Leave Denied - One case to go...

Leave Denied - One case to go...

Post by Leigh Gillespi » Sat, 16 Nov 1996 04:00:00

        Well we finally have a definitive answer - SL is legal and the ARL
loyalty agreements are not. Australia's highest court, the High Court
(naturally), today refused the ARL special leave to appeal the Federal
Court appeals bench verdict handed down in October. This means the ARL
have exhausted all their legal options and just about all the court
action is over (at last we say). After an hour of legal argument, in which
the ARL raised three main grounds for appeal, the three Justices deliberated
for just ten minutes before refusing to grant special leave. The court
found that it could see no reason to grant special leave on any of the
grounds put forward by the ARL.
        This decision leaves only one case of real significance to be
heard. In mid February the some other court (which I can never remember -
Industrial Relations Court I think) will begin hearing a joint
application by some players to have their ARL loyalty agreements declared
void. These players (including the likes of Anthony Mundine and the
Penrith eight) had previously signed with the ARL before changing their
minds and signing with SL. Should the ARL win this case it will
signifcantly weaken the SL playing ranks (most notably Penrith's). Should
SL win the case it will clear the final hurdle for SL and possibly set a
precedent for other high ranking ARL players to defect.
        The High Court decision ends an interesting week in Australian
RL. On Monday the ARL general manager John Quayle resigned after thir***
years in the job and then yesterday it was revealed that another senior
ARL chief, Tom Bellew (sp?), had decided to not stand for re-election to
the board. Bellew is a former chairman of the ARL and has spent much of
the last decade developing RL internationally most notably in the South
Pacific islands. Following the announcment of the Quayle resignation ARL
head, Ken Arthurson, also forshadowed his departure saying that at the age
of 68 it was perhaps time for him to reassess his position. In more
positive news it was also the week that saw the appointment of Australian
leagues first female CEO at a premier level club and the first real
compromise in the war occured in North Queensland over domestic league
funding and dual registration for players (which I shall cover in another
post on asrl presently).

Catchya round, Leigh

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* Leigh T. Gillespie                  *    "It takes leather balls      *
* Phone - Australia (077) 791219      *     to play Rugby!"             *

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