Israel Folau & # 39; s unfair dismissal case of millions of dollars against Rugby Australia will be tried in February next year.
- The Folau contract was terminated by Rugby Australia in May following a message on social media about homosexuals
- The test is planned for three to five days, starting on 4 February
- The parties will try to resolve the issue through mediation in December
The date was set by Chief Judge Alstergren of the Federal Circuit Court this morning during a hearing in Melbourne.
Folau was not in court for the hearing.
The case goes to mediation on December 13, but if that does not help, a trial period of three to five days starts on February 4.
During the brief hearing, the legal team of Folau Rugby Australia and the lawyers of NSW accused Waratah of delaying proceedings, which they denied.
Chief Judge Alstergren said he "would not delay the case", which meant the possibility of an extrajudicial solution.
"The issue of mediation is incredibly important in modern disputes," the chief judge said.
"We have excellent mediators, in court, registrars of great experience that can facilitate mediation."
& # 39; Test case & # 39; for freedom of religious expression
The contract of Folau was terminated by Rugby Australia in May after he posted on social media that among other things homosexuals would go to hell.
Rugby Australia said the post has violated the code of conduct of professional players, a decision confirmed by an independent tribunal.
In his first application to the Fair Work Commission, Folau stated that he would like to compensate about $ 10 million for the remainder of his contract and lose commercial opportunities.
The Australian Christian lobby has raised more than $ 2 million to support the Folau case.
Folau was considered one of the most important players of Wallabies and would have been an integral part of the team for the September Rugby Union World Cup in Japan.
Legal experts have said that the upcoming trial is a "test case" that will determine what applies to the courts – the rights of an employer through an employment contract or the freedom of religion of their employee.
Another hearing is scheduled for December 17, following the outcome of the mediation.
Outside the court, Folau & # 39; s lawyer George Haros said the player's legal team was "very satisfied" with the outcome of the hearing this morning.
He did not exclude the possibility of a deal being negotiated before the case was brought to court.
"It is publicly acknowledged by Israel and his team that he is still seeking that apology, and that is still very important to him," said Haros.
He said an apology "would be a long way to resolve the dispute."
"It is clear that Israel is very frank in his views and he is extremely strong at this stage of progress."
There is a debate as to whether the case will be dealt with in Sydney or Melbourne.
Chief Judge Alstergren said his court was a national court for workplace matters, but had no problem with the location.
"If you don't want to come to us, we will come to you," he said.
community and society,
Religion and beliefs,
. (tagsToTranslate) israel folau (t) rugby australia (t) freedom of expression (t) contract (t) dismissed (t) court (t) appeal (t) religion