Course Description

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • A comprehensive understanding of sports law;
  • An ability to advise clients with confidence on a range of sports law issues;
  • Acquired the skills to deal with sports law issues in practice;
  • A thorough knowledge of the key legal issues when setting up a sports club and running a sports club;
  • An in-depth understanding of the key issues to address when representing an amateur/ professional sportsperson;
  • An excellent grasp of the technical areas of anti-doping, liability and discipline in sport.

Programme structure and approach to learning

This diploma will provide participants with an insight into the dynamic area of sports law, both domestically and internationally. Modules will address practical issues which practitioners from the smallest to the largest firms can advise on. The course begins with a look at the regulation and governance of the sport sector and identifies and discusses the sporting governing bodies. It outlines how to set up a club and reviews the rules that need to be followed.

The course also looks at club membership and the protection of both players and management. The issue of concussion and second impact syndrome has become very topical and we ask the question: how do clubs protect themselves and their players and members? Additionally, the area of child protection, which is key to ensuring that young people are safeguarded in their participation in sport, is examined.

This diploma also provides a detailed examination of the commercialisation of sport, including sponsorship agreements, broadcasting, ticketing and merchandising. Key issues such as corruption in sport, violence, gambling, and technology in sport will be considered, followed by an in-depth look at the WADA anti-doping code. Finally, the course looks at disciplinary procedures, both internal and external, to include the use of alternative dispute resolution in sport. What disciplinary codes are or should be in place? What policies and procedures are in place to ensure these are adhered to and enforced? These and other questions are discussed.


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Governance and regulation

  • Sporting bodies,
  • Organisational structure; setting up a club,
  • Rules and regulations,
  • Taxation of sports organisations,
  • Funding and grant applications; lottery licences,
  • EU law and sport.

Module 2: Commercialisation of sport

  • Sponsorship agreements,
  • Ambush marketing,
  • Broadcasting,
  • Ticketing,
  • Merchandising.

Module 3: Membership

  • Player and management liability,
  • Protection of players,
  • Club policies and procedures,
  • Social media policies,
  • Equality and discrimination,
  • Child protection,
  • Data protection.

Module 4: Player rights

  • IP and media rights,
  • Image and player rights,
  • Player contracts and rights protection.

Module 5: Key issues in sport

  • Corruption in sport,
  • Violence in sport,
  • Concussion; second impact syndrome,
  • Gambling and manipulation of sports,
  • Sport and technology.

Module 6: Anti-doping

  • Application of the WADA Code,
  • Therapeutic use exemption,
  • Testing and exemptions,
  • Sanctions.

Module 7: Disciplinary procedures

  • Disciplinary codes,
  • Internal disciplinary procedures,
  • On-field offences,
  • Dispute resolution bodies,
  • Arbitration in sport,
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport,
  • Suspensions and appeals,
  • Challenging decisions.


Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on group problem-solving and are designed to revise all modules covered to date and to consolidate the participant’s knowledge.

1Civic and Criminal liability arising out of sport.
Sports law issues facing a club.
2 December 20206pm-9pm
Sponsorship Agreements
27 January 20216pm-9pm
Disciplinary matters
3 March 20216pm-9pm
4Exam Preparation Workshop10 March 20216pm-9pm


Three-hour closed-book written examination (90%) in April 2021 and continuous assessment through online activities (10%). Final assessment date: April 2021.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for the following:

  • Solicitors, barristers, and trainees working in sports law, or aspiring to do so;
  • Professionals with an interest in sports law;
  • Professionals working in national/international sports governing bodies;
  • Professionals currently working in the area of sports administration or coaching who wish to broaden the scope and depth of their sports law knowledge;
  • Athletes who wish to add to their skillset;
  • Individuals who volunteer/are committee members of a sports club.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members.  Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €300.

Hear from our graduates

Iseult Cody

““The Sports Law Diploma offered the unique opportunity to combine my passion for all things sports-related with my career, and it has better equipped me to advise on all sports-related matters. The course participants ranged from legal practitioners to those involved in the sports industry, with all participants gaining a great appreciation of the complex considerations coming from the legal and sports perspectives. I would highly recommend the course for practitioners who act for clubs, sporting bodies, athletes, or those involved in commercial agreements with sporting organisations – or simply if you have a love of sports in general.”

Iseult Cody (solicitor, Beauchamps Solicitors)
Diploma in Sports Law, Autumn 2016


The teaching faculty for this diploma comprises a fantastic array of sports law experts.

Previous lecturers have included:

  • Susan Ahern BL,
  • Professor Jack Anderson, University of Melbourne
  • Roisin Bennett, Reddy Charlton Solicitors
  • Dr. Ian Blackshaw, Sports Lawyer
  • David Casserl, Kellerhals Carrard
  • Sean Cottrell, CEO, LawInSport
  • Patrick Conliffe, Registered Football Agent (Intermediary), Consulting Solicitor
  • Fergal Crehan BL, Data Protection Officer, Three Ireland
  • Clare Daly, Ronan Daly Jermyn
  • Páraic Duffy, former General Director Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
  • Edward Evans, Beauchamps
  • Stuart Gilhooly, H.J. Ward & Co Solicitors
  • Cliodhna Guy, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Authority
  • Aidan Healy, DAC Beachcroft
  • Benoît Keane, Keane Legal, Brussels
  • Liam Keane, Liam Keane & Partners
  • Deirdre Kilroy, LK Shields Solicitors
  • Ian Lynam, Northridge Law
  • Elaine McGrath, Reddy Charlton Solicitors
  • Robert McTernaghan BL
  • Andrew Nixon, Sheridans
  • Yvonne Nolan, World Rugby
  • Tim O’Connor BL
  • Louise Reilly BL
  • Gary Rice, DAC Beachcroft


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information, visit the CPD scheme  and download the CPD booklet.

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2020. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year.

College Name Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre
Course Category Law
Course Type Blended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online
Course Qualification Diploma
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 7
Course Start Date 21st October 2021
Course End Date 10th March 2021
Course Fee 2600
Course Times Blended learning: Lectures onsite and online Wednesdays 6pm – 8.30pm and four interactive workshops onsite
Awarding Body Law Society of Ireland
Title of Awarding Diploma in Sports Law
For information about Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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