The Legal Bits Thread

Ok I’m no lawyer, so I need help. My take on the Middleton judgement is not that one can sign away one’s legal rights, but if one , in this example, Hirdy or the players had refused to answer the AFL questions and the AFL had then attempted to “stand them down”, the players could have shot off to court and got an injunction against said act by the AFL?

If this is remotely near the correct interpretation of the judgement, how can Hirdy hope that the full court will find that it’s possible to claim the right to remain silent ,after the event, so to speak? Any lawyers out there want to have a crack?

If this is so, I wonder why our legal reps didn't mention that to our players?

I am not  a lawyer but here is my  understanding of it,  since the Lawyers dont want to participate in your thread..


Yes ,  it is unfortunate that the legal representatives actually chose to "leave aside the issues of right to silence"  which was specifically quoted in the transcriptions of one of the interviews.   It is never a good idea to postpone a fight and wait for a "rearguard action"  unless the rearguard is very much bigger than the force at hand.  Its is always possible to walk out on an interview of that type and yes,  apply for legal remedy at the time.  No doubt this was a mistake.   But do we know why the legal guy said that ?.  Was he just "weak" or was "extreme leverage" being applied eg. from Castle Vlad.


If Australia had a Bill of Rights and the Right to Silence was embedded in it,  I would think that the whole matter would never have gone to trial.  ASADA would have never been able to compel the players to answer any questions.


But it seems that while the right to silence is part of the Victorian criminal law,  this was not a criminal matter and the judge adopted the view that making a contract with the AFL overrode any common law right to silence.


The view of the lawyers advocating an appeal is that the judge ignored the primacy of the law, and instead invoked  the primacy of the AFL contract.


Now heres my opinion.  The judge is either a socialist or an establishment conservative, who favours the interest of Authority over individuals. His judgement was swayed by a desire to put "order and authority"  ahead of individual rights.


I suspect the likes of Julian Burnside and Geoffrey Robertson would not really agree with his philosophy.  

Finally saw this , thanks for taking the time to respond to my enquiry

As I have always said, if you are going to be crooked then make certain know the law inside out and better than most.
And; as much as we despise what the AFL and ASADA have done and been able to do, their legal teams it seems so far,
are smarter than ours. I hope this changes and very quickly.

Although, if the AFL/ASADA win this one, in all likelihood they could be in court for years with this Workplace safety and breaches of duty of care. I don’t think they will want that outcome. They will try to do a deal.

“The judge is either a socialist or an establishment conservative”

Very interesting statement Chris_64, not sure that is possible with them being at each end of the spectrum. For me, Middleton made his judgement based on the same premise what supporters of other clubs I have spoken to about the Saga think. Basically instead of judging if the law was upheld, Middleton said that as it is for the greater good to find out the truth, so human rights are not applicable.

Now I am not a big fan of law and order, as it always depends on how much money you have and hence the quality of your legal advice. I have always followed my Fathers advice and drilled into my kids and friends, that if interviewed by the Police, demand to have a legal person present, and then don’t say a word to any question except your name and address.

All my Legal mates have said that Middleton erred, but they are split in saying if his judgement is overturned. All have agreed that the EFC lawyers did a ■■■■■■ job, and they allowed Middleton to stray from the narrow point of law over ASADA’s role in law by argument they introduced. In any case, if I was a Player Manager, I would never allow my contracted player to talk to anyone without my approval.

I believe “our silks” have been outplayed and well and truly outsmarted on this issue. They need to change their tack.

White collar crooks employ the very brightest and top people, who know the inside, outside and loop holes of the law, backwards.
It might cost a bucket but earns them so much more and helps them to sleep in bed at night. It appears James Hird may have been a tad unrealistic, idealistic, in this case, too straight for his own good. Our side were “not bent enough” to look both inside and outside the box. That is in terms of ASADA and the AFL, who obviously have some very switched on people employed on their side.

How many knew players and employees or their managers knew when some one was signing their employment contract with the AFL, they were signing away their common law right to silence? And; were they ever told this was so? Did James Hird know?
The answer is probably few outside of AFL house. Many people often don’t take the time to read the fine print in any document.
We employ others for to do that for us. Unfortunately, they didn’t did it vey well. Ignorance of the law OR NOT READING YOUR CONTRACT is a strike three and no excuse.

You are wrong about that. Talk to any Football Manager they all knew the rules, but no-one knew how it would be applied.

Have you ever been interviewed by police or trained interrogators? It is a grueling and scary experience.

No Football Manager or Player understood; they all do now.

Becchusfox: Actually yes I have and you are right it was gruelling and confusing. Many here who may have studied communication and methods thereof know - if you want to confuse someone, have more than one person speaking at a time and but in and out of the conversation. The use of embedded commands to make the person drop their guard and feel a bit comfortable. The Police ply the tricks of the trade. I worked in prisons for both men, women and juveniles for the Department of Justice, I am familiar with the way the system works. I was also almost caught out with a contract with the Department of Justice, had we not bothered to read it through several times, we would have been caught without a leg to stand on. Opportunistic really.

It can also be about bombarding people with information. Others employ someone to look after those sorts of things for them and reading the fine print but not really understanding the complexity of it. Or, reading and because legal jargonise can be ambiguous, not understanding what it means or discovering multiple meanings. Not pushing the equation and asking the AFL et al, what does this mean, how will it affect me and how does it work?

Many of us in this club will now start to do this, others won’t bother and won’t worry. People can be far too trusting sometimes.

What’s with all these bumps of long-sleeping threads followed by deleting the activating posts? Seems to have become fashionable lately.

@wimmera1 started it and he is a trend setter.

Nah, that was an ironic response.
Can’t remember who it was, but it was the Kellypalooza thread.

I have been interviewed and interviewed (if you call it that) by interrogators. And; yes it is scary, gruelling and confusing because they use a box of tricks and employ the confusion technique. And; until you’ve experienced this you have no idea what’s its like o be in that position or how you might respond. Let’s put it this way, you can be shell shocked for days afterward.