Hawthorne review may go ahead without First Nation families’ involvement, lawyer says IG News

IG News Updates,

The AFL is furthering its investigation into the historical allegations at Hawthorne, despite the possibility that several First Nations families would not participate.

A lawyer representing one of those families has been accused of abuse by the club, with his clients unsure whether they will participate in an investigation into the claims.

“My clients are still very much in shock and they are not in a position to make a final decision about which path to take,” Dr Judy Courtin told ABC Sport.

“But this AFL inquiry is just one of many options for my clients.”

The AFL on Thursday issued a terms of reference for a four-person panel charged with investigating whether players and partners were abused at the club between 2008 and 2016, including then-senior coach Alistair Clarkson. and assistant Chris Fagan.

Both Clarkson and Fagan, who deny any wrongdoing, both stepped down from their coaching roles in North Melbourne and Brisbane respectively after the allegations were published last month.

The AFL says the investigation will begin immediately and wants the panel to complete its investigation by Christmas.

Dr Courtin called the timeline “crushingly abusive”.

Judy Courtin smiles for a profile photo
Lawyer Judy Courtin is representing one of the First Nations families involved in the Hawthorne review.,ABC News: Peter Healy,

“If my clients participate they will have a month from today to put together all the statements, allegations and materials to make available to the panel,” Dr. Courtin said.

Responding to other participants and then writing a final submission based on all of the materials in a month.

“We have many parties, issues and allegations – it is impossible to do this in a month and say that it is culturally safe.

“Why is this so urgent? Why is all this being done so quickly?”


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