LAW 7096 - Sport Law (PG)

North Terrace Campus - Quadmester 2 - 2017

In the last fifty years, sports law has emerged as one of the most important and controversial fields of law. As a discipline, sports law overlaps with contract law, employment law, competition law, intellectual property law, criminal law, tort law and many others. In addition, there are a number of legal issues which are specific to sport such as policy responses to doping and drug use, athlete behaviour and discipline, corruption, and selection processes. This course will examine a number of these areas and analyse the way in which sport and the law interact. The course will provide an overview of some of the unique legal issues which arise in modern elite and professional sports at a national and international level. Subjects covered may include: commercialisation of sport, national and international governance of sport and sporting organisations; employment and contract law issues relating to elite athletes; labour market controls and issues such as salary caps; disciplinary tribunals and the regulation of athlete behaviour; anti-doping policy and cases; restrictive trade practices; and civil/criminal liability for sporting injuries.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7096
    Course Sport Law (PG)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Quadmester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Students without a Bachelor of Laws must have completed LAW 7177
    Assessment likely to include class participation, 7,000-10,000 word research essay
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Mark Giancaspro

    Name: Dr Mark Giancaspro
    Location: Room 3.04, Ligertwood Building
    Telephone: (08) 8313 0879 (work)
    Course Website:
    Consultations: Appointments can be made (on short notice) by email or telephone, at a mutually convenient time
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course will be taught intensively through a series of face-to-face teaching sessions. The sessions will be held on 4-5 May and 15-16 May 2017 in Room 5.15 of the Law School (Ligertwood building). Classes will run from 9:00am to 4:00pm each of these days with breaks for morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea. Further details regarding completion of the written assessments can be found at 5.1-5.4 below.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course is designed to encourage students to:

    1. Analyse the intermediate to advanced principles of sports law, undertake self-directed legal research at an advanced level, and evaluate complex legal information.
    2. Apply sports law to complex problems/issues, and critique the operation of sports law from a theoretical/policy perspective.
    3. Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written and/or oral arguments for a legal, professional, and general audience.
    4. Conduct legal research and analysis, and engage in critical discussions, both independently and cooperatively in a professional/academic environment.
    5. Analyse the operation of sports law from policy, comparative, international and interdisciplinary perspectives.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3, 4, 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2, 3, 4, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 2, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The prescribed textbook for this course is David Thorpe et al, Sports Law (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2013). The textbook will be supplemented by a reader with additional materials. All assigned readings will be stipulated in the Study Guide.

    Recommended Resources
    A series of recommended readings and resources are provided for each learning week. These are outlined in the Study Guide.
    Online Learning
    The MyUni course page for this course can be accessed at

    Besides this Course Outline and the Study Guide, students can use MyUni to access copies of the PowerPoint slides used in the course, readings, assessment tasks, and other course materials. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students in this course are expected to attend all teaching sessions and complete all prescribed readings and assessments. The teaching sessions will offer an extensive overview of the topics covered in the course, according to the schedule set out in 4.3 below. Each of the sessions will include opportunities for students to ask questions on the issues covered and engage in the discussion.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    For a 3-unit course, the workload expectation is 156 hours. For Sports Law (PG), this will be structured as follows: 28 hours of face-to-face teaching (scheduled over four intensive teaching days) and 128 hours of personal study, including the completion of assessment.

    The teaching sessions are intended to provide an overview of the relevant themes and principles and to put them into context. They are not meant to tell students everything they need to know, but to serve as a guide for their own study. That study should involve, at the very least, reading through the material in the Study Guide and any other directed readings, and participation in all other assigned activities. The assigned readings provide a context for the material covered in the teaching sessions, as well as the basis for discussions.

    Copies of PowerPoint presentation slides used in the teaching sessions will be made available on MyUni. These provide a basic outline of the points covered, though they should not be seen as a substitute for attendance or for the assigned readings. Some students may find it useful to print the slides out in advance of the teaching sessions and use them as a basis for taking notes.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Day 1

    Course Module



        History of Sports in Australia


        Governance of Sport, and Judicial Review of Private Sporting Body Decisions


       The Commercialisation of Sport

    Day 2

    Course Module      Topic


    Drugs and Doping in Sport


    Alcohol, Gambling and Corruption in Sport


    Legal Liability for Sporting Injuries and Violence

    Day 3

    Course Module    Topic


     Behavioural Issues – When Athletes Misbehave


    Discrimination in Sport


    Athletes, Image and Intellectual Property

    Day 4

    Course Module   Topic


    Trade and Competition in Sport


    Sport as ‘Work’: Player Contracts and Agency


    Animals in Sport

    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

      Assessment item

      Percentage of  
    final mark


     Due date

    Individual or


       Course learning

      Case Judgement


       1500 words





      Major Research Essay 


      4 000 words   





    Assessment Related Requirements
    Each piece of assessment is compulsory. The assessments are redeemable. This means that, where a student performs better in the Major Research Essay than in the Case Judgment exercise, the essay will count for 100% of the student’s overall grade. Where a student performs worse in the Major Research Essay, it will be weighted at the stipulated 65% and the Case Judgment will be weighted at the stipulated 35%.

    Assessment Detail
    1. Case Judgement Exercise (35%)

    Release Date: The Case Judgement task sheet will be released on Friday 5 May 2017.
    Due Date: The Case Judgement must be submitted by 5:00pm on Sunday 14 May 2017.
    Details: This exercise will require students to write a legal judgement summarising the relevant legal arguments and principles and delivering a verdict in response to a fictional scenario. The Case Judgement must be submitted via the Turnitin submission box on MyUni. Further instructions regarding the Case Judgement will be contained in the task sheet.
    Word Limit: 1500 words.

    2. Major Research Essay (65%)

    Release Date: The Essay will be released on Tuesday 16 May 2017.
    Due Date: The Essay must be submitted by 2:00pm on Tuesday 6 June 2017.
    Details: This exercise will require students to select one of a series of provided essay questions pertaining to various topics explored throughout the course. The Essay must be submitted via the Turnitin submission box on MyUni. Further instructions regarding the Essay will be contained in the task sheet.
    Word Limit: 4000 words.

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    The assignment must be submitted via 'Turn-It-In' on MyUni. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions. By submitting your assignment you are agreeing to the following: I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment. I have also read the University's Plagiarism Policy.I give permission for my assessment work to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.

    Late Submission: Where an assignment is submitted after the due date and without an extension, penalties of 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one hour late, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 25 hours late, etc. This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in a period of less than a week. 

    Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (i.e. with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information, separate bibliography or list of sources. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count. If the word limit is seriously misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.

    Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made using the appropriate 'Assessment Task Extension' form available on Unified. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    Style of written work: All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the most recent edition of the approved Law School style guide, the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
    Turnaround time: All written works for this course will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date. Written individual feedback will be provided on each paper.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The Centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at

  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.