Editor’s note:Pedro is an intern at the Asser Institute and
currently studying the Erasmus Mundus Master Degree in Sports Ethics and
Integrity (KU Leuven et al.) He was one of the participants of the first
edition of the Summer Programme on Sports Governance and Human Rights.
In early September, the first Summer Programme on the Governance of Sport and
Human Rights took
place at the Asser Institute. During one week, various experts in the field
presented different lectures to a very diverse group of participants with a
wide range of professional backgrounds. Being a participant myself, I would
like to reflect on this one-week course and share what I learned. More...
Call for papers
on International Sports Law
Institute, The Hague
25 and 26
The Editors of the International Sports Law Journal
(ISLJ) invite you to submit abstracts for the ISLJ Conference on International
Sports Law, which will take place on 25 and 26 October 2022 at the Asser
Institute in The Hague. The ISLJ, published by Springer and TMC Asser Press, is
the leading academic publication in the field of international sports law. The
conference is a unique occasion to discuss the main legal issues affecting
international sports and its governance with renowned academic experts.
We are delighted to announce the following confirmed
- Jonathan Grix (Professor of Sport Policy and Politics at Manchester
Metropolitan University), and
- Mary Harvey (CEO
at the Centre for Sport and Human Rights),
- Ben Van Rompuy (Assistant Professor at Leiden University).
We welcome abstracts from academics and practitioners
on all issues related to international sports law and governance. We also welcome
panel proposals (including a minimum of three presenters) on a specific issue.
For this year’s edition, we specifically invite submissions on the following themes
- International sports law and governance in times of conflict:
- The emergence of the idea(l) of political neutrality of
SGBs and its translation in legal/governance practice
- The intersection between public international law and
international sports law and governance in the context of international
- The role of sports diplomacy/conditionality in the
context of international conflicts
- International sports law and the Russian invasion of
- Human rights and mega sporting events (MSEs)
- The adverse or positive impact of MSEs on (specific) human
- The influence of human rights commitments on the
organisation of MSEs
- The effects of MSEs on human rights in organising
- The responsibilities and strategies of SGBs to ensure
respect of human rights at MSEs
- The role and responsibilities of states in ensuring
respect of human rights in the context of MSEs
- Competition law and challenges to the governance monopoly of SGBs
- The impact of competition law on SGBs and their
- The limits of competition law on effecting change in the
governance of sport
- The specific modalities of application of competition
law to sports governance
- The legitimacy of competition authorities in
Please send your abstract of 300 words and CV no later
than 1 July 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected speakers will be informed by 15 July.
The selected participants will be expected to submit a
draft paper by 10 October 2022. Papers accepted and presented at the conference
are eligible for publication in a special issue of the ISLJ subject to
peer-review. Submissions after this date will be considered for
publication in later editions of the Journal.
Asser Institute will cover one night accommodation for the speakers and may
provide a limited amount of travel grants (max. 250€). If you wish to be considered for a
grant, please indicate it in your submission.
Sport events, especially when they are of a global scale, have
been facing more and more questions about their impact on local
communities, the environment, and human rights.
It has become clear that their social legitimacy is not a
given, but must be earned by showing that sport events can positively
contribute to society. During this half-day conference, we will debate
the proposal of a European Social Charter for Sport Events in order to
achieve this goal.
In January 2021, a consortium of eight partners launched a
three-year project, supported by the European Commission under the
Erasmus+ scheme, aimed at devising a European Social Charter for Sport
Events (ESCSE). The project ambitions to develop a Charter which will
contribute to ensuring that sport events taking place in the European
Union are socially beneficial to the local communities concerned and,
more generally, to those affected by them. The project is directly
inspired by the decision of the Paris 2024 bid to commit to a social
charter enforced throughout the preparation and the course of the 2024
This first public event in the framework of the ESCSE project,
will be introducing the project to a wider public. During the event we
will review the current state of the implementation of the Paris 2024
Social Charter, discuss the expectations of stakeholders and academics
for a European Social Charter and present for feedback the first draft
of the ESCSE (and its implementing guidelines) developed by the project
members. It will be a participatory event; we welcome input from the
The Asser International Sports Law Centre, powered by the Asser
Institute, is contributing to the project through the drafting of a
background study, which we will introduce during the conference.
Please note that we can
provide some financial support (up to 100 euros) towards travel
and/or accommodation costs for a limited number of participants
coming from other EU Member States or the UK. To apply for this
financial support please reach out to ConferenceManager@asser.nl. `
On Thursday 14 October 2021 from 16.00-17.30 CET, the Asser International Sports Law Centre, in collaboration with Dr Marjolaine Viret (University of Lausanne), will be launching the second season of the Zoom-In webinar series, with a first episode on Diversity at the Court of Arbitration for Sport: Time for a Changing of the Guard?
