Sport, Commerce and the Law

Subject LAWS70059 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

March, 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
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
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: None
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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Sport is both an industry of the modern age and a traditional activity that reaches to the core of the social fabric. Law and sport intersect in many and varied ways, some of which challenge established notions of thinking about law. Sport, Commerce and the Law is the flagship subject of the sports law program, surveying many areas of legal controversy in sport, with particular emphasis on the link between the commercialisation of sport and the emergence of sports law. This subject is the best place to start for students embarking on a program of sports law studies and, for the student with wider interests, this is the ideal subject through which to sample sports law. The lecturer is an established figure in the field and one of a small number of people in the world with the breadth of knowledge necessary to teach such a subject.

This subject will consider selected aspects of the relationship between the law and commercial and professional sporting activities. Particular attention will be given to legal responses to the commercialisation of sport and how those responses influence sport.

Principal topics will include:

  • Athletes’ rights in relation to discipline, sex and racial discrimination, eligibility and selection, and drug use
  • Amateurism and professionalism
  • Protection and marketing of the athlete’s reputation
  • Professional player contracts, including discipline, entitlement in the event of injury, assignment, inducing breach of contracts and remedies for breach
  • Club and league structures and franchise ownership
  • Advertising and sponsorship arrangements
  • The impact of the common law doctrine of restraint of trade and the restrictive trade practices provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)
  • Taxation of athletes and clubs
  • International sports organisations.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the relationship between Australian sport and law, and the nature of and reasons for changes in that relationship
  • Understand and be able to apply the principles of law having particular relevance to Australian sport.

10,000 word research paper (100%) (26 June) 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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