Dr Jonathan Glen Merritt

Job: Senior Lecturer in Law

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester De Montfort Law School

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2078171

E: jmerritt@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/bal

Social Media: https://elprblog.wordpress.com/

 

Personal profile

Jonathan Merritt has a PhD from De Montfort University, a first degree in law from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from NTU, a Masters Degree in Criminology and Social Policy from the Open University and over 22 years experience teaching law and criminology. 

He joined Leicester De Montfort School of Law full time in 2006 although he has taught on DMU programmes since 2004.

Having taught and published initially in the business law field, Jonathan then researched for several years into policing issues.

Subsequent to that, a keen equestrian himself, Jonathan achieved his PhD in 2017 which concentrated on regulating equestrianism and horse racing. During this research and afterwards, Jonathan has widely disseminated his research into equine focused sports law in journals and at academic conferences.

Publications and outputs 

  • Regulating sport for the non-human athlete: horses for courses
    Regulating sport for the non-human athlete: horses for courses Merritt, Jonathan
  • Attack of the Clones: Problematising Equine Sports Integrity Regulation On the Ascendancy of the Genetically Copied Athlete
    Attack of the Clones: Problematising Equine Sports Integrity Regulation On the Ascendancy of the Genetically Copied Athlete Merritt, Jonathan Cloned horses are already here and competing; this article considers in turn, both the challenges and the unprecedented opportunities for the development of human athlete regulation that the current participation of cloned equines in elite sport presents. The arrival of the cloned human athlete has hitherto been considered as a future ‘spectre’ beset with potential sports ethics dilemmas. This paper argues however, that the Kuhnian state of crisis that sports integrity will be thrown into by the advent of the human clone will bring about a paradigm shift of epic proportions. There is however, the opportunity to learn from the regulatory mistakes of the past and shape the guidelines for human clones by regulating their equine counterparts effectively now. The current hegemony is that integrity regulation for one species, man, can be applied to another, horses, with little substantive amendment and be effective. The first sport of any kind to incorporate anti-doping measures into its rules was thoroughbred racing. In the early 1900s racehorses were subject to dope tests because of fears that they were being given cocaine. Human athlete sports followed suit and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code is the ultimate development of that thinking. Examples cited are the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) regulations and to a different degree the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) rules developed independently from WADA. None of this has resulted in a satisfactory situation as this paper will demonstrate. The better results are achieved by careful species-specific drafting well in advance of technological change, not struggling to keep up with innovation. This article is part of a Special Edition of CIL incorporating selected papers from Buckingham University and DMU's 'Horses in Culture, Society and the Law' Conference Series inaugural event at DMU in April 2017. The Special Edition is edited by Dr Jonathan Merritt of DMU and Dr Sarah Sargent of Buckingham University. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version
  • ‘Horses for Courses’: An analysis of equine sports regulation and disciplinary procedures regarding the non-human athlete
    ‘Horses for Courses’: An analysis of equine sports regulation and disciplinary procedures regarding the non-human athlete Merritt, Jonathan G. Sports governing bodies and international sports federations are very powerful organisations within their sphere. The governance of these sports has created a hegemony which does not necessarily serve the interests of those engaged in sport (the ‘ruled’), but instead those who ‘rule’ sport. A key part of governance is the disciplinary mechanism and the control of cheating within the promotion of integrity. The central tenet of such governance is the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, and separate rules within the same aim is the concept of strict liability, modified to ‘presumed fault’ and is predicated on the concept of human autonomy. The elite sport horse is now socially constructed as a non-human ‘athlete’, as it is no longer a bulk source of power for industry, agriculture, or warfare. However, the contribution that the horse industry makes to the UK leisure economy is considerable at £7bn annually, before associated gambling is even considered. Worldwide, there are more than 80 sports involving horses as participants but the current hegemony regarding the maintaining of integrity is not working. Sports involving horses are unique in that they involve teams of human and non-human athletes. This thesis considers equine-based sport globally, but concentrates on the Olympic equestrian sports and horse racing as examples to demonstrate the inequities and inadequacies in the governance and disciplinary status quo, with respect to those non-human athletes, which impacts on the associated human. This is not an animal rights treatise, although animal welfare considerations do play a part in the discourse. Rather, this research takes a Gramscian perspective to examine the problem and define whether the problem is systemic and, further, if it is, why it has remained without radical alteration. Ultimately, a new hegemony is proposed in dealing with cases of cheating with much greater integration of, and reciprocity between, the various equine sports governance structures.
  • 'Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: What equestriansim can learn from thoroughbred racing'
    'Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: What equestriansim can learn from thoroughbred racing' Merritt, Jonathan This article questions the current hegemony regarding the drafting of integrity measures such as anti -doping in modern equine based sport. The examples of the Olympic equestrian sports and British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) regulated racing are used to illustrate the current flaws and the level of crisis facing integrity in horse sport. The regulations concerned differ in form but they contain common ground such as a fondness for strict liability and reverse burdens of proof. It is evident that these concepts, particularly strict liability, are drawn from common law traditions as continental legal systems on the whole have only fault based liability. It is also true to say that these concepts have been applied in regulations based on the WADA Code, such as the FEI’s EADCMRs and others with a similar function such as the Orders and Rules of Racing without much proper thought as to their suitability. The received truth appears to be that it is perfectly reasonable to apply a sanction to a human rider because there has been a doping infraction in the horse. This is because the horse is viewed as a piece of equipment that has been tampered with rather like a ski or a badminton racket. This view of the horse is challenged in this article as the horse has to be re-imagined in the context of post-modern human society. First of all, using evidence from literary, industrial art and military history, arts sport and culture in the modern day this article shows that the elite sport horse is now socially constructed as an ‘athlete-celebrity’. It is therefore unconscionable that strict liability and reverse burdens should be applied in equine cases because the infraction happens in the body of a non-autonomous non-human athlete but the sanction is applied to the mind of an athlete of a different species altogether. A case study is presented of an CAS award just before the 2012 London Games in order to demonstrate the inequities present in horse sport regulation like no other. It is further evident that SGBs can no longer rest easy in the knowledge that they cannot be challenged on procedural grounds as they are not public bodies for the purposes of Judicial Review and human rights actions. There has been a leaching of human rights, natural justice and Judicial Review concepts into private law actions which can be identified in current case law. It is therefore now possible to foresee the decisions of SGBs being judicially reviewed through private law claims. There is however an alternative way of drafting regulations which British Thoroughbred racing has been presented with during a major review. It was suggested that new Orders and Rules of Racing could be drafted according to a number of underpinning principles. The rules themselves should not be too detailed in order to allow them to be applied as flexibly as possible. This represents a real departure from the traditional methods of drafting integrity regulations which have mostly relied on literal interpretation. This article proposes this new method of drafting, coupled with purposive interpretation by tribunals, is the alternative hegemony horse sport desperately needs. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Horses socially constructed as ‘non-human athletes’: Consequences for anti-doping and other sports regulatory matters
