The opening submissions of James Hird, Essendon and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority in their Federal Court case will be broadcast live on ABC television on Monday.
Justice John Middleton confirmed on Tuesday that viewers would be able to watch what is likely to be the opening two hours of presentations from 10.15am. ABC24 had shown the opening directions hearing in June.
“The court had decided to allow a live television feed of the opening submissions due to the widespread public interest and with the intention of giving people an insight into the court’s role and how it operates," a court spokesman said.
Lawyers for Hird and Essendon will have 30 minutes each in their opening address, lawyers for the 34 current and former players issued with show-cause notices will have 15 minutes, while ASADA's representatives will have up to 45 minutes.
Once the opening submissions are completed, the cameras will be turned off and Hird and Essendon can begin detailing their evidence. ASADA will then follow, with the players opting to not get involved. The players, however, could yet address the court during closing submissions.
It has also emerged that Hird and Essendon, who are arguing the joint investigation by the AFL and ASADA into the club's supplements program was unlawful, believe it unlikely the trial can be wrapped up within an already allocated three days. However, Middleton believes the case is still "relatively confined" and three days is all that is needed. Middleton has a hearing to attend in Brisbane from Thursday.
Hird, Essendon and ASADA have until Thursday afternoon to present written submissions to the court, outlining their case.
The parties have until Friday afternoon to submit any proposed witnesses and those proposed to be cross examined. Once the hearing is complete, it could be at least another month before Middleton releases his verdict.
Hird and Essendon maintain ASADA violated its legislation in working with the AFL last year, meaning the show-cause notices issued to players should be voided. ASADA, as an independent body, maintains it worked within its rules and was allowed to use the AFL's coercive powers to interview players, officials and coaches.
Hird, for instance, argues he was not given the right to remain silent during his nine-hour interview as is allowed under ASADA's powers. Under AFL laws, he was warned he faced a sanction if he did not answer truthfully.
ASADA says it could re-issue the show-cause notices, using the same evidence, even if Middleton rules in favour of Hird and the club.