Sonny Bill and the fiendish frogs

What a lot of nonsense has been talked about the defection to French rugby of rugby league star Bobby Sue Billy Jo Sonny Bill Williams! 

First, the NRL isn’t going to succeed in getting an injunction to restrain Sonny Bill’s defection, still less get a French court to enforce it.  Injunctions generally aren’t granted to enforce contracts of personal service (employment contracts) nor where money damages would be an adequate remedy (as they certainly would be here).

Nor is Sonny Bill likely to be able to successfully challenge the NRL salary cap system.  It’s just an empty threat. ((What is really in prospect, despite all the hot air, is a common law damages action for breach of contract by Sonny Bill.  Canterbury Bulldogs will certainly win, but Sonny Bill presumably calculates that he stands to make much more in France even after subtracting the damages and costs Canterbury will certainly get awarded.  Once everyone gets their legal advice to that effect, the dispute will probably settle before trial. ~ KP))  First, the Trade Practice Act isn’t available because its relevant competition/restrictive practices provisions don’t cover “contracts of service” or employment contracts (as opposed to “contracts for services” or independent contractor arrangements).  Common law action seeking a declaration that the salary cap is an unreasonable restraint of trade is slightly more likely.  Way back in 1971 Balmain player Dennis Tutty successfully challenged the then RL transfer fee system on that basis, while more recently Penrith player Phil Adamson successfully challenged the then internal draft system in 1991, and in other sports various courts have ruled that zoning and residential rules, and restrictions on transfers within a league and between leagues  were all unreasonable restraints of trade.  

However, not every contractual restraint of trade is unlawful at common law.  Restraints in commercial contracts are very common and very commonly upheld as long as they don’t go too far.  Lord Macnaghten explained the common law principle in Nordenfelt v Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Co. Ltd way back in 1894:

It is a sufficient justification, and indeed it is the only justification, if the restriction is reasonable -reasonable, that is, in reference to the interests of the parties concerned and reasonable in reference to the interests of the public, so framed and so guarded as to afford adequate protection to the party in whose favour it is imposed, while at the same time it is in no way injurious to the public.

Slightly more recently in 1922, in Heron v Port Huon Fruitgrowers’ Co-operative Association Ltd, the High Court further explained:

‘The real test’ whether a contract is reasonable between the parties ‘is’, in the language of Lord Birkenhead (McEllistrim v. Ballymacelligott Co-operative Agricultural and Dairy Society Limited (1919) AC, at p 563), ‘does the restriction exceed what is reasonably necessary for the protection of the covenantee?’ Do the articles ‘impose upon the appellant a greater degree of restraint than the reasonable protection of the respondents requires’?

The current salary cap rules are a fairly well designed system aimed at preserving a reasonably balanced and truly competitive competition where you don’t have a couple of very wealthy clubs dominating and causing boring, lopsided contests, while also preserving players’ rights to bargain freely with all comers within the broad constraint of a global salary cap for each club.  Similar salary cap systems exist throughout the common law world and have mostly withstood challenge, even in litigious America.  NRL boss David Gallop has obviously now received legal advice to similar effect judging by public statements yesterday.

Another furphy being touted is that Williams’ actions and the predation of cashed-up French and italian rugby clubs could spell the end of the NRL.  This sort of hyperbole shouldn’t convince anyone.  French predation hasn’t spelled the end of Australian rugby union even though it’s at least equally susceptible; after all, Australian rugby players have a much less steep learning curve because they’re not changing codes to one with significantly different rules and strategies.  Nor was Australian rugby destroyed by the predation of rugby league back when rugby was still amateur.  The NRL people are being more than a little precious and hypocritical.  Let market forces rule!

Lastly, a prediction.  Sonny Bill’s French adventure might well spell the end of French rugby’s seemingly uncritical enthusiasm for Australian rugby league players.  Forwards’ skills are radically different between the two rugby codes, although All Black second rower Brad Thorn proves the differences can be overcome.  But Sonny Bill is another kettle of fish.  In NRL he’s a high impact show pony with a wildly fluctuating work rate, dubious loyalty and commitment, and very injury-prone.  Rugby forwards’ primary role is securing and maintaining ball possession.  Rugby league forwards have almost no such role in the modern game.  Rugby tactics have certainly become a bit more league-like in some respects in recent times, with forwards wherever possible remaining in the defensive line and not committing themselves at the breakdown, and impact players like Sonny Bill being expected to chime into the backline out wide in attack.  But forwards still need a consistently high work rate: in lineouts, scrums, and when the breakdown becomes a rolling maul or ‘pick and drive’ ruck situation.  Whether Sonny Bill will be able or willing to do that hard yakka consistently is highly dubious, despite an early rugby background.  He might well end up an overpriced French failure, which would be poetic justice.  

