World Rugby has announced the reappointment of Christopher Quinlan KC as Independent Judicial Panel Chairman as the international federation seeks to continue to develop and streamline its off-field disciplinary processes.

Quinlan has played a leading role in the advancement of World Rugby’s disciplinary processes over the last eight years, driving rugby expertise into the sport’s processes through the introduction of former match officials, coaches and players onto disciplinary panels.

Diversity has been another focus, with a significant increase in gender and nationality representation on international panels. Quinlan has also strengthened collaboration with players, match officials and citing officers, particularly in the priority area of foul play involving head contact to achieve consistency and compliance.

In his final term, Quinlan will lead the charge on a wide-ranging review of the sport’s off-field sanction process with a clear mandate from the federation’s Executive Board and the wider game through the Shape of the Game recommendations, to streamline the process where possible to reflect the modern game.

Quinlan, who is one of the most respected figures in the field with more than 30 years of independent criminal and sports law practice, will combine overseeing this change process with responsibility for the appointment, management and training of World Rugby’s judicial committees and officers for the international game, including men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are at an important time as we seek to grow the audience share for our sport by making it more accessible and relevant, particularly to young people.

“For many areas that means making our regulations and processes simpler to understand and more streamlined. The disciplinary process is central to that mission and Christopher is the perfect person to lead the review as someone who is greatly respected in the game and has a collaborative, results-oriented management style.”

Quinlan added: “I am excited to be taking on a third term working alongside a very talented group of judicial personnel who have considerable rugby-specific experience, whether as panel chairs or members with international playing, coaching and officiating pedigree.

“We have made some very good progress over the last four years, in particular collaborating with players, coaches and match officials on the head contact calibration process. However, I am particularly pleased with the broadening of national and gender representation on our panels. At the same time, I am motivated to play a role in the review of rugby’s off-field sanction process to reflect a rapidly growing sport.”