Statement from the AMS Judicial Committee on Executive Elections Appeal
February 4, 2016
KINGSTON, ON – Today, George Collister, the Chair of the AMS Judicial Committee, released the following statement:
“On Saturday, January 30th at 8:00 PM, I received a complaint from Colin Zarzour of Team CSG to appeal several decisions of the Elections Team that were made during the 2016 AMS Executive Elections.
“The AMS Constitution, Section 10.02.03(IV) says:
“The AMS Judicial Committee shall also be responsible to the Society for all matters of constitutional interpretation [and] for overseeing the procedure followed in the running of the Society elections and referenda.”
“AMS Policy Manual 1, Section 4B Subsection 9G says:
“The AMS Judicial Committee may only overturn a decision of the CEO on the following grounds:
- If the appellant can establish to the Committee’s satisfaction that the cited violation(s) occurred as a result of actions or factors outside the knowledge and beyond the control of the appellant or the CEO. All members of a team shall be held equally accountable for any of their actions (i.e. an individual’s actions cannot be said to be outside of a team’s campaign).
- If it can be deemed to the Committee’s satisfaction that the CEO had a clear and definitive bias in making his/her ruling.
- Where there is clear and compelling evidence that the appellant has been treated unjustly. The appeal does not constitute an opportunity for the committee to simply second guess the judgment of the CEO but rather exists to ensure there has not been a miscarriage of justice based on the facts.”
“It was within this jurisdiction that the Committee held an open hearing for Team CSG’s appeal. Team CSG conceded grounds (i) and (ii) and solely relied on section (iii) to form the basis of their appeal. Team CSG sought restorative measures which would result in the disqualification of Team LWT, the Executive-elect, thereby instating Team CSG as the 2016-2017 AMS Executive.
“Given the significance of overturning the results of the election, with no opportunity for further appeal by Team LWT, the Judicial Committee set a very high standard requiring clear and compelling evidence that Team CSG had been treated unjustly.
“At 8:00pm on Wednesday, February 3rd, the Judicial Committee heard the appeal from Team CSG, represented by Allison Williams, Colin Zarzour, Sarah Anderson, and Greg Radisic. Simone Markus, Chief Electoral Officer, and Rebecca Herweyer, Chief Returning Officer, represented the Elections Team. After a thorough review of the facts presented by Team CSG and the Elections Team, the Judicial Committee found that the high standard necessary was not reached and thus did not grant Team CSG their appeal.”
Alma Mater Society (AMS) – http://www.myAMS.org
The central undergraduate student government at Queen’s University, the AMS represents over 14,200 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. The constituency is represented through 12 faculty and residence societies. The AMS Council, which is made up of a three-person executive, six commissioners, and three directors, oversees all day-to-day activities within the Society, including 14 corporate services and various government committees that address virtually all matters of student life at Queen’s.