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Sports Integrity and Investigations (LAWS70462)

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

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70462
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Sport is renowned for embodying some of the highest and most inspiring of human ideals. Few other pursuits activate the passion with which sport is played and followed. For many people, sport delivers release from the shady aspects of life. This shining image is threatened by corrupt practices around doping, match-fixing and other activities; some with links to illegal gambling and organised crime. Also, the holding of public inquiries into questionable incidents and behaviour occurring in the context of sport can have an adverse impact.

Sport bodies and governments around the world are taking legal and regulatory steps to counter these threats. This subject will explore the new frontier of sports law, from criminal laws to mandatory information sharing and monitoring arrangements, and onto the establishment and processes of inquiries. With an understanding of the international legal order around ‘integrity’ and sports investigations, students will be well-placed to contribute to this emerging field both practically and academically.

Between them, the lecturers have extensive knowledge and industry experience in sports law, anti-doping, investigations and governance.

Principal topics include at both national and international levels:

  • Nature and meaning of integrity in sports competition and governance including historical and empirical perspectives
  • The criminalisation of the manipulation of sporting outcomes
  • The legal regulation of gambling on sport and its relationship to integrity
  • Regulatory measures of sports bodies to address manipulation of sporting outcomes
  • Doping and the criminal law
  • The structure and role of investigative and enforcement bodies such as ethics commissions and integrity units
  • The establishment and conduct of inquiries into sports activities and bodies
  • Powers of investigation and information-sharing of sports bodies and relevant government authorities with particular emphasis on doping and the manipulation of sporting outcomes.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Understand the nature of sports integrity and the threats to it presented by manipulation of sporting outcomes, doping and corrupt governance practices in both national and international contexts including links to organized crime and gambling;
  • Understand the principles of Australian and international law applying to sports integrity;
  • Understand the legal and regulatory aspects of measures taken by sports bodies to address threats to sports integrity;
  • Understand the law affecting investigations by sport and government authorities into breaches of sports integrity;
  • Be able to critically examine and assess the effectiveness of these laws and regulatory practices;
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field of sports integrity and investigations;
  • Have the skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to sports integrity and investigations, and to evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy;
  • Have the technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to sports integrity and investigations;
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding sports and integrity and investigations;
  • Be able to apply these skills and understanding in an advanced and specialised manner in both the international and Australian legal and policy contexts

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Additional details

8,000 - 10,000 word research paper (100%) (4 December) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • September
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours.
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date19 August 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period16 September 2019 to 20 September 2019
    Last self-enrol date23 August 2019
    Census date16 September 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail25 October 2019
    Assessment period ends 4 December 2019

    September contact information

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

Last updated: 26 July 2019