Mega Thread JUDGMENT -Essendon/Hird v ASADA Trial: Investigation legal (club/ASADA/AFL/AFLPA/WADA statements)

The_Wookie

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Chris Kaias @ChrisKaias · 1h
  • Much smaller courtroom today, filling up already
  • The Ess contingent have arrived in court
  • Standing room only now
  • Court officer confirms that judgment will be available online soon after
  • Nervous silence now. Expected in 2 mins
  • Dank just walked in the courtroom
  • Middleton has arrived. Here we go
  • Middleton will publish his written reasons and read an extract
  • Middleton: investigation may be referred to as a joint investigation but the label is of little relevance
  • Middleton: must consider nature purpose and conduct of proceedings themselves
  • Middleton: ASADA has important national and international functions to perform
  • Middleton: ASADA and AFL may need to act jointly, however statutory authorities must act within law
  • Middleton: no relief is sought against the AFL
  • Middleton: no contention that the AFL's powers were illegal or unenforceable or unconscionable
  • Middleton: the 34 players are not parties, they have a significant interest
  • Middleton: the only witness who was impugned was Andruska
  • Middleton: does not consider Essendons criticisms of Andruska can be sustained. Ms Andruska was a credible witness.
  • Middleton: Ms Andruska thought carefully about her answers. I would have expected her to be careful about this
  • Middleton: it was apparent she relied on her staff. As CEO she was entitled to delegate to her staff
  • Middleton: these proceedings do not involve a broad and general inquiry as to the general conduct of the investigation
  • Middleton: Andruska was under pressure from AFL and government. However no dereliction of her responsibilities
  • Middleton: ministerial direction outside the Act would normally be seen as forbidden
  • Middleton: I conclude that by 1 Feb ASADA and AFL to investigate Ess and use AFLs powers
  • Middleton: ASADA would have investigated even without invitation by the club
  • Middleton: ASADA would have investigated Ess even without the AFLs compulsory powers
  • Middleton: Ess and Hird and players cooperated because of contractual obligations to do so
  • Middleton: Hird and players were represented at all times and did not claim right against self incrimination
  • Middleton: information provided in interviews was simultaneously disclosed to both ASADA and the AFL
  • Middleton: the investigation required coordination between ASADA and the AFL on matters of procedure and machinery
  • Middleton: ASADA benefitted from cooperation of AFL with use of formal powers to acquire evidence and arrange interviews
  • Middleton: ASADA and the AFL had different but related purposes
  • Middleton: the investigation undertaken by ASADA resulted in both ASADA and AFL making separate decisions within their own area of resp
  • Middleton: report provided with the knowledge it would be provided to AFL knowing they would use for disciplinary proceedings
  • Middleton now generally describing judicial review. Purpose is to ensure the legality of government action rather than its correctness
  • Middleton: ASADA had power to request information however direct or implied power required to force someone to provide information
  • Middleton: the nature and conduct of the investigation was lawful
  • Middleton: once appreciated that AFL received information directly and not from ASADA then the protections did not apply
  • Middleton: there was no disclosure of information from ASADA to the AFL in the interviews
  • Middleton: the desire to use or harness AFLs powers can immediately be accepted as a consideration for using AFLs powers
  • Middleton:hird and players could have refused to answer and breached their contractual obligations. Whether they felt forced is not to point
  • Middleton: signing up to the AFLs agreement is subject to giving up certain rights
  • Middleton: no suggestion that Hird and players did not understand the rights they were giving up to play or coach AFL
  • Middleton: no power of the state has been utilised by ASADA to compel
  • Middleton: report was provided to the AFL for the purposes of the investigation and connected to the investigation
  • Middleton: the Investigation disclosed strong link between governance practices and anti doping issues at Essendon
  • Middleton: the poor governance was related to possible anti doping violations to the extent violations may have been systemic.
  • Middleton: I dismiss the applications
  • Middleton: if I had found otherwise, issues would have arose around discretion of relief
  • Middleton: in these proceedings I would not have declined to set aside the show cause notice. But futility may have denied relief
  • Middleton:the court would not have framed an order preventing investigation,even if it involved using derivatives of illegally obtained info
  • Middleton: final observation about interim report, interim report was provided in August and no proceedings were brought at that point
  • Middleton: ASADA complied with the rule of law. ASADA lawfully provided the interim report to the AFL. Applications dismissed.
  • Middleton: Essendon and Hird to pay costs
Chris Kaias ‏@ChrisKaias
Confused by the whole Essendon/ASADA process? I've written a guide to what might come next on the Social Litigator - http://t.co/cwPwM5oifr

‏@ChrisKaias
Here is the full judgment - http://t.co/wakcCcKAVR

Chris Kaias ‏@ChrisKaias now
It is an enormous 500-paragraph judgment. Incredible considering the short turnaround.


