Teams given right to propose ICA judges 16 Dec 2009
Following a meeting in Monaco last week, the FIAs International Court of Appeal (ICA) has decided to adopt a new system for Formula One appeal hearings ahead of the 2010 season. The revised arrangement grants the teams the authority to nominate judges, who will then be allowed to sit on the ICA panels.
The body is traditionally made up of independent judges from 18 countries but will now be comprised of its existing elected membership plus these co-opted judges. The elected representatives will always be in the majority, and the new judges will agree to adhere to the same standards of independence and impartiality.
The move is designed to boost the expertise of the ICAs judging panels and enhance public confidence in the body.
The FIAs statement in full:
The Congress of the FIA International Court of Appeal (ICA), made up of independent elected judges from 18 countries, met in Monaco on 11 December to discuss and adopt a new system for nominating judges for appeal hearings in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
From the start of the 2010 Formula One season, in agreement with the FIA and the teams, it has been decided to co-opt judges proposed by F1 teams to rule upon hearings relating to F1. These appeals will be heard by a panel comprised of the ICAs existing elected membership plus these co-opted judges. Elected ICA Judges will form a majority of any panel.
The ICA has taken this step to add to the existing reserve of knowledge and expertise, to allow for broader participation in the workings of the ICA, and to further enhance transparency and public confidence in the workings of the ICA.
All elected ICA judges are bound by formal undertakings to remain absolutely independent and impartial (from teams, from National Sporting Authorities, from the FIA itself, and from any other party). The new co-opted judges will adhere to identical standards of independence and impartiality.
The applicable rule is set out in Article 5 of the ICAs Rules of Procedure and provide as follows:
Article 5 - Independence of the ICA
Members must undertake to act with full independence and objectivity, to respect the application of these Rules and of all the FIAs Regulations, and to preserve the independence of the ICA. Each Member must be and remain independent of the parties. All Members are obliged to reveal immediately any circumstance likely to compromise their independence in respect of one or more of the parties. A Member shall spontaneously disqualify himself/herself from participating in a hearing which involves, as one of the parties or counsel to a party, a structure to which he/she belongs or takes part in its working in any capacity whatsoever.
Members and Deputy Members shall sign a formal undertaking to respect the integrity and independence of the ICA both during and after their respective terms of office.
Members and Deputy Members are bound by a confidentiality obligation with regard to the deliberations of the ICA.
On every panel all judges will work together and perform all of the same functions, having the same status and being bound by the same rules.