01 January 2019

From this year on, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS) and the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) have been working on the updated version of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration. As before, the Code consists of two parts – the Statutes of the Bodies Working for the Settlement of Sports-Related Disputes and the Procedural Rules.

The main innovation of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration 2019 (CSA 2019) is the creation of an Anti-doping Division with its President, who is a member of the ICAS, and the creation by the CAS of three commissions – the CAS Membership Commission, the Legal Aid Commission and the Challenge Commission. The Anti-doping Division specializes in the resolution of anti-doping cases as a first-instance authority or as a sole instance. Like the other two divisions, the Anti-doping Division acts as the appointing authority for the formation of the court. The CAS Anti-Doping Division must consider the relevant cases on the basis of the Arbitration Rules for the CAS Anti-doping Division and the Division has its own Office.

The CAS Membership Commission consists of two members of the ICAS, the chairman of the commission is appointed by the three Division Presidents. The commission’s competence includes the appointment of new arbitrators and mediators of the CAS, as well as their removal from the CAS lists.

The Legal Aid Commission, composed of the ICAS President as commission chair and by the four ICAS Members, shall deal with the allocation of legal aid pursuant to the Guidelines on Legal Aid.

The Challenge Commission, composed of an ICAS Member to be appointed from outside the IOC, IFs and ANOC selection and membership and who shall act as commission chair, and by the 3 Division Presidents, less the President of the Division concerned by the specific procedure for challenge, who is automatically disqualified. Previously, the functions of the body considering the challenge were carried out by the Bureau of the ICAS or ICAS as such.

The new version of the CSA clarified the period during which it is possible to appeal the award of the CAS to the Supreme Court of Switzerland – now it is 30 days from the notification of the award by mail or courier. The previous version as the starting point for the appeal period indicated the delivery of the “original” award, which raised questions in practice, since the award was usually sent to the parties by email.

The CSA 2019 reduces the level of confidentiality of the proceedings. Article R57 is supplemented by a provision according to which, at the request of a physical person, who is party to the proceedings, a disciplinary matter can be held in public. Such request may however be denied in the following cases, based on the interests of: 1) morals; 2) public order; 3) protection of the rights of minors; 4) protection of the private life of the parties; 5) when publicity prejudices the interests of justice; 6) where the proceedings are exclusively related to questions of law; 7) where a hearing held in first instance was already public.

The norm of Article R65.1 is clarified, according to which it is impossible to appeal to the CAS against decisions of sports organizations related to sanctions imposed as a consequence of a dispute of an economic nature.