When the ACCC says it will consider whether a club has breached its contract with a rival team or has breached the agreement it signed with the AFL, the players’ union is quick to challenge the decision.
But the AFL’s own evidence suggests that its arbitration clause, which allows clubs to set their own rules, is not actually binding.
And that’s the crux of the dispute.
The ACCC has lodged an application with the Federal Court to have the AFL overturn its previous decision to dismiss the case.
The AFL says it has the power to impose a financial penalty on a club that breaches the contract.
But that is not a binding clause.
It says the contract doesn’t give the AFL the power or authority to impose such a penalty.
And it says that it is a breach of its obligations under the agreement with the ACCT, the AFL Players’ Association, and the union’s Supreme Court chief.
In an opinion published on Friday, Justice John Goughman says the AFL is entitled to challenge any decision the tribunal makes, whether it’s in the Supreme Court or in the Federal Circuit.
The union says the ruling in the High Court shows that the AFL can’t make a binding determination.
He said it would not be appropriate for the AFL to challenge a decision in the court, which has the final say on the legality of a decision.
The issue is complicated by the fact that the court is in an adjournment period and the AFL has been unable to meet its deadline to file a response to the application.
The court is expected to make a decision by September, and there is no date set.
The High Court has also heard that the ACC and the ACCTA may appeal the decision and that the matter could be referred to the Supreme Judicial Court.
The Federal Court will also decide whether the AFL must pay the union the agreed sum of $500,000.
The case will be heard by Justice Goughmen in the Brisbane Federal Court on September 19.