Module 13 - Penalties and Judicial Code

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  Help and Training Manuals > Race Officials Training Modules >

Module 13 - Penalties and Judicial Code


This section is applicable to the Clerk of Course/Race Director, the Chief Steward and KartSport New Zealand Steward’s on the panel.


C9.3        Table of Penalties.


Column 1 lists the Rule Numbers.

Column 2 is a summary of the Infringement.

Column 3 is the minimum mandatory penalty to be applied.

Column 4 is the maximum optional and additional penalties that can be applied.

Column 5 lists the penalties that can be applied by KartSport New Zealand if the matter is referred to KartSport for further additional action.

This last column is for serious infringements which are reserved for KartSport New Zealand National Executive, KartSport New Zealand Appeal Board and/or KartSport New Zealand Enquiry.


When issuing penalties it is essential that this table is followed and a scale of penalty applied in keeping with the scale of offending. For example, passing under a yellow flag (H1.6) is a serious safety issue and the penalty must reflect this – the minimum would be exclusion from the race/time trial.


Penalties may be imposed as follows in order of increasing severity:

reprimand (verbal or written)


time penalty


loss of points (Qualifying/Race/Series/Championship)


Licence endorsement

Licence suspension

Licence cancellation


Time penalty means a penalty expressed in minutes and/or seconds. Any one of the first seven penalties above can be inflicted by the Panel of Stewards, however the concerned party must be given the opportunity of presenting their defence to the Panel of Stewards if they do not accept the notified penalty, after payment of the required fee, unless the penalty is a result of a Judge of Fact. Only KartSport New Zealand may apply either of the final two penalties above. These penalties may, where applicable, be cumulated, consecutive or applied with suspension of sentence.



IMPORTANT – a penalty can only be applied at an event by the Stewards of the event (the Stewards Panel). No other official has any authority to apply a penalty. (see section C3.2 of the KartSport New Zealand Manual).






Section C of the KartSport New Zealand Manual is the KartSport New Zealand Judical Code.


This Code is based on the FIA International Sporting Code. Acceptance of the principles of the FIA Sporting Code is a condition of KartSport New Zealand’s affiliation to the CIK-FIA.


The Judicial Code is the overarching document that controls all Judicial activity within KartSport New Zealand competition.

As such you need to be familiar with the entire code, but in particular, the following specific areas.


Necessary Officials

Duties and authority of the Stewards of the event

Duties of the Race Director

Duties of the Clerk of the Course


One key item is that of the Judge of Fact. If you are named on a permit as a Judge of Fact the following applies...


C2.18.9 Reports

At each event each Judge shall send to the Clerk of the Course a report of their declarations as they occur. Judge of Fact decisions will be notified in the Announcements section of the My-Laps competition results. These Judge of Fact decisions will not require a separate written notification to a competitor.



You must be fully aware of the requirements and limitations of this section and the correct application of those requirements. Supplementary rules can only be changed for reasons of safety or force majeure or to give practical effect to or correct any manifest error in or omission from the Supplementary Rules.


The Protest section (C4) must be well known by Chief Stewards, Stewards Panel members and especially the Clerk of the Course.  The definition of who can protest, the timing criteria to be observed before accepting a protest, and the inadmissible protests are all covered in this section and should be carefully studied and implemented.


Section C5 is exclusively the domain of the Chief Steward of any meeting.  From information made available after the meeting, or not known during the meeting, certain actions or decisions that were made would not have been made in the way recorded if this information was available at the time of the action or decision.  This Inquiry by KartSport option allows for these actions to be reconsidered and reversed if found confirmed.


Any competitor who is part of a Judicial Hearing from a Protest or an Officials Report has the right to an Appeal (section C6).


Below is the Judical Flow Chart that summaries the processes within the Judicial Code.











Under the Judicial Code all Stewards Hearing are conducted under an Inquisitorial system (not Adversarial).


1/. To request a hearing as a result of an Officials report a fee must be paid.


The principle of this is simple.

If a competitor wants to protest and have a hearing there is a fee.

If the competitor doesn’t accept the Officials report and wants to challenge it via a hearing then there is also a fee.

The fee is the same as the protest fee as detailed in Section T2 of the Manual.


2/. This fee is refunded if the Officials report is not upheld in the hearing


If the competitor is right, they will get the fee back – so if a competitor is sure they are right and the official is wrong it is not a fee but simply a deposit for the hearing.


3/. There are NO witnesses at hearings. The only people who appear is the Race Official and the driver or drivers concerned


Historically in an adversarial system people become used to winning hearings based on evidence collaboration by witnesses and based on who can tell the most compelling story.

