The Scottish FA is responsible for administering disciplinary procedures for its member clubs. This is essential in protecting the integrity and reputation of the game at all levels, while also providing guidelines of acceptable behaviour for clubs. As part of our new strategic plan, the disciplinary procedures were radically overhauled to provide greater efficiency, accountability and transparency.
The evolution of the game necessitated such widespread changes to our disciplinary rules and the implementation of a FastTrack process has already proven to be successful. The appointment of the first-ever compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, has ensured greater focus and legal enforceability of the disciplinary rules.
Equally, the creation of a Judicial Panel cab rank system has ensured independence of decision-making and a diversity of skills on each panel. These changes are based on two key principles:
Principle 1 – Economic and expeditious justice. The objective of the Protocol is to secure the Determination of disciplinary proceedings arising in respect of Association Football and that decisions are made economically and expeditiously in a fair manner. Tribunals appointed from the Judicial Panel may impose reasonable procedural requirements on Parties to ensure that matters are dealt with economically and expeditiously.
Principle 2 – Decision making in a civil and footballing context. Whilst adhering to the general principles of fairness, and where appropriate, with consideration of underlying principles of law, those submitting to this Protocol acknowledge that these provisions relate to the Determination of matters arising from any breach of the Articles and/or the Disciplinary Rules, which govern the operation of Association Football in Scotland in a civil context, and that Tribunals may make appropriate Determinations in that civil and footballing context.