decide by themselves to set the matter aside, based on Section 18.  

 

The chair or vice chair can order a matter to be processed in a plenary session if they feel that ensuring consistency with the ordinary solution practice or the nature of the matter so requires. 

 

 

III Processing the appeals 

 

 

§9.  Right to appeal. The board may process appeals filed by an athlete or another natural person or association whose rights or benefits are affected by the matter in question. 

 

 

§10. Institution of proceedings. The appeal must be filed in writing within 30 days of being informed of the decision being appealed. If the appellant illustrates that they have not been able to follow this deadline due to a legal or comparable obstacle, the appeal may be filed within a reasonable time from the ending of the obstacle, however no later than one year after the decision was made. 

 

The appeal documents must be delivered to the board office. The documents can be delivered by post, via a messenger, or in electronic format. If the documents were delivered by post, they are considered to have reached the board once the postal delivery or notification of its arrival has been delivered to the office. An electronic message is considered to be delivered to the board once it is available to the board and can be processed on the receiving device or information system. 

 

Appeals left after the deadline are not processed. 

 

 

§11. Contents of the appeal. The appeal must state the following: 

1) the decision being appealed, 

2) the specific demand of the appellant, meaning the changes demanded to be made to the decision, 

3) the justifications for the demand,  

4) the evidence presented to support the demand,  

5) the eventual demand for compensation of the board expenses, and the justifications for the demand,  

6) contact information for sending requests and notifications regarding the matter, and  

7) the grounds for the competence of the board in the matter.  

The appealed decision or a copy of it must be attached to the appeal documents, and in doping-related matters, a statement from the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports FINCIS.  

 

 

§12. Appeal fee. When delivering the appeal documents, it must be proven that the appellant has paid the appeal fee to the bank account of the board.  

 

The fee is determined annually by the Board of the Finnish Olympic Committee. If the fee has not been paid when the documents are delivered, the appellant must be given the opportunity to pay it by the deadline set by the board. If the fee is not paid within the deadline, the appeal is not processed.  

 

If the appellant’s view wins in the board, the appeal fee is returned. If the appellant is only considered to win partially, the board can at its discretion decide to return the fee partially or entirely. The appeal fee can also be returned for other particularly cogent reasons. 

 

§13. Completing the appeal. If the appeal is insufficient, the appellant must be requested to complete the insufficiency within a defined deadline. If the appellant fails to do so, the appeal may be left unprocessed. 

 

 

§14. Response. A response must be requested from the adverse party of the appellant or any other person or body whose rights or benefits the appealed matter affects.  

 

 

The response must state the following: 

1) the view of the adverse party on the demands presented in the appeal, 

2) the justifications for the response, 

3) the evidence presented to support the response, 

4) the eventual demand for compensation of the board expenses, and the justifications for the demand, and 

5) contact information for sending requests and notifications regarding the matter. 

 

 

§15. Completing the response. If necessary, the board can offer the adverse party an opportunity to complete the response within a deadline set by the board.  

 

 

§16. Right of action of the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports FINCIS. When the board processes an appeal on a doping-related matter, the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports FINCIS has the right to speak for the concerned party.  

 

 

§17. Solving a matter without requesting a response.  If it is apparent from the appeal that the matter is not covered by the competence of the board based on Sections 2 or 3 of the regulations, the appeal can be left unprocessed without requesting a response. 

If the appeal is clearly unjustified, it can be dismissed without requesting a response. 

 

 

§18. Setting aside. If a matter processed by the board is simultaneously processed in a general court of law or court of arbitration in a manner referred to in subsection 4 of Section 3 of the regulations, the appeal processed by the board can be set aside until the general court of law or court of arbitration has issued its solution in the matter.   

 

 

§19. Hearing the concerned parties.Before the decision is made, the concerned parties must be given an opportunity to speak on reports regarding the matter which may affect the solution. 

 

 

§20.  Disqualification. The decrees on the disqualification of a judge in Section 13 of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied as far as applicable on the disqualification of a board member and secretary. 

 

 

§21. Processing the matter. The board will process the matter in its session based on the documents delivered, other written materials, and a solution proposal drafted by the secretary.  The session can also be organised via telephone or email, or using another suitable technical method of transferring information if the board considers such a method suitable.  

 

Matters must be processed without undue delay. 

 

 

§22. Oral processing. The board will organise oral processing when necessary. The concerned parties, witnesses, and experts can be heard in an oral processing, and other reports can be received. 

 

 

§23. Processing language. The concerned party is entitled to present the matter in Finnish or Swedish. English can also be used in the processing of the matter at the discretion of the board, at the consent of all concerned parties.  

 

If the concerned parties speak a different language, the board will decide the processing language considering the rights and benefits of the concerned parties. The decision is issued in Finnish or Swedish.  

 

 

§24. Other applicable regulations. The procedure regulations applied in general courts of law can be applied to the processing of the matter as applicable, unless otherwise required by the regulations in this chapter.    

 

 

IV Solution of the board and appealing it 

 

 

§25. Determination of the decision. If the members of the board are not unanimous on the solution, the matter must be voted on.    

 

The decision with more votes will be considered the decision of the board. 

