Handbook on International Sports Law
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Handbook on International Sports Law

Edited by James A.R. Nafziger and Stephen F. Ross

This Handbook presents a comprehensive collection of essays by leading scholars and practitioners in the burgeoning field of international sports law.
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Chapter 2: The Court of Arbitration for Sport

Richard H. McLaren


Richard H. McLaren 1. OVERVIEW OF CAS In the early 1980s, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) perceived the need for an adjudicative tribunal that would be independent from international sports federations and capable of resolving international sports-related disputes. As IOC president H.E. Juan Antonio Samaranch described it, there was a need for ‘a supreme court of world sport.’1 Growing commercialization and globalization of sport meant sports-related disputes were becoming increasingly common and of a larger scale than previously seen. No one wanted to resolve such disputes in the opposite party’s national legal system. The uniqueness of each nation and sport, with diverse rules, legal systems, opinions, principles and philosophies of law, and goals, made it a Herculean feat to create a dispute resolution system that would be fair to all parties involved. Elite sport played at the global level depends upon nationalism, pride of spirit, and the sheer excitement of competition to support its ever-increasing popularity. The fleeting nature of sport makes expeditious, impartial, and independent dispute resolution essential to the continuing prosperity and growth of elite sport. These forces came together in the international world of sport and forced recognition of the need for a unifying body to assist in the development of sporting law principles. Such a body would ensure fairness and integrity in sport through sound legal control and the harmonization of diverse laws and reconciliation of differing philosophies. This was the challenge that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) faced from the outset. This chapter...

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