NEWS Landmark ruling: Jack de Belin barred from NRL return

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Landmark ruling: Jack de Belin barred from NRL return
Lucy Hughes Jones and Michael Carayannis, The Daily Telegraph

Rugby league star Jack de Belin remains suspended after he lost a legal bid to overturn his playing ban for rape charges.
The Dragons lock launched a Federal Court challenge to the code’s controversial no-fault stand down policy, which he claims will ruin his career.

Justice Melissa Perry delivered her judgement in the landmark case on Friday, ruling the NRL and the Australian Rugby League Commission always had the power to bench the Blues Origin forward.

The judge found the NRL established a “clear and present danger to their legitimate interests” by the seriousness of de Belin’s charge and the negative media attracted by the code’s “summer of hell.”

“Nothing short of a rule precluding Mr de Belin and others charged in the future with serious offences of a similar nature from taking the field was likely to address the clear and present danger established,” she said.

“The court rejected the submission that he was stood down ‘indefinitely’ under the new rule and that the new rule operates in a relevantly retrospective manner.”

De Belin, who was not present in court for the decision, was ordered to pay the NRL and ARLC’s legal costs.

The judge found the 28-year-old was not entitled to compensation for any damage to his name or hurt and stress.

Justice Perry found the NRL didn’t engage in misleading and deceptive conduct, and did not unlawfully restrained de Belin’s trade.

It means St George Illawarra will remain without de Belin for Sunday’s clash against the Newcastle Knights with the ban likely to extend past his October 2020 contract.

It’s a career-validating ruling for ARLC chairman Peter Beattie, who has staked his reputation on the hard line rule which de Belin sought to permanently block.

It also has wider ramifications for the game after NRL boss Todd Greenberg used his discretionary powers to suspend young Penrith playmaker Tyrone May for his own alleged off-field sex scandal.

Benched Manly Sea Eagles centre Dylan Walker has already been cleared to play after being found not guilty of domestic violence charges last week.

De Belin wanted the NRL and ARLC to issue a press release and advertise in several newspapers that the Dragons No. 13 has not been suspended and was free to play.

This was rejected by the judge.

More to come...

source: Courier Mail


NRL Captain
Huge decision. How long is his ban for as it said in the article it's likely to extend past his contract which runs till end of 2020? Indefinite? 5 years? Life?

I bleed Maroon

State of Origin Rep
The players have nobody to blame but themselves. The 2018/19 off season was just beyond the pale in terms of piss poor player behavior, and the NRL really had no choice but to take a stand. The media can spew about it all they like, because as if they would do anything else, but the players have had this reality check coming for a long damn time.
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I'm more interested in the potential ramifications when he's found not guilty.

Hopefully for the NRL's case, nothing ends up happening but I get the feeling this is going to backfire on them big time and that's going to do more damage than what letting him play was going to do.
Boy that’s going to cost him a fortune potentially to pay the legal costs on top of everything else. Can he challenge higher?
That's definitely controversial... and I find it hard to swallow, because it goes against the fundamental "innocent until proven guilty" principle enshrined in the Australian common law, turning it into a "guilty until proven innocent" punishment.
It's also ridiculous to rule it doesn't impact his standing in the game, due to the publicity of it.
It's also very dubious whether this is or isn't restriction of trade...

I assume this could be escalated to the High Court of Australia. I know I definitely would.

Regardless whether it's the case with Bellend or not, someone innocent will end caught up in this, not to speak of the potential for abuse this brings about.
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U18 Player
There is a lot of money in gambling and in the future we might see players taken out to affect outcome by having allegations made against them.....
There is a lot of money in gambling and in the future we might see players taken out to affect outcome by having allegations made against them.....
That happens a bit around the world of sports does it?

I'm pretty sure the NRL would have been one of the last sports to actually draw a line in the sand and say players can't play.


International Rep
There is a lot of money in gambling and in the future we might see players taken out to affect outcome by having allegations made against them.....
What absolute rubbish. It’s more than allegations, it would need to be backed up by charges and like in the case of JDB have evidence deemed strong enough for a prosecutor to think he has a winnable case.

This kind of bullshit really pisses me off.

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