Off the Wall

Last night's judiciary outcomes simply re-affirm my view that the current process is a significant denial of fairness and natural justice.

And it re-affirms my view that unless the ARLC reforms the process, we need a club to have the courage to challenge the whole process in the courts.

Last night The Broncos Ben Te'o and the Rabbitohs Greg Inglis had charges that had been graded by the match review process downgraded.

Success before the judiciary is now more common than ever.

What that surely means is simply this - either the match review panel, or the judiciary, is getting it very wrong!

I welcome a robust judiciary process - just like it used to be.

And that is what we need a return to.

The current "process" is, in my view, a denial of natural justice.

If a player, or his club, challenges a grading they are effectively running the risk of a higher penalty.

And that is why far too many clubs and players accept the offence gradings so they can get a lesser penalty - no suspension or a week less.

Rugby league is a multi-million dollar game. It has numerous full time officials, including full time referees. If a transparent judiciary process requires the establishment of two or more judiciary panels then surely that is not asking too much?

Clubs who just accept the grading given to a player for an offence need to remember that the accumulation of points can come back to haunt them - and the player!

The rule should be simple. If you take enter a guilty plea that is it. But if you seek a judiciary hearing you run the risk of an effective higher penalty if you lose, even if you have a strong case.

That is just wrong!

Last night simply strengthened the case, and strengthened it massively.