Virtual AGM Council Proposals – Questions & Answers

The questions and answers below, provide you with information on the Council Proposals – Items 5.1 to 5.5 on the AGM Agenda (linked here). Delegates should also listen to the four video clips about the Council proposals (linked here). More information on the AGM can be found on the Forum and AGM page of the website (linked here).

Questions on Proposal 5.1:

The proposal by Council is to remove two events because they no longer meet the criteria for ‘participation’ because these events are qualification events (not open events) from 2021.

The original criteria for clause 15.20 of the BWF Constitution was approved by the BWF membership at the 2012 AGM. The intention was to have more than half of the 12 events.

This criteria measures participation in international events over a four-year period. There is a maximum of 12 events included currently (see below). These are a mix of team tournaments (Sudirman Cup) and individual tournaments (World Championships) at both a world level (World Junior Championships) and Continental level (Continental Team Championships)

Because the Sudirman Cup will be a qualification tournament from 2021 (with only 16 teams), then this criteria and the two Sudirman Cup tournaments, in 2021 and 2023, should not be included in the total moving forward. So two Sudirman Cup events are removed from the current total of 12 events (to make 10) and the minimum of 6 events is still above 50% – the original intention of clause 15.20.

The proposed amendments are in red:

Participation in 7 6 out of these 12 10 events during the Assessment Period: Sudirman Cup (2 events), Individual Continental Championships (a maximum of 2 events), World Championships (3 events), Olympic Games (1 event), World Junior Team Championships (4 events).

See the first video – Proposals 5.1 and 5.2 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

Questions on Proposal 5.2:

Currently there are no term limits in the Constitution for any BWF elected official – President, Deputy President, Vice President Para Badminton, or ordinary Council member.

There are currently no term limits in the Constitution. Apart from electing an individual as President for more than 4 terms, term limits would not limit the ability for the BWF membership to elect any President during elections held every four years.

The term limits provide a mechanism to ensure that the President is no longer able to be in that role after 4 terms – and there must be a change of leadership.

Any person elected to the role of BWF President takes at least one 4-year cycle / one term to build his/her knowledge and experience in this leadership governance role and in effectively managing the affairs of the BWF Council. Building the experience and developing a long-term vision takes time for any individual.

Secondly, building the external networks in the Olympic and Paralympic family are essential to represent badminton and BWF, and this takes time – a number of terms.

Key relationships with the IOC and IPC in particular, and with other International Federations (IFs) on the Summer Olympic Sports Federations are essential. The ultimate goal here is to have the BWF President elected on external sports bodies, and in particular to become an IOC Member. This representation role normally takes a lot longer to achieve than one or two terms as a President of an IF. And if an IOC member position is achieved as part of the positions available for International Federation Presidents then the position will be lost in case the IF President will not be re-elected.

It has therefore been the consideration that the term limit should not be too short as that could make it very difficult for BWF Presidents to work their way to get a position as an IOC Member and to retain this position for a reasonable number of years. But on the other hand, the term limit should not be too long to ensure reasonable renewal of the BWF political leadership

See the first video – Proposals 5.1 and 5.2 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

The proposal, if adopted by the membership, comes into effect at the 2021 election. The key reason that the proposal does not include previous/existing terms is that “retroactive application of rules” is not good governance practice.

In 2013 when the current President was elected, there were no term limits defined in the Constitution. Nor were there in 2017 when the President was re-elected. It is fundamentally unfair and not good governance to apply a new rule (if passed in 2020) retroactively to include previous terms served (back to 2013) when there was no limit on terms.

It is important to understand that apart from preventing an individual from being elected more than four times as President, term limits do not in any way limit the ability for the BWF Membership to elect any President during elections which take place every four years. Whether to elect an individual as President is fully up to the membership.

This proposal only puts a maximum limit on the number of terms – four.

See the first video – Proposals 5.1 and 5.2 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

Questions on Proposal 5.3:

The proposal on Judicial Provisions are refinements to the legal framework that have been in place in the Constitution for many years. The amendments are necessary, so that Council approved Judicial Procedures can come into effect on 19 July – the day after the AGM.

On 18 and 19 February at its meeting in Lausanne, the Council passed a variety of ethics regulations which will come into effect on 19 July. These regulations are 1) Code of Ethics, 2) Codes of Conduct, 3) Complaint Procedures, 4) Code of Conduct for the Prevention of Competition Manipulation and 5) Judicial Procedures. These can be downloaded from the website (linked here – Statutes page – see the download section top right).

These documents approved by Council are enhancements of existing ethics regulations. These regulations:

  • Ensure more external and independent judges on hearing panels.
  • Can be adopted by the Continental Confederations if they wish to do so – which brings efficiencies so that each CC does not need to establish their own panels or draft their own codes of ethics.

