LAW4682 - Contemporary issues in international sports 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



  • Term 2 2017 (Day)


International sport has always been a source of social capital and national pride. Over the last few decades it also has evolved into a significant commercial industry and vehicle for international diplomacy. As international sports' social, cultural, economic and political importance has grown and evolved, so too have the points at which it intersects with the law, with the result that legal issues concerning doping and drugs; match fixing and corruption; competition and anti-discrimination; and athlete health, safety and welfare, are as likely to occupy the attention of the world's press as are the achievements of the athletes themselves.

This Unit engages students in critical discussion, analysis and debate about these important contemporary legal issues. Applying a comparative law perspective - and employing case studies drawn primarily from Australia, Europe and the United States - students will explore how different societies' perception of sport and legal traditions influence the development and application of law to sport. Students also will examine how international sporting issues expose the limitations of national regulatory regimes, and have led to the creation of transnational regulatory bodies and international dispute resolution mechanisms that themselves have become a source of controversy and scandal - leading to an examination and analysis of these institutions and the manner and extent to which they are held accountable.


At the successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand and appraise the manner with which the law has evolved and adapted in its application to sport's 'specificity' (its unique social, cultural and political standing, need for 'competitive balance' and 'culture of risk');
  • Research, evaluate and synthesize relevant factual, policy and legal issues relevant to contemporary issues in the field of international sports law;
  • Apply legal reasoning, critical analysis and cognitive and creative skills to develop new understandings of, and to generate appropriate responses to, complex policy, regulatory and legal problems;
  • Collaborate and communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for both legal and non-legal audiences.


Attendance requirement: students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

Seminar presentation: 10%

Preparation of case note: (1500 words) 30%

Research assignment: (3000 words) 60%

Workload requirements

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of seminars, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation and revision time over the duration of the unit.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1000 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW 2201; LAW2202; LAW3101; LAW3301.

For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW1111; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW1114; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2111; LAW2112.