5 gold rings

By | 7 December 2012

Image derived from andessurvivor photo on Flickr.com

We’re sorry to disappoint the romantics among you, but in 2012, in the UK,  the combination of 5 rings and gold makes us think of sport first! Unfortunately, the law often encounters the sporting world when it has fallen from the imagined Olympic ideal – disciplinary measures, racism, doping, hooliganism, gambling & match fixing etc. But sports law also includes  issues of  contract law, tax law, intellectual property and broadcasting rights.

If you are interested in finding out what material is available use “Sports law and legislation” (without the quotes – use the drop down menu to get exact phrase) as a subject search in SOLO.  You will discover useful material on all 4 floors of the Library – the Law Bod is doing its bit to keep its readers healthy!

May we suggest you start with a gentle stretching session looking at sports law in the British Isles? Thanks to the Moys reclassification project completed last summer, it is now not ony possible but sensible to start your search of monographs for these jurisdictions by browsing the shelves: for sports law position yourself  in front of  KN186.6! Note that the geographical codes in the shelf marks – S3 and I5 – indicate respectively works relating to the law in Scotland and Ireland – something not always clear from the spine titles.  From there a gentle circuit of the main Reading Room Floor will reveal Waivers of liability for sporting and recreational injuries in Canada, and the Australian rules  Sports Law as you head for the stairs.

Now, fully limber, zip up a flight for a circuit of the Upper Gallery floor which offers such treats as The Council of Europe and sport : basic documents (shelved in Internat),  Baseball and antitrust : the legislative history of the Curt Flood Act of 1998 Public Law no. 105-297, 112 Stat. 2824 (in USA), and Sports law in Turkey.

Ah yes, but have you earned that Christmas dinner yet? We don’t think so! Down two flights of stairs to check out such titles as The sporting exception in European Union lawNew challenges of Chinese copyright law in the digital age : a comparative copyright analysis of ISP liability, fair use and sports telecasts and Sports laws : latest rules & regulations from India.  Down one more flight for A passion for excellence : an improvement strategy for culture and sport  The knowledge that the government is behind you will (we’re sure) take you through the wall of going back up two flights of stairs and into the Wing.  A final  sprint to the far wall for Football hooligans : knowing the score in Criminology and  Cricket and the law : the man in white is always right in Jurisprudence. Now you have earned a cooling down session in the General & Comparative Collection which has at least 30 titles on topic, including 4 journal titles. (The gentle wafting of an unbound issue of the International Sports Law Journal may be allowed in cases of extreme need: the decision of the referee – aka the Bodleian Law Librarian – is final.)

Even when your favourite gym, sorry library, is closed SOLO searches reveal electronic resources available to holders of Oxford Single Sign On usernames and passwords: the exercising of little grey cells can continue! If you are entirely new to international sports law the article of the same name by James AR Nafziger in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of  Public International Law is a good place to start.
As international sports law is the development of the late (20th – it is consequently quite at home on the free/open-access world-wide web.

CAS, in full the Court of Arbitration for Sport (or Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS)) has a website which allows free access to the Code of Sports Related Arbitration and a database of decisions:  “all the non-confidential CAS jurisprudence from 1986, the year of the first arbitration procedure. Awards issued after 2003 are gradually being added … there will be [eventually] a complete coverage of the CAS awards…”. Warwick University’s ESLJ Entertainment and Sports Law Journal is freely available online:  the London Olympics provoked an article on Legal Guarantees for Olympic Legacy by Prof. SA Stuart, and Teresa Scassa. Finally, the world of blogs can help you keep up to date with current issues. Two to consider following are World Sports Law Report Blog and Sports law Blog posts from practitioners, law professors and others mainly (we think) from North America  but their range encompasses the whole world. One of the posts in the latter during the London Olympics pondered women’s sport.

But the observant and literal-minded among you may well be protesting that the image of 5 gold rings we have used is surely based on wedding rings? Yes, you are right – so we’ll finish on a bit of matrimonial sport.
Five wedding rings instantly brought to mind Chaucer’s Wife of Bath for she had “weddid fyve.” In Neville Coghill’s translation her  “fifth and last – God keep his soul in health!” was “handsome Johnny” (Jankyn) “the one [she] took for love and not for wealth”  and who  “Had been at Oxford not so long before But had left school and gone to lodge next door…”  The Prologue reveals an activity filled marriage – alas including a boxing match without benefit of the Queensbury Rules. Both sides had been severely provoked – and, after a bit of  diving, the “worthy womman” seems to have won through to domestic harmony.  For the socio-legal historian though both the Wife’s prologue and her tale raise questions about what life  under the old ecclesiastical law might have been like for women of character. While  the Penguin Classic translation of Chaucer would have to be ordered to the Law Library from the Closed Stack using the Find & Request tab on SOLO,  but the Law Bod can offer  Helmholz The canon law and ecclesiastical jurisdiction from 597 to the 1640s (v.1 of the Oxford History of the Laws of England) for those in pursuit of the facts of the system. The print volume is at Legal Hist O98q/1, but it  can also be consulted online by holders of an OSS username and password.

4 thoughts on “5 gold rings

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