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

Gates of the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Thursday, 04 July 2019 By Rustam Sethna

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”.

  • Contents:
    • 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

Chinese language version now available:

We would like to thank Yang Nan, a graduate student majoring in International Law from Kenneth Wang School of Law, Soochow University, for translating this article into Chinese.  We would also like to thank Guo Cai for her contribution reviewing the article.  click here to access the full translated article. 



发表日期 2019年7月4日 作者:Rustam Sethna

本报告的焦点在于剖析国际体育仲裁院(Court of Arbitration for Sport ,简称CAS)的DNA,关注那些推动体育法律体系(或者全球体育法)不断演变的个人,即,封闭名单上的仲裁员。

作为CAS的主要特征之一,这份“封闭名单”实际上比理论上更加具有排他性,公开可获得的数据表明CAS似乎可以称为“老男孩俱乐部”(old boys club)。作者在下文将对于这些数据反映的更大的市场和社会议题背后的充分原因进行讨论。


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Written by

Rustam Sethna

Rustam Sethna

Rustam is an Associate on the sports law team at Mills & Reeve LLP, focusing on sports disputes and regulatory matters. He holds a master’s in International Sports Law from ISDE (Madrid) and is also a member of the Disciplinary Panel at England Boxing and the Anti-Doping Committee at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.
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