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Article XI - The Judicial Panel

Section 1. As soon as practicable following the adoption of this language by the 1972 biennial convention, the International President shall, with the advice and consent of the International Executive Board, appoint a member of the Federation to serve as Chairperson of the Judicial Panel and eight other members of the Federation to serve as members of the Judicial Panel. As soon as practicable following final adjournment of the 2000 biennial convention, the International President shall, with the advice and consent of the International Executive Board, appoint two additional members of the Federation to serve as members of the Judicial Panel. Except as provided below, the terms of persons appointed to the Judicial Panel after the 1980 biennial convention shall be for three years. The terms of those members appointed in 1977 shall expire in 1980, and the terms of those members appointed in 1978 shall expire in 1981. Of those persons appointed to the Judicial Panel in 1980, three shall serve terms expiring in 1982 and three shall serve terms expiring in 1983. Of those persons appointed to the Judione shall serve a term expiring in 2002 and one shall serve a term expiring in 2003. At any general meeting of the International Executive Board during the year in which a Panel member’s term is scheduled to expire, the International President shall, with the advice and consent of the International Executive Board, reappoint such member or appoint a successor. No two members of the Judicial Panel shall be members of local unions in the same Legislative District, as established in Article IV, Section 27, of this Constitution. At least three members of the Judicial Panel shall be from Legislative Districts located east of the Mississippi River and at least three members of the Judicial Panel shall be from Legislative Districts located west of the Mississippi River. No member of the International Executive Board and, except as provided below, no salaried employee of the International Union shall serve on the Judicial Panel.

Section 2. To be eligible to be appointed to the Judicial Panel, a person must have been a member in the Federation for at least three years continuously at the time of appointment. The Chairperson and other members of the Judicial Panel shall receive compensation and/or expenses in accordance with the policies established by the International Executive Board.

Section 3. The term of appointment of each member of the Judicial Panel shall expire when a successor is qualified; provided, however, that no appointment may be extended beyond December 31 of the year in which the term was due to expire unless the member has been reappointed by the International President with the advice and consent of the International Executive Board.

Section 4. Any vacancy which occurs on the Judicial Panel shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments, and such vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the term of the vacant position.

Section 5. The Judicial Panel shall establish rules of procedure, which rules shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution. The rules and any changes in such rules shall be subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, and shall become effective only upon the granting of such approval. A copy of such rules shall be filed with the International Secretary-Treasurer and shall be made available to any member of the Federation upon request. A copy of the rules shall be sent to all locals and councils.

Section 6. The rules shall provide, among other things, that no member of the Judicial Panel shall participate in any manner in the decision in any case arising in a local of which the Judicial Panel member is or was a member or, in cases originating at the council level, of the council with which such local is affiliated and, further, that no Judicial Panel member shall discuss such a case with any other member of the Panel unless it be as a witness under oath. The chair of the judicial panel shall recuse him/her self from any cases relating to a local or council in which they are or were members. In such cases the president shall appoint an acting chair of the judicial panel to deal with all aspects of the case. The rules shall also provide a method for distributing among the members of the Judicial Panel cases and other matters reaching the Judicial Panel. The rules may provide for the assumption, in unusual circumstances and upon request of a directly interested party, of original jurisdiction in cases filed at the local or council level and/or of appeals directly to the Judicial Panel from local union trial bodies when the Judicial Panel or its Chairperson is convinced that the interests of justice are served by such action; and any such rule shall be effective despite the language of Article X of this Constitution. Further, the rules may also provide that in lieu of assuming original jurisdiction over a case arising at the local level, the Judicial Panel or its Chairperson may direct that a case first be heard at the council level.

Section 7. Whenever the Judicial Panel receives notice from the International Secretary-Treasurer that a surety bond claim has been paid with regard to an individual for actions or omissions arising out of any position held by such person as an officer or staff employee of the International Union or any subordinate body, the Judicial Panel shall conduct an investigation for the purpose of determining whether disciplinary action should be taken against such person. If the Judicial Panel finds that charges were filed and prosecuted against such individual based upon such actions or omissions pursuant to Article X of this Constitution, the Judicial Panel shall report that fact to the International Secretary-Treasurer and shall close its investigation. If there were no such charges filed and prosecuted against the individual in question, then the Judicial Panel shall conduct an inquiry for the purpose of determining whether the extent and nature of the acts or omissions on which the payment of the surety bond claim was based were such that penalties should be imposed against such individual. If the Judicial Panel finds that penalties should be imposed, it may assess any one or more of the penalties provided in Article X, Section 15, of this Constitution. Any such proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of the Judicial Panel and shall be conducted in such a manner as to provide the individual who is the subject of the investigation all protections afforded an accused under Article X of this Constitution except to the extent that such protections may not be applicable.

Section 8. In any case coming before the Judicial Panel, other than cases in which the accused is an International officer, the Judicial Panel Chairperson shall send a list of the names of the members of the Judicial Panel to the accuser and the accused. Within fifteen days thereafter, each party shall be afforded the opportunity to delete not more than two names from the list of Judicial Panel members, by written notification to the Judicial Panel Chairperson. From the names remaining, the Chairperson shall appoint one member of the Judicial Panel to serve as the trial officer.

