Dr. McArdle is currently the Head of the Law School and the Law REF Co-ordinator at Stirling University. His work on the relationship between sport and the law is globally-recognised, and he has extensive research, teaching, impact, PhD supervision and consultancy experience on those and other issues.
Dr McArdle’s work contributes to two of the university’s research themes (living well and cultures, communities, society) and to the law school’s strengths in human rights and private law and arbitration. His current research focuses on issues relating to discrimination (notably pregnancy discrimination in US college sports, and discrimination against trans athletes), legal and ethical responses to concussion in youth sports,legal and policy concerns around the UNESCO and Council of Europe Anti-Doping Conventions, and the relationship between human rights and sport in countries with oppressive regimes. He is a co-author of two reports for the Scottish government, one on the use of football banning orders and the other on the Offensive Behaviour at Football etc Act, and of two reports for the European Commission, on event organisers’ rights and matchfixing. He has provided Opinions on sports disputes for government bodies in Russia and Israel, advised athletes in anti-doping cases and worked with several sports stakeholders to improve stewarding standards, employment practices and data protection compliance.
Dr McArdle’s academic publications in the current REF period have covered issues as diverse as celebrity image rights, doping and human rights in Belarus, athlete longitudinal profiling, and football and sectarianism. His monograph on arbitration and mediation in sport was published in 2015. His current impact activities concern the anti-Doping Conventions and sport-related concussion, and he continues his work on football, sectarianism and Scots law which was a Stirling Law School impact case study in 2014. He has led workshops at several UK law schools on the use of posters in undergraduate assessment and has been an external law REF assessor for three institutions. He is a visiting fellow at the Gujarat National Law University, a research fellow at the Centre for Research in Sport, Technology and Law at De Montfort University and is an Academic Associate in sports law for a barristers' chambers in London. He works in close collaboration with colleagues in North America, Australia and China. He was the Founding Editor of the Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, has guest edited several journal special issues and currently serves on the editorial board of the leading peer-reviewed sports law journals in Australia and the United States.
Dr McArdle’s current grant applications involve the medico-legal issues around concussion, building on collaborative work funded by the Royal Socity of Edinburgh. He has previously attracted external funding of over £350,000, ranging from £770 from the Carnegie Trust to fund fieldwork on adventure activities provision in the Highlands, to £40,000 from the Scottish Government in 2010 for research into the use of football banning orders in Scotland and EUR 268,000 from the European Commission for Project EAC/18/2012 on Event Organisers’ Rights. In addition to supervising PhDs in the area of sports law, he has also worked with successful doctoral candidates researching topics as diverse as the WTO regime in Saudi Arabia, freedom of expression in Egypt and regulating cybercrime in Nigeria.