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Sport and the Law: Laura Donnellan and Dr Ger Coffey

The Sport and the Law project encompassed active learning and cooperative learning. It taught the students how to take individual responsibility and be able to work through issues that may occur in a group setting. It involved Law Plus students working with St Augustine’s School in Limerick with the help of the UL Arts Office and UL Access Office. The project centred on engagement with the community as it purported to address the negative views some of the secondary school students had in relation to law, namely the view that law is about the Garda and the courts. The project endeavoured to demonstrate that law is not just about punishment but that most areas of life are governed by law including sport.

The Law Plus students first drafted a moot wherein a boxer was injured in the ring, they had to create a scenario that encompassed a number of legal issues from the liability of the referee to the organisers of the fight. It examined the civil and criminal consequences that may arise. The students took part in an acouscenic listening tour (sound walk tour) and wrote a reflective piece on their experience. It was a team building exercise and students learned how to live and concentrate in the now. The group walked around campus and recorded as many sounds as possible and when they returned they created a sound map, which documented where they heard each sound while on the walk. The Law Plus students created a glossary to explain terms such as plaintiff, defendant, what is a tort, what is a crime, the court system, the role of solicitor, the role of the barrister to help the students from St Augustine’s understand the moot question. The students from St Augustine’s took part in the moot under the supervision of the Law Plus students and the project leaders and a teacher from the school.