The purpose of this code of ethics is to set rules and standards for players, tournament organizers, arbiters and other individuals and entities participating in any affairs of the Malta Chess Federation (MCF), including chess tournaments and other chess activities held in Malta. The document will specify sanctions for conduct that does not conform to such standards; and to specify the procedures by which alleged violations are to be investigated and, if necessary, the appropriate sanctions imposed.
The MCF Chess Ethics Committee will exist to consider allegations of unethical conduct at or in connection with chess events held by MCF, and allegations of unethical conduct involving MCF and its activities, in accordance with the standards and procedures contained in this code.
The actions and behaviour of individuals participating in MCF activities shall be lawful and in accordance with all MCF rules and regulations, and consistent with the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for the rights of others. The following is a list of examples of actions and behaviour that are considered unethical. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, and any action or behaviour that is unlawful or violates MCF rules and regulations, or is inconsistent with the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for the rights of others, may be considered to fall within the scope of this code of ethics.
Attempting to interfere with the rights of any MCF Chess member, such as by barring someone from entering an MCF Chess-sanctioned event for personal reasons. Generally, no individual should be barred from an MCF Chess-sanctioned event for which he or she meets the advertised qualifications, without appropriate due process, and then only for behaviour inconsistent with the principles of this code and/or the rules of chess. If a ban on future participation is imposed, the individual should be notified of the ban prior to his attempting to appear at future events.
Any MCF Chess member may initiate procedures under this code of ethics by filing a complaint in a timely manner (within 4 weeks of the alleged infraction) with the MCF Chess Ethics Committee. An administrative charge of EURO 50 shall be payable for any complaint raised. This fee shall be returnable if the complaint is upheld or found to have merit. In the case of any accusation that does not fall clearly under the Standards of Conduct above, the Ethics Committee shall have the authority to decide whether the alleged conduct is within the scope of the code of ethics. In the case of each alleged violation that is within the scope of the code of ethics, the following steps shall occur in a timely manner:
(a) A factual inquiry shall be made by the Ethics Committee, assisted as necessary by the MCF council. Previous findings of the Ethics Committee may be included among the evidence considered by the Ethics Committee, if relevant to the circumstances of the present case. As a part of such an inquiry, any person accused of unethical conduct shall have the right to examine the evidence against him or her, the right to respond to the accusation, and the right to produce written evidence in his or her behalf.
(b) Appropriate sanctions, if any, shall be recommended to the MCF Council by the Ethics Committee. In recommending sanctions, the Ethics Committee may consider any previous ruling or finding of the Ethics Committee, pertaining to the past conduct of the person being sanctioned. In recommending sanctions, the person being recommended for sanctions must be informed of this fact. Any person against whom sanctions have been recommended shall be promptly notified.
(c) Except as specified in (e) sanctions recommended to the MCF Council shall be deemed final unless appealed to the MCF Council by the person or persons upon whom the sanctions have been imposed, or upon the initiative of any member of the MCF Council. Such an appeal must be made within thirty days of the date that notification of recommended sanctions occurred, except that the MCF Council may extend the deadline for appeal if in its judgment an unavoidable delay in communications or other valid cause prevented a timely appeal. If an appeal has not been filed by the deadline the recommended sanctions shall be placed into effect.
(d) Upon appeal, a review of the facts and the appropriateness of the recommended sanction shall be undertaken by the MCF Council. The person against whom the sanction has been recommended, as well as the person filing the initial complaint, shall be given notice of the time and place the MCF Council will review the case. The person against whom the sanctions have been recommended shall have the right to appear before the Committee and present evidence. In all appeals the recommended sanctions imposed by the Ethics Committee shall not be in effect until the appeal hearing is completed. The recommended sanctions shall be either confirmed, modified, or revoked by the MCF Council.
(e) If the person against whom sanctions have been recommended is a member of the MCF Council, he or she will suspend his or her activities within the MCF Council. He or she has a right to appeal the sanctions to the MCF Council.
(f) If any member of the Ethics Committee or of the MCF Council has a conflict of interest of any kind that might preclude objective participation in the consideration of any case, that person may not act in the capacity of any of these two committees on the case.
The following are some of the sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the procedures specified above. In unusual cases, other appropriate sanctions may be imposed, or these sanctions may be varied or combined.
(a) Reprimand. A determination that a member has committed an offense warranting discipline becomes a matter of record, but no further sanction is imposed at the time. A reprimand automatically carries a probation of at least three months, or longer if so specified. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during the probation, he or she is then liable to further sanctions for both offenses.
(b) Censure. A determination that a member has committed a serious offense warranting discipline becomes a matter of record, but no further sanction is imposed at the time. Censure automatically carries a probation of at least one year, or longer if so specified. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during the probationary period, he or she is then liable to further sanctions for both offenses.
(c) Suspended sentence with probation. A determination is made that the member has committed an offense warranting discipline. When the discipline is imposed and execution thereof suspended, such suspension shall include probation for at least six months longer than the discipline imposed. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during this period, unless otherwise decreed, the original discipline shall be added to such new discipline as may be imposed for the new offense.
(d) Suspension. Suspension is a determination that the member has committed an offense warranting abrogation, for a specified period of time, of all membership rights and privileges.
(e) Expulsion. Expulsion is a determination that a member has committed an offense warranting permanent abrogation of all membership rights and privileges. An expelled member may be readmitted to membership only by the MCF Council.
(f) Exclusion from events. This is a more selective determination that a member has committed an offense warranting abrogation of the right to participate in certain specified events or activities.
In the case of every sanction that involves suspension or expulsion, a member may not hold his or her position within the MCF Council or participate in any capacity in any MCF event or activity.