RIU Statement on the JCA decision of Mr Morton

posted Sep 8, 2015, 5:47 PM by Gabriella Fleming   [ updated Sep 8, 2015, 5:48 PM ]
The RIU is disappointed that the Judicial Committee, in its decision on the charges brought against Mr Morton, considered Mr Morton’s comments to be acceptable criticism and not reach the threshold for finding guilty of misconduct. The RIU believes this decision falls short of what is provided in the rules, the direction society is moving in and the policy of the three racing codes to take a tougher line in these matters. 

The industry has an obligation to support its officials and ensure that they are not subject to abuse and insults. This was the corner stone of the RIU’s decision to lay charges. 

Other sports deny participants (players/coaches) the right to criticise the decisions of referees and officials in even the mildest manner. Racing has always allowed reasonable criticism within the rules of racing and provides appropriate channels license holders can follow to make their dissent known.

There has been a societal change in attitude where social media is used to abuse or bully people. The Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 is a direct response by Government to address public concerns. 

The rule in racing is very clear it refers to any communication written, published or verbal that is “insulting or abusive” directed at an official. 

The RIU will continue to investigate complaints and lay charges in support of officials. 

Mike Godber 
General Manager