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Associate Professor Paul Jonson


Paul teaches in the areas of Law for Leisure Sport and Tourism, Sport and the Law, Legal Issues for the Experience Industry, Tourism Law, Leisure Theory and Sociocultural Foundations of Leisure Sport and Tourism. In 1993 Paul received a UTS award for Excellence in Teaching and in 1998 the Australian National Award for University Teaching Excellence.
He is the former Chair of the World Leisure Commission for Law and Policy and the author of the Sao Paulo Declaration on Leisure and Globalisation for which he received a UNESCO Participation Grant in 2001. He is the Secretary of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand and Honorary legal adviser to the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies. He is a Member, ACOS Australian Centre for Olympic Studies.

Current research interests include:
Compensation for loss of enjoyment and mental distress arising from a breach of a contract to provide a leisure experience;
Law and Sport Management
Play and Events
Community Service Learning

Image of Paul Jonson
Associate of the Faculty, Management Discipline Group
Core Member, CCS - Cosmopolitan Civil Societies
LLB (Syd), BA (Hons) (Syd), GradDipLeisureStudies (KCAE), PhD (UTS)
Member, Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand
Member, Law Society of NSW
+61 2 9514 5494

Research Interests

loss of enjoyment' (compensation payable for breach of a contract that promises enjoyment, entertainment and recreation); law and sport management; play and events; community service learning;

leisure theory; law for leisure, sport and tourism; legal issues for the experience industries (events, sport tourism and the arts)


Bajada, C., Brown, P.J., Edwards, M. & Jonson, P.T. 2014, Integrating Business Perspectives (3rd edition), 3rd, McGraw-Hill, Australia.
Bajada, C., Brown, P.J., Edwards, M. & Jonson, P.T. 2012, Integrating Business Perspectives (2nd edition), 2nd, McGraw- Hill.
Bajada, C., Brown, P.J., Edwards, M. & Jonson, P.T. 2010, Integrating business perspectives (1st edition), 1st, McGraw-Hill, Australia.


Baker, R., Danylchuk, K., Gillentine, A., Jonson, P., Pitts, B. & Zhang, J. 2017, 'Internationalized sport management education: bridging the gaps' in Pitts, B. & Zhang, J. (eds), Global sport management: contemporary issues and inquiries, Routledge, New York, pp. 18-37.
Lynch, S., Adair, D. & Jonson, P. 2014, 'Professional Athletes and their Duty to be Role Models' in Alan Tapper (ed), Achieving Ethical Excellence (research in Ethical Issues in Organizations), Emerald Group Publishing, UK, pp. 75-90.
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Jonson, P.T. 2013, 'Managing Risk' in Pyke, F. (ed), Coaching Excellence, Human Kinetics, USA, pp. 87-96.
Jonson, P.T. 2009, 'Marketing' in Sports Law in Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 341-370.
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Jonson, P.T. 2009, 'Intellectual property' in Thorpe, D., Buti, A., Davies, C., Fridman, S. & Jonson, P. (eds), Sports Law in Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 301-340.
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Jonson, P.T. 2000, 'From vision to action: the need to implement the principles of the Sao Paulo declaration on leisure and globalization' in Cabeza, M.C. (ed), Leisure and Human Development, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain, pp. 41-50.


Edwards, M., Wilden, R.M., Jonson, P.T. & Sivabalan, P. 2012, 'Implementing interdisciplinary business learning that is industry relevant', Proceedings of UTS Teaching & Learning Forum, UTS Teaching & Learning Forum, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Freeman, L.M., Koh, B., Jonson, P.T. & Zaslawski, C.J. 2009, 'Athletes healthcarebehaviour: an ethnographers conumdrum', Proceedings of 4th Annual International Ethnography Symposium, University of Liverpool, Liverpool England.
Jonson, P.T. & Hayllar, B.R. 2003, 'Curriculum design and content of postmodern degrees in leisure management', ANZALS 6th Biennial Conference: Leisure, Change, Diversity, Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies, Sydney, pp. 25-25.
Jonson, P.T. & Hayllar, B.R. 2002, 'Content of post-modern degrees in leisure management', Conference on Leisure Education, 1st Pacific Rim Conference on Leisure Education, Pacific-Rim Leisure Education, Hawaii USA, pp. 80-89.
Jonson, P.T. 2002, 'The rabbits and the fox', Leisure Futures Conference, Leisure Futures Conference.

