Independent Hearing Panel

The Independent Hearing Panel (IHP) has a general jurisdiction on cases arising from the BWF Statutes. The IHP acts as a first instance hearing panel for Integrity and Ethics cases, and as an appeal panel for Sports cases and for Continental Confederation governance cases (Article 7.5 of the Judicial Procedures).

The IHP is a pool of no fewer than seven members who may be called upon to serve on hearing panels. In November 2020, the BWF initated a process to appoint 5 new IHP members. This process will conclude in February 2021.


Independent Hearing Panel Members

  • Mr Rune Bård Hansen (President)
  • Ms Sylvia Schenk
  • Mr Kevin Carpenter
  • Mr James Kitching

Profiles of the External Judicial Experts Group

Mr Rune Bård Hansen – President

A judge on the Court of Appeals in Norway, Mr Rune Bård Hansen has served on many Doping Hearing Panels and Ethics Hearing Panels from 2012 – 2019.

As President of the Independent Hearing Panel, Mr Hansen is responsible for reviewing case files that have been forwarded from the BWF Referral Officer and selecting members from the IHP to form hearing panels under the BWF Judicial Procedures.

Rune Bård Hansen has a Masters of Law and Political Science and has served in a variety of legal roles over the last 30 years including being a Police Attorney for eight years in Norway; an Attorney specialising in general and environmental crime; Chief of Police in the Vestfold Police District in Norway and a Vice Governor, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) before starting his service on the Court Of Appeals in 2008.

Rune Bård Hansen was involved in officiating in badminton for more than 30 years and was a BWF Certificated Umpire for 18 years until his retirement from on-court duties in 2013.

Ms Sylvia Schenk

An attorney at Herbert Smith Freehills in Frankfurt, specializing in compliance and sports law, and a Court of Arbitration (CAS) Arbitrator since 2007, Ms Sylvia Schenk is an adviser and board member in a wide range of organisations.

Among other roles, Sylvia Schenk is the Chair of the Working Group Sport, Transparency International Germany (since 2014); is a Board Member of the German Olympic Academy (since 2007); a Member of the Advisory Board on Data-Protection of Deutsche Bahn AG (since 2011); a Member of the INTERPOL Standing Committee on Ethical Matters (since 2016) and a Member of the Independent Human Rights Advisory Board of FIFA (since 2017).

Sylvia Schenk was a Member of the board of the National Olympic Committee for Germany (1994 to 1997); a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Cycling Federation (Union Cycliste Internationale – UCI) (2000 – 2005); the President of the German Federal Cycling Association (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer e.V. – BDR) (2001 – 2004); a Board Member of the German Chapter of Transparency International (2006 – 2013 and Chair 2007 – 2010) and Senior Advisor for Sport, Transparency International (2006 – 2014).

Mr Kevin Carpenter 

A highly regarded international sports lawyer, Mr Kevin Carpenter has a reputation in relation to legal, regulatory and governance spheres across a diverse range of sports from volleyball and football to boxing, swimming and eSports.  He is the Principal for his own consultancy business Captivate Legal & Sports Solutions.

Kevin has advised international federations, national governing bodies, players’ unions, inter-governmental organisations and other public bodies, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on all manner of integrity and ethical matters in sport. He has also represented participants in sport who have been accused of doping or match-fixing offences.

Kevin’s expertise and knowledge has led him to be make regular appearances internationally delivering presentations and commenting in the media on ethical issues in sport. In addition, his research and papers are published across a variety of forums.

Mr James Kitching

James Kitching is an experienced senior international sports lawyer, specialising in sports regulation and governance.

James is currently the Director of Football Regulatory at FIFA, overseeing all aspects of the FIFA football regulatory framework.  Prior to joining FIFA, James founded Kitching Sports, the first specialist sports regulation and business firm in the Asia-Pacific region, after leaving the Asian Football Confederation, where he was Head of Sports Legal Services, Disciplinary and Governance.

James currently serves and has served as a member of several disciplinary and judicial panels of international and national sports federations. As advocate, he has acted both for and against sports federations in disciplinary proceedings, particularly at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.