AFL Tribunal Hearing
AFL Tribunal Hearing

What next for Greene?

Lawyers going head to head and a rehashing of Tuesday night's evidence.

It's set to be a battle of legality with a war of words looming in the biggest AFL appeals board hearing in recent memory.

Giants star Toby Greene will fight for his chance to play in a preliminary final on Thursday night, 48 hours after his one-match ban was upheld by the tribunal.




Players have the right to appeal any decision of the tribunal - but only on certain grounds.

The Giants will have to prove that either;

AN error of law has occurred;

THE decision of Tuesday night's tribunal was so unreasonable that no tribunal acting reasonably could have come to that decision having regard to the evidence before it;

THE classification of the offence by the tribunal was manifestly excessive or inadequate;

THE sanction imposed by the tribunal was manifestly excessive or inadequate.

The club is still formulating its strategy as to which - or how many - of the four points it will attempt to argue tomorrow night.

There is also a provision for the Giants to introduce new evidence, but only if it could not have been obtained prior to the conclusion of Tuesday night's tribunal hearing and if it is deemed "of sufficient value that if it had been presented before the tribunal, the tribunal would have reached a different decision".

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Be prepared for plenty of "legalese".

The AFL and the Giants will recount their entire cases from Tuesday night in front of a new panel of adjudicators.

Greene - or opponent Lachie Neale - will not be required to give evidence given he already gave a lengthy account of the incident on Tuesday, with the Giants currently determining whether the firebrand forward will travel to Melbourne for the hearing for the second time this week.

If the hearing is still going when teams are announced at 6.25pm on Thursday night, Greene will be named in the Giants' team.

If the ban is upheld after the original team has been announced, the Giants will be afforded a short period of time to make a change to the team.

Toby Greene training with teammates ahead of his bid to play in the preliminary final. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Toby Greene training with teammates ahead of his bid to play in the preliminary final. Picture. Phil Hillyard


David Jones sat as chairman of Tuesday night's hearing, alongside former players Shane Wakelin, David Neitz and Paul Williams, meaning none of the four can be part of the appeals board hearing.

One chairman and two panel members will be required to adjudicate, with those available being Ross Howie, Geoff Giudice AO, Murray Kellam QC, Wayne Henwood, Stephen Jurica, Richard Loveridge and Peter O'Callaghan QC.

Nick Pane QC is again expected to act for the AFL given his knowledge of the case from Tuesday night.



"When we went to the tribunal last night we were really confident that we could get Toby off (the charge), and that's why we'll appeal on Thursday," he said today.

"We think we've got a good case.

"I thought all the evidence we presented was fantastic and the case was spot on.

"Everything Toby spoke about, everything that everyone spoke about Toby was absolutely spot on, and that's why we woke up this morning and we were disappointed.

"We're also realistic about it as well, and we're confident when we go to appeal that we'll present a case and see what happens.

"That's footy, that's what happens in life, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't."


The Giants will bear a cost of $5000 to appeal, with $2500 of that refundable in the event of a successful appeal.

Should they fail in their appeal, court action could loom as occurred in 1996 when Sydney fullback Andrew Dunkley was successful in delaying a tribunal hearing on a striking charge after he was granted an injunction.

The appeals board was introduced for the 1998 season, following a lengthy saga that saw Carlton launch Supreme Court and then Court of Appeal action after star Greg Williams was suspended for nine games for pushing an umpire.