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A detailed review of disciplinary proceedings at the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup (Part 2)

Rugby Tackle
Monday, 11 May 2020 By Kevin Carpenter, Ben Cisneros

This is the second part of the authors’ deep-dive into the multitude of interesting legal issues arising from the disciplinary decisions taken during last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

 Part 1, available here, examined:

  1. an overview of the disciplinary process; and
  2. a substantive interpretation of the Laws and Regulations in relation to the decision-making framework for high tackles and intention vs recklessness.

 Part 2 below moves on to look at:

  1. the ultimate outcome of any disciplinary action - the sanctions, including:
    1. on-field factors – the assessment of seriousness
    2. determining the “entry point”
    3. off-field aggravating factors
    4. off-field mitigating factors
    5. matches included in the period of suspension
  2. the procedural matters which have practical applicability for other disciplinary processes and hearings in sport, including:
    1. composition of disciplinary commissions
    2. appearance and representation of players at hearings
    3. citing Commissioner’s role
    4. nature of an appeal
    5. transparency

The authors shall then bring together the analysis from across all areas considered (in both Parts 1 and 2) to draw a number of thought-provoking conclusions of importance to legal practitioners, academics and stakeholders alike.   

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Written by

Kevin Carpenter

Kevin Carpenter

Kevin is a advisor and member of the editorial board for LawInSport, having previously acted as editor.

Kevin specialises in integrity, regulatory, governance and disciplinary matters. His expertise and knowledge has led him to be engaged by major private and public bodies, including the IOC, FIFA, the Council of Europe, INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as well as making regular appearances internationally delivering presentations and commenting in the media on sports law issues.

His research and papers are published across a variety of forums, including having a blog on LawInSport.

Ben Cisneros

Ben Cisneros

Ben Cisneros is an Associate at Morgan Sports Law. He works across a variety of sports and practice areas, but has particular expertise in legal matters relating to rugby union. His focus on rugby regularly sees him act for players, coaches, clubs, agents, player associations and national unions in an array of regulatory, disciplinary, commercial and employment disputes, whilst he also acts as an advocate before sports tribunals, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Ben is the author of a blog called 'Rugby and the Law' (, and hosts an annual conference called 'The Rugby Roundtable'. He has also had work published in both the International Sports Law Journal and the Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, and is a fluent Spanish speaker.
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