News: April 2017
Workshop at Council of Europe legal seminar on anti-doping hearing panels in Vilnius, Lithuania
Michael Pedersen facilitated a half-day workshop at a Council of Europe legal seminar on anti-doping hearing panels in Vilnius, Lithuania on 4 April 2017. The seminar focused on Council of Europe’s Recommendation on ensuring the independence of hearing panels and promoting fair trial in anti-doping cases. It brought together approx. 70 legal experts from across Europe.
The workshop in the context of the seminar offered participants innovative, fun and engaging ways of discussing and further developing a common understanding on aspects such as independence, trust and fairness. Among other activities, participants were asked to take perspectives of different stakeholder groups. They also went through a series of fairness games that offered opportunities for exploring how perceptions of fairness vary and how it feels to be treated unfairly.
Speakers at the seminar were as follows:
- Graham Arthur, Chair of the Advisory Group on Legal Issues of the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe
- Mark Hovell, Partner, Mills & Reeve Law Firm; UK National Anti-Doping Panel member
- Elda Moreno, Head of Children’s Rights and Sport Values Department, Council of Europe
- Simeon Petrovski, Lawyer, European Court of Human Rights
- Daniel Rietiker, Lawyer, European Court of Human Rights
- Michał Rynkowski, Office Director, Polish Commission Against Doping in Sport
- Anders Solheim, Chair of the Monitoring Group of the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe
- Julien Sieveking, Director, Legal Affairs, World Anti-Doping Agency
Among other aspects, there was a general consensus at the end of the seminar that:
- An independent hearing panel is one that is independent from and not governed by national anti-doping organizations, sport organizations or sport federations. Independence of a hearing panel is not compromised by it being funded by government.
- Anti-doping hearing panel members should be appointed on the basis of relevant expertise. Panel members must be free from any undisclosed, actual or potential conflicts of interest. It is desirable to have a former sportsperson be a part of a panel.
- Anti-doping hearing panels must adopt stringent anti-corruption standards.
- An international standard on the independence of hearing panels should be developed. The role of the Court of Arbitration for Sport should be reviewed. The Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention should be revised to reflect the importance of hearing panel independence.
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