The English FA v. Hartlepool United & Others:  Are “deterrent sanctions” permissible?

The English FA v. Hartlepool United & Others:  Are “deterrent sanctions” permissible?
Craig Harris*
Barrister, Furnival Chambers
London - England

* The author is a sports discipline and regulatory specialist. He represented the former CEO of Hartlepool United FC in the appeal proceedings referred to.

* The author is a sports discipline and regulatory specialist. He represented the former CEO of Hartlepool United FC in the appeal proceedings referred to.

 

The imposition of “deterrent sanctions” for regulatory misconduct represent inherently unjust punishment for those who suffer them, even if their misconduct warranted sanction in the first place.

Deterrence is one obvious justification for any disciplinary system that culminates in penalties. 

A “deterrent sanction”, however, refers to a penalty imposed that is more severe than those that have previously been - or are usually - imposed for similar misconduct. The usual justification for imposing such a penalty is that the misconduct in question has become, or is becoming so prevalent that others need to be deterred from engaging in it. A message is sent. 

But the wrongdoer, who suffers a more severe sanction by...

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