 

In order for these Judicial Procedures can come into effect, the BWF Constitution needs to change as this provides the legal framework for the regulations.

The amendments to the Constitution include:

  • A change of name to reflect the new hearing panels.
  • Removal of the Doping Hearing Panel – as the Council has already delegated this to the CAS Anti-Doping Division to judge all anti-doping cases. CAS will therefore act as a fully independent hearing panel for all anti-doping cases in BWF and will provide an enhanced expertise in this area as the CAS panels deal with cases in many other sports.
  • Removal of the current Appeals Panel – any future appeals will now go to either an Independent Hearing Panel (IHP) or straight to CAS – both external and independent. The current Appeals Panel is not external from the sport, which is an important principle to uphold here. Furthermore over 6 years, the BWF Appeals Panel only heard two appeals, so the proposed new system will be more efficient where panels will be more consistently dealing with cases and ensure a good experience level related to badminton cases.

 

See the second video – Proposal 5.3 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

Questions on Proposal 5.4:

Historically there has been a strong wish amongst the membership to have a diverse geographical representation that goes beyond securing representation through the Continental Vice Presidents. This proposal therefore seeks to implement a secured framework in line with what typically over the years has been the outcome of the elections.

This proposal fixes the number of representatives at each continental region has (geographical representation) to ensure that the Council represents all areas of the world. The proposal also ensure that Council has a gender representation element to guarantee a minimum percentage of women/men on Council, which is considered an important element considering badminton is a sport with a fairly even gender participation.

See the third video – Proposal 5.4 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

Questions on Proposal 5.5:

Successive BWF Councils have taken steps to enhance BWF governance practice since 2012. This year, BWF was rated 3rd out of 31 Summer Olympic Sports Federations in its governance practice in an externally moderated process.

The Council has ‘leadership in governance innovation’ as a stated objective in its Strategic Plan 2020 – 2024. This proposal is part of BWF’s effort to continuously improve governance practice in the BWF and to ensure BWF and badminton is considered trustworthy towards the wider global populations as well as the wider business community.

BWF is a very different organisation now than what it was in 2010 – greater turnover, greater reserve, significant commercial contracts – and with this comes higher expectations in relation to governance from its international partners, business partners, our badminton community and the communities we serve. When interacting with the different stakeholders in a global context the credibility of BWF is extremely important – especially when interacting with international and national government institutions and big companies being potential sponsors of badminton. Such credibility will however be questioned if the BWF leadership does not live to certain minimum requirements, which is equally a normal standard when dealing with business boards and management positions.

So the overall objective of the Vetting process is to limit reputational risk and protect the credibility of the BWF as an organisation, which in turn will provide a more solid platform for long term success of the organisation.

Currently there is only one eligibility criteria which prevents a person being nominated as elected official, and that is being under suspension (an ethics hearing panel has barred them from badminton activities). This proposal introduces new objective eligibility criteria against which a vetting company and the Vetting Panel will use to vet candidates. These criteria include:

  • being an undischarged bankrupt.
  • having a conviction of fraud, homicide or sexual misconduct, or any infraction punishable by a term of prison of 2 years or more.
  • being disqualified from being a company director.

 

Vetting panels use the criteria in the Constitution to assess the candidates. Vetting is a process that is getting more common in international sport and is a strategy to limit reputational risk for our badminton community.

See the fourth video – Proposal 5.5 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

The criteria have been seen as generally quite severe and something that would disqualify members to sit on a council – whether this being an International Federation or a company board of directors.

Many criteria have been discussed and although some International Federations have a wider range of criteria, which are less severe than the proposed list of criteria, the proposed criteria have been seen as a good framework to protect the interests of the organisation at this stage of its development as an organisation.

See the fourth video – Proposal 5.5 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

Yes they can be a candidate as long as the crime does not relate to fraud, homicide or sexual misconduct.

With regard to convictions, clause 2.4.3 of the new Appendix II states the following:

2.4.3. Conviction: the person has been convicted by a Relevant Authority of any offence related to fraud, homicide, or sexual misconduct, or punishable by a term of imprisonment of two (2) or more years (whether or not a term of imprisonment is imposed)”.

This means that a person who has been convicted of any offence related to fraud, homicide or sexual misconduct is not eligible. The conviction can be in the past or a current conviction. It may have involved a prison term or not.

This also means that a person who has had a term of imprisonment of 2 years or more for any other types of offences at any time in their life, is not eligible.

If the person has served a term of less than 2 years for a conviction not related to fraud, homicide or sexual misconduct – then that person is eligible.

See the fourth video – Proposal 5.5 (linked here) and then presentation for more information.

The proposal refers to any conviction in a person’s life, whether in the past or current.