    Horses socially constructed as ‘non-human athletes’: Consequences for anti-doping and other sports regulatory matters Merritt, Jonathan This paper discusses socio-legal research which was carried out as part of a doctoral thesis nearing completion entitled ‘Horses for Courses’: An analysis of equine sports regulation and disciplinary procedures regarding the non-human athlete’. The central research question is ‘whether the regulation, disciplinary procedures and rights of appeal in equine sports satisfy the requirements of ‘due process’, ‘human rights’ and ‘natural justice’. This work inter alia required a re-examination of the social construction of the horse in sports and with regard to popular culture. It is this aspect of the research that this paper concentrates on, not detailed legal arguments. Doping and prohibited medication control in sports involving horses is continuing to prove problematic. Morally innocent competitors and owners, up to and including Her Majesty the Queen of England, continue to be stripped of winnings and awards. In terms of those intending to use unlawful PEDs only ‘dopy dopers’ are being caught with the more sophisticated cheating escaping detection. Some of the reasons for these problems stem from sports regulation failing to keep up with current social constructions of the horse. The central tenets of regulation regimes like those based on the WADA Code are strict liability and reverse burdens of proof, these in turn are rooted in the concept of human autonomy and the athlete being responsible for everything that enters the body. This paper seeks to demonstrate that the sport horse is now constructed as a non-human athlete and therefore this type of regulation is not effective or suitable. The arguments explored in this paper include but are not limited to the fact that the horse is no longer a bulk source of power for industry, agriculture, or warfare but nevertheless contributes to the UK leisure economy to the tune of £7bn annually before the betting industry is even considered. Further, in terms of its importance as a cultural icon it is still a key feature in art, sport, advertising, media coverage and fashion. This paper goes further still and postulates that the social construct has evolved to that of athlete-celebrity and therefore sports involving horses are unique in that they involve teams of human and non-human (non-autonomous) athletes. In particular, this paper considers the Olympic equestrian sports and horse racing as examples to demonstrate how inequitable the use of Code derived regulation is. 'Repugnance' is not too strong a word to describe the resulting tribunal decisions and this paper proposes an alternative regime of sports governance for equines which embraces mainland European legal philosophy more than it does that found in Anglo-American legal systems.
  • Horses for Courses: A Socio-Legal Discourse on Non-Human Athletes and Doping Regulation
    Horses for Courses: A Socio-Legal Discourse on Non-Human Athletes and Doping Regulation Merritt, Jonathan This paper is concerned with doping and controlled medication irregularities in equestrianism and horse racing. No derivative of the WADA Code, with its preoccupation with strict liability and reverse burdens of proof, is fit for purpose for equines. As groundwork for that debate this paper specifically seeks to counter the received truth that the horse is merely the subject of a minority interest pastime, nostalgia and/or an anachronism. The construct of the horse has shifted dramatically but the economic and social importance has not diminished. The horse is no longer constructed as a beast of burden, weapon of war, implement of industry and agriculture but as an athlete-celebrity. As such the horse still contributes with comparable importance to the economy and to society as a cultural icon. The relationship between Equus Ferus Caballus and Homo Sapiens is unique, special and enduring and has merely reached a new phase requiring specific, tailored research and debate on doping and controlled medication of these non-human sports participants to avoid miscarriages of justice. This paper refutes the commonly held view that the horse is at best a quaint reminder of our past, exploring uses that the horse is now put to in education, therapy and of course sport and recreation. Although it is true to say that the horse has significantly diminished as a source of physical power this is too crude a measure of the importance of the horse to society. Instead the status of the horse as athlete-celebrity can be established by reference to the fact that it remains a dominant cultural feature by its representation in art, literature, film and television. In tandem with this sporting prowess can bring a horse celebrity status. Taken as a totality these factors better measure the contribution the horse makes to 21st Century life.
  • Human Rights and Horses: Problematising challenges to sports governing bodies under Article 6 – Equestrianism, a case study
    Human Rights and Horses: Problematising challenges to sports governing bodies under Article 6 – Equestrianism, a case study Merritt, Jonathan The paper will consider the jurisprudence which seems to establish that Art. 6 has no applicability because SGBs are not public bodies. The paper re-examines the issues in the light of Dawn Oliver's work casting doubt on the importance of the public/private divide and considering the emergence of human rights themes in private law claims. Given the allegations of inept practice/corruption currently circulating in the governance of equestrian sport and the way that, for example anti-doping rules are structured in equestrianism (making them uniquely vulnerable to challenge) this paper argues for greater use of private law claims by sports participants as a way of progressing change in the governance of the sport.
  • Only Fools and Horses; Strict Liability and Doping in the Context of Olympic Equestrian Sport
    Only Fools and Horses; Strict Liability and Doping in the Context of Olympic Equestrian Sport Merritt, Jonathan In equestrian sport there are three sets of drug controls. There human athlete doping control rules, equine anti-doping rules and also equine controlled medication rules. All of these rules are heavily based on the WADA Code which was developed with human athletes in mind. This paper uses the cases of two KSA Olympic showjumpers to illustrate how the rules administered by the sports governing body, the FEI, deserve close scrutiny. It is clear that there are significant unresolved issues around the appropriateness of strict liability, burdens and standards of proof in doping and medication cases involving horses.
  • W(h)ither the PCSO?: Police perceptions of the Police Community Support Officer's role, powers and future directions.
    W(h)ither the PCSO?: Police perceptions of the Police Community Support Officer's role, powers and future directions. Merritt, Jonathan
  • Does plural suit rural? Reflections on quasi-policing in the countryside
    Does plural suit rural? Reflections on quasi-policing in the countryside Merritt, Jonathan; Dingwall, Gavin

