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ESLJ Volume 6 Number 2 Review

ISSN 1748-944X

Sport: Law And Practice By Adam Lewis & Jonathan Taylor (Editors) Second Edition 2008

Tottel Publishing Ltd., Haywards Heath, UK
Pages 1,485 + LXXI
ISBN 978 1 84766 066 4
Price £175

As the editors point out, since the first edition of this Book was published five years ago, the law of sport has continued to develop “significantly”. They further comment as follows: “While sport may still not be more important than religion, for many it occupies more of their time and interest. As a result, sport continues to develop into an extremely valuable commercial sector.” In fact, sport accounts for more than 3% of world trade and more than 2% of the combined GNP of the twenty-seven Member States of the European Union (EU). Thus, there is so much to play for both on and off the field of play. And this gives rise, therefore, to an ever increasing range of legal issues.


The purpose of the Book is to provide “a practical resource for advisors in this sector.” The new edition of the Book naturally updates existing material and also adds new material – it is now over 300 pages longer than the first edition. In fact, one of the significant developments, since the first edition of the Book, is the awarding of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympics Games to London, and this is reflected by a new section dedicated to the corresponding legal issues. This section is contributed by lawyers working for the London Games Organising Committee. One intriguing aspect of this subject is the section on the statutory measures (the London Olympic Games and Paralympics Games Act 2006 (‘ LOGPGA 2006’)) that have been put in place to protect the Olympic Symbols and the right to be associated with the London Games (the so-called ‘London Olympics Association Right’ (‘LOAR’)) granted to sponsors and other commercial ‘partners’ of the event. In other words, the ambitious arrangements for combating ‘ambush marketing’ and ‘ambush marketers’ which remains a problem for major sports events’ organisers. In particular the right to use in advertising and promotional material such expressions as ‘twenty twelve’; ‘gold’ ‘silver’ and ‘bronze’; ‘medals’; and ‘London’. These measures are quite controversial and have been widely criticised by the UK Advertising and Marketing Industries as being too exclusive and restrictive!


The new edition of the Book follows the format of the old one. The First Part deals with the legal regulation of sport, including legal challenges to governing body decisions, which are on the increase. The Second Part covers another important and developing field of legal concern, namely, the EU Law and Sport, including the ground-breaking 2007 ‘White Paper on Sport’ following closely on the heels of the European Court of Justice landmark decision in the Mecca-Medinacase, which applied a ’rule of reason’ approach to competition law and sport rather than a ‘ per se’ one, much to the consternation of the major sports governing bodies. The Third Part of the Book deals with the equally important subject of Human Rights and Sport, including a review of the provisions of the UK Human Rights Act of 1998, which, for the first time, incorporated the provisions of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights directly into UK Law. The Fourth Part of the Book deals with the Participation of Individuals in Sport and includes a review of the important decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the Andrew Webster case, which has attracted a great deal of interest and critical appraisal from sports law commentators, including the author of this review. The Fifth Part of the Book addresses the controversial subject of Doping in Sport (see comments later). The Sixth Part covers the Organisation of Sports Events and includes a new section on sports governance. The Seventh Part deals with the commercialisation of sport and includes a section on risk management in sport – a topic of increasing importance given the litigious and blame culture that nowadays bedevils our lives and not least in the organisation and execution of sporting events! The Eighth and Final Part of the Book comprises the new section on the legal issues raised by the London Games of 2012, which your reviewer has already commented on above.


The author of this review finds it incredible that the section in the Book on the important and developing subject of sports persons’ image rights does not contain any referencesat all to the leading and comprehensive work on the subject of which the author is one of the Editors!


On the other hand, there are excellent sections on the controversial subjects of child protection issues, contributed by one of the leading exponents of this subject, Andy Gray, the legal adviser of British Swimming, which has been at the forefront of developing effective rules to combat this scourge; and also on the equally despicable subject of doping in sport, including a review of the revised WADA Anti Doping Code, effective as of 1 January 2009, and the copious case law generated to date.


One glaring omission, however, from an otherwise comprehensive coverage of sports legal issues in the Book is a section on the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in settling sports disputes of various kinds, and especially commercial ones, with the exception of doping cases. Although the practical and financial consequences of doping penalties wrongly imposed are particularly susceptible to settlement by ADR methods, particularly mediation. A subject dear to the heart of your reviewer. There is a rather pathetic short paragraph on ADR on page 160 of the Book, with an incorrect example of using ADR to determine whether a doping offence has been committed! How can you mediate on a doping offence – it has either been committed or not? Mediation, an established form of ADR, and even encouraged by the Courts, is proving particularly effective for resolving sports disputes generally and a section on this important topic would not have been out of place. Perhaps this omission can be rectified in the next edition of the Book. In fact, your reviewer would be very pleased to contribute it!


The contributors to the Book, although described as ‘the leading private practitioners of sports law’ in the UK, are the ‘usual suspects’, but there are some notable exceptions, such as a number of in-house legal advisers to some of the leading international sports bodies, such as the ICC. Their contributions would have added further authority to the Book.


Other omissions are the absence of a Glossary of Sporting Acronyms and a Bibliography - if not a comprehensive one, at least a ‘select’ one.


However, despite these few criticisms, all in all, the second edition of this Book is a very welcome addition to the ever growing sports law literature, and should, therefore, find a place on the bookshelf of every self-respecting sports law practitioner and sports administrator.


The law is stated as at 1 May 2008.

Ian Blackshaw
International Sports Lawyer

Blackshaw, I, "Sport: Law And Practice By Adam Lewis & Jonathan Taylor (Editors) Second Edition 2008", Entertainment and Sports Law, ISSN 1748-944X, <>

Volume 6 Number 1