 

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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gilmae
13 years ago

I heard he’ll be playing as a centre.

Guido
13 years ago

Interesting to see that the NRL is facing the same globalisation of the player market as soccer had to face twenty years ago or so.

Michael Cockerill writes about this in today’s Sydney Morning Herald (and indulges in a bit of schadenfreude).

For Sonny Bill, read Frank Farina, or Graham Arnold, or David Mitchell, or Robbie Slater. Turn back the clock 20 years and what had been a trickle of players leaving our shores suddenly became a flood. Australia’s quarter-final performance at the Seoul Olympics first alerted the world to what was then an untapped source of talent. Within a decade, the Socceroos went from fielding an entirely home-based team to one selected entirely of players based overseas. The then-domestic competition, the National Soccer League, inevitably became a shadow of its former self. Rugby and rugby league officials, sure that football would never recover from the onslaught, remained smug in their ivory castles, convinced it would never happen to them.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

$BW as a rugby centre would make sense; he’s actually spent quite a bit of time in the centres in League over the years. As for ‘high impact show pony’ I think you’re being a bit harsh. I’ll concede injury-prone, but when he’s on the field he is always involved in defence and attack and is one of those players than can make things happen.

On the legal side I’ll be interested to see how the ‘contempt’ angle plays out, if they can find and serve his ass that is. Thoughts Ken?

Amanda
13 years ago

Michael Cockerill is drawing an extremely long bow in that article, the situation is not comparable to football’s. And anyone talking a merger of the rugby codes is the one smug in their ivory castle. Not. going. to. happen. Have a Bex and a long lie down, Mike.

Good article Ken. The sky is not falling.

Michael Kalecki
Michael Kalecki
13 years ago

Amanda is correct.

Football is the world game. if you are offered better money elsewhere you will take it.

Both Ruggers are not. It is quite a gamble to offer big bucks to a league’star’ to play Union.
There are more failures than successes. Moreover it is the backs that are better able to play the game.
Sonny’s big tackle is the shoulder charge which is illegal in Union. Whether he will still have the energy to run after packing into rugger scrums is also a moot point. In league all that happen is a throw into the second row.

I also doubt whether Sonny could have got more money. What is morel likely is that average players would have taken a pay cut to pay for Sonny.

both Ruggers and even Aussie rules will suffer long term from additional revenue streams.
Have a look at the Man United Balance Sheet and then compare here. Notice how different the revenue streams are.

Only a world game offers that.

wilful
wilful
13 years ago

Here‘s another article about where salaries have gone in recent years, in League, Union, and for good measure Soccer and footy. Short version – League gets less, all the others get substantially more since 1999.

JC
JC
13 years ago

Have a look at the Man United Balance Sheet and then compare here. Notice how different the revenue streams are.

Yea Homes, I look at that balance sheet comparison everyday and left open mouthed in wonderment. How many times a week/day do you look at the Man United balance sheet? More than I do?

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I would be bery surprised if Toulon had paid out as much as is rumoured to get him.

But Rugby Union already deals with this problem – it looks inevitable now that the Wallabies of 2020 will play all around the world.

I don’t really know what Homer is on about.

Amanda, I doubt the codes will merge either. Maybe league will just die :)

gilmae
13 years ago

I’m going to go with All of the Above.

Michael Kalecki
Michael Kalecki
13 years ago

Patrick,

The revenue streamns are completely different.

Why does Man United or Arsenal play pre-season games in Asia?

rugby aint a world game in terms of revenue streams and popularity.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

“If thats really true youd have to wonder why hes even thinking of going,” ”

Possibly because he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and he’s relying on the shrewd and sagacious counsel of Messrs Mundine, Haumono and Nasser.

