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Hawthorn racism allegations, Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan, review, Amy, former players’ partners, lawyer statement

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The lawyer for one of those to make allegations against former Hawthorn officials has defended his client’s decision not to participate in the league’s investigation.

‘Amy’ — a pseudonym used for the person’s confidentiality — released a statement via her legal firm Marque Lawyers this week, labelling claims the investigation will be independent “a lie”.

In addition, the statement said Amy had relived trauma since the allegations went public.

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Michael Bradley, representing Amy, confirmed once more in an article for Crikey that Amy “will not be participating” in the review, which he claimed the AFL was conducting “under its rules”.

“Trauma victims have no obligations whatsoever, beyond protecting their own safety and well-being,” Bradley wrote.

“She has spoken her truth and accepted the risks that entails. She has rights, which she is not obliged to pursue but may choose to in her own time.

“She has no duty to the AFL, no duty to help it enforce its own rules.”

The AFL in October appointed a four-person panel to investigate the allegations, headed by senior lawyer Bernard Quinn KC and involving barristers Jacqualyn Turfrey, Tim Goodwin and Julie Buxton.

While the league has stressed the importance of the panel being “able to complete its work independently of the AFL”, Bradley claimed such hopes were misplaced.

“It is not independent of the AFL,” he wrote.

“The barristers conducting the investigation will of course act independently and with integrity; nobody is suggesting otherwise.

“But they have been selected and commissioned by the AFL, their terms of reference written by the AFL, their report will be to the AFL, and the AFL will control its release.

“The AFL’s own lawyers are assisting them and acting as gatekeepers of all the evidence they will consider. Independence is not solely a question of fact, but also one of impression.”

Amy, he wrote, “has no reason to trust the AFL.”

Bradley also claimed the league’s terms of reference for the investigation were rushed and that the final terms released “are materially different from anything we’d seen.”

“The AFL has made its choice. And Amy has made hers. It’s not her investigation, and it will deliver nothing that benefits her.

“It would definitely cause her harm. She has done what anyone thinking rationally would do: protect herself.”

Addressing any perceived injustice against those who have been accused, Bradley wrote: “They’re big boys — white men — with access to every resource they could ever need to pursue and vindicate their rights.”

“Amy has spoken her truth. That is where her responsibilities end. If you are among those demanding more of her, you don’t know what trauma is.”

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