LAW 7096 - Sport Law (PG)

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2020

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 Summer
    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 10-11 February and 24-25 February in the Law School (Ligertwood building, room number TBA). Classes will run from 9:00am to 4:00pm each of these days with breaks for morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Analyse and apply in a principled manner the intermediate to advanced principles of sports law. Undertake legal research at an advanced level, and evaluate and apply a range of legal sources to resolve complex sports law problems;
    2. Apply the law related to sport to resolve legal problems;
    3. Develop well-structured and persuasive written arguments for a mixed legal and non-legal audience. Communicate effectively as an individual;
    4. Interact with peers in an ethical manner, appropriate to an academic environment. Exercise professional judgement in completion of in-class activities and assessments;
    5. Analyse the impact of the law related to sports from a policy perspective;
    6. Reflect on their ability to effectively undertake work as an individual. Use feedback to inform individual skills development.
    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, 6
    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, 3rd ed, 2018). The textbook may be supplemented by additional materials which will be provided on MyUni.

    Recommended Resources

    A series of recommended readings and resources may be provided for each learning week.

    Online Learning
    The MyUni course page for this course can be accessed at MyUni will be used for communication, including the posting of announcements. Besides this Course Outline, students can also use MyUni to access copies of the PowerPoint slides used in lectures, recordings of lectures, 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. 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. This course 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 prescribed 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 Module Topic
    1 1 History of Sports in Australia
    2 Governance of Sport, and Judicial Review of Private Sporting Body Decisions
    3 The Commercialisation of Sport
    2 4 Drugs and Doping in Sport
    5 Alcohol, Gambling and Corruption in Sport
    6 Legal Liability for Sporting Injuries and Violence
    3 7 Behavioural Issues – When Athletes Misbehave
    8 Discrimination in Sport
    9 Athletes, Image and Intellectual Property
    4 10 Trade and Competition in Sport
    11 Sport as ‘Work’: Player Contracts and Agency
    12 Animals in Sport
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable.
  • 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 Task Task Type Due Weighting Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Assignment Individual Sunday 23 February 35% 2500 words No 2-4, 6
    Major Research Essay Individual Tuesday 17 March 65% 4500 words No 1-5
    Assessment Detail
    1. ASSIGNMENT (35%)

    Release Date: The Assignment task sheet will be released at 4:00pm on Tuesday 11 February.

    Due Date: The Assignment must be submitted by 4:00pm on Sunday 23 February.

    Details: This exercise will require students to respond to one or more problem questions raising issues covered in the first two teaching days of the course. The assignment must be submitted via the Turnitin submission box on MyUni. Further instructions regarding the assignment will be contained in the task sheet.

    Word Limit: 2500 words.


    Release Date: The Essay will be released at 4:00pm on Tuesday 25 February.

    Due Date:
    The Essay must be submitted by 2:00pm on Tuesday 17 March.

    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: 4500 words.

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. The assignment paper must be submitted via 'TurnitIn' on MyUni. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the task instructions. By submitting your papers you are agreeing:
      1. That all material in the assessment is your own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others;
      2. That you have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment and the University's Plagiarism Policy; and
      3. To give permission for your 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.
    3. 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. 
    4. Word Length: 5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3.100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, and all substantive discussion in footnotes, but exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliography or list of sources is excluded from the word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    5. Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made using the appropriate 'Assessment
      Task Extension' online form available on the Law School's intranet. Extensions will be granted only for limited medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances in accordance with University Policy.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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.

    The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.
  • 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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • 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.