Click here to see a full listing of publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

Sports Law, Criminology (Police Powers and Community Policing)

Areas of teaching

Sports Law

Criminal Justice

Criminology

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

MA Criminology and Social Policy

PGCE

LLB(Hons)

Courses taught

PhD Supervision

Sports Rights and Commercial Dispute Resolution (Masters Programme)

Sports Law

Criminology

Issues in Criminal Justice

Membership of professional associations and societies

Socio Legal Studies Association

Society of Legal Scholars

Forthcoming events

Conference at University of Buckingham: Horses in Culture Society and the Law - 19th September 2018, conference weblink: https://elprblog.wordpress.com/

For inaugural conference in this ongoing series see:

Conference at DMU:  Horses, Society and the Law:  Past, Present and Future -11th April 2017, conference weblink  http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/schools-and-departments/leicester-de-montfort-law-school/events/horse-society-and-the-law-past-present-and-future.aspx

Consultancy work

External Income Generation:

Lead on consultative group (police/DMU/associate college/Skills for Justice).  Tasked with designing Foundation Degree in Criminal Justice (Police Studies) from inception in 2003 to validation in 2004.

Lead on consultative group (police/DMU/associate college/Skills for Justice).  Tasked with designing Foundation Degree in Policing from inception in 2005 to validation in 2006.

Consultancy

External Academic Consultant for Foundation Degree Police and Community Studies, Hull University/Bishop Burton College 2005 – 2010

Collaborative Provision Liaison with Castle College for Foundation Degree Criminal Justice (Police Studies) 2006 - 2011

External Academic Consultant for Foundation Degree in Policing (Nottinghamshire Police) 2006 - 2011

Academic Consultant for Foundation Degree in Policing (Leicestershire Police) 2006 – 2011

Consultant to Thoroughbred Horseracing Industry MBA (THIMBA -Liverpool University) 2016 to present

Current research students

2nd Supervisor to Mr Liam Digan, Part Time PhD student researching the WADA Code and young and/or vulnerable athletes.

Externally funded research grants information

Principal Investigator, ‘Wider police family’ research project (SLSA - £1k + Internal £1.5k), 2008- 2010

Internally funded research project information

Visiting Scholar, Osgoode Hall Law School,Toronto (£5k) 2008.  In collaboration with Toronto Police Service.

Principle Investigator, Life Long Learning Research Project  (£2k), 2002.

Professional esteem indicators

Reviewer for the following peer reviewed academic journals:

Denning Law Journal

Contemporary Issues In Law

Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

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