Section 9. In any case coming before the Judicial Panel in which the accused is an International Vice President, the Judicial Panel Chairperson shall appoint three members of the Judicial Panel to serve as the trial body. The method of selection shall be the same as that set forth in Section 8 of this Article. The Chairperson shall designate one of the three to serve as Chairperson of the trial body. If the accused is either the International President or the International Secretary-Treasurer, the entire Judicial Panel shall serve as the trial body.

Section 10. The Judicial Panel shall have no jurisdiction in any case in which a member of the Judicial Panel is either the person bringing the charge or the accused person. Such cases shall be filed with the International President who shall carry out the functions normally performed by the Judicial Panel Chairperson. The International Executive Board in such cases shall carry out the functions normally performed by the Judicial Panel.

Section 11. Any trial held at the Judicial Panel level, whether the charges originated at that level or reached the Judicial Panel through the appeals procedure, shall be conducted as a new trial. In cases reaching the Judicial Panel on appeal, the Panel member or members may, in their discretion, also consider any written record which has been made before any lower trial body. If in the opinion of such Panel member or members, after reviewing the written record which was made before a lower trial body, a full and fair hearing was provided to all parties before such trial body, such Panel member or members shall have discretion to limit the parties to supplementing that record by submission of oral argument, written memoranda and new evidence. Any written record from a lower trial body which is considered in a trial at the Judicial Panel level shall be made a part of the record of the trial at the Judicial Panel level. A verbatim record shall be made, either through the use of a court reporter or through mechanical means, and such record shall be retained by the International Secretary-Treasurer, or by the International President if the International Secretary-Treasurer is a directly interested party, for at least five years following final disposition of the case.

Section 12. Decisions of the Judicial Panel shall be in writing, and shall include at least the following separate items:

  1. A statement of charges.
  2. A summary of the evidence in support of the charges.
  3. A summary of the evidence in refutation of the charges.
  4. A finding of fact.
  5. A conclusion of law.
  6. The assessment of a penalty, if any; or an order setting aside or modifying a previously imposed penalty, if any; or an order upholding the decision of the lower trial body, if any.

Section 13. A copy of the decision of the Judicial Panel shall be transmitted to the accuser and the accuser’s counsel of record, the accused and the accused’s counsel of record, each member of the Judicial Panel, the International Secretary-Treasurer, and, in the case of trials conducted by the Judicial Panel as a result of an appeal from a lower trial body, to the secretary of the lower trial body or bodies which have previously heard the case.

Section 14. Any decision at the Judicial Panel level made by a single trial officer or a three-member trial body may, within thirty days after the receipt of such decision by the accused and the accuser, be appealed by either party to the full Judicial Panel. Notice of such appeal shall be filed with the Judicial Panel Chairperson, who shall immediately notify the other party. Within 120 days thereafter, the Judicial Panel shall meet, at the call of the Chairperson, to consider the appeal. The Panel member or members whose decision is being appealed shall not participate in the Judicial Panel’s consideration of the appeal. The Judicial Panel shall consider such appeals on the record previously established, supplemented by any written memoranda submitted by either party, and subject to the rules of procedure adopted by the Judicial Panel. The decision of the Judicial Panel on such appeals shall be issued within thirty days following the adjournment of the meeting at which the appeal is considered.

Section 15. Any case heard by the full Judicial Panel can be appealed only to the next International Convention.

Section 16. The Judicial Panel shall carry out such functions in connection with administratorships as are described in Article IX of this Constitution as functions of the Judicial Panel.

Section 17. The Judicial Panel shall carry out such functions in connection with election challenges, protests, and appeals as are described in Appendix D of this Constitution as functions of the Judicial Panel.

Section 18. In any case or matter arising under this Constitution which requires the giving of notice to, or filing a written communication with the Judicial Panel, its Chairperson or any member thereof, it may be accomplished by sending such notice or written communication to the Judicial Panel at the International Headquarters.

Section 19. The Chairperson of the Judicial Panel may perform other duties at the request of the International President, provided that such performance, in the opinion of the Chairperson, does not represent a conflict or potential conflict of interest on the Chairperson’s part.

Section 20. The Chairperson of the Judicial Panel shall notify the International President and the International Secretary-Treasurer of all cases filed with or referred to the Judicial Panel upon receipt of such cases and shall report periodically to the International Executive Board on the status and disposition of all cases coming before the Judicial Panel.

Section 21. The Judicial Panel shall submit a written summary of its actions to each regular International Convention. Such a summary shall include a listing of all cases referred to it, a description of the major issues involved, and the judgments of the Panel or its members, where action was taken by less than the full Panel. Where constitutional omissions or ambiguities have been involved, the Panel report shall call particular attention to these and may offer recommendations. It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson of the Panel to prepare such report. It shall be the responsibility of the International Secretary-Treasurer to distribute such report, in printed or electronic format to the convention delegates, provided that a printed copy shall be provided to any delegate who requests it.

Section 22. The International President shall provide the Judicial Panel with such staff assistance and facilities as are necessary and appropriate to the proper functioning of the Judicial Panel in accordance with policies established by the International Executive Board.

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