Learning from Sports Law

Some problems that seem to demand coordinated international solutions, like global warming and biopiracy, languish for years without effective responses by the international community.  Yet, when the international community set out to address the problem of doping in sports in the late 1990’s, a robust international regulatory system was set up in relatively short order.  Does the anti-doping experience have broader lessons for global law-making?  Matt Mitten and Hayden Opie think it might.

In a new paper on SSRN, Matt and Hayden argue that “the evolving law of sports is having and will continue to have a significant influence on, and implications for, the development of broader international and national laws.”  They examine the anti-doping movement and other sports-law case studies that they believe should be better appreciated by scholars outside the sports-law field for their broader relevance. 

Entitled “‘Sports Law’: Implications for the Development of International, Comparative, and National Law and Global Dispute Resolution,” the paper will appear in the Tulane Law Review.  The abstract appears after the jump. 

In this article we observe that legal regulation of national and international sports competition has become extremely complex and has entered a new era, which provides fertile ground for the creation and evolution of broader legal jurisprudence with potentially widespread influence and application. Our principal aim is to draw these developments to the attention of legal scholars and attorneys not necessarily familiar with sports law. Specifically, the evolving law of sports is having a significant influence on the development of international and national laws, is establishing a body of substantive legal doctrine ripe for analysis from a comparative law perspective, and has important implications for global dispute resolution. For example, the global processes used to establish an international sports anti-doping code and to resolve a broad range of Olympic and international sports disputes (which is rapidly creating a body of private international law) provide paradigms of international cooperation and global law-making. In addition, judicial resolution of sports-related cases may develop jurisprudence with new applications and influence. Our objective is to generate greater awareness of the importance of sports, not only as a worldwide cultural phenomenon and a significant part of the 21st century global economy, but as a rich source of international and national public and private laws that provide models for establishing, implementing, and enforcing global legal norms.

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