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is a well-known mainstay of
global sport. It has the exclusive competence over challenges against
decisions taken by most international sports governing bodies and its
jurisprudence covers a wide range of issues (doping, corruption,
match-fixing, financial fair play, transfer or selection disputes)
including disciplinary sanctions and governance disputes. In recent
years, the CAS has rendered numerous awards which triggered world-wide
public interest, such as in the Semenya v World Athletics case or the
case between WADA and RUSADA resulting from the Russian doping scandal
(we discussed both cases in previous Zoom-In discussion available here and here). In short, the CAS has tremendous influence on the shape of global sport and its governance.
However, as we will discuss during this webinar, recent work has
shown that the arbitrators active at the CAS are hardly reflective of
the diversity of people its decisions ultimately affect. This in our
view warrants raising the question of the (urgent) need to change the
(arbitral) guard at the CAS. To address these issues with us, we have
invited two speakers who have played an instrumental role in putting
numbers on impressions widely shared by those in contact with the CAS:
Prof. Johan Lindholm (Umea University) and attorney-at-law Lisa Lazarus (Morgan Sports Law). Johan recently published a ground-breaking monograph on The Court of Arbitration for Sport and Its Jurisprudence
in which he applies empirical and quantitative methods to analyse the
work of the CAS. This included studying the sociological characteristics
of CAS arbitrators. Lisa and her colleagues at Morgan Sports Law very
recently released a blog post on Arbitrator Diversity at the Court of Arbitration for Sport,
which reveals a stunning lack of diversity (based on their
calculations, 4,5% of appointed CAS arbitrators are female and 0,2% are
black) at the institution ruling over global sport.
Register for free HERE.
Zoom In webinar series
In December 2020, The Asser International Sports Law Centre in collaboration with Dr Marjolaine Viret launched a new series of zoom webinars on transnational sports law: Zoom In. You can watch the video recordings of our past Zoom In webinars on the Asser Institute’s Youtube Channel.
On Wednesday 14 July 2021 from 16.00-17.30 CET, the Asser International Sports Law Centre, in collaboration with Dr Marjolaine Viret, is organizing a Zoom In webinar on Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter and the right to free speech of athletes.
As the Tokyo Olympics are drawing closer, the International Olympic Committee just released new Guidelines on the implementation of Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter.
The latter Rule provides that ‘no kind of demonstration or political,
religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues
or other areas’. The latest IOC Guidelines did open up some space for
athletes to express their political views, but at the same time continue
to ban any manifestation from the Olympic Village or the Podium. In
effect, Rule 50 imposes private restrictions on the freedom of
expression of athletes in the name of the political neutrality of
international sport. This limitation on the rights of athletes is far from uncontroversial
and raises intricate questions regarding its legitimacy,
proportionality and ultimately compatibility with human rights standards
(such as with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights).
This webinar aims at critically engaging with Rule 50 and its
compatibility with the fundamental rights of athletes. We will discuss
the content of the latest IOC Guidelines regarding Rule 50, the
potential justifications for such a Rule, and the alternatives to its
restrictions. To do so, we will be joined by three speakers, Professor Mark James from Manchester Metropolitan University, who has widely published on the Olympic Games and transnational law; Chui Ling Goh, a Doctoral Researcher at Melbourne Law School, who has recently released an (open access) draft of an article on Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter; and David Grevemberg, Chief
Innovation and Partnerships Officer at the Centre for Sport and Human
Rights, and former Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation
- Prof. Mark James (Metropolitan Manchester University)
- Chui Ling Goh (PhD candidate, University of Melbourne)
- David Grevemberg (Centre for Sport and Human Rights)
Free Registration HERE
On Wednesday 26 May 2021 from 16.00-17.00 CET, the Asser International Sports Law Centre, in collaboration with Dr Marjolaine Viret (University of Lausanne), is organising its fifth Zoom In webinar on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the perspective of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
We have the pleasure to be joined by Prof. Helen Keller, former Judge at the ECtHR and a prominent dissenter to the majority’s ruling in the Mutu and Pechstein case.
The ECtHR decision
in the Mutu and Pechstein case rendered on 2 October 2018 is widely
seen as one of the most important European sports law rulings. It was
also the first decision of the Strasbourg court dealing with a case in
which the CAS had issued an award. The applicants, Adrian Mutu and
Claudia Pechstein, were both challenging the compatibility of CAS
proceedings with the procedural rights enshrined in Article 6(1) of the
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The court famously declined
to conclude that the CAS lacked independence or impartiality, but did
find that, insofar as Claudia Pechstein was concerned, she was forced to
undergo CAS arbitration and, therefore, that CAS proceedings had to
fully comply with the procedural rights guaranteed in the ECHR. In
particular, the court held that the refusal by CAS to hold a public
hearing, in spite of Claudia Pechstein’s express request, was contrary
to Article 6(1) ECHR. Beyond this case, as highlighted by the recent
decision of Caster Semenya to submit an application
to the ECtHR, the decision opens the way for a more systematic
intervention of the Strasbourg court in assessing the human rights
compatibility of CAS awards and more broadly of the transnational sports
regulations imposed by international sports governing bodies.
