Sports Law Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Sports Law

Over the last several decades, there has been a transformation in Australia's sports laws. This was in response to the issues of racism and prejudice based on a number of factors (most notably: race or gender). As a result, these changes have made it easier for everyone to compete and have access to various sports. To fully understand what is taking place requires carefully examining these changes. This will be accomplished by focusing on: natural justice, the differences between the cases of Waverly Municipal Council v Swain with Neagle v Rottnest Island Authority and how discrimination law is applied. Together, these elements will highlight the shifts that have occurred in this area of sports law.

Discuss the natural justice process in sport tribunals. Should athletes at domestic or professional level be able to have legal representation?

The process of natural justice is when a tribunal will render a decision and the various parties will abide by these provisions. If someone believes that they are being treated unfairly, there is a process of appealing this ruling to a higher authority. However, given the emotionalism of sports, many parties will never feel completely satisfied by any decisions. When this happens, they will focus on using the courts as way to rectify these issues. (Gardiner 2009, pp. 255 -- 261) (Topic 5, 2012)

In these kinds of situations, the course of natural justice is continually evolving. At first, this is taking place based upon the belief that sports tribunals have some kind of authority in these areas. Then, there is the possibility that one party could use the legal system as a way to circumvent the rulings of a tribunal. In this aspect, the process of natural justice is shifting to satisfy the needs of various parties. (Gardiner 2009, pp. 255 -- 261) (Topic 5, 2012)

Furthermore, athletes should be able to have legal representation on the domestic or professional levels. The reason why, is because these individuals need to ensure that their interests are protected. If all athletes had access to this type of legal counsel, they could safeguard their own well-being. Once this takes place, is when the natural justice process will help to legitimize and address the challenges facing tribunals. In the future, this will protect the interests of all parties and minimize the possibility of involving the courts. (Gardiner 2009, pp. 255 -- 261) (Topic 5, 2012)

Discuss the difference between Waverly Municipal Council v Swain (2003) and Neagle v Rottnest Island Authority (1993).

The cases of Waverly Municipal Council v Swain and Neagle v Rottnest Island Authority are different by: illustrating the overall scope of negligence for similar situations. In the case of Waverly Municipal Council v Swain, a man was paralyzed by diving into a sandbar on a beach owned by the Waverly Municipal Council. He argued that they breached their duty of care and responsibility by not notifying everyone about how dangerous the area is. Moreover, they did not take action in the aftermath of the incident to warn others about these hazards. This is creating risks to the safety of the general public by ignoring these provisions. The High Court found that the Waverly Municipal Council did violate these provisos. (Waverly Municipal Council v Swain 2007) (Waverly Municipal Council v Swain 2003)

Evidence of this can be seen with Judge CJ Gleason writing the majority opinion who said, "To be successful in a negligence claim, the plaintiff will need to establish a duty of care, conduct on the part of the defendant in breach of that duty of care, and consequential damage. If necessary will determine, as a matter of law whether there is evidence which is capable of giving rise to a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. The central concept defining the duty of care owed and the standard of care is reasonableness. This is usually expressed in terms of protecting another against unreasonable risk of harm, or some kind of harm. The standard of conduct is usually expressed in terms of what would be expected in taking precautions against such harm." This is illustrating how if the plaintiff can meet certain criteria, they will be able to show negligence. (Waverly Municipal Council v Swain 2007) (Waverly Municipal Council v Swain 2003)

These finding are different from those of Neagle v Rottnest Island Authority. In this case, there were general guidelines established for demonstrating a breach in the duty of care provisions. Under this ruling, the High Court said, "The appellant's un-contradicted evidence, accepted by the trial judge, revealed him to have taken a cautious approach to diving. He entered the water in the way he did because he believed he had passed all submerged rocks. In our view, the likelihood is that he would have been deterred from diving by an appropriate warning sign." This is showing how more general guidelines must be met in order to prove negligence. (Topic 6, 2012)

As result, the biggest differences between the two cases are that Waverly Municipal Council v Swain is taking a more focused approach in: demonstrating negligence and breach of duty. This is helping plaintiffs to show that certain kinds of conditions existed in order to induce physical harm. While Neagle v Rottnest Island Authority is providing general guidelines for plaintiffs to follow. These differences are highlighting the shifting opinions about: negligence and the way it is applied. (Topic 6, 2012) (Waverly Municipal Council v Swain 2007) (Waverly Municipal Council v Swain 2003)

With reference to the law of discrimination discuss whether women should have a right to compete against men in various sports, in particular Golf.

In the area of discrimination, women do have a right to compete against men in particular sports. This is because the Sexual Discrimination Act of 1984 prohibits any kind favoritism based upon: marital status, gender or pregnancy. Under the law, this means that women can compete directly against men in different sports. (Topic 9, 2012)

Moreover, women are often considered to be at a physical disadvantage when competing against men. In this case, there are areas where women are excluded from the act. This is because there is a provision that says a person can be prohibited from participating in sports where: their strength, stamina and physical conditioning are all relevant. However, these exemptions do not apply to coaches, umpires, administrators and children under 12. This is illustrating how the law has select areas that are restricting women from playing particular sports. Those situations where this does not apply, is when they can be able to make a difference. The sport of golf is one area in which these transformations are occurring. (Topic 9, 2012)

This is because the game is organized around the accuracy of the individual over varying distances (with this accounting for the majority of the shots). At the same time, there is a mental aspect that a woman brings with them (which could help to make them competitive). These factors are giving them the ability to understand their competition and adjust. This makes them more successful when competing against men. (Women Still Setting Sights 2011) (Topic 9, 2012)

Moreover, any kind of physical advantages that men have in the sport are effectively negated. This is because the game is based off of individual ability (with no physical contact). For a woman, this is effectively leveling the playing field in her favor. When this happens, they can compete against men in these kinds of sports. (Women Still Setting Sights 2011) (Topic 9, 2012)

As a result, women are able to have a positive impact in the sport of golf. Some good examples of this can be seen with several different women who played on the PGA Tour to include: Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Laura Davies, Se Ri…

Sources Used in Document:


Topic 5, 2012.

Topic 6, 2012.

Topic 9, 2012

Waverly Municipal Council v Swain, 2003.

Cite This Essay:

"Sports Law" (2011, December 11) Retrieved March 21, 2019, from

"Sports Law" 11 December 2011. Web.21 March. 2019. <>

"Sports Law", 11 December 2011, Accessed.21 March. 2019,