Sports Law: Entities and Governance

Subject LAWS70166 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The 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.

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:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

The past decade has witnessed much 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.
Learning Outcomes:

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%) 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. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Corporations and Securities Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Graduate Diploma in Sports Law
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Laws

Download PDF version.