This year Hunt & Hunt was appointed to the National Sports Tribunal Assistance Panel.
We had a chat with Lawyer and athlete George Mourani about the assistance panel, his sporting background, and why Hunt & Hunt chose to get involved.
What is the National Sports Tribunal Legal Assistance Panel?
“The National Sports Tribunal Legal Assistance Panel (NSTLAP) is an established panel of legal practitioners who are willing to provide free or substantially discounted legal assistance for athletes and sporting bodies who come before the National Sports Tribunal (NST). The NST hears and resolves national-level sporting disputes in Australia.”
Why is it important to have a National Sports Tribunal?
“I read in the Government response to the Wood Review that each year 14 million Australians participate in some form of sporting activity and sport generates $35-47 billion of economic activity.
Australians have no tolerance for corruption in sport and expect integrity to be safeguarded at all times. The NST is an independent and nationally coordinated effort to identify and resolve disputes in our sports codes. It will protect the public confidence in sports and reassure athletes that they are competing on an even playing field.”
Why are we involved?
“Sports Law continues to be an integral part of our justice system and there is every reason to be optimistic about the future of Sports Law in Australia
Hunt & Hunt has a strong reputation of appearing as advocates in courts, tribunals, arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution, making us well-placed to assist parties before the NST in an efficient manner.
The firm has a strong commitment to the National Pro-Bono Target, and I expect matters before the NST to fall within this category.
We are also the sole Australian member of Interlaw which is an elite global network of pre-eminent law firms across the globe and are a part of the Sports, Media and Entertainment special business team.”
Tell us about your sporting background
“I’d say my sporting career started when I was 5 years old. I fell in love with football and you could almost always find me either kicking a ball against the wall or sleeping with it tucked in my arms.
Before I knew it, I turned 12 which was the beginning of professional football. I survived the trials and signed for Bankstown City Lions FC in the Football NSW National Premier League competition – the highest in my age group.
I remained in that competition for 7 years and moved around between clubs like Sydney Olympic FC and APIA Leichardt Tigers. Somewhere along the way I was also chosen to represent my Metropolitan District at the NSW State Titles Competition for a few years. At 19 years old, I faced a cross-road between a legal career or a sports career… And here I am now.
Sports will always be close to my heart. I currently play community football for Belmore Eagles FC and hold memberships with Sydney FC and Souths Sydney Rabbitohs.”
Who can contact you and how can you help?
“If you are an individual or a sporting organisation with disputes regarding codes of infringement, conduct infringement, anti-doping rule violations, disciplinary matters, selection and eligibility issues, bullying, harassment or have any other sports related concerns, please contact me by email on [email protected] or 02 9391 3186.”