Israel Folau and Rugby Australia’s Code of Conduct hearing - the likely legal arguments
On 10 April 2019, Australian rugby player Israel Folau wrote on Instagram that hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters.” Rugby Australia subsequently announced that Folau’s comments breached the game’s Code of Conduct (the Code) and, having previously warned Folau about his behaviour on social media, that they would now be seeking to terminate his four-year contract of employment signed only last year and worth a purported $4million. Folau, exercising his right under the Code, has sought a full Code of Conduct Committee Hearing (the Hearing) of the matter. What are the legal arguments likely to be made at the Hearing, now scheduled for May 4?
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- Tags: Australia | Australian Human Rights Commission | Dispute Resolution | Employment | Human Rights | International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights | RA Code of Conduct | Regulation | Rugby Australia | Rugby Union
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Jack Anderson is Special Counsel (Integrity Regulation) at Racing Victoria. Formerly Professor and Director of Sports Law Studies at the University of Melbourne, he has published extensively on sports law, most recently with D Thorpe, A Buti, P Jonson & J Anderson, Sports Law (4th ed, OUP, 2022).
He is a member of World Athletics’ Disciplinary Tribunal, the integrity unit of the International Hockey Federation, and the International Tennis Federation’s Ethics Commission. Jack is an arbitrator on Football Australia’s National Dispute Resolution Chamber, the National Sports Tribunal of Australia and Sport Resolutions UK.