Sydney, melbourne and Gold Coast
Sports lawyers Who Work With You
Sports Law deals with the legal elements of athletic events, participants, and organisations. It covers everything from issues with intellectual property or contractual matters to issues with the creation and management of sporting entities to issues with the regulation of the sporting industry, including the specific regulation of particular sporting codes and the participants in those codes (whether that be through companies, trusts or incorporated associations).
Our sports legal team provides assistance with all matters relating to sports law, including governance documents, consultations, investigations, and tribunal and court representation. We assist clubs, organisations, and entities involved in sports as well as individuals, including athletes, coaches, and support personnel.
Our team has expertise offering guidance and advocacy at professional levels of competitions and we frequently provide advice to Australian athletes and sporting organisations on all aspects of sports law, including sporting contracts, advice and representation (including drafting submissions in sports tribunal proceedings), including disciplinary disputes, criminal matters and board disputes.
We recognise that when sport players get involved with the law, especially in criminal cases, the matter automatically becomes high profile with large media involvement. At Banga Legal, we are specialists in high profile cases, with our Principal Solicitor, Samir Banga having vast experience in dealing with the media and high profile clients.
Areas of Sports Law that we provide assistance in include:
- Sports Compliance (Constitutions, policies, board charter, code of conduct, etc.);
- Dispute Resolution (Discrimination and disciplinary disputes, anti-doping, contract, board and selection & eligibility disputes);
- Disciplinary Tribunal Representation (including matters at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS));
- Doping in Sport (Violations advice, investigations, policy, procedures, education, investigations, advice and representation);
- Employment in Sport (Contracts, termination, grievance procedures & redundancies);
- Discrimination, Harassment & Bullying (Policy and procedures, advice about complaints and investigations, education and representation);
- Sports player migration; and
- Criminal sports law.
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Sports Players Migration
Sports authorities and competitors frequently travel internationally and are seconded at the last minute, necessitating the rapid processing of sports visas, which calls for the assistance of a qualified migration agency.
The Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) – Subclass 408 visa’s Sport stream is for candidates who wish to travel to Australia temporarily in order to compete at a high level against Australian citizens or residents, therefore enhancing the standard of sport there. There are other choices, like the 482, for athletes or coaches who want to engage in a sport for a longer length of time.
The sports stream allows visa holders to play, coach, or instruct for an Australian sporting team or organisation, participate in a single event or series of events as an individual or as a team, and judge or adjudicate a sporting tournament or show.
Criminal Sports Law
Applying general legal principles to the world of sports is all that sports law is. In a team sport, where contact is made without following the rules of safety, the players are virtually probably going to be held responsible for any injuries that are intentionally caused. Only if it is determined that the collision was an inherent risk of the game, will the player be ruled not responsible.
Assault, battery, or murder or manslaughter charges may be brought against a player in the usual course of events if someone dies.
In the soccer match R v. Bradshaw in 1878, while one player kicked the ball, another leapt at him. The player was kneed in the stomach by his opponent, who later died from an intestinal rupture. It was decided that regardless of the sport’s rules, a player will be found guilty of manslaughter if they intentionally cause serious injury with carelessness or recklessness that results in death.
In the case of R v. Billinghurst from 1978, a rugby player who hit his opponent and broke his jaw was found guilty of causing great bodily damage.
More recently, in 1991, a Rugby League player died in R v Heke after being tackled head-high in a sub-district game in Brisbane. Manslaughter was filed against Heke. Sharkey had previously undergone treatment for a brain haemorrhage, thus it was impossible to say that he was in good health at the time of contact. Heke was found not guilty, and the Queensland Supreme Court remarked that the law applies equally to what occurs on football grounds as it does elsewhere in the community.
Due to such instances, Australia’s attitude is now crystal clear: athletes must be treated with the same respect as members of the general public.
Clients and their sports
We have assisted clients from many backgrounds and sports, including the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), Cricket and Football Australia (Soccer). The sports are vastly different, however, we hold the experience required to assist with the day to day management of cases involving players at multiple levels.
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