Club Statement

September 19, 2014 3:02 PM


Essendon Football Club is understandably disappointed at todays Federal Court decision.

Before deciding the next steps, we will consider the reasons for the final judgement, including whether or not to appeal this decision.

In taking these proceedings, our priority has been to protect and vindicate the legal rights and interests of the players.

The Club maintains its confidence that, on all the evidence available to us, neither harmful nor banned substances were given to the players during the supplements program of 2012.

Out of respect for the competition and the Clubs still competing this season, it is not our intention to provide any further commentary on this matter beyond today’s statement.
Patrick Keane ‏@AFL_PKeane 15m
The AFL today acknowledged the outcome of the Federal Court case involving Essendon, James Hird and ASADA. Fed. Court decision reinforced ASADA complied with law in establishing & conducting investigation & lawfully provided interim report to AFL. The process is now in the hands of ASADA. The AFL will make no further comment as the 2014 Toyota AFL Finals proceed.

ASADA statement on Federal Court Judgement

19 September 2014
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) welcomes the judgment delivered today by Justice Middleton in the matter of Essendon Football Club and James Albert Hird v The Chief Executive Officer of ASADA.

Today’s judgment vindicates Mr McDevitt’s strong belief that the Act always contemplated ASADA working with sports to uphold clean competition. The only way to stay ahead of sophisticated doping regimes is to partner with sports; not exclude them from the process.

Three months ago ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt put formal allegations of possible anti-doping rule violations to 34 current and former Essendon players. These players still have a case to answer under the World Anti-Doping Code and Australia's National Anti-Doping scheme.

Our aim has always been to expose what happened at Essendon in 2012 and we steadfastly remain committed to this.

ASADA has no further comment at this stage.
Statement from AFL Players' Association

By AFL Players Sep 19, 2014

Following today’s Federal Court decision, AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh has issued the following statement:

“The players’ legal team attended the Federal Court today to receive the judgement of his Honour Justice Middleton.

“The legal team will review the judgement in the coming days.

“We have no further comment at this stage.”


WADA Statement on joint ASADA/AFL Investigation

September 19, 2014

WADA welcomes the decision of Justice Middleton relating to the matter of the legality of the joint ASADA/AFL Investigation in Australia earlier today.

WADA accepts Justice Middleton’s decision that ASADA acted appropriately and lawfully in establishing and conducting its investigation in relation to AFL club, Essendon. Its process which engaged the AFL was deemed to be within its mandate and enabled ASADA to use all the evidence that it had properly collected.

Collaborations between different organizations are an important aspect of any anti-doping investigation, provided rules and laws permit such sharing.

As the Australian investigation process remains ongoing, WADA will offer no further comment at this stage.
 
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The_Wookie

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Chris Kaias ‏@ChrisKaias now
Probably my biggest surprise was his finding on Andruska. If anything turns on that later, it is NOT something that can be doubted on appeal

Chris Kaias ‏@ChrisKaias now
The trial judge is given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to assessing credibility of witnesses
 

tigers_of_old_08

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RICHMOND
#8
Hird's bitten the hand that feeds him - many times now.

His actions demonstrate that he has no shame, no respect for the game nor any sense of loyalty except to himself. His ego is destroying any credibility he's got left and dragging the EFC with him.

Surely the Essendon board wont allow this to go on!

And I don't know how Hird's Wiki page is managing to keep up with the updates. :cool:
 

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thecotch

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#16
Hird's bitten the hand that feeds him - many times now.

His actions demonstrate that he has no shame, no respect for the game nor any sense of loyalty except to himself. His ego is destroying any credibility he's got left and dragging the EFC with him.

Surely the Essendon board wont allow this to go on!

And I don't know how Hird's Wiki page is managing to keep up with the updates. :cool:
I think Little is just as culpable. This will send the club to the wall financially if they continue with pointless court action. The decision today was emphatic.
 
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Wolverhampton Wanderers WADA ASADA
#20
Middleton didn't miss anyone on the way through. King hits all the way through EFC and an appeal looks very unlikely unless EFC/Hird want to burn another million.

Lawyers will be saying we think there are good grounds to appeal (kid's school fees need paying soon) and I am sure that is what Little will say but not act on. Player's managers will be contacting ASADA this afternoon requesting meetings to discuss penalties. Would not be surprised to see someone taking 6 months as early as next week.

We are at the beginning of the end
 
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