I have a feeling that it won’t end well for Sonny Bill.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
13 years ago

“I have a feeling that it wont end well for Sonny Bill”

No Pleasure Machine, and in a few years time celebrity boxing bouts against John Hopeate. The only reason I can think for this quixotic action in the list Ken provided is e), but if you wanted to avoid publicity why would you then hang out with exhibitionists like Mundine and his posse?

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Homer, all you mean is that soccer is more popular. Wow.

That truism doesn’t shed any light on what you might want to communicate, though.

~ ~ ~

I have to admit the whole thing doesn’t add up for me. Someone like Inglis, sure, he is a phenomenon. SBW seems less clear-cut. If there is any sense in it someone like Tana Umaga (his prospective coach!) or his prospective team-mate Jerry Collins must have singled him out for his susceptibility to the deal (as well as presumably for physicality, explosiveness and handling).

But I really can’t make the maths right, unless he really thinks he can get away from his contract scot-free. Maybe he can.

Michael Kalecki
Michael Kalecki
13 years ago

No Patrick,

look at where both Union and league get their revenue from and then compare to football.

Notice the difference. League is in a lot of trouble because of a reliance on gambling in licenced clubs. Union in UK and France is reliant on high rollers supporting a club. Never a great long term asset.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
13 years ago

What Homer saying is true, one good thing about soccer is that there is such a diversity of talent, that usually when a player leaves (often for a big transfer fee) there is a younger, hungrier replacement. Unfortunately, for the Bulldogs they’ve been done over by Willie and Sonny Bill, and with the sport really only being operative in three countries, there are not host of ready-made replacements.

I think the soccer clubs fare a little bit better in earning revenue from transfers fees and with the scope of a world-wide market that they are not quite as disadvantaged, think of Arsenal post-Veira and Henry where they promote Cesc and Adebayor into the fold, Man U post-Beckham scoop up Christiano Ronaldo (who they could now sell for an absolute packet – even if poor ole Sepp Blatter thinks Ronaldo honoring his constract of a couple of million a year is “modern slavery” It means in soccer that the clubs are a little less held hostage by having a franchise player like the urinal man Todd Carney or Money-Bill holding them hostage, as the club can eagerly punt the player to another club at another league for a profit.

Maybe the Bulldogs should see if they get a big money transfer fee, but I doubt if Toulon are only forking out what SBW is earning in league, that they’d be too enthusiastic to pay-out his $2M contract.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
13 years ago

Also the ownership of the soccer-clubs is now becoming more and more globalised. You have a Russian oil tycoon financing Chelsea, American sports investors owning Man U and Liverpool, the dodgy former Malaysian prime-minister using his ill-gotten gains to push Manchester City into European football when they were moving close to becoming relegation fodder.

pablo
pablo
13 years ago

I tend toward (e) in Ken’s list but would like to add the polynesian factor. We know it is an issue in rugby league circles in terms of ‘respect’ and rugby union doesn’t escape attention too with its luke warm response to a possible 15th team in the Super 14 series being islander based.
For me the eye-opener was the number of brown bodies in training with Toulon. It’s obviously a honey pot alternative and I have little doubt SBW will make it a success regardless of the money. Theat may be over stated as a motive. We also forget that France was a Pacific power and there are plenty of inter islander connections to make them feel at home.

Amanda
13 years ago

There was an article in the Terror today that did the maths and suggested SBW wouldn’t be getting anything like $3m. Have no idea but it seemed to make sense. Of course he has burnt his bridges back here now, so if he hasn’t signed anything yet he’s given Toulon a big negotiating stick to knock down the price.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

Pablo, France is still a Pacific power. In fact, for political and governance purposes, French Polynesia is a departement of metropolitan France. But Rugby isn’t big in Tahiti – the Tahitian national rugby team was beaten 86-0 by the Cook Islands a few years back.

Polynesians are in France to capitalise on the dollar-earning power derived from the Polynesian physicality and ability that NZ Rugby and Rugby League have long been dependent on and increasingly the NRL also, in more recent times. French Rugby Clubs are simply the latest bidders for player talent in the post-professionalism Rugby world and have joined the English and Japanese clubs which have longer track records in buying southern hemisphere talent.

