Procedure

INTRODUCTION

Nothing in the procedures set out in this document shall detract from the Integrity Commissioner’s, Disciplinary Panel’s, the Anti-Corruption Tribunal’s or Appeal Panel’s discretion to determine their own procedure for any hearing or appeal. As such, the following procedures exist only to guide them in the conduct of hearings, but the overriding principle of any adjudication of any alleged breach of any Code or Policy shall be that of natural justice. An accused should have a reasonable opportunity to defend himself and, except where specifically addressed in the Anti-Doping Policy, the assumption of innocence will apply and the burden of proof will be on the prosecutor.

 

The ESIC Panel is made up of legally experienced, independent individuals from various jurisdictions. They are obliged to recuse themselves from involvement in any matter in which they have an actual or perceived conflict of interest. In the context of ESIC, “independent” means the panel members are not employees, agents, officers or otherwise commercially connected with the parties to any proceedings under the relevant Code or Policy, including, but not limited to, the accused, the prosecuting or defending advocates, the publisher of the relevant Game, the Event or league in which the alleged offence occurred, the team of the accused party or any individual, team of corporation that could be considered the “injured party”. The members of an Appeal Panel shall also be independent and have no connection with the decision that is being appealed. Where no independent panel member is available from within the existing ESIC Panel (in the sole discretion of the Chairman of the ESIC Panel), then a new member/s of the ESIC Panel can be appointed on an ad hoc basis by consultation between the parties and in the final discretion of the Chairman of the ESIC Panel.

 

APPOINTMENT OF PANELS

Where a Code or Policy or this Procedure calls for the appointment of a panel, the three members of that panel shall be chosen from amongst the members of the ESIC Panel as follows:

The chairperson of the panel shall be appointed by the Chairman of the ESIC Panel (which may include appointing him or herself); and

One member shall be nominated by the accused party; and

One member shall be nominated by the Integrity Commissioner.

 

SIMPLE PROCEDURE

For alleged Level 1or 2 Code of Conduct Offences

1.1 Where a matter proceeds to a hearing under Article 4.2.2 or 4.2.3 of the Code of Conduct, then the case shall be referred to the Integrity Commissioner for adjudication in accordance with the following procedure:

1.1.1 Subject to the discretion of the Integrity Commissioner to order otherwise for good cause shown by the Participant, the hearing will take place at the time specified in the Notice of Charge

(which should, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, be no more than thirty-six (36) hours after the receipt by the Participant of the Notice of Charge) and in the country in which the alleged offence was committed. If the parties agree, the hearing may take place by telephone or other electronic media and, if a hearing in person is demanded and the Integrity Commissioner is not on site and any party does not accept a suggested proxy for the Integrity Commissioner (which the Integrity Commissioner may suggest at his absolute discretion), a delay may be necessary to ensure the Integrity Commissioner can get to the venue as quickly as reasonably possible and the party insisting on the Integrity Commissioner’s physical presence shall bear the reasonable costs of his or her travel and subsistence (which shall include business class flights where travel time exceeds 4 hours flying and up to 4 star accommodation where any overnight stay is necessary in the Integrity Commissioner’s entire discretion).

1.1.2 The procedure followed at the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Integrity Commissioner, provided that the hearing is conducted in a manner which offers the Participant a fair and reasonable opportunity to present evidence (including the right to call and to question witnesses by telephone or video-conference where necessary), address the Integrity Commissioner and present his/her case.

1.1.3 The hearing before the Integrity Commissioner shall be in English, and certified English translations shall be submitted of any non-English documents put before the Integrity Commissioner. The cost of the translation shall be borne by the party offering the document(s).

1.1.4 Where video evidence of the alleged offence is available at the hearing before the Integrity Commissioner, then it may be relied upon by any party, provided that all other parties shall have the right to make such representations in relation to it that they may see fit. It shall be for the party offering the video evidence to ensure it is viewable by all parties.

1.1.5 Unless exceptional circumstances apply, each of the following individuals must attend any hearing before the Integrity Commissioner:

(a) the Participant who has been charged with the alleged offence; and (b) the person who lodged the Report. Where any such individual has a compelling justification for his/her non-attendance, then they shall be given the opportunity to participate in the hearing before the Integrity Commissioner by telephone or other electronic media (if available).

