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Sports Law at ASSER Institute

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Is Sport Playing by the Rule of Law?

A Summer Programme by The ASSER Instituut

 By Oskar Van Maren & Antoine Duval.

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut, located in The Hague, is an inter-university institute specialised in international law. It conduces academic research of interdisciplinary as well as comparative nature, covering amongst others international and European sports law. The ASSER International Sports Law Centre (AISLC) was founded within the framework of the Instituut in 2002. It is one of the few academic institutions specialised in transnational sports law in Europe. The Centre’s activities include fundamental research, applied (contract) research, such as reports and studies for the European Commission or the Dutch government, consultancy and legal advice, publications, and the organisation of events. The Centre has recently stepped up its activities on social media, and provides daily newsflashes on sports law via its twitter account: @sportslaw_asser. We have also launched a new International Sports Law Blog on which we offer short commentaries on various transnational sports law subjects (e.g. Financial Fair Play, FIFA Governance or Olympic Agenda 2020).ASSER.PROFESSOR

From 30 June to 4 July 2014, we hosted our second Summer Programme on International Sports Law. We welcomed 17 participants from all around the world for a week of lectures, workshops, debates and moot courts. The programme covered issues relating to doping, match-fixing, broadcasting rights, sports arbitration, EU free movement rights of athletes, social dialogue in sport, tax law and sport and the good governance of sport. A number of speakers were seasoned academics, though we carefully balanced the line-up by including a trade unionist, an EU Commission official, a Sports Governing Bodies representative, a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) arbitrator and a range of practising sports lawyers.

The programme kicked-off on Monday morning with a very special keynote lecture by FIFA Presidential Candidate Jérôme Champagne. Champagne, an experienced diplomat and ex-FIFA official, outlined his views for FIFA’s future, offering a passionate plea for a better redistribution of football’s large financial resources and a democratisation of its “Government”. It was an opportunity for our students to engage directly with someone closely involved in the governance of the beautiful game. Many questions, and criticisms, were raised and Champagne was very willing to give his, at times controversial, point of view on most of them. Our aim was to bring FIFA, and more widely the world of Sports Governing Bodies, to our students and we feel we have very much succeeded in offering a useful glimpse at it.ASSER.STUDENTS

Over the next five days our participants faced a dense academic programme, while also getting to know The Hague and its diplomatic circles. Indeed, they sat in a number of lectures, but they also participated in a mock arbitration trial in front of a CAS panel (headed by a CAS arbitrator), had the opportunity to debate the (good and/or bad) state of sport’s governance with stakeholders, and learned directly from the pros how match-fixing is combatted in real life. Thus, this Summer Programme is not solely about grasping the legal subtleties of International Sports Law; it also aims at fleshing out this legal reality with practical insights 

Our participants had very different backgrounds, but as from now on they have one thing in common: a good grasp of the way International Sports Law operates and we are very proud of it.

If you wish to find out more about the Summer Programme or future events organised by the ASSER International Sports Law Centre we encourage you to visit our website, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on twitter.

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