Constitutional Voting Rules of Australian National Sporting Organizations: Comparative Analysis and Principles of Constitutional Design

(2016) Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, 7(1), 53-132.

80 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2014 Last revised: 6 May 2016

See all articles by Robert D. Macdonald

Robert D. Macdonald

University of Melbourne - Law School

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Date Written: April 25, 2016

Abstract

In 2012 and 2013, four Australian national sporting organisations (NSOs), the Australian Football League, the Australian Rugby League Commission Limited, BA Limited (Basketball Australia) and Football Federation Australia Limited were also the national league competition organiser (NLCO) for their sport. All four NSOs are not-for-profit companies. We apply the model of optimal voting rules proposed by James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock to the actual voting rules adopted by the NSOs. This model focuses on the minimisation of costs associated with voting. We find that the NSO voting rules largely conform to the model although there are exceptions. In particular, constitutional issues (amendment of the constitutions of the NSOs and company wind up) require the approval of a greater proportion of the members than electoral issues (election and removal of company directors). Those issues with the highest costs (such as the appointment and removal of NSO company members and national league clubs) are typically removed from the domain of voting by company members to strengthen the independence of the NSO from the company members.

Keywords: Sport Governance, Corporate Governance, Corporations Law, Voting

JEL Classification: G34, K22, L22, L83

Suggested Citation

Macdonald, Robert D. and Ramsay, Ian, Constitutional Voting Rules of Australian National Sporting Organizations: Comparative Analysis and Principles of Constitutional Design (April 25, 2016). (2016) Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, 7(1), 53-132.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2502662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2502662

Robert D. Macdonald (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

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