A data analysis of the arbitrators, cases and sports at the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Published 04 July 2019 By: Rustam Sethna

Gates of the Court of Arbitration for Sport

The focus of this report (Report) is to dissect the DNA of the CAS and look at the individuals responsible for the constantly evolving body of sports law (or lex sportiva) jurisprudence; namely, the closed list of arbitrators.

As one of the defining features of the CAS, the “closed list” is, in reality, more exclusive than in theory, with publicly available data pointing towards an “old boys club1 of sorts, though as the author discusses below there may be good reasons for what the data shows that reflect greater market and societal issues.

As will be seen from the analysis, the lingering question is whether diversity – be it age, gender or geography - among arbitrators can and ought to be compromised in the face of the “specificity of sport”.


  • Introduction

  • Method and qualifications

  • Analysis:

  • Arbitrators

    • Representation by region:

    • Representation by nationality

    • Gender

    • Age

      • Range

      • Mean and mode

      • Age brackets

    • Appearances (published decisions)

    • The unappointed arbitrators (published decisions)

    • Legal tradition

  • Sports

  • Cases

    • Nature of dispute

    • Nature of Procedure

    • Case outcome

    • Subsequent appeals and their outcome

  • Conclusions and recommendations


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Rustam Sethna

Rustam Sethna

Rustam is an Indian qualified lawyer and sports law paralegal at Mills & Reeve, Manchester. He has recently completed a Master’s degree in International Sports Law from Instituo Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE), Madrid (2018 edition) and has previously gained 3 PQE as an Associate with AZB & Partners, one of India’s leading full-service law firms.

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