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Welcome to the DAV Website
The DAV is a non-profit association which exists to promote debate. It is the peak debating body in Victoria and runs large competitions for adults and for schools across Victoria. It provides training and resources for debaters, teachers and adjudicators.

Schools Competition

Guidelines for Making Complaints to the DAV

Complaints to the DAV are divided into two main categories:

1. Adjudication Complaints, which relate to the decision of an adjudicator in adjudicating a debate; and

2. Debating Complaints, which relate to breaches of the Code of Conduct and the Rules for DAV Competitions

These guidelines also provide instructions for having decisions reviewed and for making complaints during the finals

These guidelines are a summary of the relevant part of the Rules for DAV Competitions.

At no point should any complainant contact people about whom they are making a complaint, either prior to making a complaint or while that complaint is being considered.

If you wish to make a complaint, but are unsure which type of complaint would be most appropriate to make, please contact the DAV office.


1. Adjudication Complaints
The process for making an adjudication complaint is governed by rule 14 of the Rules for DAV Competitions.


There is no list of pre-defined grounds for making an adjudication complaint. However, adjudication complaints will generally relate to the fairness, impartiality or reasoning of the adjudicator.

We encourage all participants in DAV Competitions to familiarise themselves with the Australia-Asia Debating Guide, which contains general guidelines for adjudicators. The Guide is available for purchase from the DAV office and can also be downloaded from the Resources section of this website.

An adjudication complaint must:

  • be in writing

  • be submitted with a Complaint Cover Sheet (link below)

  • be addressed to the Vice-President (Adjudication & Training)

  • concisely relate the relevant facts

  • be no longer than one typed page in length

  • be signed by the supervising teacher or principal of the school, or a member of the DAV who was present at the relevant time (although you may attach statements from non-teachers as well as any other information that you think could help your case)

  • be lodged with the Vice-President (Adjudication & Training) within 14 days of the debate to which the complaint relates

The Vice-President (Adjudication & Training), Mitchell Dye, will consider your complaint and reach one of two decisions:

  • where there is sufficient doubt surrounding the result of a debate, to allow the team to proceed to the finals if, apart from the debate concerned, the team would otherwise have qualified for the finals; or

  • to take no action

The Vice-President (Adjudication & Training) must provide reasons for any decision.


2. Debating Complaints
Debating complaints are complaints made against breaches of the DAV Code of Conduct or the Rules for DAV Competitions. They should not be used to complain against the substance of an adjudication. Debating complaints are governed by rule 15 of the Rules for DAV Competitions.

A debating complaint must:

  • be in writing

  • be submitted with a Complaint Cover Sheet (link below)

  • be addressed to the Vice-President (Schools)

  • concisely relate the relevant facts

  • be no longer than one typed page in length

  • be signed by the supervising teacher or principal of the school, or a member of the DAV who was present at the relevant time (although you may attach statements from non-teachers as well as any other information that you think could help your case)

  • be lodged with the Vice-President (Schools) within 14 days of the debate to which the complaint relates

The Vice-President (Schools), Ben O'Shea, will consider your complaint and determine an appropriate course of action.  An appropriate course of action may be, but is not limited to:

  • no further action being taken

  • a warning to a person or school

  • the suspension of one or more debaters from the competition

  • the suspension of one or more teams from the competition

  • the suspension of one or more schools from the competition

 

3. Review of Decisions

Any person affected by a decision made following a complaint may apply to have that decision reviewed by the DAV Executive. Reviews are governed by rule 15 of the Rules for DAV Competitions.

An application for review must:

  • be in writing

  • be addressed to the General Secretary of the DAV

  • state how you were affected by the decision

  • state a ground or grounds for review. Grounds for review are listed under rule 15 of the Rules for DAV Competitions.

  • concisely relate the relevant facts

  • be no longer than one typed page in length

  • be lodged with the General Secretary within 14 days of the decision to which the application for review relates

The Executive will consider your application at their next meeting and decide on a course of action in response to the application.

4. Complaints During the Finals

Owing to the tight timeframe and unique circumstances of the finals, the DAV will only accept debating complaints during the finals, and not adjudication complaints. Complaints during the finals are governed by rule 16 of the Rules for DAV Competitions.

Finals complaints must be received by the DAV office within 24 hours of the relevant incident. The complaint will then be considered by the Finals Complaints Panel, which consists of the President, Vice-President (Adjudication & Training) and Vice-President (Schools) of the DAV. The Finals Complaints Panel must reach a decision within 24 hours of receiving the complaint, and will inform you of their decision as soon as possible.

Decisions of the Finals Complaints Panel are final and cannot be reviewed.

Download the Complaint Cover Sheet below (please note, this has been updated for 2017)

Complaint Cover Sheet (PDF Format)