New judicial process for UK motorsport

The Motor Sports Council has approved the wording of revised regulations governing the UK motorsport judicial system, which will now come into force on January 1, 2005. The new rules follow a complete review of the MSA's eligibility, investigatory, disciplinary and appeals processes that was led by solicitor and F1 steward Tony Scott-Andrews, the chairman of the MSA's Judicial Advisory Panel.

New judicial process for UK motorsport

Among the key points covered by the new regulations, the National Court, appointed by the MSC, will become the final tier of appeal in all cases. It will also exercise the functions of Disciplinary Tribunal, Investigatory Tribunal and Eligibility Appeal panel. The stewards of the Royal Automobile Club will be invited to sit on it, and there will not be any additional level of appeal beyond the National Court, this to avoid uncertainty and delay.

The MSA, Britain's ASN, will appoint a Disciplinary Officer to advise on disciplinary action in the respect of any breach of the regulations.

In an attempt to have more issues settled on the day of an event, the only grounds for lodging an appeal against the Stewards of the Meeting will be that a gross miscarriage of justice has occurred, or that the penalty imposed is wholly inappropriate to the breach of regulations. The National Court will decide within 10 days if an appeal meets either of these criteria and, if so, will arrange for the National Court to be convened. There will be no right of appeal to the National Court for third parties not involved in the original incident.

"It has been a very interesting task," said Scott-Andrews. "There's no doubt that the previous system was not perfect but, in reworking it, we have to ensure we're absolutely watertight legally."

The MSA's CEO, Colin Hilton, noted: "In many areas, this is a radical overhaul, but we now have a much more effective system which should make a big contribution to improving UK motorsport for participants, spectators and officials."

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