Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct for KUSA Judges

Posted in Working Discipline Judges


(Effective 01.04.2020)

The conduct and practice of Judges officiating for the Kennel Union of Southern Africa in all forms of dogsport, whether as a Learner Judges, or Licensed Judges, must stand up to the highest level of scrutiny and the comportment of Judges should manifest their status within dogsport. Judging at Kennel Union-licensed events, or at events in foreign countries, requires the Judge to be a member of the Kennel Union and, apart from adherence to the normal Conditions of Membership, the Code of Ethics (Schedule 9) and the Terms and Conditions of Contract as per the Judging Contract (J1), Judges at any level shall be bound by this Code of Conduct and Practice for Judges Licensed by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa:

1. In General:

1.1. Judges shall maintain continuous and unbroken membership of the Kennel Union of Southern Africa throughout their judging career as contemplated in Article 25.2 of the Kennel Union Constitution.

1.2. Judges shall be mindful of their elevated and esteemed status in dogsport and in all their actions and dealings set an example for all participants in the sport.

1.3. In their communications with Club or Show Officials, Exhibitors and Competitors, Judges shall act with dignity, authority and decorum and their conduct in all interactions shall be above reproach.

1.4. In accepting assignments, whether local or foreign, Judges act as ambassadors of the Kennel Union and in word and deed shall take the utmost care to neither embarrass themselves, nor the Kennel Union.

1.5. Judges shall not accept an invitation to judge unless they are sure, or have ascertained, that they are entitled to do so.

1.6. Judges shall not accept an invitation to judge unless they can declare with a reasonable degree of certainty that they would be able and fulfil the assignment and be fit to do so in accordance with the expectations of the show-holding Club, or entity.

1.7. Judges who need to withdraw from assignments, for whatever reason, need to give notice of their intentions to withdraw at the earliest possible opportunity and in a manner prescribed by their contract.

1.8. Judges shall ensure that their arrangements regarding reimbursement of expenses by show-holding Clubs or entities are clear and unambiguous, thereby to avoid causing embarrassment or discontentment for either party.

1.9. Judges shall not claim any expenses from a show-holding Club or entity to which they are not entitled and for which they cannot provide proof of entitlement.

1.10. Judges shall embrace continued education as an integral part of their judging ethic and undertake self-motivated learning throughout their judging careers.

1.11. Judges shall keep themselves apprised of changes to the Kennel Union’s regulatory framework applicable to Judges and judging.

1.12. Judges shall keep themselves apprised of changes to the FCI’s regulatory framework applicable to Judges and judging and apply these regulations in an FCI judging environment unless they are in conflict with the Kennel Union’s Regulations.

1.13. Judges shall be meticulous in noting changes to Breed Standards of breeds they are licensed to judge and diligently apply these changes once they become effective.

1.14. At shows held under the Regulations of the FCI, Judges shall meticulously and consistently apply FCI Breed Standards to all the breeds they are contracted to judge.

1.15. Judges shall not interpret any Breed Standard in a manner which conflicts with the functional health of the dog.

1.16. Judges shall not solicit judging assignments, either locally or overseas, which includes, without limitation, pleading, asking, petitioning or canvassing for an assignment, either directly, or through an intermediary, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, except for Licensed Judgers, Senior Judges and All-breeds Judges volunteering to assist Club Committees in filling the roles at Non-Championship Shows pursuant to Schedule 10 Appendix 1 Regulations 4.1.3, 5.1.4 and 6.1.4.

1.17. Judges shall not solicit the entry of any Dog, Exhibitor and/or Competitor.

1.18. Judges shall not travel to a show or event with a person who will be exhibiting a dog under them or otherwise competing in an event judged by him.

1.19. Judges shall not accept accommodation from a person who will be exhibiting a dog under them or competing in an event judged by them.

1.20. Prior to the show or event to be judged by them, Judges shall avoid socialising with persons likely to compete under them.

1.21. If placed in an unavoidable compromising position as a result of a close relationship with an Exhibitor/Competitor, if and when practicable, Judges shall encourage the option of a “lap of honour”, instead of subjecting dogs to assessment and placement for awards that may ultimately be deemed suspect.

1.22. It is suggested that, during a discernible period (at Judges’ discretion) preceding any judging assignment, Judges shall avoid acting as a spectator to the judging of dogs they are likely to judge at such scheduled assignment.

1.23. In deference to the principles of neutrality and impartiality and in order not to show favour, Judges shall exercise the utmost discretion when discussing dogs likely to be judged by them, or by other Judges, with any person.

1.24. Similarly, in upholding the principles of neutrality and impartiality, Judges shall exercise sound judgement when commenting on dogs likely to be judged by them, or by other Judges, on Social Media, as not to reveal predilection or dislike.

1.25. When commenting on dog- or dogsport-related issues, Judges shall use Social Media advisedly and prudently and confine their opinions to reasoned discourse based on fact, resisting speculation, innuendo and aspersion.

1.26. Judges shall not criticise the work of other Judges, either verbally, in print or on Social Media.

1.27. Judges shall refrain from engaging in offensive conduct or defamatory statements aimed at discrediting the Kennel Union or the FCI.

1.28. Judges’ shall be mindful of the fact that they derive their judging licence from the Kennel Union and thereby assume the responsibility not to act in a manner which is inconsistent with the grant of such licence. A licence entrusted in good faith can be revoked when no longer deemed to be in the best interests of the licensor and it should be understood that KUSA will not countenance being besmirched and its reputation tarnished, by those holding its licences.

2. In the Ring:

2.1. Judges shall be courteous, polite and respectful towards Exhibitors/Competitors, Ring Steward or Club Officials.

2.2. Judges shall be punctual for assignments and avoid inconveniencing show-holding Clubs, Exhibitors/ Competitors or Show Officials through lateness.

2.3. Judges shall not leave the showgrounds before they have completed all their assigned/contracted duties.

2.4. Judges shall not consult the show catalogue before or during a judging assignment.

2.5. Judges shall assess dogs in conformation shows, or their performance in other forms of dogsport, in a thorough, competent, systematic and kind manner.

2.6. When judging, Judges shall exercise the highest degree of objectivity and discard any knowledge of a dog’s background, previous accomplishments or ownership.

2.7. Having regard for the weather, Judges shall dress in a manner which creates a neat, professional, yet comfortable, appearance in the ring, avoiding billowy attire, ostentatious headgear and bulky or noisy accessories.

2.8. Judges shall not smoke or drink alcohol in the ring and refrain from judging while clutching a beverage.

2.9. Although it’s permissible for Judges to have electronic devices in the ring for the review of breed standards, when necessary, such devices shall otherwise remain switched off and under no circumstances shall Judges take telephone calls, or consult and reply to text messages while in the ring.

2.10. Judges shall desist from addressing handlers by their first or last name in the ring.

2.11. Judges shall complete all the requirements of an assignment diligently and efficiently, with due regard for any time constraints imposed by the show-holding Club.

3. Interpretation

3.1. The Federal Council shall be the only authority for the interpretation of this Code of Conduct and Practice for Judges Licensed by KUSA and their decision thereon shall be final.

In devising this Code of Conduct and Practice for Judges Licensed by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa, we gratefully acknowledge the papers and guidelines of the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Council and Dogs New Zealand.