The Judiciary Committee ('JC') charter outlines the JC structure and protocol that will be followed if, during any GPFFL sanctioned game, including tournaments for which the GPFFL sanctions a team, or event, it is deemed necessary to involve a neutral third party(ies) to resolve a serious matter that arises among or between players, fans or referees. The JC will take under advisement and investigate any acts of unsportsmanlike, dangerous or otherwise inappropriate conduct or behavior that inflicts, or is perceived to have potentially inflicted, harm upon any players, fans or referees. In addition, the JC will assess the severity of any inappropriate conduct or behavior it investigates to determine if it rises to the level that disciplinary action/sanctions may be warranted. The JC will not be utilized to handle routine league matters that should otherwise be addressed and resolved by team captains, referees or the GPFFL Board. Further, the GPFFL Board will have final and ultimate decision making authority to implement, modify or nullify, in full or in part, any recommendations made by the JC.
NOTE: The scope of the JC will not include GPFFL game rule establishment or routine rule interpretation, which will be under the jurisdiction of the GPFFL Board. Rather, it will focus on egregious unacceptable/inappropriate behavior exhibited by players, fans or referees in their respective roles while implementing/carrying out the rules of the league and/or game. The JC will work in tandem with the GPFFL Board to ensure the consistent and uniform interpretation of the league's rules of play.
A JC Chair will be named by the GPFFL Board. Other GPFFL members may be added to the JC as permanent or ad hoc members or may be requested to participate in incident investigations. In addition, witnesses within or outside the GPFFL may be brought together to ensure a full and comprehensive investigation can be conducted.
JC Roles and Responsibilities
If it is determined acts perpetrated by players, fans or referees warrant disciplinary actions/sanctions, the JC will investigate the alleged infraction and make recommendation(s) to the GPFFL Board for its review and final determination of enforcement. Such recommendations will include appropriate penalties (if any) in accordance with the Disciplinary Code below. Depending upon the scope and severity of the alleged infraction, the JC Chair will either conduct any necessary investigations alone or appoint other members of the GPFFL to provide assistance. Any appointed members will report directly to the JC chair.
Typically, the type of situations the JC may be asked to investigate and the general process it will follow will include:
- Resolving serious intra or inter team matters;
- Rectifying major GPFFL rule infractions;
- Remedying behavior on the field/sideline by players, fans or referees that rises to the level that cannot be resolved by the parties involved or GPFFL Board.
Based on the seriousness of the infringement or inappropriate behavior reported and investigated, the JC will take certain steps and make recommendations based on the actual - or perceived potential for - physical or emotional harm caused to another individual or individuals or to the GPFFL organization as a whole, including:
- Meeting with the party involved (and witnesses, if appropriate) to discuss/determine the severity of the incident and appropriate remediation;
- Recommending disciplinary action/sanctions to be imposed on players, referees or fans, which may include but would not be limited to:
- Issuance of a formal apology to team members or other GPFFL members, fans or referees;
- Suspension of players or referees from one or more future games;
- Removal of players from League appointed positions (e.g., team captaincy);
- Expulsion of players, fans or referees from any future GPFFL sanctioned activities.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, the JC chair will issue a formal, written recommendation to the GPFFL Board detailing its findings and proposed penalties (if any).
In determining the appropriate penalty for any particular transaction, the GPFFL Board will adhere to the following guidelines:
- In instances where the guilty party acted with Intent, the penalty can range from a warning to expulsion of the guilty party from any future GPFFL sanctioned activities. Intent is defined as a determination to perform a clearly formulated or designed act or to act in a particular manner for a specific reason with the design or purpose to commit a wrongful or criminal act.
- In instances where the guilty party acted with Gross Negligence, the penalty can range from a warning to suspension for the remainder of the current GPFFL season. Gross Negligence is defined as conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both.
- In instances where the guilty party acted with Negligence, the penalty can range from a warning to suspension of the guilty party from one or more games. Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care, the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do, or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do under like circumstances.
- Mindful of the guilty party's acknowledgement and acceptance of their involvement in any incidents investigated by the JC, the severity and duration of any disciplinary actions/sanctions imposed may be reduced or mitigated by the GPFFL Board.
The member(s) of the JC shall make every effort to ensure the complete confidentiality of any topics discussed or information provided or disclosed to it during the course of investigating any offenses. This includes the facts of the case, the contents of any discussions held with the parties directly or indirectly involved, any sanctions recommended to the GPFFL Board, or any final decisions or sanctions levied that are not otherwise made public.