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Pitfalls Of Sports Federations Playing Judge, Jury & Executioner - A Review Of Turk V FIM

Motorbike Racer
Wednesday, 02 February 2022 By Joel Wallace

Fairness, inclusion, unity and transparency” are a declared part of The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’s (FIM) values.1 Motorcycling’s international governing body is not novel in its ideals; the declaration reflects, for instance, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance namely, transparency, responsibility and accountability.2

Whilst no organisation is perfect in its application of such values, the case of Mr Michel Turk is particularly concerning. Mr Turk’s sanction for alleged misconduct included an eight-year ban from all motorcycling-related activity in circumstances where he was not given a sufficient opportunity to defend his case and where he had breached no ethical or disciplinary policy. The CAS award in Turk v The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme CAS 2020/A/7220 will undoubtedly give FIM and other regulators pause for thought.

A copy of the award can be found here3. The central theme considers the limits on the powers of a governing body when acting as prosecution, judge, jury and executioner.

The author is a member of Littleton Chambers from which John Mehrzad QC, leading Lydia Banerjee represented the successful appellant.

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Joel Wallace

Joel Wallace

Joel is a barrister at Littleton's Chambers. Joel’s style and approach sets him apart. Professional clients say that he has an ability to develop, deploy and fine-tune novel solutions, often borne of a deep review of the prevailing legislation, case law or rules of procedure. It is this ability to develop legal arguments that enables Joel to offer solutions in seemingly difficult circumstances.

A keen advocate and trial strategist, Joel’s continually expanding employment practice includes representing leading national and regional firms, ‘household name’ clients in several sectors, and private individuals. Similarly, in the commercial arena, he is called upon by leading national and international businesses alike.

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