 

If the vote is even in disciplinary and doping matters, the view more lenient for the object of the disciplinary action is considered the decision of the board. In other cases, the decision is defined according to the vote of the chair.  

 

 

§26. The decision and its justifications. The decision of the board must include: 

1) the date of issuing the solution, 

2) names of the concerned parties, 

3) report on the solution appealed against and the demands of the concerned parties and their justifications, 

4) justifications of the solution, 

5) the resolution, 

6) names of the members who decided on the matter and the secretary who prepared the matter, and 

7) whether the matter was voted on. If the matter was voted on, the opinions of the disagreeing members must be attached. 

  

 

§27. Costs caused by the board proceedings. If costs are caused by the processing of the matter by the board to the concerned party who won the matter and the party demands the costs to be compensated, the board must in its decision order the losing party to compensate the costs in full or partially, unless the board considers it reasonable to order that the parties each suffer their own costs.  

 

If a party who filed for compensation won the matter only partially, the board must consider the extent to which the costs are compensated, or order each party to suffer their own costs.  

 

If the board considers the matter to be appropriate but both parties to have such strong arguments that its processing by the board was appropriate, it must order each party to suffer their own costs.  

 

 

§28. Notification of the decision. The appellant and other parties must be notified of the decision. In case of doping-related matters, the appellant’s organisation and the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports FINCIS must also be notified.The notification can take place by post or email to the address supplied by the concerned party. 

 

 

§29. Appealing. The decisions of the board cannot be appealed, unless otherwise required by the Finnish anti-doping regulations. 

 

 

§30. Reprocessing a matter. Once a matter has been processed by the board, it can be reprocessed applying the preconditions and justifications through which a non-appealable sentence can be dissolved or removed according to the regulations in Chapter 31 of the Code of Judicial Procedure where applicable.  

 

An appeal fee referred to in Section 12 is collected for the reprocessing of a matter. 

 

 

V The board as an arbitral panel 

 

 

§31. Matters processed as an arbitral panel. If the parties agree so or if the rules of the association binding to the parties so require, the board may act as an arbitral panel in matters under its scope of competence as well as sports agreement matters and financial matters related to the operations of a sports organisation. 

 

A fee corresponding to the appeal fee confirmed for sports organisations, referred to in subsection 2 of Section 12, is collected when the board processes a matter as arbitration.   

 

 

§32. Composition of the arbitration panel. There are three arbitrators, unless the parties agree to have only one. 

 

Each party can appoint one board member into a three-member arbitration panel. The chair of the board or a vice chair or member appointed by the chair will act as the chair of the panel. If a party decides not to use their right to appoint a member, the chair of the board can also appoint a member to act as arbitrator. 

 

If only one member is selected for the arbitration panel, the parties appoint the member together. If they cannot agree on the arbitrator, the chair of the board or a vice chair or member appointed by the chair will act as the arbitrator. 

 

 

 

A secretary of the board will act as the secretary of the arbitration panel. 

 

 

§33. Table of fees for the arbitrators. The board can confirm a table of fees for the arbitrators and secretary of an arbitration panel annually. 

 

 

§34. Regulations applicable to arbitration proceedings. The Arbitration Act (967/1992) is applied to arbitration proceedings.  

 

 

VI Issuing statements 

 

 

§35.  Statement matters. Upon request, the board can issue statements to associations on legal questions related to sports operations. A fee referred to in Section 12 will be collected from the requester of the statement. 

 

 

§36. Proceedings. The processing order of appeal matters is applied in the processing of statement matters where applicable.  

 

The chair or vice chair can order a statement matter to be processed in a plenary session if they feel that the nature of the matter so requires. 

 

 

VII Other regulations 

 

 

§37. Publicity of the proceedings and decision. The appeal and response documents delivered to the board and the processing of the matter in the board are not public, unless the board decides otherwise with the consent of the parties. 

 

Board decisions are public. However, the board may order the justifications of the decision to be entirely or partially confidential. Even in such a case, the appellant and other parties to the matter are entitled to be informed of the contents of the justifications. As far as possible, the board must ensure that the parties are informed of the contents of the solution before the public is informed of the solution.   

 

In doping-related matters, separate regulations apply to the publicity of decisions. 

 

 

§38. Confidentiality. A member or secretary of the board may not express or utilise any confidential information about the appellant or any other party which they receive through the proceedings of the board, unless the concerned party gives express consent to do so. The contents of board negotiations are confidential. 

 

 

§39. Fees. The members and secretary of the board are awarded a fee for each meeting. The size of the fee is defined according to the regulations on meetings organised entirely outside working hours in the recommendation by the Ministry of Finance on the fees to chairs and members of the Committee and certain other institutions.  Travel expenses are compensated according to the instructions of the tax administration. 

 

In addition, the secretary is paid an hourly fee for work outside the meetings. The Board of the Finnish Olympic Committee decides on the hourly fee after hearing the board. 

 

 

§40. Working order of the board. The board confirms its working order in its plenary session, including regulations on the processing of administrative matters within the board’s scope of competence, as well as the required further regulations on processing matters in the board and publishing solutions in the electronic database.