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Thread: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

      
  1. #1

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    Default Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    Im a University student who is preparing his final thesis dissertation. It is going to examine the civil liability of referees in sport. Whether societies could be held accountable, the use of safety procedures etc etc.

    I was just wondering whether anyone could provide me with any good sources or links here. Im going to be working on it over the next 10 months and its due January 2010 and is a large project.

    Just would be interested to see other jurisdictions like UK, France and Australias approach on it. Any RFU directives or disclaimers etc would be great.
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    There was a legal case against a rugby referee in Wales a couple of years ago where he was found guilty of something (failure to look after players or something). This was after someone got a neck(?) injury under his charge. This means that every match in Wales now needs a fully qualified referee. I will try to find a link for you (although I'm sure OB or someone will beat me to it :P).

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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    I believe it was Voles v WRU or something like that.

    You could also do worse than the Matt Hampson Fund people. Given his accident happened in a scrum training session refereed by an Elite Referee, and I believe no claim against him, they would be a good source on the other side of that particular discussion.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    Vowles vs David Evans & WRU. Vicarious liabality - WRU being held liable for employees actions. Attached article (if I've got the technology correct) has a few other cases which touch on breach of duty, negligence, tort and all the other fun legal concepts you might explore.
    Attached Files

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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    Had seen both cases but cheers for the research lads its a nice help especially that extra info MT07 hadnt seen some of it
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    In addition to the cases cited in the article from MT07, there is Allport v Wilbraham

    I have some local newspaper articles on the Vowles case that i downloaded at the time, if you are interested. I was always puzzled as to why the club/player were not at all responsible for claiming he was ST&E in the first place. At least in Smoldon the referee was said to have made a mess of many scrums before the injury.

    Following Vowles, the RFU position was that our referees are adequately insured, and will be supported by the RFU.
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    OB in Smolden the referee had TWENTY FIVE collapsed scrums and used no crouch touch pause engage.

    Much onbliged Mr. OB
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    Rugby or other sports?
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    Oh Simon itll be as many sports as I can I would think. Show diversity and what not. But this is a rugby forum so thought that maybe the disclaimers from the societys in Australia might differ from USA which again might be different to UK.
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    Default Re: Civil Liability of Rugby Refereeing

    You could do worse than talk to the secretaries of the various societies around. As I understand it they carry insurance, which I'm assuming includes a lot of indemnity cover, that their members benefit from when appointed to a match. I guess the society is obliged to ensure that the referee is properly trained (at the base level ELRA) and is judged capable of handling the level of game. I suspect that referee gradings and assessments are part of this framework. If you could kid the secretary to share the insurance schedule with you it should give a clearly defined set of risks covered.

    Not sure how other sports work, although I'd be surprised if they were too much different.

    Another route you could try would be to find a specialist insurance broker. These guys would have a good handle on how risk lies across sports and how it is "priced" in different jurisdictions. I'd bet that insurance costs more in, say, rugby than chess and costs more in the US than in the UK (though this may be converging!).

    The case law will give you a good picture of historic risks, but insurance will give a picture of perceived future risk.


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