1.1.6 Each of the individuals described in Article 1.1.5(a) and (b) shall have the right (at his/her or its own expense) to be represented at the hearing before the Integrity Commissioner by such representative (including legal counsel) of his/her or its own choosing.

1.1.7 The non-attendance of any Participant or his/her representative at the hearing, shall not prevent the Integrity Commissioner from proceeding with the hearing in his/her absence and

issuing a ruling in relation to the offence charged.

1.1.8 At the end of a hearing, where the Integrity Commissioner considers that further evidence is necessary or further time is required to consider the evidence that has been presented, he/she shall

adjourn the hearing for an appropriate period of time and make such directions as may be necessary.

1.1.9 After the hearing as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing (and, in any event, no later than forty-eight (48) hours thereafter), the Integrity Commissioner will confirm his/ her decision in writing, with reasons, setting out: (a) what sanctions, if any, are to be imposed (including any fine and/or period of suspension); (b) the date that any period of suspension shall come into force and effect; and (c) any rights of appeal that may exist.

1.1.10 Where a hearing is brought under Article 4.2.3 (or where the Participant has failed to respond in a timely fashion to the Notice of Charge):

  1. a) the Integrity Commissioner shall adjourn the hearing (for a period of no less than ten (10) minutes and no more than twenty-four (24) hours), following which he/she will reconvene the hearing and verbally announce his/her finding as to whether a Code of Conduct offence has been committed;
  2. b) where the Integrity Commissioner determines that a Code of Conduct offence has been committed, the Participant may request a short adjournment (of no more than thirty (30) minutes)

to prepare any submissions that he/she might wish to make in relation to the appropriate sanction that ought to be applied; and

  1. c) as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing (and, in any event, no later than forty-eight (48) hours thereafter), the Integrity Commissioner will announce his/her decision in writing, with reasons, setting out: (a) the finding as to whether a Code of Conduct offence had been committed; (b) what sanctions, if any, are to be imposed (including any fine and/or period of suspension); (c) the date that any period of suspension shall come into force and effect; and (d) any rights of appeal that may exist pursuant to Article 8.

1.1.10 The Integrity Commissioner shall have the discretion to announce the substance of his/her decision prior to the issue of the written reasoned decision referred to in Article 1.1.9.

1.1.11 A copy of the written reasoned decision will be provided to the Participant and the CEOs of the Game Publisher and League in which the offence took place and the result published on the ESIC website and released to the media entirely at the Integrity Commissioners discretion.

 

FULL PROCEDURE

For alleged Level 3 and Level 4 Offences under the Code of Conduct, alleged breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code and alleged violations under the Anti-Doping Policy

2.2 Where a matter proceeds to a hearing under Article 4.6.2 or 4.6.3 of the Code of Conduct or under the Anti-Corruption Code or the Anti-Doping Policy, then the case shall be referred to the Chairman of the ESIC Panel for adjudication in accordance with the following procedure:

2.2.1 As soon as reasonably possible, the Chairman can him or herself or can appoint one member

from the ESIC Panel to sit as the adjudicator to hear the case sitting alone if it is a Code of Conduct hearing. If, however, the matter is under the Anti-Corruption Code or Anti-Doping Policy or the Chairman considers the matter to be determined under the Code of Conduct to be of a level of such seriousness, in his/her entire discretion, he/she must appoint a Disciplinary Panel, Anti-Corruption Tribunal or Anti-Doping Panel in accordance with the principles for the Appointment of Panels set out in the preamble to this Disciplinary Procedure to hear the matter and that Panel shall conduct the hearing as set out below as if they were the “adjudicator” (where the “adjudicator” is a panel or tribunal, any actions required of the adjudicator shall be initiated by and the responsibility of the chair of that panel or tribunal).

2.2.2 The adjudicator shall convene a preliminary hearing with the Integrity Commissioner and/or his/her nominee, together with the Participant and his/her legal representatives (if

any). The preliminary hearing should take place as soon as possible by telephone conference call unless the adjudicator determines otherwise. The non-participation, without compelling

justification, of the Participation or his/her representative at the preliminary hearing, after proper notice of the preliminary hearing has been provided, shall not prevent the adjudicator from proceeding with the preliminary hearing, whether or not any written submissions are made on

behalf of the Participant.

