In June 2014 at the Football World Cup in Brazil, Uruguayan footballer, Luis Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. If Suarez’s actions had taken place off the field, this act would be deemed criminal. Suarez, however, was not criminally charged; he was merely suspended for a number of games, despite the fact that this was not his first offense. Legal sanctions for sporting violence are rare. There are many reasons for this: sports governing bodies are trusted through their rules to contain physically invasive conduct to an acceptable level; participants are seen voluntarily to consent to these rules; and sports-specific, as opposed to legal, sanctions are seen as a more effective means of punishing a misbehaving player.
Critically comment on whether sports own legal systems are adequately equipped to deal with player violence or whether recourse to the criminal law is the only way to control aggressive behavior on the sports field.
Notes about the essay question:
One of the most controversial areas in sports law is the way in which on field participator violence is punished. Traditionally any punishment would be for the referees and governing bodies to hand out to its members. However the criminal courts are increasingly being called upon to discipline acts of on field violence. The debate rages over the extent to which the courts should be involved in such matters (see previous lecture).
In June 2005 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of England and Wales held a conference on “Crime in Sport”, focusing on a range of issues around criminal liability. It was however the regulation of on-field violence that raised the most media interest. The area of concern related to when criminal prosecutions should be brought for on-field violence. Both on and off the ball incidents were considered. The CPS was concerned about a public feeling that sports participants were “getting away” with criminal acts.
Steve Barker, a defence lawyer at the conference argued that the criminal justice system does not have the resources to deal with sporting incidents and that discipline should be left to the sports governing bodies and not the criminal justice system. Simon Gardiner argued that any further involvement of the criminal justice system would be highly problematic and would adversely affect the dynamics of the sport.
Edward Grayson firmly held the view that the law of the land never stops at the touchline and this view has more recently found support from the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter. He has called for criminal prosecutions to be brought against those who commit dangerous tackles.
My Notes :
Intro: Over time, each sport developed its own system (legal system) and applied them in their own way. They have their own laws separate from the state law.
Now there is huge commercialization of sports media, money,etc. The values of Victorian society. Governing body has more now to deal with comparing to the Victorian era.
Big debate to which the extent in which the law should be involved in the law or just the governing bodies. From the commercial perspective then law applies the same way as other business. However it is about sport justice and the participants.
*Lord Dinning Quote.
* Australian Case: Governing bodies cant be above the law.
*are sport participants getting justice from the governing bodies?
* to what degree the law should be involved in the sports violence.
Two academics: the extent to which law is involved in sports.!
Edwards Grayson: anything outside the rules is criminal and, should be penalized. However if this approach is taken, the criminal justice system would collapse.” Sport without rule creates problems”. –< Not s view supported by many.
Simon Gardner: his view that the law should be intervened in the most exceptional circumstances, no real need to involve law in every sport dispute. Internal mechanism should be used first; the law has to be the last resort. Civil law might be more involved then criminal law.
Kin Foster, internal regulation of sport: sufficient body of sports law. Legal intervention can disrupt the sports. I don’t approve the police and law involved in the sports.
Ben flowers incident:
Does the criminal law should be involved in this incident. Predominately, people involved said don’t criminalize this. The majority opinion that it should be dealt by the governing body. Great F offence: violent punching, punching the opponent off guard. This incident is most likely considered ABH, if the criminal court gets involved then he will only be fined. However, the governing body has punished him in a harsher way.
If u starts criminalizing these actions, people will be worrying about the consequences. As a result, this might effect on their performance. If acts of violence should go to criminal law, consent should be taken into account. The issue of consent must be taken into account, at what point it becomes criminal? Simon Gardner talks about playing culture, consent extends beyond the rules.
Yes the criminal law is involved in sports although minimum, the main reason behind that is that sports tend not to want to involve the law.
1- These are some notes related to the essay question, which includes the different judges such as Gardiner and Grayson who argued about sport governing bodies.
2- There has to be a debate between the different judges. Books , Cases and journal articles must be used as the main source most of them are listed down the number of sources must be within suitable for a 2000 word essay. Around 25-30.
3- The essay must be fully referenced using OSCOLA Referencing with full footnotes and Bibliography page.
Some journals, cases and books that are related to the essay question:
I. Blackshaw, ‘Court of Arbitration for Sport: An International Forum for Settling Disputes Effectively within the Family of Sport’  ESLJ 61, 61
II. Gardiner, S and Felix, A, “Juridification of the football field: strategies for giving law the elbow.” (1995) 5 (2) Marquette Sports Law Journal
III. .Hoehn, ‘Governance and Governing bodies in Sport’  CR 1, 2
IV. M. Reeb ‘The Role and Functions of the Court of Arbitration (CAS)’ , International sports Law Journal 2  21, 23-25
V. I.S Blackshaw, Sport Mediation and Arbitration (1st, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009) 6
VI. Gardiner, M. James, J. O’Leary, R. Welvh, I. Blackshaw, S. Boyes, A, Caiger, Sports Law (3rd, Routledge, Cavendish 2006
VII. A. Pendlebury, ‘The Regulation of on-the-ball Offences: Challenges in Court’  EHU
VIII. E.Grayson, Sport and the Law (2nd, Butterworths, London 1994
IX. Sports law by mark james.
X. M.James , Sports Law (1st, Pelgrave Macmilllan, London 2010)
XI. Union Royale Belge des Sociétés de Football Association ASBL v Jean-Marc Bosman (1995)
XII. Mecca-Medina and Majcen v Commission
XIII. Jones v WRU
XIV. R v Bradshaw (1878
XV. R v Barnes (2005
XVI. The body of sport – specific jurisprudence and redefined legal norms created mainly by the CAS for application in sport law cases. (M. James, ‘Global and European Sports Law’ in Marise Cremona (eds), Sports Law (1st, Palgrave Macmillan, London 2010).
Note : more cases/journals be found in west law or lexis nexis.
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