LAW4340 - Sport and the law - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Unit guides



  • Winter semester 2017 (Day)


This Unit explores the intersection of sport and law and in so doing: 1. equips students to apply the body of knowledge known as "sports law"; and 2. consolidates, reinforces and extends students' knowledge and understanding of core legal subjects central to the practice of law.

The Unit begins by examining the place of sport in our society, and how changes in society, and how society perceives sport (and sport perceives itself), has influenced the development and application of the law to sport. In doing so, the Unit will examine sport in its various guises, local, national and international; professional and amateur; contact and non-contact; and explore sports' social, cultural, economic and political importance. Next, the Unit explores the extent to which sport's '"specificity" (its unique social and cultural standing and need for "competitive balance") has seen legislatures and courts modify the application to it of traditional legal concepts. Areas to be examined include the application of criminal law to on-field violence; tort and OHS law to sports related injuries; contract and employment law to sports persons' employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements; competition, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law to the rules and practices by which sporting competitions are organised and conducted; and privacy, intellectual property, discrimination and other laws to protect a sports person's name, image, likeness and other attributes of their identity or person. The Unit then explores the development of unique legal rules and institutions tailored to sports persons and sporting activities, and the extent to which they are amenable to state regulatory and judicial systems. These include sport specific self-regulating governance and dispute resolution systems; anti-drug codes; and rules concerning gambling and match-fixing. The Unit's focus is on domestic Australian law, but with an eye to how emerging commercial arrangements and legal doctrines in the US and EU could influence the law in Australia. Finally, the Unit concludes by considering the extent to which this body of knowledge evidences a specific corpus of jurisprudence recognisable as "sports law", and what we can learn from it about the development of the law more generally.


On completion of the Unit students should be able to:

  1. articulate the fundamental principles of criminal law, tort and OHS law, contract and employment, competition, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law, privacy and intellectual property laws, and apply them to novel and unique cases presented by sport and sporting contests;
  2. critically assess policies and principles, including regulatory strategies, to promote and support sporting endeavours;
  3. demonstrate legal research and reasoning skills and professional judgement to generate appropriate responses to complex policy, regulatory and legal problems;
  4. demonstrate intellectual and creative skills to articulate legal and policy issues, to research, interpret and synthesise relevant legal, policy and factual matters, and to formulate reasoned and appropriate responses to legal problems;
  5. collaborate and communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive;
  6. provide and make use of feedback to assess their own capabilities and performance and to support personal and professional development; and
  7. articulate and evaluate the role of law in regulating and facilitating sporting endeavours.


Assessment Task 1: Quizzes - 10%

Assessment Task 2: Research Assignment - 30%

Assessment Task 3: Exam - 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111; LAW4331

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2201; LAW2202; LAW3101; LAW3301


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111; LAW3112