Sports Law: Entities and Governance

Subject LAWS70166 (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:

November, 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: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
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:

The past decade has witnessed no shortage of controversy over the governance of sport. Good governance and legal structure are seen by many astute observers as key elements in sporting success. From grassroots to the highest echelons, the governance of sport is a fascinating field for study. The law has struggled to meet the needs of community groups looking for effective but simple structures and governance models necessary 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.

This subject explores the legal aspects of these issues as well as controversies and efforts at the international level concerning corruption and its suppression. The lecturers bring an unrivalled combination of knowledge and experience in this area, encompassing leadership of major sports organisations, the business models of leagues and sports law.

This subject will consider aspects of the law relating to sports entities in Australia and selected international bodies. Attention will be paid to the diverse legal needs of key stakeholders in sport.

Principal topics will 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
  • Structure and governance 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.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Possess a general knowledge of the structure and management of sports entities in Australia and internationally
  • Understand the law relating to sports entities in Australia
  • Recognise and be able to apply principles of good governance to sport
  • Be able to engage in informed debate over the suitability of existing legal and regulatory arrangements for the structure and management of sports entities.

10,000 word research paper (100%) (28 February 2013) 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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