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Thomas Emmerson v KartSport New Zealand Inc


Appeal against decision of NSO – jurisdiction – executive of KartSport NZ changed rule dealing with permitted fuels, including prohibiting use of bio-fuel blends in open class races – appellant (E) uses bio-fuels in his kart and at subsequent race meeting competed in one class but was not able to compete in open class due to this fuel restriction – E sought to challenge validity of this fuel rule and protested to stewards – stewards’ panel heard his protest and concluded no infringement of rules by KartSport – E appealed to KartSport Appeal Board – Appeal Board considered stewards should not have heard protest as E not a “competitor” in that class under the Rules and he had no right to protest – despite this, Appeal Board considered E’s appeal anyway because stewards had considered the complaint – Appeal Board dismissed his appeal and E appealed to Sports Tribunal. Whether Appeal Board can effectively validate a protest, if not a legitimate process, by hearing appeal on its merits – whether this gave Tribunal jurisdiction to hear matter – appeal from stewards’ decision could only be on grounds that decision was wrong – Appeal Board, in trying to be fair to E, considered complaint about validity of Rules but exceeded its jurisdiction in doing so – Tribunal considered whether out of fairness it should consider E’s complaint that the changed fuel rule was ultra vires and invalid – Tribunal concluded it would be wrong to consider matter and that it had no jurisdiction – Tribunal’s jurisdiction under KartSport rules was to consider appeals from KartSport Appeal Board that had arisen from legitimate protests under rules – not case here as E did not have the right to have the fuel rule declared ultra vires (under procedure in the rule dealing with right to protest) – fact that Appeal Board elected to consider the merits does not give Sports Tribunal jurisdiction to do so when Appeal Board had no jurisdiction to consider the merits – Tribunal declined jurisdiction – appeal also filed to Tribunal out of time – appeal delayed in post due to insufficient postage – meaning of when decision “announced” to E to start time period running to file appeal – appeal dismissed.

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