Full name Jeff Blackett
Born date unknown
Following a distinguished career in the Navy, including an appointment as Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces in 2004, Judge Jeff Blackett achieved a somewhat unwanted mantle of fame as the RFU's judicial officer.
Presiding over the Harlequins 'Bloodgate' scandal and the bans against five Bath players for drug-related offences in 2009, Blackett's name was frequently referenced during a summer to forget for the sport.
He played rugby for the Navy and began his service as honorary judicial officer in 2003. His relationship with the RFU goes back to 2000 when he joined the RFU Council. In 2003 and 2007 he served as judicial officer for the Rugby World Cup and in 2009 was appointed to the RFU's 'Image of the Game' task force in the wake of 'Bloodgate'.
He would continue to be a pivotal figure throughout a troubled time for English rugby's governing body that also included John Steele's brief tenure as chief executive in 2011. Blackett produced a highly-critical report into Steele's high-profile sacking that concluded the RFU management board were wrong to dismiss their CEO. Subsequently, Blackett reportedly received a threat of a writ for defamation from lawyers acting for the RFU chairman Martyn Thomas during the affair that was later withdrawn.
Later the same year, he spearheaded the investigation into the leaking of a damaging internal report into England's troubled World Cup campaign that highlighted unrest within the squad. He appointed an independent investigator to find the source of the leak and also conducted his own review.
However, his work with the RFU appeared to be coming to an end in 2012 when the RFU Council agreed in principle that their in-house disciplinary officer should be replaced by an independent head of judiciary. However, a vote on the change will not be held until the RFU's AGM in July 2013.
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