The Civil Liability of Teachers and Trainers for the Acts of the Under-Age Sportsmen, from the Perspective of the New Civil Code of Romania

Article excerpt

Defining the Concept of the Civil Liability of the Teachers and Trainers for the Acts of the Under-age Sportsmen

The liability of the teachers and trainers is a form of the civil liability for the acts of other persons. This latter one is regulated by the section 1000 of the Romanian Civil Code and by the aricle 1372 of the New Civil Code.

Thus, the liability of the teachers and trainers is a civil liability (1). Two inherent principles particularize civil liability, namely the rule of restitutio in integrum (2) and the rule of restitutio in natura (3). Civil liability has two main forms, respectively tort liability and contractual liability (4).

Tort liability - looked upon as the common form of the civil liability - can be defined as one's legal obligation stemming from either a civil wrong, other than contractual ones, or injury for which a court remedy is justified. (5)

The contractual liability - thus, the special form of civil liability - is the duty of the debtor of an obligation assumed under a contract or agreement to repair the damage caused by his failure in performing in accordance with the contract; either by delaying the execution of his obligations, or by executing them only partially or not executing them at all (6). The contractual liability intervenes only between the parties of a contract, as a result of breaching a precise and a priorly determined obligation. Therefore, whenever the conditions of the contractual liability fail to fulfill, one should examine whether the damage doesn't meet the conditions of the tort liability, which is to be applied in that case (7).

Though tort liability and criminal liability are similar in some regards and are often linked together, they are not to be confounded. The essential differences between the two emerge from their different purpose and different field of interest: while the purpose of the tort liability is repairing damages caused by unlawful, extra-contractual acts, the purpose of criminal liability is punishing the criminals, seen as persons having extremely serious, unlawful behavior and to defend the society from the acts committed by them (8). Thanks to the repairing purpose of the tort liability, the main field of action of it is the patrimony of the debtor, while in case of criminal liability - due to its educating and protecting role (9) - the punishment of the author is pursued and therefore, the sanction has a more personal nature (10).

The tort liability of the teachers and trainers ought not to be confused with the professional liability either, since the latter one is not considered a judicial liability (11).

The tort liability can be classified as follows: the liability for one's personal acts, which is stipulated in sections 998-999 of the present Civil Code (12); the liability for other persons' acts, of whom conditions are stipulated in section 1000 (13) and finally the liability for the objects in one's custody, the rules of which are established by sections 1001-1002 (14). The fundamental difference between the liability for one's personal acts and the one based on section 1000 is the existence of negligence, as a condition of the liability: negligence is an indispensable condition for incurring the liability for personal acts, but the liability for other persons' acts can occur even without the negligent behavior of the one held responsible for paying the damages.

The section 1000 par. 4 from the Civil code stipulates the liability of teachers and artisans. Regarding the first category, in the field of sport, the subjects are the teachers and trainers, regardless their position and didactic rank, in primar education, as well as from club and associations with non-work purpose. The artisans in the field of sport can be defined as the teachers of physical education and the trainers who have the legal obligation to teach their apprentices a profession, or in this case, the profession of sportsman. …