Distinguishing duties of care of sports coaches in a UK context

Partington, Neil (2019) Distinguishing duties of care of sports coaches in a UK context. Tort Law Review, 27 (1). pp. 62-77. ISSN 1039-3285

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Abstract

The concept of duty of care is under unprecedented scrutiny in the context of sport, and more specifically, with regard to sports coaching. Existing academic scholarship offers limited detailed analysis of the duty of care incumbent upon coaches, the majority of whom are volunteers. Moreover, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s recent and impressive ‘Duty of Care in Sport: Independent Report to Government’ adopts ‘a deliberately broad definition of “Duty of Care”’. However, should the concept of duty of care assume both a legal and extra-legal meaning, it is contended that this may result in conflation of moral and legal duties of care. The impact of this when defining the standard of care may expose coaches to a greater risk of legal liability by potentially extending the legal obligations of amateur coaches beyond current limits. Accordingly, by analysing the duty of care incumbent upon modern-day sports coaches, within the context of the classic jurisprudential debate surrounding the relationship between law and morality, this article uncovers serious unintended ramifications of failing to more precisely distinguish between legal and moral duties of care in this area. Furthermore, at a time when the concept of duty of care appears ever more deeply engrained in everyday language, the insights revealed here appear likely to transcend the specific circumstances of sports coaching and be of more widespread legal relevance, not least, in the burgeoning field of professional negligence.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Torts; duty of care; sport; sports coaching
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law in General. Comparative and uniform Law. Jurisprudence
Depositing User: Neil Partington
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2019 11:56
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 14:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85453

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