Sources of Legal Liability among Physical Education Teachers

Article excerpt


Legal issues in Physical Education are very germane to sport and physical activity development. Consequently, Physical Education teachers should be involved in studying laws that relates to P.E in the course of their professional preparation. It is worth noting that today, people are becoming more aware of their rights under the law. This has further awakened the need to ensure that Physical Education teachers are made to know the legal implications of negligently caused injuries in P.E class and also fashion-out "preventive mentality" in respect of these injuries. Unfortunately, it has been discovered that sports law is not included in the curriculum of physical Education in Nigeria. When dealing with various types of Physical Education programmes, P.E. Teachers must look to protect themselves from any tortuous liability. To be able to do this, they must be familiar with the scenerios in which they can be vulnerable to tortuous liability.

Negligence is a tort that is often used to implicate P.E. teachers. It is very important that they understand the nuisances of tortuous liability and its relationship to P.E profession. They should also be aware of the legal defenses available to them if, despite all precautions, they are accused for negligence. The purpose of this study therefore is to discuss the concept of tortuous liability, what constitute negligence, sources of negligence in sport and the defense against negligence. This will reduce the possibility of there been liable.

Keywords: Negligence, Tortuous, Sport participation, Liable, Sanction

1. Introduction

Experts in the field of Physical Education are perturbed by the non-inclusion of sport law in the curriculum of Physical Education in tertiary institutions in Nigeria for instance. Legal issues in Physical Education are very germane to physical activity development; P.E. teachers in should therefore be involved in studying laws that are related to P.E. This is because undermining these legal issues may have negative consequences on Physical Education development in Nigeria (Adesanya, 1992). Hence, major conditions and parameters as legal issues in Physical Education/Sports must be given enough priority.

It is worth noting too that the society is getting more enlightened as people are increasingly aware of their legal rights in all fields of human endeavour. This has further awaken the need to make know the legal implications of negligently caused injuries in P.E, moreso, when one realizes that victim will want to look for various sources to foot their medical bills except from their own pockets. Consequently, there is the need to fashion-out " preventive mentality" in respect of Physical Education/Sport programmes and aspects of general standard , most especially when one may have to cough out the litigation fees for negligence due to ignorance. We are all aware that there is no room for ignorance in law.

An examination of the long list of items in the Exclusive Legislative list in Nigeria for instance, revealed the non-inclusion of Physical Education/Sports. Also, a perusal of items under Second Schedule part II. Concurrent Legislative list, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria revealed the non-inclusion of sport also. So, legal issues in P.E/sports are concerned with the determination of rights and duties. Duty is the corollary of rights in the process of social interaction man qua man. While right describes what the person's duty is what is due to the other person with whom he is in social interactions (Agbojimi, 2002).

The point at which law and Physical Education find expression in Section 40 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria which guarantees to every person the freedom to assemble freely, and associate with others, and in particular, to form or belong to any other association for protection of one's interest (Agbonjimi, 2002). When dealing with various types of Physical Education programmes organizations, P. …


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