The CMAA will not get involved in any situation, dispute or argument which takes place OUTSIDE of a CMAA registered club or CMAA event, this includes social media. Complaints will only be accepted relating to activity within a registered club/lesson or event and must be in writing, signed and with a full return postal address.
Our social media policy (revised 2015 under legal advice) states this and also offers advice and guidance on the use of social media and other platforms, no other advise is or will be given. The social media policy can be downloaded from the Instructor Area on this website and is also available by email upon request.
Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). However we all have a duty to be mindful of what we say or type in order that we do not cause offence to another which could then results in Police or Civil action. In these cases the 'author' only has themselves to hold accountable including for any damage they cause to THEIR OWN reputation with or without Police or Civil action.
This does not mean that we won't take action should a prosecution ensue as in theses cases, once evidence has been received, that persons CMAA membership may well be revoked due to the conviction being most likely harassment which also invalidates insurance cover for that person as this is on the list of convictions the companies won't offer cover to. Protection From Harassment Act 1997 - Passing derogatory comments about another person on social media and Internet pages on 2 or more occasions is an infringement of the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 (updated in 2012 to include 'Stalking') and if reported the following action will be taken by Police: 1. Offender issued with a Police Information Notice (PIN). This is a warning to cease and not repeat the offence within the next 12 months. 2. Offender breaches the PIN and is then arrested and either receives a caution or charge.
The reason for the above is, besides it being non of our business what members do in their own time, we do not own clubs or employ instructors so they are not and cannot be considered as employees, servants, representatives or agents and as such the CMAA will not be held vicariously liable for their actions either directly or indirectly. We are a service provider and us taking action, giving warnings - revoking membership etc would not stop that persons behaviour if they are intent. They would simply join another group or go on their own and carry on.
To summarise if a situation happens IN a CMAA registered club or AT a CMAA event then we can and will act. Everything outside of this is out of our remit just in the same way the big supermarkets can't control their customers when they're not in the store.
When complaints are received relating to a situation within a CMAA registered club or at a CMAA event the following will take place dependant on the nature of the complaint. 1. Civil Complaints: In general terms, a civil complaint is a process through which a person can seek to hold another liable for some type of wrong doing which does not involve any sort of criminal activity. In these cases statements will be gathered from all persons present at the time of the alleged incident and a decision will then be made based on the evidence presented. 2. Criminal Complaints: Criminal complaints are not for the CMAA to investigate and in these cases the Police must be involved in the first instance. We will require the Police log number along with the name and contact details of the investigating officer. Once these details have been received and verified the personal CMAA membership, of the person concerned, may be suspended dependant on the nature of the allegation(s) against them and a decision will then be made based on action taken by the Police.
Important Note: With regards to both civil and criminal complaints posting about them on social media could weaken any case so it is strongly advised that this does not happen as it could be seen as 'trial by social media' and could also result in harrassment charges being brought by return.