2.2.3 The purpose of the preliminary hearing shall be to allow the adjudicator to address any preliminary issues that need to be resolved prior to the hearing date. In particular (but without

limitation), the adjudicator shall:

2.2.3.1 determine the date(s) upon which the full hearing shall be held. Save in exceptional circumstances or where the parties otherwise agree, the full hearing should take place

no longer than fourteen (14) days after the receipt by the Participant of the Notice of Charge.

2.2.3.2 establish dates reasonably in advance of the date of the full hearing by which:

  1. a) ESIC shall submit an opening brief with argument on all issues that ESIC wishes to raise at the hearing and a list of the witnesses that ESIC intends to call at the hearing (and a summary of the subject areas of the witness’s anticipated testimony), and enclosing copies of the exhibits that ESIC intends to introduce at the hearing;
  2. b) the Participant shall submit an answering brief, addressing ESIC’s arguments and setting out argument on the issues that he/she wishes to raise at the hearing, as well as a list of the witnesses that he/she intends to call at the hearing (and a summary of the subject areas of the witness’s anticipated testimony), and enclosing copies of the exhibits that he/she intends to introduce at the hearing; and
  3. c) ESIC may (at its discretion) submit a reply brief, responding to the answer brief of the Participant and listing any rebuttal witnesses that ESIC intends to call at the hearing (and a summary of the subject areas of the witness’s anticipated testimony), and enclosing copies of any other exhibits that ESIC intends to introduce at the hearing; and

2.2.3.3 make such order as the adjudicator shall deem appropriate in relation to the production of relevant documents and/or other materials between the parties.

2.2.4 Subject to the discretion of the adjudicator to order otherwise for good cause shown by either party, or if otherwise agreed between the parties, hearings before the adjudicator shall take place in the country in which the alleged offence was committed.

2.2.5 The procedure followed at the hearing shall be at the discretion of the adjudicator, provided that the hearing is conducted in a manner which offers the Participant a fair and reasonable  opportunity to present evidence (including the right to call and to question witnesses by telephone or videoconference where necessary), address the adjudicator and present his/her case.

2.2.6 The hearing before the adjudicator shall be in English, and certified English translations shall be submitted of any non-English documents put before the adjudicator. The cost of the translation shall be borne by the party offering the document(s). If required by the adjudicator (at his/her discretion), ESIC shall make arrangements to have the hearing recorded or transcribed. If requested by the Participant, ESIC shall also arrange for an interpreter to attend the hearing. Such costs of transcription and interpretation shall be paid by ESIC.

2.2.7 Where video evidence of the alleged offence is available at the hearing, then it may be relied upon by any party, provided that all other parties shall have the right to make such representations in relation to it that they may see fit. It is for the party relying on the video evidence to ensure that the video is watchable (ie that it works), but ESIC shall supply the viewing/playing equipment requested by the relevant party so long as notice of requirements are provided to ESIC at least 3 days before the hearing.

2.2.8 Unless exceptional circumstances apply, each of the following individuals must attend any hearing before the adjudicator:

(a) the Participant who has been charged with the alleged offence; (b) the person who lodged the Report; and (c) a representative of ESIC.

Where any such individual has a compelling justification for his/her non-attendance, then they shall be given the opportunity to participate in the hearing before the adjudicator by telephone or other electronic media (if available). Without prejudice to the Participant’s ability to call and to question such witnesses as may be necessary and/or to be represented by such other person of his/her own choosing, one of the Team Captain or Team manager of the Team that the Participant represents (if any) may also attend such hearing to provide additional support and assistance to the Participant.

2.2.9 Each of the individuals described in Article 2.2.8(a) and (b) shall have the right (at his/her or its own expense) to be represented at the hearing before the adjudicator by such representative

(including legal counsel) of his/her or its own choosing.

2.2.10 The non-attendance of the Participant or his/her representative at the hearing, after proper notice of the hearing has been provided, shall not prevent the adjudicator from proceeding with the hearing in his/her absence, whether or not any written submissions are made on his/her behalf.

