The law of sport is a commercial law subject. This is to be expected in an industry that is a major economic driver, generating revenue in the billions of dollars each year in Australia. Indeed, with the rise of the digital media, internationalisation and the elevation of female competitions, sport is one of the world's fastest growing enterprises. With that growth comes recognition of how the law guides and affects the business of sport and, in consequence, reflects a growing demand for lawyers with pertinent expertise. The establishment of a Federal Sports Tribunal by the Australian government, to run from 2020, underlines further the role of the law in sport and the increasing need for specialised expertise. Major sporting events such as an Australian grand final or an international fixture rely on legal advice touching on areas as diverse as event management, marketing and intellectual property, the avoidance of tortious law suits and the prosecution of on-field criminal assaults. Moreover, the public interest and financial stakes involved in sport disputes often leads to litigation within a few weeks of a cause of action arising. The increasing number of law journals in North America and Europe publishing on sport is testament to the importance of the law of sport and is some recognition of a developing 'lex sportiva'. Legal issues within in the context of sport are myriad, and almost inevitably find their way into media discussion, for example: when can an athlete's contract be terminated for off-field misconduct; when can an athlete be jailed for on-field violence; what legal rights of appeal are there for non-selected athletes; when can an athlete be prosecuted for corruption or doping; to whom do team doctors owe a duty of care; are athletes illegally exploited by major sporting organisations; are sport disciplinary tribunals entitled to cancel an athlete's contract; what role does reasonableness and proportionality play in athlete discipline; how can a sporting organisation deal with claims of discrimination; are coaches and clubs legally liable for the actions of their athletes; is it legal to exclude an athlete or member of the public from a sporting venue; when is a referee legally liable in the tort of negligence? A great advantage of this subject it that complex legal issues are discussed in a factual setting most are familiar with, thereby promoting meaning, interest and understanding.
1 x 3hr seminars/week for 13 weeks
Class presentation (20%) and 1200wd written report based on the presentation (20%) and 3,600wd assignment (60%).
Thorpe, Buti, Davies, Jonson, Sports Law, 3rd ed. 2018, Oxford University Press, Melbourne
Interest in sport is not essential to doing this subject. The topics are largely universal in application.
LAWS1012 and LAWS1015 and LAWS1017