Editorial for the Special Issue
On April 27th and 28th 2005 The Law School at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) hosted a conference entitled The State of Play: Contemporary Issues in Sports Law Research. The event brought together academics and practitioners from the UK and Europe as well as the USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia. The busy two-day schedule packed in two plenary sessions and six panel workshops as well as a conference dinner at the splendid National Football Museum at Deepdale, Preston. The sessions produced some ground-breaking debate, and many of the ideas previewed and discussed at The State of Play conference have since been published as articles in this and other journals and books, and the cross-fertilisation of ideas that occurred then continues to contribute to the very healthy corpus of writing that constitutes contemporary sports law scholarship.
In between the opening and closing plenary presentations delivered respectively by Ian Blackshaw (The Court of Arbitration for Sport Comes of Age) and Hilary Findlay (dispute resolution in Canada), conference workshops dealt with papers and debate divided into the following categories; ‘Doping’, ‘Civil/Criminal Liability’, ‘Image and Spectacle’, ‘Post-Fandom’, E.U. Freedoms and ‘Discrimination’. I am very grateful to the general editors of ESLJ for providing an opportunity to revisit and rework some of those themes in this Special Issue. In the ‘Interventions’ section Ian Blackshaw updates us on the under-utilised resources of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In the ‘Articles’ section Jonny Magee takes a theoretical look at the structural dynamics of the phenomenon of ‘player power’; Adam Pendlebury reminds us of the problematic plurality of perceptions of ‘playing culture’ and Paul Boylan explains why David Beckam’s (and Aaron Spelling’s) confidentiality agreements won’t stand up in court. This Special Issue also includes a contribution from Bo Carlsson – a theoretical perspective on football referees in Sweden.
University of Westminster