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The Criminal Law Has No Role to Play in the Regulation of Sports Field Violence - Term Paper Example

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The author of the "The Criminal Law Has No Role to Play in the Regulation of Sports Field Violence" paper states that the issue is one of finding the right balance, and is governed more so by public policy than anything else as seen in the decision of the courts…
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The Criminal Law Has No Role to Play in the Regulation of Sports Field Violence
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Download file to see previous pages The argument surrounds the concept of consent, whereby a victim sportsman in a contact sport (such as football, basketball, wrestling, etc) has impliedly consented to the possibility of actual bodily harm either by his conduct of participation in the game (implied consent) or through an express provision in the contract (express consent). Thus, this mutual consent should go towards removing any additional pressure on the playing field upon those participating so that they can play to their truest potential without worrying about incurring additional criminal liability outside of the game. However, what of the victim who injures himself seriously and has to face time out of the field. 

Consent is the governing factor in contact sports since it is accepted to be a defense to assault and battery as prescribed by s. 47, 20, 18, and 20 of the Offenses Against the Persons Act 1861, which limits the involvement of criminal law in the game of choice. In R v Brown (Anthony Joseph) (1994)1 Lord Templeman and Lord Jauncey defined consent as a defense more than an element of the offense (in the latter case, the prosecution must show its absence in order to satisfy guilt). This view was also supported by the Law Commission2. It is accepted that consent in sport is part of informed consent, where the victim is aware of the nature of the sport that he is to be a part of, and accepts that there may be a risk of bodily harm. The requirement of knowledge can be explained by the case of Konzani (2005)3, which although ruled on facts unrelated to sports, but of sexual conduct, explains what knowledge a victim must possess before his consent is valid. In that case, it was accepted by the courts that consent to the exact nature of the harm (such as the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease) must be there before the defendant can use it as a defense. In order to satisfy the courts of effective consent, it must also be valid in law to consent to such an act, and sports are generally included in that list since they uphold the society’s inclination towards physical fitness4, and therefore fall under the realm of public policy. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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