Thursday, July 21, 2005

Justice Denied?

Last night and until the early hours of dawn, Laura Moylan (spokesperson for the Sydney Academy of Chess team) went head-to-head with the indefatigable big man of the NSWCA, Bill Gletsos. You may delight in their exchanges here. That debate ceased only because Miss Moylan had to have her beauty sleep.

As you read through Bill's and Laura's exchanges, there is one issue that deserves greater scrutiny. And this is over the question of fairness and justice in the appeals process afforded (or not) to the SAC.

Justice demands that an appeal be referred to either a higher authority or at least another body composed of persons outside of the original decision-makers. This is to ensure that bias is removed and that the matter be considered upon in a fresh and independent light. This is the normal practice which chess follows. For example, NSW maintains a standing Appeals Committee to consider disputes over the Laws of Chess between an arbiter and a player. The NZCF has the same sort of committee but this group is formed just before the start of a tournament. This was certainly my experience at the 112th Congress earlier this year.

The ACF, too, follows this practice. The ACF's Code of Ethics affords any person under penalty to appeal to an independent tribunal.

In the dispute between the Sydney Academy of Chess team and the NSWCA, this practice was ignored. In her email to the NSWCA Council, Moylan states quite emphatically:
Our appeal was against the actions of those responsible for producing the draw for the final rounds of the grade matches, ie Bill Gletsos and Peter Cassettari. - email from Laura Moylan to NSWCA
Yet amazingly, both the two gentlemen named above were actually permitted to deliberate on the matter in question. Why is this so? Imagine if David Hicks' only avenue of appeal was Donald Rumsfeld himself!

While I remain undecided, at this time, over the merits or demerits of the SAC's quarrel - I believe that they deserve a fairer hearing than what they have been afforded so far. In the interest of justice and fairness, the NSWCA must now reconsider their position. Else, the alternative is a disaster for chess in New South Wales.

May Caissa grant our Councillors wisdom! And may She save us from a tragedy!

2 comments:

Matthew Sweeney said...

"Our appeal was against the actions of those responsible for producing the draw for the final rounds of the grade matches, ie Bill Gletsos and Peter Cassettari." Moylan

Actually, neither of these two produced and published the errant draw. However, they are both defending it in stead of saying "Sorry folks, we fucked-up," and repairing it.

I can/do forgive mistakes - I live in a glass house. I do n ot forgive cover-ups.

Anonymous said...

who cares what sweeny the weeny forgives or not. I am going to ask FK to kick his head in!