There have been many calls, my voice included, to emerge from the deeply engrained and codified tradition in bridge that "accusations of cheating are anathema". Refreshingly, the policy of Bridge Winners regarding such accusations is significantly advanced from prior practice, while carefully maintaining protections for individuals potentially involved.
Recent developments have intensified this outcry for more openness due to numerous, serious, unanswered questions being brought as to what happened in proceedings involving grave ethical charges, and why.
There are 3 longstanding, venerable precepts of the American judicial system, which are clearly lacking in the archaic procedures of the ACBL (I'm not versed in how these procedures operate in other bridge jurisdictions).
I. Separation of Powers - political bodies are prohibited from reviewing or changing the results of a judge's or court's decision. (Note - politicians make the applicable rules but cannot change rules against a case already decided; politicians also appoint/confirm the members of the Hearing Panels).
II. Charges are Public - this often leads to the revelation of other, maybe many, bad acts, and tends to prevent chest beating and/or trumpeting of claims of "decades/50 years of perfect/clean behavior" when some voices from the public may openly opine differently when made aware of the charges.
III. Hearings are Public - proceedings are recorded and published in full, including all detailed, specific reasons for the decision. Debate is encouraged because no system, including this, is absolutely perfect (Note - the IBF sentence published today, 2/14/17, clearly describes why it applied the sanctions it gave against FS).
Please vote for the policy in the ACBL which you believe would be best for the health and future of the game we love and wish to maintain forever:
(As used below, "no political involvement or review" means that once charges are brought, no National, Regional or Local Boards, or Sub-Committee or Individual thereto, may change the result. One example of "no political review is that the US Congress cannot vote on US Supreme Court decisions, or change US Supreme Court decisions in any way).
Plus... it's free!