Legal aspects of boxing and civil liability
Inevitably, the practice of sport, either at a professional or amateur level, requires voluntarily assuming certain risks, such as injuries or fractures during a competition. Likewise, when we talk about the legal aspects of boxing, one of the most controversial issues is associated with the civil liability of the boxers.
The question is how, when and if it is possible to talk about this type of responsibility in a sports modality whose practice involves assuming a high implicit risk in the exchange of blows allowed within a ring. And when surrounding this sport can be the subject of legal demand or administrative sanction?
What does the concept of civil liability mean?
Civil liability refers to the possibility of imputing a person for the consequences on third parties derived from their actions. Legally, every individual has the duty to respond for their conduct in society and be responsible for damages and prejudices – physical or moral – generated to other people, either directly or indirectly.
In general terms, civil liability can be applied to all subjects endowed with rights and duties according to the law. That is, in principle, all of legal age who prove to be able to identify and assume the consequences for their own acts that are carried out freely.
Consequently, it is not possible to impute individuals who are considered as imputability, in accordance with current legislation. Nor to those individuals who prove have been forced to carry out such damages to third parties against their own will.
When is civil liability applied in the sports field?
This is a very complex issue that is in a tightropest species among the citizen’s duty to respond for the negative consequences of his actions on third parties, and the right to choose to devote himself to a work that involves the possibility of physically damaging. According to the main legal text that regulates professional sport in Spain, Law 10/1990 (more known simply as the Sports Law), understands that every sport involves a risk. Therefore, the individual who decides to voluntarily practicing a sports discipline automatically assumes these risks implicit in his activity, whether professional or amateur.
Ethics, rules of the game and legal aspects of boxing
The rules of the game are the key point when we analyze the legal aspects of boxing and the limits established for athletes. Every sport is practiced under sports norms and ethical behaviors specified in the official regulations of the corresponding federations.
When choosing to practice a sports activity, a person undertakes to respect and act according to the rules of the game. With this, the limits of its action in the context of a competition or training are oriented by these norms and any infraction can be sanctioned according to the same sports regulations or the law in force in the town.
In the case of boxing, there are several international and local associations that organize competitions and regulate the practice of sport at a professional and fans of male and female boxing. In Spain, the Royal Spanish Boxing Federation leaves available to all citizens the regulations in force in national territory, through this link.
In addition, many associations have also published codes of ethics oriented specifically for boxing professionals, as is the case of the International Boxing Association.
Intentionality and civil liability in boxing
As we see, the actions carried out during a fight that are framed within the boxing standards cannot be considered as damages to third parties. We could not report a boxer for violating the legal aspects of boxing for taking his adversary to knockout, using valid blows within the regulation.
However, when an athlete violates ethical or sports norms and their behavior causes damage to the adversary, we can talk about civil liability within sport. Because its action exposes a third to dangers that overreach the risks implicit to practice in categories of this sport. Sports infractions can derive from recklessness, negligence and, in more serious cases, from the intention of causing damage to the other. In these cases guilt is presumed.
Depending on the context and seriousness of his actions, an athlete can be submitted to an administrative process, carried out by the sports entities with disciplinary power themselves;or you can also receive legal demand to respond for damages to third parties and provide the corresponding compensation.