The Kangaroo Court takes place on the Saturday evening and is organised to punish all tourists for errors or mistakes on or off the field. It dually acts as a means to drink as much piss as possible in a short amount of time. Each club or tour has its own variations of the rules of Kangaroo Court, however to ensure order as well as swift and harsh justice for the M.O.B. Byron Bay 2014 the following procedure is suggested (all those in favour say “Aye”):
The Short Explanation:
The accused will: choose his own representation; face “The Prosecutor”; be judged by his peers; and ultimately either walk away unpunished or pay the penalty invoked by “The Judges”.
Who is involved?
All tourists take part in varying capacity, whether as the Prosecutor, Judges, Jury or Clerk of the Court.
Selection of the Judges
Three judges shall be selected by the tour captain, ideally reflecting a cross-section of the touring community along with a desire to punish their fellow teammates.
Selection of the Prosecutor
The Prosecutor will be chosen by the judges from the large pool of bullshit artists on tour. This should be a player who would be able to bluster, sputter, question, cavil, and present an argument intricate enough to confound the court. A guilty finding by the court is of utmost importance. All else is secondary.
Selection of the Jury
It is useful to have the whole party act as the jury in all cases, because everyone knows drunks make the best jurors.
Selection of the Clerk of the Court
As the Clerk is the member of the Court that will ensure the punishment is dealt and carried out (typically in the form of a beer bong), he should be able to exhibit a foreboding, yet gimp-like demeanour. The Clerk will also bring the defendants and witnesses to the floor.
Recording of Charges
Throughout the tour, members will enter charges against their teammates by submitting them to any of the judges prior to the commencement of Court proceedings. They will detail the individual’s flagrant acts of misconduct or behaviour, and suggest a fitting punishment.
It is also of benefit if those laying allegations are able to produce concrete evidence that can be produced at the Court in support of a particular charge (i.e. photographs, documentary evidence, witness statements, etc). This is particularly effective if the accused is denying the charge and is gaining some misguided sympathy from the jury.
The Clerk of the Court will name the defendant(s) and state the case at hand. At this time the judge will ask the defendant how they plead to the stated charges. If the defendant pleads guilty, the judge will then hand down the sentence. If the defendant has retained counsel and pleads innocent, we will proceed with the case. The Clerk will ensure that each defendant swear on the IRB Rugby Law book that they will “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me Rugby Gods.” The accused will present their defence and submit their evidence to the court.
Defence of a Charge
It is, of course, only fair that a tour member accused of an act of misbehaviour be given an opportunity to offer a defence (as these are often entertaining fabrications). Defences can also be useful in that they entrap others who were involved but not seen, or they may lead to the laying of additional charges by the prosecution, such as contempt of court. All defence witnesses and evidence must be presented before the Judges when the Clerk of the Court calls you to the floor. The accused will be encouraged to hire a defence attorney to appear with them and speak on their behalf at Court. In selecting a defence attorney, look for one that you feel would be skilled in circumvention of the law (perhaps you have witnessed them commit many unnoticed penalties on the pitch). The accused will also be allowed to represent themselves, however:
“He who represents himself has a fool for a client and an idiot for a lawyer.”
The prosecution will follow with their case against the defendant. They will present before the court a direct and concise argument, the chronology of events, and their supporting evidence (including documents, eye witness accounts, and photographs). The Prosecutor will then present the suggested sentence to punish the accused, and/or to recompense any victim of the crime.
The Clerk will call for the decision of the jury, and will record the majority ruling (“yea” for guilty, or “nay” for innocent). The judge will then weigh the merits of the case, the arguments of the defence and prosecution, and the ruling of the jury. The judges can either uphold the decision of the jury, or overturn the decision – specific reason to do so must be provided. During the trial, the Judges will have ultimate control of all court proceedings. If a member of the Court engages in conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar of the Court, the Judges (with approval from the Jury) will take disciplinary action against the member. The form of punishment will be at the Judges‟ discretion
If the accused is found guilty, the judges will then specify his sentence (which may or may not be the
punishment that the prosecutor recommended). This sentence must be immediately carried out. The
Clerk of the Court is responsible in seeing that the sentence is completely fulfilled, and the guilty party
will not be excused until the Clerk is satisfied.
A range of mandatory charges will apply to for the following indiscretions.
- Tour uniform breaches
- First instance i.e. first tour, first try
Behaviour in court
Silence in court – anyone wishing to address the court must gain the attention of a judge or the clerk by standing and raising an elbow and waiting until being acknowledged before speaking.
Buffalo – Drinks shall be drunk whilst being held in the left hand by right-handers and in the right hand by left-handers. Any drink taken contrary to this rule is „buffalo‟ and can be called out by any tourist at anytime. The foolish tourist in question will be subject to ridicule and other tourists may dip any bodily appendage in the fool’s drink before or during consumption without the right of objection or protest from the foolish tourist.
The guilty party must skull the sullied drink and organise himself another.
False Accusation – strongly associated with buffalo justice, anyone believing themselves falsely accused of Buffalo can call false accusation whereupon the two tourists nearest to the person having made the false accusation court will instantly convene themselves into a tribunal and pass summary judgment. The penalty for a false accusation is the skulling of the drink held by the false accuser and the purchase by the false accuser of a drink for himself and another for the innocent defamed party
Scuba – All pointing must be done with an elbow.