Spring 2012 - Jurisprudence of Sport
Berman, Mitchell N
Course ID: 397S Unique # 29920 Credit Hours: 3
3:30 pm - 5:20 pm
This course is restricted to upper division students only.
As formal rule-governed practices, sports and law often pursue similar goals and confront many of the same challenges. For example, each domain must decide: to what extent to guide conduct by formal as opposed to informal norms, and, if the former, by rules or by standards; when to delegate discretion to the adjudicators (judges, juries, referees), and how best to constrain it; how, if at all, to provide for appellate review; how to conceptualize, deter, and sanction "cheating"; how to identify and rectify gaps between "the law in the books" and "the law in action"; etc.
Related Course Areas
This novel seminar will investigate these and other respects in which sports and law face similar dynamics and problematics. The hope is that the comparison will prove illuminating, that particular solutions and approaches adopted by organized sports can teach lessons for how the law can more satisfactorily resolve some of its challenges, and vice versa. As this description should suggest, the seminar has nothing to do with "sports law," which concerns the regulation of sports by law. Rather, it sits at the intersection of sport theory and legal theory.
Because this is a new and unusual field, students who want a fuller sense of what this seminar is about might find it helpful to peruse Professor Berman's article "Let 'em Play: A Study in the Jurisprudence of Sport," recently published in the Georgetown Law Journal.