The Judicial Panel plays a vital role in upholding the integrity of horseracing in Britain.
UPDATE, 2 FEB 2021: Following the recent resignation of William Norris QC from the Panel, the Judicial Panel Chairman has released the following statement, which can be read here.
UPDATE, 5 JUNE 2020: Due to the the current situation and resulting difficulties arising from the corona virus, temporary changes have been made to how the Judicial Panel operates. Initial changes can be seen in a statement here issued on 1 April, with a further operational update issued on 1 June here. The media protocol referenced in this update is available here.
It is essential that the sport’s participants and followers have confidence in the sport’s judicial system, that it is handled by the right individuals and acts with independence from the BHA’s regulatory functions.
The British Horseracing Authority appoints the Judicial Panel Chair to lead and oversee the activities of the Judicial Panel. The Judicial Panel is comprised of the Disciplinary Panel, Licensing Committee and the Appeal Board. The members of the Judicial Panel were appointed by the Judicial Chair at his sole discretion, following an open, competitive application process in 2017.
The Judicial Panel Chair and the members of the Judicial Panel are remunerated by the British Horseracing Authority, but act entirely independently of the Authority.
The Judicial Panel is chaired by His Honour Brian Barker, C.B.E. QC.
The Disciplinary Panel and Licensing Committee includes 23 members, including former horsemen and women and legally-qualified chairmen/women. The establishment of this larger and more diverse Judicial Panel is a recommendation of a review of the BHA’s Disciplinary Panel, Licensing Committee and Appeal Board, conducted by Christopher Quinlan QC in 2016. To read this review, click here.
The Appeal Board comprises legally-qualified chairmen/women and raceday Stewards.
The Disciplinary Panel
The Disciplinary Panel holds enquiries under the Rules of Racing and, where appropriate, imposes penalties where breaches of the Rules have been committed and hears appeals from Stewards’ decisions. Each Disciplinary Panel hearing is chaired by a legally-qualified member, in the interest of fairness to all parties.
Raceday Stewards are not permitted to serve on the Disciplinary Panel while they remain active on the racecourse.
The Licensing Committee determines referred cases and applications for reassessment and decides on the continuing status of licensed, permitted and registered individuals under the Rules, including all jockeys, trainers, other racing staff and racehorse owners.
Active Raceday Stewards may serve on the Licensing Committee because it does not involve them adjudicating on the decisions of fellow Stewards.
More information about how the Licensing Committee operates and previous decisions can be found here.
Appeal Boards are convened to hear appeals from some decisions made under the Rules of Racing to the extent permitted by the Rules for appeals to an Appeal Board.
Active Raceday Stewards serve on the Appeal Board because it does not involve them adjudicating on the decisions of fellow Stewards.