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Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

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"Violence" in Sport and the Violenti non fit Iniuria Defence: A Perspective on the Death of the Cricket Player Phil Hughes

Pieter Labuschagne

Abstract


This article evaluates the defence of violenti non fit inuiria in sport with specific reference to the principle of bonos mores or the “good morals” in society to tolerate injuries in sport. The increased prevalence of serious injuries in sport in the professional era, in which sportsmen earn their livelihood from sport, necessitate a review of the existing situation. The death of the Australian cricket player, Phil Hughes, as a result of fast, short-pitched bowling in cricket, has again put the spotlight on the aggressive and excessive use of "violence" in sport. The malicious intent in sport, to harm or even to kill an opponent, has made it necessary to ask if there should be any difference in the manner in which the perpetrator of violence in sport should be treated as against ordinary criminal law assault and murder offenders. A two-pronged approach is suggested in the article as a possible way of dealing with wrongfulness in cricket.

Keywords: Defence of violenti non fit inuiria; contra bonos mores;wrongfulness; sport; cricket.




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