Journal articles

Jonson, P.T., Small, J., Foley, C. & Schlenker, K. 2015, '"All Shook Up" at the parkes elvis festival: The role of play in events', Event Management, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 479-493.
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© 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Leisure in the postmodern environment is often regarded as superficial, depthless, and meaningless, dominated by simulation and hyperreality. Many aspects of the Parkes Elvis Festival fall clearly into the category of simulation and hyperreality as attendees imitate Elvis Presley (and other associated characters) and are willing to accept the fake and contrived as real. However, the simulation does not, in the case of the Parkes Elvis Festival, lead to a depthless, meaningless, or inauthentic experience. Using Huizinga's ideas of play and Bateson's play frame we present the Elvis Festival as a liminal social space that invites playfulness and creativity. The theory of Georg Simmel is explored to show how sociability is created at the event to facilitate play. Finally, Csikszentmihalyi's theory of flow is used to demonstrate ways in which the enjoyment of the playful event experience is maximized for participants. We argue that play provides the substance that makes the Parkes Elvis Festival memorable and meaningful. An understanding of play theory may assist event managers to increase social facilitation at festivals and events, ensuring an enjoyable, sociable, creative, and authentic experience for attendees.
Jonson, P.T., Lynch, S. & Adair, D. 2013, 'The contractual and ethical duty for a professional athlete to be an exemplary role model: bringing the sport and sports person into unreasonable and unfair disrepute', Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Journal, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 55-88.
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Jonson, P.T. & Hoye, R.S. 2011, 'Sport law and regulation', Sport Management Review, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 223-225.
Jonson, P.T. 2007, 'Loss of enjoyment: Compensation for disgruntled sport spectators-Event Managers beware', Sport Marketing Europe, vol. 2007, no. Winter, pp. 14-19.
Lynch, P., Jonson, P.T. & Dibben, M. 2007, 'Exploring Relationships of Trust in 'Adventure' Recreation', Leisure Studies, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 47-64.
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A central concept in the notion of leisure, and therefore also of recreation, is freedom. In this article we argue that freedom in organised recreation, especially in activities involving some degree of deliberate risk-taking (i.e. in adventure recreation), is preserved through relationships of trust between recreation organisers and participants. This article seeks to outline the theoretical field of trust and to begin to explore the concept of trust in the context of adventure recreation. A recent criminal conviction in New Zealand has highlighted the issue of trust in recreation and serves as a point of departure for the purposes of exploring conceptualisations of trust and their application to the adventure recreational context. Trust does not appear to have attracted attention in the recreation literature to date, yet it may provide a useful means of negotiating the contested terrain created at the nexus of recreation culture (in particular adventure recreation), recreation management and application of the law.
Lynch, P. & Jonson, P.T. 2007, 'From Low Jump to High Jump: Adventure recreation and the criminal law in New Zealand', Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 79-103.
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Until recently, New Zealand law set a very low threshold for culpability under criminal nuisance or criminal negligence namely carelessness - and this threatened to impact negatively on the provision of adventure recreation. In 2004, a new interpretation of criminal nuisance - recklessness - was introduced and this, too, is potentially damaging for adventure recreation by raising the bar to criminal culpability too high. In this paper, we consider the implications of the law of criminal nuisance for New Zealand recreation in general, and we take risk recreations (also known as adventure recreations) as particular cases in which the threshold could have far-reaching detrimental consequences for recreation provision and participation. Comparison with interpretations of criminal negligence (and civil in Australia) in other common law jurisdictions and a review of the New Zealand adventure recreation culture shows that the swing from a low jump to a high jump for culpability is not in the best interests of recreation in New Zealand, and that gross negligence or a major departure from accepted standards is the appropriate threshold.
Jonson, P.T. 2006, 'Tourism', Halsbury's Laws of Australia, vol. 11, no. August 2006, pp. 1-48.
Jonson, P.T. & Lynch, P. 2006, 'The law as an instrument of leisure policy', ADOZ, vol. 30, pp. 29-33.
Jonson, P.T. 2004, 'Leisure and globalisation: Sao Paulo declaration', Australasian Parks and Leisure, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 15-17.
Jonson, P.T. 2003, 'Book review', World Leisure Journal, vol. 44, no. 4.
Jonson, P.T. & Green, S. 2002, 'Leisure futures: part 1', Australian Leisure Management, vol. 33, pp. 40-46.
Jonson, P.T. & Green, S. 2002, 'Leisure futures; part 2', Australian Leisure Management, vol. 34, pp. 42-46.


Darcy, S.A. & Jonson, P. 2016, 'No other recourse but to sue? The implications of Alex McKinnon's lawsuit against the NRL', The Conversation.
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The article examines the legal, insurance, compensation and impact of spinal cord injury perspectives on the Alex McKinnon case. Alex McKinnon had a spinal cord injury caused by a tackle in the National Rugby League in 2014. The cases brought into sharp focus in series of workplace, sport insurance and


Jonson, P.T. Australian Centre for Event Management 2002, Legal aspects of event management, pp. 171-179, Sydney.