Whilst wandering around the Supreme Court in Westminster the other day (don’t ask! But many thanks to the kind security guy who offered to take photographs after pointing out the angels on the ceiling), I noticed that there was an exhibition called “Sport and the Law”. As I work with a number of lawyers (and accountants) who specialise in the sports business and sports related law I decided to take a look around.
There were a number of display panels focusing on different topics such as:
• ‘Playing by the rules” – How the Olympic movement moved from strict rules on amateurism to today’s professional arena;
• How UK court and tribunal cases involving footballers, horse trainers and boxers helped clarify the rights of sportspeople (e.g. “Football and Foul Play”);
• The role of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some of the most significant cases (including that of champion Oscar Pistorius);
There were some glass cases containing mementos from the 1908 and 1948 London games– including actual Olympic medals and programmes and planning documents. I was fascinated to learn that Middlesex and Henry VIII featured so strongly in the origins of tennis and to see how television and brands became so central to the development of the modern Olympics – there was a fair amount of material on commercial aspects such as intellectual property.
I spent a while at a touch screen display which profiled the 21 UK lawyers who have actually participated in Olympic events. For example, John Pritchard won a silver medal for rowing at the 1980 Moscow games. And admiring the creative efforts at some of the children who had visited the exhibition previously and joined in the activities
The sponsors of the exhibition included The British Association of Sport and Law (BASL) and De Montfort University (DMU – which has an International Centre for Sports History and Culture). It’s a shame that other organisation didn’t pitch in with some support and/or make better use the exhibition to entertain their clients but perhaps it was eclipsed in London’s incredible summer of sport.
http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/visiting/sport-and-the-law-exhibition.html. But you’ll have to hurry as it closes on 27th September!