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New guidelines that enable rugby league gamers charged with critical felony offences to be stood down are unfair, draconian and unprecedented, the Federal Court docket of Australia has heard.
St George Illawarra’s Jack De Belin is difficult the Australian Rugby League Fee’s (ARLC) choice to face him down as he faces allegations of aggravated sexual assault referring to a girl he met in Wollongong in December.
De Belin has pleaded not responsible.
A string of off-field incidents prompted the ARLC to alter NRL coverage, efficient from March 11, so gamers might be stood down in the event that they confronted felony costs carrying a most penalty of 11 years or extra in jail.
“In our submission it is a harsh rule, it is an unfair rule, it is a draconian rule,” de Belin’s lawyer Martin Einfeld QC informed the Federal Court docket.
“It is unprecedented, so far as the proof allows one to inform, in any sporting code in Australia.”
Mr Einfeld stated it could even be a world-first to have such a measure utilized retrospectively.
He stated for the reason that NRL started in Australia in 1908, gamers had at all times had a proper to a listening to and a assessment of the listening to.
“That has been eliminated by these guidelines,” Mr Einfeld stated.
“That is, on any view, a exceptional and excessive provision.”
Below the brand new rule, affected gamers are entitled to full pay and might nonetheless prepare with golf equipment.
De Belin might face a custodial sentence of as much as 20 years, a court docket heard in February.
He’s suing the NRL, demanding it pay for “corrective promoting” and accusing it of deceptive and misleading conduct, court docket paperwork revealed final month.
As he introduced the brand new guidelines, ARLC chairman Peter Beattie stated the fee was making no judgement in regards to the innocence or guilt of a participant.
However the Rugby League Gamers’ Affiliation opposed the change and stated the rule undermined a participant’s proper to be presumed harmless.
De Belin’s case is because of be talked about in a Wollongong court docket on Wednesday.