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Indonesian Seminar on Sports Law

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By Prof. Dr. Ben Van Rompuy.

The Ministry of Sport and Youth of Indonesia invited Prof. Dr. Ben Van Rompuy, senior researcher International and European sports law at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut (The Hague), as the external expert for its National Seminar on the Development of Indonesian Sports Law.

The Seminar, which took place in Jakarta on 25 November 2013, gathered a wide range of stakeholders (sports governing bodies, academics, sports industry representatives, and government officials) to discuss various challenges related to the implementation of Act No 3/2005 on the National Sports System. Overlapping functions, bias of authority, and conflict of norms have been frustrating the effective enforcement of the Act.

In a presentation entitled “The function and role of the State in sports governance: a model of conditional autonomy”, Ben Van Rompuy discussed contemporary international and European developments in the area of sports law, highlighting lessens that could be learned from practical experiences with e.g. arbitration and alternative dispute resolution in sport. He stressed the emergence of the concept of “conditional autonomy” in Europe: while the autonomy of sport must be respected, the sports world has come to realize that it comes with certain limits and obligations (such as compliance with principles of good governance). In Europe, Indonesia, and elsewhere it is important that sports governing bodies and governments engage in dialogue and develop effective working relationships while recognizing their respective roles and competences.

The Seminar concluded with the formulation of a set of concrete recommendations and action points to further the development of Indonesian sports law, such as:

–          the amendment of several ambiguous provisions of the Sports Act so as to better articulate the responsibilities of the various stakeholders;

–          the development of robust and impartial (internal) mechanisms for dispute resolution that deliver cost effective and swift resolutions;

–          the inclusion of a chapter on sports law in the National Plan of Empowerment of the Indonesian Legal System, which would strengthen the funding and strategic development of sports policies and programs;

–          the establishment of a national sports law research center to build up and consolidate a scientific knowledge base and to raise awareness of sports law.


Secretary for the Youth and Sports Ministry, Ms. Yuli Mumpuni Widarso, who closed the Seminar, expressed the determination to collaborate closely with the T.M.C. Asser Instituut /Asser International Sports Law Centre in The Hague to inform and support the upcoming initiatives to increase the legal foundation and good governance of Indonesian sport.

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