Australia: NRL's no-fault stand down rule 'unfair, draconian', Jack de Belin's lawyer tells court - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaNRL's no-fault stand down rule 'unfair, draconian', Jack de Belin's lawyer tells court

08:05  15 april  2019
08:05  15 april  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Federal Court has today set down 16 April for a final hearing of the proceedings brought by Jack de Belin challenging the application to him of the NRL ’ s No Fault Stand Down Rule . In these circumstances, Mr de Belin ’ s application for interlocutory relief and the hearing set down for

Jack de Belin (born 17 March 1991) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a lock for the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL . De Belin played part of his junior football career with St Gregory' s College

Video provided by AAP

New rules that allow rugby league players charged with serious criminal offences to be stood down are unfair, draconian and unprecedented, the Federal Court of Australia has heard.

St George Illawarra's Jack De Belin is challenging the Australian Rugby League Commission's (ARLC) decision to stand him down as he faces allegations of aggravated sexual assault relating to a woman he met in Wollongong in December.

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Jack de Belin will be stood down pending the outcome of his court case after the ARLC unanimously agreed to implement new rules .

Jack de Belin has launched legal action against the ARL Commission after being stood down . After Alan Sullivan QC told the court on Thursday de Belin was not suspended, the forward' s The NRL ' s chief executive Todd Greenberg later on Thursday night said the rule would be in place within 48 hours.

De Belin has pleaded not guilty.

NRL's no-fault stand down rule 'unfair, draconian', Jack de Belin's lawyer tells court© AAP Image/Dean Lewins De Belin hasn't played any football since last season, after missing the Dragons' first trial. A string of off-field incidents prompted the ARLC to change NRL policy, effective from March 11, so players could be stood down if they faced criminal charges carrying a maximum penalty of 11 years or more in jail.

"In our submission it's a harsh rule, it's an unfair rule, it's a draconian rule," de Belin's lawyer Martin Einfeld QC told the Federal Court.

"It's unprecedented, as far as the evidence enables one to tell, in any sporting code in Australia."

Mr Einfeld said it may also be a world-first to have such a measure applied retrospectively.

NRL's no-fault stand down rule 'unfair, draconian', Jack de Belin's lawyer tells court© Provided by ABC News Jack de Belin is suing the NRL for standing him down over sexual assault charges. He said since the NRL began in Australia in 1908, players had always had a right to a hearing and a review of the hearing.

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He said de Belin was not technically suspended as it stands but the new rule was expected to be up and running before the Telstra Premiership gets NRL CEO Todd Greenberg reiterated the timeline for the ARLC' s drafting of the no - fault stand down policy in a brief media address at the game' s season

St George Illawarra player Jack de Belin has not been banned from playing as the new rule giving the NRL the ability to suspend him does not yet exist, the code has been forced to clarify before a court . But Federal Court judge Steven Rares told the NRL ' s barrister, Alan Sullivan, QC

"That has been removed by these rules," Mr Einfeld said.

"This is, on any view, a remarkable and extreme provision."

Under the new rule, affected players are entitled to full pay and can still train with clubs.

De Belin could face a custodial sentence of up to 20 years, a court heard in February.

He is suing the NRL, demanding it pay for "corrective advertising" and accusing it of misleading and deceptive conduct, court documents revealed last month.

As he announced the new rules, ARLC chairman Peter Beattie said the commission was making no judgement about the innocence or guilt of a player.

But the Rugby League Players' Association opposed the change and said the rule undermined a player's right to be presumed innocent.

De Belin's case is due to be mentioned in a Wollongong court on Wednesday.

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