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This subject provides Melbourne Law Masters students with a unique opportunity to undertake a substantial and independent piece of legal research and writing under the close guidance of an appropriately qualified academic supervisor. The student will meet on a regular basis with their supervisor to develop a research proposal on a topic of their choosing within the supervisor’s specialist area. Further meetings will allow for discussion and provision of feedback on material prepared by the student. The supervisor may also host online discussion boards and/or Zoom meetings with students in the specialist area.
Sport and Human Rights
Sports bodies from the domestic to the international continue to enjoy significant regulatory and even legal autonomy pertaining to how they administer their sport. That historical autonomy to self-regulate acknowledged not only that sports bodies provide a general social good that the state could not alone sustain but also that they provide access to their sport in a generally fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory manner.
Sport’s administrative autonomy is not however absolute and in the application of various areas of law, notably competition law, it has been made clear to sports bodies that the specificity of sport notwithstanding, exemptions from the usual principles of law must be justified as necessary in the pursuit a legitimate aim and proportionately applied.
The application of human rights law to all aspects of the governance and administration of sport has emerged as one of most critical and contested areas of sports law in the twenty first century. All levels of sporting activity, participatory and commercial, can and ought to engage human rights principles, including: the human right to practice sport; non-discrimination in ascertaining one’s eligibility to play a sport; the right to fairness and effective remedy in the resolution of a sporting dispute, particularly one that involves a participant’s livelihood; the right as a sports professional to collectively bargain employment conditions; and even the application of UN principles of business and human rights to the bidding for and hosting of major events.
This topic examines the above, asking where human rights principles and compliance might most acutely apply to sport; how such principles might be better embedded in sport; and by whom and in what forum such rights might be enforced.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should have developed:
- an advanced level of understanding of the skills required to produce high-quality legal research.
- a capacity to reflect upon and engage with feedback from an academic supervisor.
- sophisticated interpretation and integration of relevant material from a full range of primary and secondary sources.
- critical analysis and argument that demonstrates substantial originality, creativity and insight into the research subject area.
- sophisticated, appropriate, effective and persuasive written communication skills, demonstrated in developing, structuring, editing, presenting and referencing relevant analysis, argument and conclusions on the research project, in a format appropriate for publication.
- creativity and originality in identifying, framing and developing their own sophisticated and relevant research question.
- a high level of personal autonomy and accountability in developing and executing the substantial research project.
- a rigorous and effective methodological approach to planning, researching and executing a substantial and innovative research-based project.
- a deep and integrated knowledge and understanding of the research project area including its connection with its broader contexts.
On completion of the subject, students should have demonstrated the following skills:
- Ability to undertake advanced legal research and writing;
- Ability to develop and frame a sophisticated legal research question;
- Ability to employ complex research methodologies well-suited to answering the research question;
- Ability to identify and critically analyse a diverse range of pertinent and complex materials;
- Capacity for advanced critical and independent thought and reflection; and
- Capacity to communicate the research results clearly, comprehensively and persuasively.
Last updated: 29 July 2022