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11 October 2012

Sports Law Conference 2012 - Invitation

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The summer of 2012 will be remembered as a summer of sport. London became the first city to host the Olympic on three occasions. Golfers, boxers, rowers and many more sports men and women from Northern Ireland have had success on the global sporting stage. Participation levels in sport continue to grow, as inspired by these sporting role models, including those at the Paralympics, and as helped by coaches and volunteers in the various sports clubs around Northern Ireland.

2012 also saw major investment in stadia facilities throughout Northern Ireland and the value of sport to the local economy remains significant.

This conference, in association with the NI Sports Forum, will, for the first time, discuss the role of law in sport. Could a player face prosecution for injuring another during the course of a game? How exposed are clubs and coaches and volunteers to civil actions? Is sport in Northern Ireland vulnerable to the threat of match fixing and so-called spot-fixing? And what is the impact that social media is having on how sports persons behave off the field of play?

All of these issues are discussed against their ethical, regulatory and legal background.

One of the main themes of the conference will be that the courts prefer sports disputes to be dealt with “in-house”. This conference will feature a leading member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who worked as an arbitrator with CAS in a number of disputes heard recently during the London Games.

The conference will also feature a dedicated workshop on dispute resolution in sport, as provided by experts from Sport Resolutions UK, the leading body of its kind in the UK and one that is used frequently by bodies such as the FA, IFA and other leading UK sports bodies in recent times.

Finally, law and lawyers are playing an increasing prevalent role in sport, and sport at all levels – amateur, professional, competitive and recreational. As the regulatory and administrative work loads increase for local sports bodies, they need advice on a wide range of services from governance structures to child protection issues. Offering these services also provides lawyers with a link to the deep network of sports clubs and bodies throughout Northern Ireland.  

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