Sarah Joseph is a Professor of Law at Monash University, and the Director of its Castan Centre for Human Rights Law since 2005. Her teaching and research interests are international human rights law and constitutional law. Her publications have focused on the intersections between human rights and a number of topics, including international trade law, multinational corporations, counterterrorism, the work of the media, and the use of social media to galvanise political change in the Arab Spring.
She has published a number of books including Blame it on the WTO: A Human Rights Critique (OUP, 2011), Corporations and Transnational Human Rights Litigation (Hart 2004), co-authoring The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases, Commentary and Materials (OUP, 3rd ed, 2013), Federal Constitutional Law: A Contemporary View (LBC, 4th ed, 2014), and Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide (UN 2008). Sarah has taught human rights law subjects in Australia, the US, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Macau. You can follow her on twitter at @profsarahj
Professor Joseph's lecture will focus on the multiple links between sport and human rights, and an Olympic year provides a good opportunity to take stock. One theme concerns the links between major events, like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, and human rights abuses, such as forced evictions. What, if any, are the human rights obligations of international organisations like the International Olympic Committee and FIFA? Should such events be awarded to countries with terrible human rights records, such as Russia, especially if preparation for the event might lead to abuses, such as deaths during stadium construction in Qatar?
Issues also arise with regard to labour rights. Why do sportspeople often have significantly lesser labour rights? Why are many sportspeople restricted in their freedom to play for the side of their choice, unlike other labourers? Why are their rights of due process so very different, with compulsory arbitration rather than access to actual courts? Why do we put up with extraordinary departures from normal due process with regard to sportspeople under the anti-doping regime?
Finally, significant issues regarding the health of sportspeople have arisen. Time Magazine reported in April that over 40% of NFL players in the US may have brain injuries. What did the NFL know about the dangers of its product for its employees, and when did it know it? What are its human rights obligations in this regard?