We had a great discussion on the autonomy of sports associations in Switzerland with Prof. Margareta Baddeley, Vice-Rector of the University of Geneva. Prof. Baddeley was one of the first professors to have published on the law of sports associations in Switzerland. Many thanks to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for hosting our event and supporting our initiative!
The Swiss law of associations plays a major law in international sports law since the vast majority of international sports federations are based in Switzerland and are associations within the meaning of Art. 60 ff. of the Swiss Civil Code. Prof. Baddeley explained the pyramidal structure of the system, with the local associations (e.g. clubs) being regularly members of one cantonal association which, in turn, is member of one federal association. On the top of the pyramid, one global international body exists except for very few sports with more than one international governing body. As associations registered in Switzerland, international federations are subject to Swiss law, which provides for a very liberal legal framework for associations and a great degree of autonomy of the associations to issue and apply rules, not only based on the liberal rules themselves and the liberal interpretation of the rules by the Swiss courts, but also by the liberal stance on arbitration in general.
WISLaw members discussed the scope and the limits of the autonomy of associations, in particular when it comes to sanctions imposed by sports associations on their members for doping and non-doping disciplinary sanctions.
Our WISLaw talks are small-scale educational & networking events that are held in different parts of the world. Both women and men are welcome to attend (subject to space availability)! Join WISLaw and let us grow!