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  3. Sports Law: Entities and Governance

Sports Law: Entities and Governance (LAWS70166)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70166
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This century has witnessed much controversy concerning the governance of sport. Good governance and legal structures are seen by many astute observers as key elements in sporting success. From grassroots to the highest echelons, the governance of sport is a central practical issue and fascinating field of study. The law has struggled to meet the needs of community groups looking for effective but simple structures and governance models to propel sports participation and social connection, while successful professional sports leagues have searched for models that respond to their peculiar combination of sporting competition and economic cooperation. In the face of intensifying legal and public scrutiny, sports governing entities and regulators strive to implement good governance principles, structures and practices at the local, national and international levels of sport. This subject explores the legal aspects of these issues.

The lecturers bring an unrivalled combination of knowledge and experience in this area, encompassing leadership of major sports organisations, corporate and sports law practice, and published research on the business models of clubs, leagues and related sports law issues.

Principal topics include:

  • Overview of the organisational structures of Australian and international sport, encompassing clubs, regional and national governing bodies, professional leagues and tours, government authorities, special-interest groups, international federations and Olympic and Commonwealth Games organisations
  • Legal status of sports entities, including the legal personality and capacity of unincorporated clubs, incorporated associations and companies limited by guarantee, the meaning and consequences of trading activity and non-profit status and taxation
  • Legal regulation and corporate governance of sports entities, including the role and obligations of directors, officers and committee members of sports entities
  • The policy, regulatory and funding roles of the Australian Sports Commission
  • The legal and governance structures, and underlying economic principles, of professional sports leagues and other competitions
  • Sports entities and the legal process, including the sources and limits of legal authority over members, jurisdiction of domestic courts over international federations, leagues and tours, arbitration agreements and ouster of jurisdiction
  • Stakeholder rights and interests, incorporating a broad legal and policy analysis of issues of accountability, transparency and due process in the relationships between sports entities at various levels, government, financial supporters, elite and non-elite participants and fans.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Possess a general knowledge of the structure and management of sports entities in Australia and internationally
  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the law relating to sports entities in Australia
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of, and be able to apply, principles of good governance to sport
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal questions in relating to sports entities
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and debate over the suitability of existing legal and regulatory arrangements for the structure and management of sports entities.

Last updated: 23 July 2019