A critical evaluation of the interaction between sport and law in South Africa

Louw, Andre Mouton ; Carnelley, M.(Marita), 1962- ; Schembri, Christopher ; Whitcher, Benita (2010)

Published in September 2009 as the monograph South Africa Supplement 15 in the series Blanpain, R & Hendrickx, F (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of sports law.' -- P. 3.

There are three other contributors to this work numbering 15 p. in total.

Thesis (LLD) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

This work reflects the applicable law as at 1 May 2009

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation contains an evaluation of the interaction between law and sport in South Africa. The evaluation includes description of the main areas where laws (in the form of the common law, legislation and the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996) apply to sport, in the contexts of both amateur sport and the fast-developing professional sports industry. Apart from such descriptive content, the dissertation will also critically evaluate the appropriateness of the relevant laws and their application in the often atypical context of sport, as well as the courts' treatment of the relevant legal issues. In the process of providing such critical evaluation, and where relevant, the author includes a comparative analysis of the treatment of relevant legal issues in other jurisdictions (most notably the United Kingdom and European Union, which are especially relevant in light of the application of the 'European model' of sports governance and regulation, which applies to the major sporting codes in South Africa). In particular, the author critically evaluates the following aspects of the South African jurisdiction's treatment of the application of law to sport: - The South African system of public regulation of sport by the State (and, specifically, the issue of the race-based transformation of sport, which involves an apparent government-driven agenda and is unique to the South African jurisdiction); - The courts' treatment to date of the susceptibility of the conduct of sports governing bodies to judicial scrutiny (and of the nature of such bodies as voluntary associations); - Various aspects related to the application of employment laws to the employment of professional athletes in team sports; - The application of common law remedies for breach of contract in the professional sports employment context; - The potential application of the restraint of trade doctrine (in, as the author suggests, an extended_ form) in the context of the freedom of movement of professional athletes; The apparently unsatisfactory state of current South African law in respect of legal protection against commercial misappropriation of aspects of the persona of famous athletes (i.e. in the context of 'image' -or-,'publicity' rights as recognized in certain other jurisdictions); and - An evaluation of the extensive protection (especially in the form of specific legislation in South Africa) against ambush marketing of major sporting events. The author includes some concluding observations regarding the state of South African sports law as compared to other jurisdictions, as well as some comment on expectations for the future development and potential importance of the South African domestic jurisdiction in the application of law to sport.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis bevat 'n kritiese blik op die toepassing van die Reg op sport in SuidAfrika. Hierdie ondersoek sluit in beskrywing van die vernaamste areas waar die Reg (in die vorm van die gemenereg, spesifieke wetgewing en die relevante bepalings van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, 1996) toepassing vind, in die konteks van beide amateursport sowel as die snel-ontwikkelende professionele sportbedryf. Benewens sodanige beskrywing bevat die tesis ook 'n kritiese ontleding van die gepastheid van die relevante regsbepalings en van hut toepassing tot die dikwels atipiese konteks van sport, sowel as die howe se benadering tot die betrokke regsaspekte. In die loop van sodanige kritiese ontleding, en waar relevant, verskaf die skrywer 'n regsvergelykende blik op die benadering tot sodanige regskwessies in ander jurisdiksies (meestal die Verenigde Koningkryk en die Europese Unie, welke stelsels veral relevant is in die lig van die toepassing van die 'Europese model' van spottregulering en - bestuur in die vernaamste sportkodes in Suid-Afrika). In die besonder onderneem die skrywer 'n kritiese ontleding van die volgende aspekte van die Suid-Afrikaanse jurisdiksie se benadering tot toepassing van die Reg tot sport: Die Suid-Afrikaanse stelsel van staatsregulering van sport (en, meer spesifiek, die "kwessie van rasgebaseerde transformasie van sport, wat klaarblyklik 'n regerings-gedrewe agenda vertweenwoordig en ook uniek is tot die Suid-Afrikaanse jurisdiksie); Die howe se klaarblyklike benadering tot die vatbaarheid van die optrede van sportbeheerliggame vir geregtelike hersiening (en aangaande die aard van sodanige organisasies as vrywillige assosiasies); -verskeie aspekte van die toepassing van arbeidsreg op die professionele sportpersoon in spansporte; -Die toepassing van gemeenregtelike remedies vir kontrakbreuk in die konteks van die diensverhouding in professionele spansporte; -Die potensiele toepassing van die leerstuk van handelsbeperkinge (in, soos die skrywer voorstel, 'n uitgebreide gedaante) in die konteks van die handelsvryheid van professionele sportpersone; -Die klaarblyklik onbevredigende aard van die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse Reg ten opsigte van beskerming teen ongemagtigde kommersiele uitbuiting van aspekte van die persona van bekende sportpersoonlikhede ( d. w.s. in die konteks van publisiteitsregte soos erken in sekere ander jurisdiksies); en -'n Ontleding van die omvattende beskerming (veral in die vorm van spesifieke wetgewing in Suid-Afrika) teen lokvalbemarking ten opsigte van groot sportbyeenkomste. Die skrywer sluit sekere gevolgtrekkinge in aangaande die huidige stand van Suid-Afrikaanse sportreg vergeleke met ander jurisdiksies, sowel as kommentaar op verwagtinge vir die toekomstige ontwikkeling en potensiele belang van die Suid-Afrikaanse jurisdiksie ten opsigte van die toepassing van die Reg op sport.

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