The Code of Discipline

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    1. Introduction
      In accordance with sporting ideals, the European Bridge League expects its affiliated NBOs and their members to respect the principles of ethics and good conduct. In view of these principles, the Statutes prohibit racial, religious or political discrimination or any violation of Human Rights by the NBOs.In order to guarantee, as far as this is possible, the above-mentioned principles, it has been decided to institute this Code of Discipline to deal with any breach of the principles in question and any rep­re­hen­si­ble conduct, in the sense of the clauses of the Code.The Code follows Article 33.8 and 33.11 of the Statutes and must be considered as an integral part of them.
    2. Responsibility of NBOs
      Member status of the EBL concerns only the NBOs. With the exception of certain cases (for example, the suspension or banning of Chief Tournament Directors or Appeals Committees), the EBL is not entitled to exercise directly its authority on the members of NBOs or ensure that any sanction imposed on them is being enforced. Consequently, the EBL holds the NBOs responsible for the behaviour of their members and, if the case arises, for the enforcing of any sanctions that the EBL imposes against them. Any failure to uphold this responsibility will result in the EBL imposing sanctions against the NBO.
    3. Reprehensible Conduct
      1. serious infringement of the EBL Statutes or Regulations;
      2. serious prejudice against the EBL or any other NBO;
      3. illicit actions or behaviour affecting the proper running of a competition or its results;
      4. offensive or insolent words, gestures or actions against the EBL authorities or those of any other NBO;
      5. failure to respect financial obligations towards the EBL or any other NBO;
      6. failure to uphold contractual obligations towards the EBL or any other NBO (for example, con­cern­ing the organisation of events);
      7. refusal to implement appropriate and reasonable orders given by persons whom the EBL has officially appointed to represent it for the organisation of events or the conducting of its affairs;
      8. acts of harassment (sexual or otherwise);
      9. criminal actions;
      10. complete or partial failure -without valid reason -to respect obligations linked to all functions ex­er­cised for the EBL or to any task carried out on behalf of the EBL;
      11. corrupt actions, threats and/or other means intended to undermine the impartiality of the system of justice or exercise an abnormal influence on the conduct of the affairs of the EBL;
      12. noisy, prolonged or violent behaviour in the competition area or during meetings organised by the EBL;
      13. actions intended to hinder or prevent the work of persons employed by the EBL, by means of protests or other initiatives;
      14. libellous or defamatory declarations or publications against the EBL, its NBOs or any person ex­er­cis­ing a function for the EBL;
      15. unfounded declarations or affirmations;
    4. Sanctions liable to be imposed by the EBL
      Article 33.8 of the Statutes makes provision for a certain number of sanctions liable to be imposed on NBOs or persons. Depending on the gravity of the case, sanctions can take the following form:

      1. warning, possibly published on the EBL Website;
      2. suspension of the NBO or the person concerned from one or several official events;
      3. exclusion from participating in EBL activities;
      4. banning from participating in EBL events;
      5. monetary fine.

Furthermore, an NBO can be excluded by a decision made by the General Assembly. Other sanctions can be imposed within the framework of the Code, namely: suspension from responsibilities of a member elected to one of the organs of the EBL and, depending on the individual case, striking-off of the person concerned (the decision to strike-off can only be made by the General Assembly).

5. Anticipated action in case of reprehensible conduct
If the case arises a Disciplinary Commission, appointed by the EBL Executive Committee, rules on the cases of reprehensible conduct referred to the EBL. The Commission includes three people appointed by the Executive Committee. The Commission includes one member of the Executive Committee, who will act as Chairman of the Disciplinary Commission and two others who are not members of the EBL or WBF Executive Committees.

The Commission can rule on cases of any NBO or person accused, in the framework of the above-mentioned sanctions.

Before a meeting of the Commission, charged with examining a case of reprehensible conduct, the Secretary informs the accused NBO and/or person of the time, date and place and/or method of the meeting in order to give the accused NBO and/or person the opportunity to report on this action – by attending the meeting or submitting written explanations. The accused NBO and/or person is at liberty to attend the meeting.

The Commission makes a ruling and informs within two weeks of any sanction what it has decided to impose on the defendant.

The appeal rights against a decision of the Disciplinary Commission are governed by Articles 48 and 49 of the Statutes.

6. Immediate intervention in cases of reprehensible action
When immediate intervention is necessary to deal with a reprehensible action (for example, in the case of prolonged, noisy behaviour or protests preventing the progress of an event, or violent or offensive behaviour disturbing a meeting), the person in charge is entitled to intervene immediately to restore order. In certain extreme cases, if necessary the individual responsible may be forced to leave the premises. Subsequently, a report on the incident must be sent to the Secretary, who then submits it to the Executive Committee.

7. Cases of non-application of the Code
When the EBL already has an established procedure to follow following certain cases of reprehensible action, for example following a doping test or minor technical infractions related to the Code of Practice for the Appeals Committee and for certain aspects appropriate to the Tournament Directors’ conduct, the present Code is not applicable unless the Executive Committee believe that certain elements of the reprehensible action in question relate to aspects of the Code.

Originally approved by the EBL Executive Committee in Sorrento, Italy, March 2001

Modifications approved by the EBL Executive Committee in Milton Keynes, England, 13 November 2015 to take immediate effect.

Further modifications agreed by the EBL Executive Committee on 1 January 2016