“The Quinlan Report” published on 29 September 2016


Christopher Quinlan QC, was appointed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to lead a review of the structure, composition and operation of its Disciplinary Panel, Appeal Board and Licensing Committee. In doing so he led a project team which included another member of Guildhall Chambers, Sam Jones. Sam undertook a discrete but integral part of the review, researching the disciplinary structures in other sports.

The report was published yesterday and has been well received within and without racing. 

The Guardian, 29th September (BHA gives up control of disciplinary panels under Quinlan reforms)

The Guardian, 29th September (Christopher Quinlan’s BHA reforms show support but also ask hard questions)

The Racing Post, 29th September

The BHA has accepted all of Christopher’s 24 recommendations and will implement them as soon as possible.

The main recommendations are:

  1. Creating a new role of Judicial Panel Chairman. This will involve the appointment of a new, independent head of the BHA’s quasi-judicial functions, an enhanced leadership role, with responsibility for the Disciplinary Panel, Licensing Committee and Appeal Board, and the appointment, training and mentoring of members.
  2. Merging the Licensing Committee with the Disciplinary Panel to form a single disciplinary group under the leadership of the Judicial Panel Chairman.
  3. Increasing the size of the merged Disciplinary Panel and Licensing Committee to not less than 22, including a modest increase in legally-qualified members, under open competition, to include any suitably qualified people with sufficient knowledge of horseracing.
  4. Ensuring that each Disciplinary Panel hearing is chaired by a legally-qualified member, in the interests of fairness to all parties.
  5. Preventing raceday stewards from serving on the Disciplinary Panel while they remain active on the racecourse. Active raceday stewards will continue to serve on the Appeal Board and the Licensing Committee as that does not involve them adjudicating on the decisions of fellow stewards.
  6. Extending the remit of the Appeal Board so that it can, in exceptional cases, offer a de novo hearing (i.e. ‘start afresh’ with a rehearing) when considering an appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Panel or the Licensing Committee.

For the full Quinlan Report click here.


Christopher Quinlan KC

Christopher Quinlan KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2011

Samuel Jones

Call: 2008

Related Practice Areas

Regulatory & Discipline
Sports Law

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