I’m not sure I buy the, “lack of [Australian] respect for Polynesian players,” argument though I can certainly imagine Mundine running it by SBW.

pablo
pablo
13 years ago

Geoff, the ‘respect’ argument isn’t mine but it certainly is in the mind of players and has had a run in the media. To be sure it is relatively incoherent in that reportage and, similarly, I doubt that SBW has rationally thought through his actions.
As to the Tahiti Cook Islands scoreline, it doesn’t surprise me but my argument is that culturally it is more significant that they meet, not the result.

Richard Green
Richard Green
13 years ago

On the fact that salary caps have survived, even in America, there may be an interesting element at play there, at least in American Football, but not baseball.

I think I read that way back in the 1920s, with the draft systems that were primarily designed to keep down wages in profit driven professional teams (they were always businesses and not clubs in America), players earning a fraction of their worth understandably started challenging these under anti-trust laws.

But the anti-trust laws were federal laws, and could only cover inter-state trade. Whilst the baseballers managed to convince the courts that the game was played between teams from different states and was therefore interstate trade, in American Football, the teams managed to convince the courts that since patrons only paid for a ticket to ONE game held in ONE state, it covered no trade over state borders, and therefore the federal legislation could not be applied.

And by precedent it managed to carry on like that for ages, perhaps to today, but I’m not sure.

But that’s why baseball team salaries vary so much and made the Moneyball story so much more interesting, and why (I think) baseball lacks a draft, but both a cap and draft are present in American Football.

Just an interesting note.

meatwork
meatwork
13 years ago

Um…who cares? (Except for all the lawyers?)

Mr Denmore
Mr Denmore
13 years ago

The player drain to the UK and French rugby union clubs is killing rugby union in New Zealand, of all places. The All Blacks have lost at least a dozen players in the last year. Some admittedly were at the end of their careers, but others (like the world’s best tighthead prop Carl Hayman and centre Luke McAlister were still in their prime). Even worse, the French and the Pommy clubs are picking off emerging and second tier talent, which means there is now very little depth in New Zealand rugby. Just 18 months ago, the All Blacks had enough players to fill two complete squads and they did that on their Grand Slam tour of Europe, rotating the team completely from week to week.

Now of course, an economic rationalist will argue that this is just market forces at work. But I find it rather depressing that the power of the dollar is now so strong that it undermines the domestic sporting culture that bred these stars in the first place. How DID these UK and French clubs get to be so damned wealthy in the first place?

Ultimately, they will undermine their own national codes because they have so many overseas stars – from New Zealand, Australia (both codes) and South Africa – playing for them. But, then, they clearly don’t care much for international rugby anymore – as can be seen from the substandard French and English squads that came down to this part of the world over June. They are growing fat from their club competition, which ironically no-one here can see.

It pisses me off severely.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I find it rather cheering that the French are paying to train the Wallabies of the future.

John Ryan
John Ryan
13 years ago

I think one of the reasons for this is NEWS LTD, if they had anti trust laws in OZ it might be interesting,Williams says he does not like the fish bowl life and constant attention,well if he carrys on like a prat you get what you ask for.
So far as Murdock’s NEWs LTD goes, I saw an article about relative salary’s between the codes,and how RL players had slipped,it is in NEWS LTD interest to keep wages down,and maximise there take,but nobody asked the bunch of pricks to come into RL,the game was far better off with Murdock and his trained dogs.
And the game needs strong leadership which with Gallop it don,t have,he just does what his master(NEWs)tells him to do,as for the unionites dancing on Leagues grave. I think you might be very premature,we have got through worse than this and will get through this as well,what RU has to remember is how many subscriptions does RU sell,which seems to be the reason PAY TV hands money over for rights,to quote Roy Masters, what will happen when PAY cant sell any more subscriptions will they withdraw their money from AFL and NRL.
If Murdock pulls his money out of the SANAZR, what will RU do,as the great test struggled to beat a club rugby league match,and it had nowhere near the ratings of State of Origin

Guido
13 years ago

Mr Denmore, what you are describing regarding the poaching of Rugby players by more affluent overseas clubs has been happening to soccer for years.

Soccer clubs are now used for their best players to go overseas when they have a chance. Welcome to the club!

However FIFA I think has a world-wide code of rules about transfers between countries etc because it was becoming a free for all.

