Sports Health and Medical Law

Subject LAWS70163 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

June, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 - 26 contact hours per subject.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




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.

Non Allowed Subjects:


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 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 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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

Students speak of this subject as the ‘fascinating surprise packet’ of the sports law program. With attention often focused on the legal side to commercial dealings and related disputes in sport, the law‘s role regarding the basic building block of sport – the human body – can be overlooked.

Employing an interdisciplinary approach, students will explore the legal and ethical aspects of the medical treatment of elite athletes and the important field of anti-doping. Medico-legal approaches to past and present controversies, including participation of disabled and pregnant athletes, infectious diseases and single-sex sports, will be investigated in case studies sure to interest and challenge.

This subject is for medical professionals working in sport and for sports administrators and legal counsel responsible for day-to-day operational issues. The teaching team consists of two internationally eminent sports medicine practitioners and a legal scholar expert in the field.

This subject will consider selected topics from the medico-legal aspects of sports. The primary focus will be upon analysing the legal relationship between the sports medicine professional and the athlete-patient, especially in the context of team sports, where responsibilities are divided between athlete and team. It will incorporate selective study of a number of legal disciplines, including negligence, confidentiality and anti-discrimination law.

Principal topics will include:

  • Responsibility for injury in the practice of sports medicine
  • Sports participation with injury or disability
  • Working with other health professionals in the ‘sports medicine team‘
  • Boxing
  • Infectious diseases in sport
  • Performance-enhancing drugs
  • The pregnant athlete
  • Sex status of sports participants.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Possess a general understanding of the role of medicine in Australian sport
  • Recognise the expanding scope and role of medico-legal issues in sport
  • Understand the law relating to medico-legal issues in Australian sport
  • Be able to engage in informed debate over the sufficiency of that law to serve the interests of key stakeholders in sport.

10,000 words research paper (100%) (24 September) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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