Questioning minors without a parent/guardian/coach present. Is it legal? Is it worth the risk??,not%20present%20at%20the%20interview.

Questioning children

Children should always ask if they can have an adult (who they like and trust) present with them in an interview.

Sometimes police can question children without another adult present. However, if a child has been charged with an indictable offence, the court can refuse to consider statements from children (16 years and under) if an independent person was not present at the interview.

Source: directly above website.

“I was struck by how the laws were drafted not for the benefit of the game, but for the convenience of the arbiters”. –

Source: GM Nigel Short NIC 8/2015 page 36.


I am starting to question the legality of Chess Arbiters to interrogate minors without the presence of a parent/guardian/coach present.

It seems to be the case that in both State and National level Junior competitions, parents/guardians/coaches are being excluded from disputes.

I’m not sure this has any legal standing.

As far as I can understand, this is to cover up the competence level of some of our accredited arbiters.

After all it is a lot easier to convince a lone Junior of your dodgy decision than it is with an adult present.

We also really have to stop arbiters making rulings on games that include their own students.

This has happened to my students twice in the last few weeks in Qld and on a National level.

If you are not able to understand why you should declare yourself as the student’s coach, perhaps you should not be an arbiter.

How on both occasions did I find out the “arbiter” was the coach of one of the students in the dispute?

I was told  about the connection by other students after the dispute was settled.

At what time should the “arbiter” mention the fact that they coach one of the students?

Answer: As soon as the question becomes a dispute. Gee, that was a hard one!


We don’t have any money to bring in outside accredited professional arbiter trainers.

The fact that Australia has a “burn rate” of about 50k per year on paying amateur chess players for playing amateur chess could have something to do with it.

If you spend all your money on cash giveaways to amateur players, you don’t have any money left for proper Arbiter Training or Junior Development or paid Office Staff etc. Pretty simple.

For example – If your income is 10k per year and your cash giveaways are 10k per year, you will have nothing left at the end of the year. 10k minus 10k is zero.


Once a serious dispute has arisen, get your child/student to insist on a parent/guardian/coach being present.

Tell them, “Don’t say anything until your parent/guardian/coach is present.”

If this basic right is denied, then it becomes a legal matter.


I for one will not be contributing to any legal fighting funds to support the actions of arbiters who insist on excluding parents or guardians or coaches from a serious dispute.

Prevention is better than cure – Desiderius Erasmus.

  • Kerry Corker

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