Does Union has the same thing?

meatwork
meatwork
13 years ago

btw, Stephen @ 18, in the interests of accuracy it’s a dodgy THAI former PM who owns MCFC and whose wife just got 3 years. Of course you could be forgiven for assuming that if it’s a dodgy Asian PM of some description it’s as likely to be a Malaysian one as any other.

clarencegirl
13 years ago

Don’t give a demm ’bout football – where’s the Missing Link?
Wanna fix quick!!!!!!!!!!

Mr Denmore
Mr Denmore
13 years ago

Guido, no there is no such code in rugby. The IRB administers the game, but the UK and French clubs seem to be a rule to themselves, to the extent they refuse to release players to the national team.

They are bloody parasites.

Elizabeth Crawford
13 years ago

You complete fool – I am looking for information for a kid’s school essay Year 10 on a NRL star

What do you know about Law are you a Solicitor – I don’t think so Stupid waste of time

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“There was quite a lot to be said IMO for the days when children should be seen but not heard was generally accepted wisdom.”

Now you’re just being mean. I think the poor lass must actually be the ‘kid’ in question.

wmmbb
13 years ago

If the Wallabies win in Auckland tomorrow, then coaching (and management generally) will have had a significant role in that outcome? Individual talent is the given, but the management of teams can be the deciding factor. Thus for example, if the Crusaders are compared to the Waratahs over the history of the Super 12/14 competition, one conclusion is that the management of the Crusaders has been superior. Person management is part of the success formula.

Francis Xavier Holden
13 years ago

Ken you grumpy old bugger- you should have given her Kevin Donnelly’s email and phone number – he’d have something to say on a Year 10 essay on a NRL star. Unless its a private school.

Elizabeth Crawford – don’t take any notice of Ken – he’s not really a legal person just a lonely old man looking for love on the net. People like him will say anything on the net. So – hows the essay going? Due in by end of today? Its a bugger when these things are left to the last minute isn’t it?

Liam
13 years ago

“You complete fool” is a latter-day honorific for revered teachers, these days, Ken. You’re just not up with the lingo of the youth.
“What a stupid waste of time” should be read as a kind statement of gratitude, not dismissed.

Amanda
13 years ago

Ken FTW!

Caroline
13 years ago

Sonny Bill?

Elizabeth must’ve been a bit fraught to have bothered being so patently rude. Her kid’s gonna fail Ken, and its all your fault!

Liam Channels Kevin Donnelly
Liam Channels Kevin Donnelly
13 years ago

kids school essay Year 10 on a NRL star

I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned the slipping of standards since my day. Where’s the Shakespeare, or are they just doing the English Literature of Phil Gould’s Thoughts On Dummy Half Running?
Harrumph harrumph.

Jim Arthur
Jim Arthur
13 years ago

I don’t know how the subject of soccer got into this otherwise great thread. On second thoughts I do know – some soccer propogandist decided to press his view, albeit put in surreptitious terms, that the tidal wave of soccer is taking over in Australia.

Part of this propoganda involves using the incorrect term “the world game”. Soccer of course is “a” world game, not “the” world game. Tennis is another world game – it is even played in Timor Leste.

Another part of the soccer propoganda machine is the attempt to overturn traditional use of the term “football” in Australia, but it is interesting to observe that the term “the beautiful game” is rarely used nowadays. Obviously doesn’t suit the propogandists – perhaps it is sending a message they don’t want to send.

I enjoy soccer and have been happily following it for 40 years, but I thoroughly object to the propoganda. So if you want make a point about soccer, by all means do so, but without the propoganda please.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
13 years ago

Sorry Jim Arthur, this is written in a rush and so will be a little too stream of consciousness

“Another part of the soccer propoganda machine is the attempt to overturn traditional use of the term football in Australia.”

I don’t know about me being part of the soccer propoganda machine, can Football Australia please send a big fat cheque for my services to date. I certainly was not being derogative of rugby league when I made comparisons, I was more indicating how other clubs have dealt with excessive nature of “player power” (or as I like to refer to the phenomenon as the “agent needs another percentage payment by persauding his client to switch clubs”). In this I was just pointing out the “salary cap double-whammy” the Bulldogs have suffered as a result of Willie Mason and Sonny Bill William dishonoring their agreements. I guess I sympathise with any club, say the selling clubs in the various soccer leagues who have to deal with this. I just don’t think the Bulldogs have had much in the way of recourse in which to replace these players (as their Swiss-cheese defence in the last couple of games attests).