2.2.11 At the end of a hearing, where the adjudicator considers that further evidence is necessary or further time is required to consider the evidence that has been presented, he/she shall adjourn the hearing for an appropriate period of time and make such directions as may be necessary.

2.2.12 Alternatively, at the end of a hearing:

2.2.12.1 brought under Article 4.6.2 of he Code of Conduct:

  1. a) as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing (and, in any event, no later than forty-eight (48) hours thereafter), the adjudicator will confirm the Participant’s admission that he/she had committed a Code of Conduct offence and announce his/her decision in writing, with reasons,

setting out: (a) what sanctions, if any, are to be imposed (including any fine and/or period of suspension); (b) the date that any period of suspension shall come into force and effect; and (c) any rights of appeal that may exist pursuant to Article 8.

2.2.12.2 brought under Article 4.6.3 (or where the Participant has failed to respond in a timely fashion to the Notice of Charge):

  1. a) the adjudicator shall adjourn the hearing (for a period of no less than ten (10) minutes and no

more than twenty-four (24) hours), following which he/she will reconvene the hearing and verbally

announce his/her finding as to whether a Code of Conduct offence has been committed;

  1. b) where the adjudicator determines that a Code of Conduct offence has been committed, the

Participant may request a short adjournment (of no more than thirty (30) minutes) to prepare any submissions that he/she might wish to make in relation to the appropriate sanction that ought to be applied; and c) as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing (and, in any event, no later than forty-eight (48) hours thereafter), the adjudicator will announce his/her decision in writing, with reasons, setting out:

(a) the finding as to whether a Code of Conduct offence had been committed; (b) what sanctions, if any, are to be imposed (including any fine and/or period of suspension); (c) the date that any period of suspension shall come into force and effect; and (d) any rights of appeal that may exist.

2.2.13 The adjudicator shall have the discretion to announce the substance of his/her decision prior to the issue of the written reasoned decision. For the avoidance of doubt, however: (a) the adjudicator shall still be required to issue a written, reasoned decision; and (b) the time to appeal shall not run until receipt of that written, reasoned decision.

2.2.14 A copy of the written reasoned decision will be provided to the Participant and the CEO’s of the Game publisher and/or league in whose Match or tournament the offence was committed and, at the Chairman of the ESIC Panel’s entire discretion, the outcome publicised to the media and published on the ESIC website.

2.2.15 Subject only to the rights of appeal, the adjudicator’s decision shall be the full, final and complete disposition of the matter and will be binding on all parties.

General Principles of Procedure

2.3 Where two or more Participants are alleged to have committed offences or violations, they may both be dealt with at the same hearing where the proceedings arise out of the same incident or set of facts, or where there is a clear link between separate incidents, provided that the Code or Policy permits the alleged offences to be determined by the same adjudicator. For the avoidance of doubt:

2.3.1 any number of Level 1 Offences and/or Level 2 Offences under the Code of Conduct can all be determined by the Integrity Commissioner at the same hearing; and

2.3.2 any number of Level 3 Offences and/or Level 4 Offences under the Code of Conduct can all be determined by an adjudicator at the same hearing; but

2.3.3 a Level 1 Offence or Level 2 Offence cannot be determined at the same hearing as a Level 3 Offence or a Level 4 Offence (and vice versa), and separate proceedings should therefore be issued in relation to each alleged offence.

2.4 Where a Participant is alleged to have committed more than one breach of the Code of Conduct during, or in relation to the same Match, then all of the alleged offences may be dealt with at the same hearing, provided that the Code of Conduct permits the offences that are alleged to have been committed to be determined by the same adjudicator.

2.5 Any failure or refusal by any Participant to provide assistance to the Integrity Commissioner or adjudicator in connection with any charge made may constitute a separate offence (depending upon the seriousness and context of such failure or refusal).

2.6 ESIC will issue a public announcement regarding any decision of the Integrity Commissioner or adjudicator as soon as is reasonably practicable after the decision has been communicated to the parties. The public announcement of the decision may include details of the offences/violations committed and of the sanctions imposed, if any. Until such time as a public announcement is published, all parties and participants in the proceedings shall treat such proceedings as strictly confidential. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Article shall prevent any party publicly confirming the date of the hearing, the offence that is alleged to have been committed and/or the name of the Participant charged.

