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Modern Sports Law.

by Jack Anderson

2010 Hart Publishing Oxford UK & Portland Oregon USA

ISBN 978-1-84113-685-1 Pages 373 + XLIX Paperback Price [pounds sterling]25

According to the Author, Dr Jack Anderson, who is Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, the aim of this Book is to "provide an account of how the law influences the operation, administration and playing of modern sports." Including, presumably, 'Wiff-waff' according to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, looking forward to 'Ping-Pong' coming home to the London Olympics in 2012!

In its Eight Chapters, the Book covers the historical development of Sports Law; national and international issues on the operation and administration of sport; matters relating to the playing of and participation in sport; and the commercial aspects of the evolving professional sports industry, which is big business globally and nationally.

Within these general themes, the Book deals with such vexed legal questions as challenges to the decisions of sports governing bodies; civil and criminal liability in sport (I note particularly that there is good coverage of boxing, a subject on which Anderson is something of an expert!); doping in sport; sports-related contracts of employment; and, a subject particularly close to your reviewer's heart, the settlement of sports disputes by ADR, including a useful review of the activities of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, whose influence on the 'extra-judicial' settlement of sports-related disputes at the international level continues to increase year on year. The actual choice of the topics covered in the Book is, in the words of its Author, "somewhat eclectic. ... [reflecting] ... the assorted nature of the subject matter."

The Book opens with a manful and laudable attempt - as it should bearing in mind its title! - to define what 'Sports Law' is; or whether we should - perhaps more strictly - refer to 'Sport and the Law' - an academic 'hoary old chestnut', if ever there was one! The Author, I think quite rightly, settles for the term 'Sports Law'!

The Book also covers the application of European Union Law (EU) to sport - an important and, again, evolving topic, which no self-respecting Book on Sports Law can possibly omit. Needless to say, there is a fairly comprehensive analysis of the landmark decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Bosman and its ongoing repercussions and implications for the further development of 'Sports Law' at the EU level.

However, there is one glaring omission from the Book, especially as it is aimed primarily at students, and that is the absence of any Bibliography - not even a 'Select' one. The Book, however, is complimented by a workmanlike Index, as well as useful and comprehensive Tables of Cases, including Commonwealth and other Jurisdictions and ECJ Decisions, Statutes, International Treaties and - the nowadays obligatory - Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Awards - to the extent, of course, that they have been placed in the public domain, one of the weaknesses, from a precedents point of view, and one of the strengths, from an ADR point of view, of the CAS.

The Law is stated as at 30 April, 2010.

All in all, this is a well-researched and well-written Book on 'Sports Law' and one that I would heartily and unhesitatingly recommend to students and practitioners alike!
COPYRIGHT 2011 ASSER International Sports Law Centre
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Author:Blackshaw, Ian
Publication:The International Sports Law Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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