In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why. - Tasker Watkins VC, LJ.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The game-plan.

The disciplinary system in rugby at the moment is a mess. Everyone agrees that.

There's no consistency in disciplinary sentences, no consistency in interpretation, questions about whether or not the sentences handed down by the various tribunals will even be enforced; and that's when you get copies of the decisions, which, in some cases, appear from behind the curtain like the voice of the Wizard of Oz, with no inkling as to the workings behind the veil.

Outside of the disciplinary system, there are questions about legal liability on the pitch, what risks referees face, what risks players face from issues like concussion and big-hit scrummaging, and what the legal effect of those are.

This is where rugby intersects with the law. That intersection is what this blog is about; examining issues that crop up in the game from a legal perspective, especially the more interesting ones.

Given that "interesting" from a lawyer's point of view usually means there's a big problem of some kind for someone else, I would hope that there would be a big gap between posts; unfortunately, experience over the last few years would seem to suggest that might be a bit over-optimistic.

I'll also be adding some bits I've been working on which, while not perhaps currently in the headlines, have been bubbling under as issues in the game and which I suspect may come to the boil in the near future.

Hope you enjoy it; and any feedback would be more than welcome.

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