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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About the Author
Jack Anderson is Professor and Director of Sports Law Studies at the University of Melbourne. The sports law program at Melbourne was one of the first to be established globally in the mid-1980 and continues to expand at the Melbourne Law School, which itself is ranked in the top 10 law schools globally.
Jack has published widely in the area including monographs such as The Legality of Boxing (Routledge 2007) and Modern Sports Law (Hart 2010) and edited collections such as Landmark Cases in Sports Law (Asser 2013) and EU Sports Law (Edward Elgar 2018 with R Parrish and B Garcia). He was Editor-in-Chief of the International Sports Law Journal from 2013 to 2016.
Jack is a former member of CAS (2016-2019). He is currently a member and arbitrator for World Athletics’ Disciplinary Tribunal, the National Sports Tribunal of Australia and the Football Federation of Victoria. He is a member of International Hockey Federation’s Integrity Unit and Basketball Australia’s National Integrity Advisory Committee. in 2019, he was appointed to the International Tennis Federation’s Ethics Commission and is currently a Board Member of Harness Racing Victoria.