Editor's note: In the coming days we will introduce the
supporters of our upcoming ISLJ Annual International Sports Law
Conference 2018 (also known as #ISLJConf18). To do so, we have sent them
a tailored questionnaire aimed at reflecting both their activities and
their expectations for the conference. It is a good opportunity for us
to thank them for their enthusiastic support and commitment to
international sports law research. We are very happy to continue this
series of interviews with LawInSport, a knowledge hub and educational platform for the community of people working in or with an interest in sport and the law (many
thanks to LawInSport's CEO Sean Cottrell for kindly responding to our questions).
1. Can you explain to our readers what LawInSport is about?
LawInSport is a knowledge hub, educational platform and global
community of people working in or with an interest in sport and the law.
Our objective is to help people ‘understand the rules of the
game™’. What does this mean? It means people in sport having access to
information that enables them to have a better understanding the rules
and regulations that govern the relationships, behaviours
and processes within sports. This in turn creates a foundation based on
the principles of the rule of law, protecting the rights of everyone
working and participating in sport.
2. What are the challenges and perks of being an international sports law 'reporter’ ?
I do not consider myself a reporter, but as the head of an organisation that has a responsibility to provide the highest quality information
on legal issues in sport, focusing on what is important and not just
what is popular, whilst trying to stay free from conflicts of interests.
These two issues, popularism and conflict of interest, are the two of
the biggest challenges.
Popularism and the drive to win
attention is, in my opinion, causing a lack of discipline when it comes
to factual and legal accuracy in coverage of sports law issues, which on
their own may seem harmless, but can cause harm
to organisations and individuals (athletes, employees, etc).
Conflict of interest will obviously
arise in such a small sector, however, there is not a commonly agreed
standard in internationally, let alone in sports law. Therefore, one
needs to be diligent when consuming information to
understand why someone may or may not hold a point of view, if they have
paid to get it published or has someone paid them to write it. For this
reason it can be hard to get a full picture of what is happening in the
In terms of perks, I get to do
something that is both challenging and rewarding on a daily basis, and
as a business owner I have the additional benefit of work with
colleagues I enjoy working with. I have the privilege of meeting
world leaders in their respective fields (law, sport, business, science,
education, etc) and gain insights from them about their work and life
experiences which is incredibly enriching. Getting access to speak to
the people who are on the front line, either
athletes, coaches, lawyers, scientists, rather than from a third party
is great as it gives you an unfiltered insight into what is going on.
On the other side of things, we get the
opportunity to help people through either having a better understand of
the legal and regulatory issues in sports or to understand how to
progress themselves towards their goals academically
and professionally is probably the most rewarding part of my work.
3. What are the burning issues in international sports law that you would like to see discussed at the conference?
- The long-term implications of human rights law in sport;
- The importance of meaningful of stakeholder consultation in the creation and drafting of regulations in sport;
- Effective international safeguarding in sport.
4. Why did you decide to support the ISLJ Annual International Sports Law Conference?
We support ISLJ Annual International Sports Law Conference as it is
a non-profit conference that’s purpose is to create a space to explore a
wide range of legal issues in sport. The conference is an academic
conference that does a great job in bringing
a diverse range of speakers and delegates. The discussions and debates
that take place will benefit the wider sports law community. Therefore,
as LawInSport’s objective is focused on education it was a straight
forward decision to support the conferences as
it is aligned with our objectives.