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Wayne Gear v Table Tennis New Zealand


Appeal against decision of an NSO – natural justice – table tennis coach G appealed his non-nomination by Table Tennis New Zealand as coach for Youth Olympic Games – Tribunal rejected argument that nomination of coach is not a selection decision for purposes of Tribunal Rules – TTNZ high performance team panel consisting of 2 members drew up a long list of candidates for coaching position – long list included both panel members who drew up list but did not include G – they considered G for long list but for reasons relating to an earlier disciplinary matter on which G received a reprimand only, they did not include G on list – one of panel members was ultimately nominated by TTNZ as coach – G was unaware of procedures until after coach had been nominated. Principle of natural justice that person cannot be judge in their own cause – Tribunal took view on facts that the two panel members were judges in their own cause and therefore decision not to include G on the long list should be set aside on this ground – therefore unnecessary to make decision on other appeal grounds of bias as nomination decision set aside on the principle that a person cannot be a judge in their own cause – comments on whether apparent bias, as opposed to actual bias, would have been sufficient to overturn decision but this did not have to be decided – comments on other appeal grounds – Tribunal observed that usually no obligation to ask for expressions of interest and athlete or other candidate does not have right to make submissions on selection and unless express provisions in applicable rules, selector is not required to discuss potential selection with candidate or give reasons for non-selection after event – appeal allowed and nomination of coach by TTNZ set aside – nomination of coach referred back to TTNZ for determination in accordance with its selection criteria – Tribunal emphasised that in allowing the appeal it was not indicating any preference between G or coach TTNZ had nominated and noted that if TTNZ chose to re-nominate that coach, the Tribunal saw no reason why he should not be the coach.

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