Watch the video below for a step by step guide on the NSW Community Rugby League Judiciary process for the Sydney Metropolitan region.
NSWRL Judiciary Video
If a Referee dismisses a player from the field, they will complete a ‘Match Officials Dismissal Sheet’ briefly detailing the reason(s) for the send-off at the end of the match. The team official/player is given a “yellow” copy of the sheet, the Referee keeps the “pink” copy, and the original “white” copy is sent to the District Junior League administrator.
The referee will submit an “Online Match Officials Report” which details what the player is alleged to have done to be dismissed from the field, along with the pink copy of the “Match Officials Dismissal Sheet”, to the NSWRL.
The NSWRL will collate all reports from weekend matches on Monday morning and refer them to the Match Review Committee. This committee will review the Referee reports to determine any charges and gradings based on the evidence provided.
Once charges and gradings are determined, the NSWRL Judiciary administrator issues an official ‘Notice of Charge’ to the player’s Club Secretary. This will be issued by email and sent to the Club Secretary by 12pm Tuesday.
The player’s Club Secretary is required to enter a “Notice of Plea” on behalf of the player to the NSWRL Judiciary Administrator by 9am Wednesday. This should be done in consultation with the player and his or her parents.
The player may plead guilty, plead guilty but dispute the grading or plead not guilty to the offence.
A tribunal is convened to adjudicate on cases brought before it on cases where the player has entered a plea of not guilty OR guilty but disputing the grading.
Hearings location and day
All judiciary hearings are conducted at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence at 12-14 Dawn Fraser Avenue Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127 on Thursday evenings. Hearings start from 6.30pm.
There is metered on-street parking available on Dawn Fraser Avenue. Street parking may not always be available during major events due to road closures in place.
Arrival to Hearings
On arrival to the NSWRL Centre of Excellence, all visitors will be greeted by a NSWRL official who will direct them to the appropriate waiting area. Once the judiciary hearing is ready to proceed, a NSWRL official will escort them to the hearing room.
Present in each hearing
It is the task of the Judiciary panel to decide the case based on the evidence presented.
The Panel comprises a Chairperson, who is a practising solicitor or barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and two panel members, who are either former Rugby League players or referees.
A Judiciary Counsel will be at the hearing and will argue against the offender’s case before making submissions to the panel.
A secretary is also present and will perform all procedural and administrative tasks.
At times, media may be at a hearing to report on any matter.
Appearing before the Judiciary Panel can be an intimidating experience for a player or official. The Chairperson is experienced in their role and will conduct all hearings professionally and with the welfare of attendees in mind at all times.
The Chairperson will not allow anyone to interrupt, talk over, belittle, insult or ridicule anyone else and will insist on everyone receiving natural justice and being treated in a decent and fair manner.
The club representative and person appearing before the Judiciary Panel are called into the hearing room where the Chairperson explains the purpose of the hearing. Players do not require legal representation unless they choose to do so.
The person appearing is made aware of details of the charge/complaint and is asked for a plea of guilty but disputing the grading, not guilty, or guilty with an explanation by the Chairperson.
The person appearing will have an opportunity to offer an explanation and any other constructive and character information of their choice.
If the person appearing pleads ‘Not Guilty’, a full hearing will take place with evidence taken from all witnesses, the complainant and the defendant.
The defendant will have an opportunity to advise of character information and other evidence on their behalf.
Following the evidence, the Panel will retire to decide on guilt or otherwise before determining any penalty.
Post hearing notification of decision and appeals
The NSWRL will issue a Notice of Outcome to the Secretary of the Junior League Club concerned the day after a hearing who will relay it to the person who appeared before the Judiciary Panel.
The outcome will be recorded on the players record on the game’s database.
People have the right to appeal against any decision of a Judiciary panel. Information on appeals can be found under the NSWRL Policies and Procedures Manual which can be found at nswrl.com.au. A $500.00 fee is applicable. All Appeals are reviewed by an Independent Chairperson not associated with the initial hearing.
NSWRL Judiciary Video