LAW5438 - Current issues in sports law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Mr Paul Czarnota Personal ProfilePersonal Profile (

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2019


None, however relevant background experience in sports or knowledge of contract law and/or administrative law would be beneficial.


This unit will explore various contemporary, evolving legal issues in the field of "sports law". It will provide students with an overview, appreciation and critical evaluation of the ways in which sport and the law interact, and often collide with each other. It will also provide students with an opportunity to explore the application of several traditional areas of the law in novel circumstances uniquely offered by the sporting context. Where appropriate, the unit will explore the social, political, commercial and economic objectives and influences on the law and its application to the sporting industry, and (given the increasing globalisation of sports law) will provide various avenues of comparative analysis across different jurisdictions and in the international law sphere.

The selected "sports law" areas to be taught are numerous and can include (subject to topicality and lecturer/student/faculty interest) any one or more of the following:

  1. introduction to "sports law" including examining the role and relationship between sport and the law, sport as a business, and the role of sport in society;
  2. international Sports Dispute Resolution;
  3. anti-doping law;
  4. sports competition law;
  5. significant issues in sports employment Law;
  6. athlete selection and discipline;
  7. discrimination and vilification in sport;
  8. "Sports Tort law";
  9. the "Field of Play" doctrine;
  10. athlete privacy and publicity rights; and
  11. match-fixing.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. apply their knowledge of fundamental issues in "sports law" to sports-related disputes, situations and cases;
  2. explain the distinctive features, structure and operation of the sporting industry, and the impact of these elements on the development and content of "sports law";
  3. compare and contrast the underlying objectives and principles of "sports law", including the ways in which the law seeks to balance the competing rights and interests of different stakeholders;
  4. critically evaluate, integrate and apply abstract concepts, theories and problems in "sports law";
  5. articulate contemporary developments in the law and practice of "sports law" as well as an insight into the future direction of the law;
  6. research independently, synthesise and analyse issues relating to the legal governance of sports and the current and emerging problems of "sports law"; and
  7. interpret and communicate ideas and arguments relating to "sports law" to a variety of audiences.


Class Participation:10%

Research Paper (3750 words):50%

Sports Law Arbitration:40%

Workload requirements

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

In addition, students will be required to undertake independent study for class preparation, assignment preparation and revision and preparation time of written arguments for the Sports Law Arbitration, as well as independent research and writing for the research paper.