2.7 Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this Procedure, at any time during the proceedings it shall be open to a Participant charged with breach(es) of any Code or Policy to admit the breach(es) charged, whether or not in exchange for an agreement with ESIC on the appropriate sanction to be imposed upon him/her in order to avoid the need for a hearing.  Any such discussions between ESIC and the Participant shall take place on a “without prejudice” basis and in such a manner that they shall not delay or in any other way interfere with the proceedings.  Any resulting agreement shall be evidenced in writing, signed by both the Integrity Commissioner and the Participant, and shall set out the sanction imposed on the Participant for his/her breach (the “Agreed Sanction”).  In determining the Agreed Sanction, ESIC will have due regard to the range of sanctions set out in the relevant Code or Policy for the offence(s) in question, but it shall not be bound to impose a sanction within that range where it reasonably considers (at its absolute discretion) that there is good reason to depart therefrom.  Upon receipt of notice of the Agreed Sanction, the adjudicator shall discontinue the proceedings on the terms thereof without the need for any further hearing.  Instead the Chairman of the ESIC Panel (in consultation with the Integrity Commissioner) shall promptly issue a public decision confirming the Participant’s admission of the offence(s) charged and the imposition of the Agreed Sanction.

 

APPEALS

3.1 There are no appeals from decisions in relation to a first Level 1 Offence under the Code of Conduct, but, apart from that exception, all decisions of the Integrity Commissioner or adjudicator can be appealed using the following procedure:

3.2 Appeals from decisions in relation to any other Offence:

3.2.1 Decisions made by the Integrity Commissioner or adjudicator may be challenged solely by appeal as set out in this Article 3.2. Such decision shall remain in effect while under appeal unless the Chairman of the ESIC Panel orders otherwise.

3.2.2 The only party who may appeal a decision shall be the Participant found guilty of the offence.

3.2.3 Any notice to appeal under this Article must be lodged with the Integrity Commissioner within 48 hours of receipt of the decision of the Integrity Commissioner or adjudicator.

Thereafter, the following will apply:

3.2.3.1 Within 48 hours of receipt of a notice to appeal: (a) the Chairman of the ESIC Panel will appoint an Appeal Panel in accordance with the principles for the Appointment of Panels set out in the preamble to this Disciplinary Procedure.

3.2.3.2 The provisions of Articles 1.1.2 to 1.1.11, applicable to proceedings before the Integrity Commissioner and 2.1.2 to 2.1.14 applicable to proceedings before an adjudicator, shall apply mutatis mutandis (ie with changes deemed to have been made as required to reflect the different context) to appeal hearings before the Appeal Panel.

3.2.3.3 The Appeal Panel shall hear and determine all issues arising from any matter which is appealed pursuant to this Article on a de novo basis, ie they shall hear the matter over again, from the beginning, without being bound in any way by the decision being appealed. For the

avoidance of doubt, the Appeal Panel shall have the power to increase or decrease, amend or otherwise substitute a new decision on the appropriateness (or otherwise) of the sanction imposed at first instance, provided that any new sanction must be within the permitted range of sanctions set out in the relevant Code or Policy.

3.2.3.4 Appeal hearings pursuant to this Article 3.2 should be completed expeditiously. Save where all parties agree or fairness requires otherwise, the appeal hearing shall be commenced no later than seven (7) days after the appointment of the Appeal Panel.

3.2.3.5 The Appeal Panel shall have the power to order some or all of the costs of the appeal proceedings (including the costs of holding the hearing, any interpretation costs, the legal and/or travel/accommodation costs of the Appeal Panel and/or any other relevant parties) to be paid by the appealing party if they consider that such party has acted spuriously, frivolously or otherwise in bad faith.

3.2.3.6 Any decision made by the Appeal Panel under this Article 3.2, shall be the full, final and complete disposition of the matter and will be binding on all parties.

3.4 No appeal in relation to an accepted sanction

3.4.1 For the avoidance of doubt, where a Participant admits the offence charged and accedes to the proposed sanction specified in the Notice of Charge, the Participant waives his/her right to any appeal against the imposition of such a sanction.