Court recommends mediation for rugby case

A case filed in the Waigani National Court over the dispute in the management of the Digicel Cup Rugby League competition in the country has been referred by the court for mediation.

The case was referred for mediation after the court dismissed it today, citing no reasonable cause of action was disclosed in the proceeding that was filed by the PNG National Rugby League Inc (PNGNRL Inc).  

Court found that the case was an abuse of court’s process and that PNGNRL Inc.’s claim could not be sustained because it had no legal standing or right to bring such case.

The case was filed by PNGNRL Inc. over the resolution of 26 March 2017, which saw the Digicel Cup competition for 2017 come under the PNG National Rugby League Competition (PNG-NRLC).

PNGNRL Inc comprises of 11 rugby league clubs in the competition, till PNGNRLC took over management in March 26.

Agendas for the meeting of March 26 proposed a restructure of the board members of the competition as well as have the competition management transferred to PNGNRLC.

PNGNRL Inc. filed the case challenging the validity of that meeting, saying the constitution of the NRL was not followed and asked the court to declare that meet invalid and of no legal effect.

It also sought the court’s order to have the resolution to dissolve the PNGNRL Inc null and void.

The plaintiffs consisted of PNGNRL Inc, the Gulf Isapea Rugby league team as well as four other clubs.

The court found that none of the plaintiffs who filed the case constituted the board, and no reasonable cause of action was disclosed in the proceeding.

Two different constitutions of the NRL were produced to the court which did not assist it.

Justice Ere Kariko recommended that dispute be referred for mediation, adding it is important that such dispute be resolved quickly.

He also urged the Gulf Isapea team to meet with the relevant bodies to solve the dispute when dismissing the case.

Sally Pokiton