find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Adelaide CBD · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
Freelance Project Finance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Australia
· Vario are looking for freelance lawyers with experience in project finance ideally within the renewable energy sector
View details
Vario Freelance Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Australia
· We are looking for lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Freelance Construction Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· We are looking for construction lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
High-profile barrister to lead swimming investigation

High-profile barrister to lead swimming investigation

One of the highest-profile barristers in Australia has been hired by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to head its investigation into drug use and bullying by swimmers at the London Olympic Games.

Bret Walker SC, from Fifth Floor St James’ Hall Chambers in Sydney, who last week was singled out by Chambers and Partners as one of the four best silks in the country, has been appointed with a view to holding the swimmers to account for their actions.

The move comes after Swimming Australia’s decision to establish an integrity unit following admissions of misbehaviour and unauthorised use of the drug Stilnox by the Australian 4x100m swimming team prior to the London Games last year.

A leading sports lawyer has called on the integrity panels set up to investigate recent scandals in Australian sport to act within the rules and procedures of the sport in question.

Tim Fuller, of Walsh Halligan Douglas Lawyers, has told Lawyers Weekly that, although integrity panels are a vital part of weeding out doping and misbehaviour in Australian sport, they must themselves play within the rules.

“The integrity commission must act within the rules and procedures of sports. They cannot be a sort of lone wolf, going off by themselves wielding unlimited power,” said Fuller. 

“It’s really important they follow due process and respect things like athlete privacy … the human rights of athletes should be respected.”

The AOC has warned the swimmers that they could also be in breach of the ethical behaviour by-law in its team agreement.

“We support Swimming Australia’s decision to establish an integrity panel to investigate allegations of drunkenness, misuse of prescription drugs, bullying and other breaches of Swimming Australia’s team agreement,” said AOC secretary-general Craig Philips in a statement last month.

The sanctions for the swimmers could extend to withdrawing funding won in the lead up to the Rio Olympics in 2016, said Philips.

Fuller’s view is that Swimming Australia, like many other national sporting organisations, has failed to define the type of behaviour that constitutes bringing their sport into disrepute or contempt.

“Most sporting organisations keep the clause in relation to behaviour as broad as possible,” says Fuller.

He adds that it’s an “unusual move” by the AOC to hire a barrister to investigate these incidents further.

“I think it’s a bit unnecessary, but then again, the perception is sometimes as valuable as the outcome,” said Fuller.

“I find it unusual to bring in a barrister, because everything is very well governed in relation to Swimming Australia. They’ve got team agreements, which pretty much govern the relationship between the swimmer and them.”

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

High-profile barrister to lead swimming investigation
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jan 23 2018
Disrupting traditional archiving and storage methods
Promoted by Fileman TRENDS COME and go but technology and its disruption to the legal landscape h...
Scales of Justice
Jan 23 2018
WA to close ‘legal loophole’ on gender reassignment laws
Laws in Western Australia will soon change to permit married people to undergo gender reassignment s...
Lawyers take to Twitter to share career stories
Jan 22 2018
Lawyers take to Twitter to share career stories
The #mypathtolaw hashtag has been embraced by legal eagles to swap stories with the Twitter communit...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...