New research centre casts light on international sports law

CISL logo

A PIONEERING centre for cutting-edge sports law research has been launched in Staffordshire.

The Centre for International Sports Law (CISL) has been set up in partnership between Staffordshire University and Thompson Rivers University, in Canada.

The aim of the centre is to better understand how sport should be regulated, to conduct new research and to educate the next generation of athletes, academics and practitioners.

Some of the issues the centre has dealt with and continues to look into include:

  • Adventure and extreme sports activities and regulation
  • Technological doping such as the controversial swimsuits used in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
  • Gender discrimination by governing bodies, such as women being disallowed to compete in ski jumping in the Olympics.

Kris Lines, CISL Co-Director at Staffordshire University, said: “It’s a unique international research centre, and we aim to build on its foundations, invite more academics, practitioners and sporting federations, to help us research and develop international sports law.”

Jon Heshka, CISL Co-Director at Thompson Rivers University, added: “I am proud to be partnered with this exciting project and believe that what Staffordshire University and Thompson Rivers University are doing together will help shape the international sports law agenda.”

As well as working internationally, the centre also aims to engage local communities and students through various projects, including an online forum to discuss sports law issues.

Kris said: “We are looking at engaging with schools and colleges in order to translate and simplify aspects of sports law. We will make available free open educational resources for any academic provider.

“And from an employment point of view there are great benefits for students to improve their employability prospects through the Centre.”

The CISL has already gained the support of Squire Saunders, one of the top global sports law firms, who have partnered with Staffordshire University to develop a Masters course in International Sports Law.

Also renowned academic and international sports lawyer, Professor Ian Blackshaw has been appointed to a Visiting Professorship at the University’s Law School and lent his support to the CISL.

Kris said: “We are delighted to have Ian Blackshaw on board and to tap into and take advantage of his considerable expertise and extensive practical experience in the Sports Law field for the benefit of the Law School and our students.”

The first CISL event including its official launch will take place in April this year. Further details will be announced on the Centre’s website, 


Maria Scrivens
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