Open justice - why sports arbitration awards should be made public
“The public has a genuine right to know that it's happening, what the outcome is, and the reasons for that outcome.”
The Rt. Hon. Lord Dyson
Recently, I had the pleasure and privilege of interview Lord Dyson, former Master of the Rolls (President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Head of Civil Justice) and former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, for the LawInSport podcast. He is described as “one of the leading lawyers of his generation”, and therefore it is worth taking note when he speaks on legal matters. Lord Dyson’s achievements are notable and could be—and in fact are—the subject of a book.
Whilst the interview covered a range of topics one point stood out: the need for open justice in sports arbitration. Having started LawInSport 10 years ago with the aim of creating more transparency in the sports and legal sector, this resonated with me strongly, and it is a point I believe is worthy of consideration further.
For background, Lord Dyson chaired of the disciplinary panel which decided the well-publicised Premiership Rugby v Saracens Rugby Club Salary Cap dispute case (see this article). While at the time of this interview the full award had not been published, it has subsequently been published in full.
In this article, we highlight the key points Lord Dyson made on open justice in sports arbitration. We hope it will be provocative and helpful to those working in sports organisations, their athletes, lawyers and hopefully the fans of sport.
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Sean is the founder and CEO of LawInSport. Founded in 2010, LawInSport has become the "go to sports law website" for sports lawyers and sports executives across the world.