This option is not available under an inquisitorial system.

Stewards conducting hearings need to be very firm and assertive on this.

The matter only concerns the Official and the drivers concerned – usually the driver who committed the offence and the victim.

These are the only people who will provide information to the CoC or the hearing panel if the matter goes to a hearing.

Video evidence is allowed however there will be no witnesses to the matter apart form the Official and the drivers concerned.


4/. The role of Guardians at hearings is clearly defined


Within clause C4.5 of the Judicial Code it states ….

At any hearing concerning a minor, the minors signed in parent/legal guardian must attend. It is expected that the competitor will represent themselves in which case the signed in parent/legal guardian will provide support only and may not speak. However should the competitor choose not to represent him/herself, the signed in parent/legal guardian will be the only person to represent the competitor at any judicial hearing in which case the competitor may not speak unless to answer direct questions from the Stewards Panel”.


5/. Hearings are held under an Inquisitorial system and not an Adversarial system


This speeds up the process, makes it easier for all involved and most importantly, gives the Stewards Panels the ability to get to the truth.

Below is further information outlining the difference between an adversarial and inquisitorial system and how the inquisitorial system operates.


Adversarial System (not used in our Judicial Code)

• Based on the Westminster Judicial System

• A person charged with an offence has the right to hear all the evidence against them and present a defence

• The person bringing the charge is most commonly known as the prosecutor and the person being charged the defendant.

• The prosecutor presents their case with evidence/witnesses.

• The defendant has the right to cross examine the prosecutors case/witnesses.

• The defendant then presents their case and evidence/witnesses.

• The prosecutor has the right to cross examine the defendants case/witnesses.

• Those sitting in judgement (Stewards Panel) make a determination based on the cases, witnesses accounts and evidence presented.


Inquisitorial System versus Adversarial System


This is from the Ministry of Justice website :-

1/. An inquisitorial system, common in civil law countries, is an alternative model to the adversarial system used in common law countries including New Zealand. The inquisitorial system is generally described as a system that aims to get to the truth of the matter through investigation and examination of evidence.


2/. The adversarial system aims to get to the truth through the open competition between the prosecution and the defence to make the most compelling argument for their case. Critics of the adversarial approach argue that the pursuit of winning often overshadows the search for truth.


Inquisitorial System (used in our Judicial Code)


Judges are required to direct the courtroom debate and to come to a final decision.

The Judge assumes the role of principal interrogator of the prosecution and the defendant, and looks at the evidence until he or she ascertains the truth.

It is the Judge that carries out most of the examination of evidence, arising from their obligation to inquire into the charges and to evaluate all relevant evidence in reaching their decision.

The victim generally has a more recognised role in inquisitorial systems – they usually have the status of a party to proceedings.


Inquisitorial System (our system)


1/. Remember, we are not a criminal court looking for proof beyond reasonable doubt. In fact we are not even a civil court. We are simply referees determining the outcome of a game according to our rules. A decision based on the balance of probability is all that is required.
2/. Our inquisitorial system does not place competitors against each other in a competition to see who can tell the most compelling stories based on an adversarial process.
3/. Our inquisitorial system recognises that the victim has rights (they appear as a concerned party) and the Stewards Panel seeks information/evidence from each party to determine the truth.


Inquisitorial System – so what does this mean in reality :-


1/.        For an Officials report, the Panel will give due weight to the officials report


It is not only essential but completely appropriate to give due weight to the Officials report.

The Official is the unbiased referee whose sole responsibility is to make a call on what they see based on fair play.

As such their report should always carry more weight.


2/.        The competitor who the report is against will appear as will the victim who is the concerned party as per Rule C4.5.


The competitor who has been reported for an incident will have their right to provide their account of what took place.

However so to will the victim who has been affected by the other competitors actions.

And if it is a report from an Official, the official concerned may also be asked for their account of the incident by the Stewards Panel.


3/. The Panel will ask each of the parties to make a statement and while each driver should be allowed to question the others statement, most importantly it is the role of the panel to ask questions, seek out information, evidence and clarification and do everything possible to arrive at the truth always giving the officials report the due weight of independent evidence.


This is the most important part.

There are no witnesses to ‘skew’ the process.

It is not an adversarial system where we have prosecutor and defendant going hammer and tongs trying to prove their case.

This is about the Stewards Panel being in control, asking for the drivers to make a statement about what occurred, listening to the Officials account and giving that report due weight, and asking the right questions of all parties to ascertain what they believe is the truth so that

quick, fair and common sense decision on the matter can be made.


4/.        The same will apply for a competitor protest