25 November 2016
World Rugby has announced the appointment of Christopher Quinlan QC as independent Judicial Panel Chairman.
Vastly experienced in sports law and rugby's disciplinary processes, Quinlan's appointment by the Council follows a global process endorsed by the Nominations Committee. He will begin his role on 1 January, 2017 and joins at a time when rugby is experiencing record global growth.
He will be responsible for the appointment and management of World Rugby's Judicial Committees and judicial officers, including Rugby World Cup, for which Quinlan himself has served as judicial officer at the last three tournaments.
An accomplished barrister, Quinlan, who also serves on World Rugby's Anti-Doping Advisory Committee, has 24 years of experience in independent practice in criminal and sports law. He has extensive experience in the areas of misconduct, foul play, anti-doping, safeguarding, as well as selection and agency matters.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Christopher is greatly respected within the rugby and sports environments and brings to the position a great wealth of relevant experience at the highest level.
"These qualities, combined with his extensive rugby knowledge and empathy for the on-field environment, mean that Christopher is perfectly skilled to drive even greater consistency and rugby playing empathy within our disciplinary processes.”
Quinlan currently advises, appears on, and chairs disciplinary tribunals in a wide variety of sports, including association football, athletics, sailing, swimming, rugby union, rugby league, horseracing and equestrian, motorsport, lawn tennis, boxing and golf.
Quinlan said: "I am delighted to accept the invitation from World Rugby to lead its independent judicial panel. I look forward to contributing to a disciplinary system which will deliver consistent justice, empathetic with the requirements of the modern game.”
Quinlan succeeds Tim Gresson, who announced last year that he would retire from the role after his successor was appointed.
Steeped in the game, Gresson also served with distinction as a Council member for New Zealand, chairman of the Match Officials Selection and Anti-Doping Advisory committees and member of the Laws and Regulations committees in a career spanning more than 20 years.
In addition, World Rugby will be recruiting a citing commissioner manager to manage the training and selection of independent citing commissioners.