Prof. Helen Keller will discuss with us the
implications of the ECtHR’s Mutu and Pechstein decision and the
potential for future interventions by the court in the realm of the lex sportiva.
The webinar will take the form of an interview followed by a short Q&A open to the digital public.
Please note the discussion will NOT be recorded and posted on our Youtube channel.
The mercato, or transfer window, is for some the most
exciting time in the life of a football fan. During this narrow period
each summer and winter (for the Europeans), fantastic football teams are
made or taken apart. What is less often known, or grasped is that
behind the breaking news of the latest move to or from your favourite
club lies a complex web of transnational rules, institutions and
Our new intensive two-day Masterclass aims to provide a comprehensive
understanding of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of
Players (RSTP) to a small group of dedicated legal
professionals who have the ambition to advise football clubs, represent
players or join football governing bodies. The course combines theoretical
insights on FIFA’s regulation of the transfer market with practical
know-how of the actual operation of the RSTP distilled by hands-on practitioners.
Download the full Programme and register HERE.
- Dr Antoine Duval is a senior researcher at the Asser Institute and the head of the Asser International Sports Law Centre. He has widely published and lectured on transnational sports law, sports arbitration and the interaction between EU law and sport. He is an avid football fan and football player and looks forward to walking you through the intricacies of the FIFA transfer system.
- Carol Couse is a Partner in the sports team at Mills & Reeve LLP , with extensive in-house and in private practice experience of dealing with sports regulatory matters, whether contentious or non-contentious. She has advised on many multi million pound international football transfer agreements, playing contracts and image rights agreements on behalf clubs, players and agents.
- Jacques Blondin is an Italian lawyer, who joined FIFA inundefined 2015, working for the Disciplinary Department. In 2019, he was appointed Head of FIFA TMS (now called FIFA Regulatory Enforcement) where he is responsible, among other things, for ensuring compliance in international transfers within the FIFA Transfer Matching System.
- Oskar van Maren joined FIFA as a Legal Counsel in December 2017, forming part of the Knowledge Management Hub, a department created in September 2020. Previously, he worked for FIFA’s Players' Status Department. Between April 2014 and March 2017, he worked as a Junior Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. He holds an LL.M in European law from Leiden University (The Netherlands).
- Rhys Lenarduzzi is currently a research intern at the Asser International Sports Law Centre, where he focuses in particular on the transnational regulation of football. Prior to this, he acquired over 5 years of experience as a sports agent and consultant, at times representing over 50 professional athletes around the world from various sports, though predominantly football.
On Wednesday 31 March 2021 from 16.00-17.30 CET, the Asser International Sports Law Centre, in collaboration with Dr Marjolaine Viret (University of Lausanne), is organising its fourth Zoom In webinar
on the recent developments arising from the decision of the Swiss
Federal Tribunal (SFT) in the case Caster Semenya v. International
Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics), delivered on
25 August 2020.
The participation of athletes with
biological sex differences to international competitions is one of the
most controversial issues in transnational sports law. In particular,
since 2019, Caster Semenya, an Olympic champion from South-Africa has
been challenging the World Athletics eligibility rules for Athletes with Differences of Sex Development
(DSD Regulation), which would currently bar her from accessing international competitions (such as the Tokyo Olympics) unless she accepts to undergo medical treatment aimed at
reducing her testosterone levels. In April 2019, the Court of
Arbitration for Sport rejected her challenge against the DSD Regulation
in a lengthy award.
In response, Caster Semenya and the South African Athletics Federation filed
an application to set aside the award before the Swiss Federal Tribunal.
In August 2020, the SFT released its decision rejecting Semenya’s challenge of the award (for an extensive commentary of the ruling see Marjolaine Viret’s article on the Asser International Sports Law Blog).
Recently, on 25 February 2021, Caster Semenya announced her decision to lodge an application
at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against Switzerland on
the basis of this judgment. In this context, we thought it important to
organise a Zoom In webinar around the decision of the SFT and
the pending case before the ECtHR. Indeed, should the ECtHR accept the
case, it will be in a position to provide a definitive assessment of the
human rights compatibility of the DSD Regulation. Moreover, this
decision could have important consequences on the role played by human
rights in the review of the private regulations and decisions of
international sports governing bodies.
Participation is free, register HERE.