Call for Papers | Workshop: “The Jurisprudence of Sports” at the IVR Congress in Lucerne, Switzerland, 7-13 July 2019. Call ends 31 January 2019

The IVR congress is the largest gathering of legal and social philosophers and takes place every two years (see

Convenor: Miroslav Imbrisevic (Heythrop College/University of London)

There is recognition that law and sports (as games) bear strong similarities. Both can be understood as systems of rules, with a judge/referee who has the power to issue punishments/penalties. And the rules of cricket and rugby are known as ‘laws’ in English. This workshop aims to discuss jurisprudential issues in sports, falling under the broad themes of justice and fairness (equity/Billigkeit).

Possible topics
  • Sport as a legal system
  • Types of rules (formal rules and informal rules/conventions; constitutive rules; regulative rules; penalty-invoking rules/Strafregeln, playing rules/Spielregeln, eligibility rules, conduct rules, tournament rules)
  • The role of the referee (DECISION: final OR appeals process; scope of authority; VAR; enforcement/non-enforcement of rules)
  • Rule breaking (intentional/accidental; strategic foul; dangerous play; negligence – recklessness; cheating)
  • The nature of a player’s consent (to abide by the rules; assumption of risk; conventions)
  • Issues about the application of law to sports (lex sportiva).

Please send an abstract of your paper proposal as a PDF file (700-1000 words) and a brief bio to the convenor by 31st January 2019. If the abstract is accepted, it will then be published on the IVR website. The final paper is due by 1st June 2019 (early submissions welcome) and subsequently will be circulated to all workshop participants.

Format of workshop

The workshop participants are expected to read each other’s papers in advance. Each paper is allocated 30 minutes for presentation, response and discussion. Each presenter should also act as commentator for another paper. We start with the presenter giving a brief summary of their own paper (5-10 Minutes), followed by a response from a commentator (up to 10 Minutes) and finally Q&As from the audience. For obvious reasons, power-point presentations are not encouraged.

Language: English (Beiträge auf Deutsch wären auch möglich, falls wir wenigstens 3 Vortragende hätten.)


Congress website

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