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Title: A 'zone of legal exemption' for sports violence? : form and substance in the criminal law
Author: Livings, Ben
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 564X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This study examines the criminal liability that may be incurred by participants in contact sports for violence that results in injury to a fellow participant. For these purposes, I concentrate on boxing, rugby and soccer; sports that involve a level of physicality that risks, and regularly causes, injury. The violence that is intrinsic to their practice is in some senses archetypically criminal, and yet, that self-same violence is also constitutive of sports that are perceived to have enormous personal, social and cultural value, and which have been declared by the House of Lords to amount to ‘lawful activities’. A formal account of the criminal law of sports violence posits the consent of the participants as the primary determinant of the imposition of liability for acts of violence committed during the course of contact sports. In this thesis, I examine this formal account and propose that the substance of the lawfulness of sports violence needs to be understood in terms of its socio-historical development, and the sophisticated rule-systems and pluralistic regulatory backdrop against which modern sports operate. This thesis contributes a new understanding of the offences that pertain to sports violence, and the normative role and doctrinal function of the participants’ consent, in order to understand the way in which the criminal law accommodates violent sports practices. The thesis also suggests new ideas in relation to the ‘playing culture’ of sport and its relationship to the criminal law, and the role of prosecutorial discretion in effectively shaping the lawfulness of ‘legitimate sport’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: K Law (General)