World Rugby has announced the re-appointment of Christopher Quinlan QC as Independent Judicial Panel Chairman for another four-year term.

Quinlan has played a significant role in the reform of World Rugby’s disciplinary processes over the last four years, resulting in consistent outcomes at Rugby World Cup 2019 and a disciplinary framework that has protected player welfare, particularly in the priority area of concussions, which were reduced by more than 30 per cent.

He has also overseen the identification, training and appointment of former international players, coaches and referees for the judicial process, driving even more recent rugby empathy into an important area of harmony between the on and off-field disciplinary environments. Personnel include Stefan Terblanche, Sarah Smith, and Becky Essex, Leon Lloyd, Frank Hadden and Donal Courtney. Quinlan has also overseen the progression of female judicial chairs with Shao-Ing Wang and Pamela Woodman selected for Rugby World Cup 2019.

Quinlan will continue to be responsible for the appointment, management and training of World Rugby’s Judicial committees and officers for the international game and will work closely with the new Director of Rugby and High Performance Joe Schmidt and Citing Commissioner Manager Steve Hinds to ensure continued harmony between the on-field and off-field disciplinary processes.

An accomplished barrister, Quinlan performed judicial panel duties at four men’s Rugby World Cups, one women’s Rugby World Cup and a host of sevens events. He also served on World Rugby’s Anti-Doping Advisory Committee and has nearly 30 years of independent criminal and sports law practice. 

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Christopher is greatly respected within the game and his collaborative management style has driven even greater consistency and rugby playing empathy within our disciplinary processes, including the recruitment and development of former players, coaches and referees within the international panel. 

“This resulted in excellent outcomes at Rugby World Cup and at test level where there is a consistent cooperation and alignment between match official, citing and disciplinary panel decision-making.”

Quinlan added: “I am delighted to accept the invitation of a second term leading a very talented and diligent judicial panel. We have made solid progress over the last four years and I look forward to continuing to contribute to a disciplinary system which will deliver consistent justice, empathetic with the requirements of the modern game.”