I don’t know what can be done about this, but when you consider the opportunity cost for the club having nearly a million dollars of salary cup dosh locked into these two players if circumstances hadn’t contrived, potentially the club could have found a replacement – (or hypothetically the club could have retained international players like Thurston or Asotasi who are less wrapped up in their own individual cult of personality.) If this had been the case I doubt the Bulldogs would be in the uncompetitive position that they currently are as the NRL whipping boys.

For example it would be interesting if there was some way that the Bulldogs could obtain a $1.8 million transfer fee (from Toulon and NZRU – covering the cost of the four years of unfulfilled contract) that would allow the club to invest the proceeds into an increased cap of say 300K over the next six years to make up for the losses they have suffered. But this is all hypothetical.

BTW, I believe football is a more accurate descriptor of soccer, as I was convinced when this rather pedantic first-year uni student lectured me when I used the term soccer, he pointed out that “football is a sport involving the feet,” while in Rugby League the use of feet is much less prevalent. I don’t know that in doing this it is connoting superiority/inferiority, its just football is a better description of the game. Should we to avoid accusations of politically correctness (a nonsense word if there is one) in the future and describe the different games as the “round-ball game” and the “oval-ball game” but I’m sure we can find some offensive connotation in the image of the oval-ball, so will continue this Israel/Palestine like identity politics in which both sports are typecasted (one the sport for effete cosmopolitans the other the sport of fearless red-meat eating masculinists). Maybe its like Ford vs Holden, as football/soccer/rugby league lovers we have to find a Nisson GTI in which to unite in joined hatred (was it Henry Adams who said politics was build upon the elevation of mutual antipathies?,) I think croquet is a bit of a tossers sport, however I’d be happy to dislike polo or yachting, what sport can we unit in hatred of (considering that curling is too hilarious to inspire any antipathy)? What say ye

whyisitso
whyisitso
13 years ago

“First, the NRL isnt going to succeed in getting an injunction to restrain Sonny Bills defection”

“Injunctions generally arent granted to enforce contracts of personal service”

Not true it seems. The latest news must be a bit of a shock to you, Ken. Your introductory lines above seemed to confirm what I, as a layman, thought was the legal situation also.

I think this just shows how unpredictable the judiciary has become, sort of making it up as they go along so to speak. Judicial activism?

Just as creative it seems was the decision to allow the A.C.T. man who stabbed (killing) his mother over 50 times. Found guilty of manslaughter (merely reckless he was) and released at the rising of the court. Creative indeed. Too bad for mum it seems.

whyisitso
whyisitso
13 years ago

Ken,

I hope you’ll link to that judgment when it becomes available. It seems that the judgment will stand, as SBW did play last night and is now in contempt of court, so I guess an appeal is highly likely to succeed even if one is undertaken (also unlikely). More so the next step to the High Court. Presumably this means a new precedent and thus a substantial change to contract law. I’d also be surprised if the judge considered that SBW is a unique and irreplaceable talent. Certainly if he is that he’s was being grossly underpaid (not that that’s relevant).

I tend to mix with a lot of non-sporting people (Sonny Bill who?), and their eyes glaze over when you mention this case. But it isn’t about sport – it’s about the rule of law, and the need to know what the law is before the event. Capricious changes do its public perception a great deal of harm.

Sonny Bill has certainly been ill-advised as you say. He reputedly wants to play with the All Blacks, which would mean playing in Australia. Not much forethought here.

I know our legal system is an adversial one, but it seems a shame that the law can seemingly be changed in the event that someone refuses to be represented. Points to one of the advantages of the European inquisitorial system where judges consider all aspects of a cases, even ones not put by either side.

whyisitso
whyisitso
13 years ago

adversial, er adversarial. Unlike Homer, I hate making spelling errors.

Amanda
13 years ago

First rugby league was in its death throes and now the entire rule of law in Australia teeters on the edge of utter confusion — will this long national nightmare never end!!!!

Bill Posters
Bill Posters
13 years ago