Credit points


Campus offering

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LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of Administrative Law
  •  advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex Administrative law problems
  •  advanced research and writing skills.

Sports Law concerns legal issues arising out of sporting activity. The increased professionalism, internationalisation, and commercialisation of sport has resulted in the law and sport intersecting in advanced ways.

Students will be introduced to selected issues relating to the development of sports law within domestic and international jurisdictions. The historical, ethical and legal perspectives that have influenced the development of sports law will be examined through the use of key cases and events. The domestic anti-doping authority, Sport Integrity Australia and the global anti-doping apparatus established by the World Anti-Doping Code will be used as reference point for discussion about issues pertaining to doping and sanctions.

It will become apparent that the growth of the sporting industry has increased the need for lawyers to advise on legal matters pertaining to: contracts; civil liability; criminal, discrimination, competition and consumer law. Instances that have brought sport into disrepute will be examined in order to consider what changes this system has brought about for the practice of sports law and law in general, including the establishment of the Australian National Sports Tribunal.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate a broad and coherent understanding of the legal regimes, dispute resolution mechanisms and current legal and theoretical issues in relation to sports law (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10)

LO2 - Locate, identify and reference relevant domestic and international sources of law particular to the sporting context (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Apply the relevant law to solve complex sports law problems (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Critically analyse, communicate and collaboratively present clear and reasoned opinions about sports law and ethical issues (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  1. Sport, its origins and history 
  2. Domestic organisational structure and disciplinary tribunals  
  3. The international jurisdiction  
  4. Doping in sport - domestic and international regulation  
  5. Sporting contracts and athlete selection 
  6. Restraint of trade and competition 
  7. Violence and sport 
  8. Torts and sport  
  9. Discrimination, human rights and international treaties 
  10. Misconduct, punishment and termination  
  11. Emerging issues in sports law (gambling, match/race fixing) 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  

Duration: 3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 

This level four elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law applying Priestley knowledge to a specialized area of law and demonstrating advanced advocacy skills.  

Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in compulsory law units to a specialist area of law, and to develop advanced advocacy skills.  

The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, and to develop research capacity.

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Fact Pattern scenario: identification of issues/analysis of circumstances and remedies – associated written Tribunal submissions

20% +10% = 30%

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10

Online LEO Quiz 


LO1, LO2

  GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8,  GA10

Final Exam: 1 x problem question; 1 x essay question (selected from options)

25% + 25% = 50%

LO1, LO2, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Thorpe et al, Sports law (Oxford University Press, 3rd edn, 2017)

Available electronically and in hard copy at the library:

Anderson (ad) Leading Cases in Sports Law (TMC Asser Press, 2013) available online at:

Chris Ronal’s & Elizabeth Rapier, Discrimination Law and Practice (Federation Press, 4th Edition, 2012) 15

Gardiner et al, Sports Law (Taylor and Francis, 4th ed, 2012):

Neil Rees, Simon Rice and Dominique Allen Australian Anti-Discrimination Law (Federation Press, 2nd edition, 2014) 454

Veljanovski, Sports law (LexisNexis case summaries, 2nd ed, 2011) available online:

Weatherill, European Sports Law Collected Papers (ASSER International Sports Law Series, 2nd ed, 2014) available online at:

McNamee and Møller, Doping and Anti-Doping Policy in Sport Ethical, Legal and Social Perspectives (Ethics and Sport) (Taylor and Francis, 2011):

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