An independent Appeal Committee sitting in Dublin on Thursday, 22 October, 2009, dismissed the appeal brought by Shane Jennings, the Leinster back row forward (No 7), against the decision of an independent Judicial Officer.
The independent Appeal Committee, chaired by Christopher Quinlan (England) and also comprising Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Jean-Noel Couraud (France), found that Mr Jennings had not demonstrated that the original decision had been in error, or that it should be overturned or varied, and accordingly the Appeal Committee dismissed the appeal and upheld the suspension imposed on the player of 12 weeks.
The appeal was against the decision of the original independent Judicial Officer (Wednesday, 14 October, 2009) which found Mr Jennings guilty of an act contrary to good sportsmanship in contravention of Law 10.4 (l) in that he made contact with the eye / eye area of Nick Kennedy (London Irish) in the Heineken Cup Round 1 match against London Irish at the RDS, Dublin, on Friday, 9 October, 2009.
Under IRB Regulation 17 and the ERC Heineken Cup Disciplinary Rules, the recommended sanction entry point for a low-end offence of contact with eye / eye area is 12 weeks.
He is free to play on 7 January, 2010.
Independent Appeal Committee
a) Following a decision of an independent Disciplinary Hearing, both the Club/player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision of the Judicial Officer.
b) The initial independent Disciplinary Hearings are determined by an independent Judicial Officer. Appeal Hearings are determined by a three man independent Appeal Committee.
c) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
d) The independent Judicial Officer who issued the decision being challenged may not sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
e) The full written decision of the original independent Disciplinary Hearing and the Appeal Hearing will be made available on ercrugby.com/disciplinenews at a later date when the full written decisions for the Appeal hearing have been completed and issued to all parties.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.