LAW4340 - Sport and the law - 2019

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Winter: Dr Eric Windholz

Unit guides



  • Winter semester 2019 (On-campus)


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

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

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


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


Lecture recordings will not be released to all students as participation and engagement is expected.


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; and competition, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law to the rules and practices by which sporting competitions are organised and conducted. The Unit then explores the development of unique legal rules and institutions tailored to sports persons and sporting activities. These include sports' anti-doping codes, rules concerning corruption, gambling and match-fixing, and unique systems of self-regulation and dispute resolution (e.g., World Anti-Doping Agency and Court for Arbitration of Sport).. 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. The Unit's focus is on domestic Australian law, but with an eye to how developments in other parts of the world could influence the evolution of the law and practice in Australia.


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: Quiz - 10% (due in week 1)

Assessment Task 2: Research Assignment - 30% (due in week 2)

Assessment Task 3: Take-Exam - 60% (due in week 3)

Workload requirements

36 contact hours per semester (either intensive or semi-intensive, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).

See also Unit timetable information