Update following 2015 European Championships review

Following the recent statement regarding the review into the loss of the right to host the 2015 European Judo Championships, the British Judo Association (BJA) board would like to provide an update to clarify progress made against the recommendations contained in the report by Mr Mark Gay of Hamlins Solicitors.


Recommendation from the Hamlins Review Progress Update
(a) Publish this report in full, making it available on their respective websites to anyone concerned with it. This was a joint review, commissioned by the BJA and UK Sport. Following legal advice and confidentiality requirements, the BJA Board considered it inadvisable to publish the report. However, after discussions with UK Sport it was agreed that the report would be published and made available on the UK Sport website.


(b) The BJA Board consider commencing disciplinary proceedings against Mr Scoular for breach of his contractual obligations to the BJA. A full and thorough internal disciplinary investigation process, which included a review of the Hamlins report and additional evidence as required, was undertaken into the conduct of the Chief Executive. As previously communicated, the panel exonerated the Chief Executive in respect of all of the major allegations contained within the Hamlins report. However, the panel concluded that Chief Executive was found to be responsible in respect of a few of the more minor allegations and consequently appropriate disciplinary action was taken.


(c) The BJA Board request that Mr Brown return to the BJA any monies received by him pursuant to the BJA-CSF-UFC (Zuffa Inc) arrangements. The BJA board has commissioned appropriate legal advice regarding this matter. Following receipt of this advice, the BJA board will assess the advisability of pursuing any monies, which the former Chair has gained from the CSF/UFC (Zuffa Inc.) contractual arrangements, so far as they apply to the 2015 European Judo Championships.


(d) That the BJA request that Mr Brown resigns from any other current positions he has with the BJA. Presently, he remains a Director of British Judo Association Competitions and Events Limited (company number 020965566). The BJA board, has instructed its Conducts and Complaints Commission to undertake an investigation into the conduct of the former Chair in relation to these matters. This Commission has commenced this investigation and will report to the board upon conclusion.


(e) That the BJA consider passing a resolution that Mr Brown is not a fit and proper person to be appointed to any office within the BJA and that the BJA will oppose any attempt to seek his election to any post or office within Judo either domestically or internationally. This matter will be considered following the completion of the Conduct and Complaints Commission investigation and subsequent conclusion.


(f) All directors of the BJA Board to have the benefit of professional training in how to act as a directors and on appropriate corporate governance. The BJA board have agreed to participate in an externally facilitated review of the company’s governance procedures together with a review of the Memorandum and Articles of Association. It is anticipated that this review will recommend appropriate changes to these documents.

This review and audit has been commissioned by British Judo with the full agreement of both Sport England and UK Sport. The selection process for the appointment of an appropriately skilled and experienced consultant will be completed by the end of June 2016.

A key element of this exercise will involve extensive consultation with members and stakeholders, with a view to the completion and adoption of appropriate changes to the governance documents at the AGM in November.  These changes will also ensure compliance within the Code of Conduct for Corporate Governance, which will be launched in September 2016. This compliance will be necessary to enable the BJA to continue to be eligible to receive public funding from April 2017.

Also in the coming months the BJA will undertake a scheduled Sport England assurance audit, which will take place in September 2016.

In addition the board will be undertaking a comprehensive governance training program to enable them to undertake their duties in the future.


(g) The handbook for directors to be amended such that all material contracts (e.g. any contract with a value of £5,000 or more) must be presented in their entirety to the BJA Board for approval in advance of signature. The BJA board have agreed that board members take a more prominent role in the scrutinising and approval of BJA contracts. After consideration of this recommendation the board agreed to delegate the responsibility in respect of the detailed review of contracts to the Finance Risk and Governance sub group.

This group contains a high degree of financial and legal expertise, and it will have the authority and responsibility for scrutinising all contracts with a monetary value of £10,000 and over. Thereafter, these contracts will be submitted to the board for their approval.


(h) That the handbook for directors makes it clear that the elected Chairman is not to act in an executive capacity on behalf of the BJA. The BJA board have now amended the BJA Directors Handbook to reflect that, except in the most extreme of circumstances, the Chair will not act in an executive capacity for the BJA.



As can be seen from the above information, there has been significant progress on the recommendations contained within the Hamlins Solicitors report to date. However, this is an ongoing process and the board will endeavour, in the interests of transparency, to communicate further updates to our membership via the BJA website, as and when available.

It is important to note that we have the support of our key funding stakeholders and we are keen to progress towards the completion of this process in the lead up to the AGM in November 2016.

We will ensure that we undertake a full consultation with the member clubs regarding our governance review over the next through months through the busy Olympic and Paralympic period, where we hope for a successful Rio Games.


Ronnie Saez
Chairman, British Judo Association