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Appendix 5: Report on the operation of the National Sports Tribunal

As required under section 63(2) of the National Sports Tribunal Act 2019, the Department of Health Annual Report must include information on the operation of the National Sports Tribunal (NST) during the reporting period.

The NST commenced operations on 19 March 2020. Below is general information on the NST for the period to 30 June 2020.

A comprehensive report on the operations of the NST will be included in the 2020-21 Department of Health Annual Report.

Introduction

The NST is a key element of the Government’s comprehensive sport integrity strategy – Safeguarding the Integrity of Sport – delivered in response to the 2018 Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements (known as the Wood Review). The NST is a critical pillar of Sport 2030 – National Sport Plan.

The NST was established to hear and resolve national-level sporting disputes in Australia. The NST offers a range of dispute resolution options, including arbitration, mediation, conciliation and case appraisal, to help national level sporting bodies and their participants resolve disputes efficiently and affordably.

The roles and functions of the NST are set out in the National Sports Tribunal Act 2019.

About the NST

Chief Executive Officer – Mr John Boultbee AM

John Boultbee is a lawyer and sport administrator with over 20 years’ experience as a judge of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Structure

The NST has three divisions:

  • Anti-Doping Division – deals with breaches of the anti-doping rules of a sport.
  • General Division – deals with other disputes under the rules of a sport (including, for example, disputes that might arise under a sport’s Member Protection Policy).
  • Appeals Division – deals with appeals from the Anti-Doping or General Divisions, as well as appeals from decisions made by ‘in-house’ sport tribunals.

A Registry within the Department of Health supports the NST.

NST Members

NST members include legal and medical professionals working in sport, along with top sport administrators and former athletes.

The Minister for Youth and Sport appointed all NST Members on the recommendation of the independent, expert Selection Advisory Committee.

NST Members have a diverse range of skills and experience. Most are legally qualified, and these Tribunal Members will generally:

  • conduct arbitrations, mediations, conciliations or case appraisals; and
  • preside as chair when a dispute has more than one Tribunal Member hearing it.

National Sport Tribunal Members – 30 June 2020

Prof. Jack Anderson

Mr Craig Green

Ms Jessica Lambert

Ms Joanna Andrew

Dr Peter Harcourt OAM

Mr Stephen Lancken

Ms Venetia Bennett

Ms Elisa Holmes

Ms Judith Levine

Assoc. Prof. Carolyn Broderick

Ms Diane Hubble

Mr Anthony Lo Surdo SC

Mr Adam Casselden SC

Mr Nicolas Humzy-Hancock

The Hon. Wayne Martin AC QC

The Hon. John Chaney SC

Ms Danielle Huntersmith

Mr Anthony Nolan QC

Prof. Bruce Collins QC

Mr Christopher Johnstone

Ms Rebecca Ogge

Ms Sarah Cook

Mr Darren Kane

Mr Anthony O’Reilly

Mr Paul Czarnota

Dr Dominic Katter

Mr Simon Phillips

Mrs Fiona de Jong

Mr Marcus Katter

Ms Jane Seawright

Ms Lisa Eaton

Ms Caroline Kenny QC

Mr Mark Stevens

Dr Peter Fricker

Mr Peter Kerr

Dr Larissa Trease

Mr David Grace AM QC

Ms Anita King

Mrs Annabelle Williams

Vision, mission and values

The NST’s vision is to promote and protect the integrity and fairness of Australian sport as the national sporting community’s forum of choice for consistent resolution of disputes.

The NST’s mission is to provide an effective, efficient, independent, transparent and specialist tribunal for the fair hearing and resolution of sporting disputes.

The NST’s values are to:

  • Remain independent.
  • Act with integrity and impartiality.
  • Deliver quality justice and outcomes.
  • Be accessible.
  • Respect individuals.

Stakeholder engagement

During the first three months of operation, the NST undertook an extensive program of engagement with national sporting organisations, peak bodies, athlete/player associations, and domestic and international sports law groups and dispute resolution bodies. This included individual discussions with more than 40 sports organisations, participation in working groups, and distribution of information via the NST’s website, social media and legal and sporting publications.

The NST continues to engage with the National Sports Tribunal Advisory Group (NSTAG). The NSTAG was formed in 2019 to provide strategic advice and guidance on the establishment of the NST. Members of NSTAG represent a diverse range of knowledge and expertise from the sports, legal, medical and academic sectors. The NSTAG now contribute their expertise to the continuous improvement of service design and delivery.

Evaluation
The NST is currently operating as a two year pilot. The purpose of the pilot is to establish demand, costs, an effective operating model, and provide insight as to the character of the projected caseload.

The Australian Government has engaged a public policy evaluation and consultancy firm to evaluate the pilot.

The evaluation aims to:

  • assess the design and implementation of the NST to identify lessons and opportunities for improvement;
  • assess the extent to which the NST achieved the expected outcomes; and
  • inform the sustainability and future operation of the NST.

The results of the evaluation will inform Government about the establishment, implementation and delivery of sports dispute resolution services through the NST. The evaluation will shape the future design and delivery of national sports dispute resolution services.

The evaluation approach includes engagement with the tribunal team, with sporting organisations and stakeholders, and with users of the NST.