April 25, 2014
KLRCA Talk Series : New Frontiers in Sports Arbitration
KLRCA hosted its second Talk Series for the month of April 2014 with a session dedicated to the special interest of the legal-sporting fraternity. The talk titled “New Frontiers in Sports Arbitration” was headed by Mr Paul Hayes. Paul who is the Founding Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Journal (CCH Australia) was appointed in 2013 as Honorary Counsel for Sports Arbitration to the KLRCA. He is currently a member of 39 Essex Street (London, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore) and also practices in Australia as a member of Dever’s List (Melbourne)
Highly decorated Vice President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), Dato’ Low Beng Choo was in attendance to moderate this interactive talk session. Paul got the ball rolling by sharing with attendees the genesis of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that was founded in 1984, three years after the idea of an international sports tribunal was conceived in 1981 by the IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch. He went on to further explain how it was predominantly used for Olympic sports during the early days and took the attendees through the ‘Legal Structure of International [Olympic] Sport’. This was followed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)’s history, jurisdiction, structure and core procedures. It was remarkable to see how far CAS has grown over the past 30 years; from handling 2 cases in 1986 to a whopping 374 cases in 2012.
The energetic Paul captured the crowd’s attention further by introducing six new frontier salient points; 1)Sports Integrity, 2)Enforceability of CAS Awards, 3)An accessible core of sports jurisprudence: lex sportive, 4)Increased international sports regulation (ie: WADC 2015), 5)More commercial sports arbitration and 6)The evolution of the CAS into an appellate tribunal. Upon a thorough breakdown on all six points, Dato’ Low opened the floor for questions. This session was dominated by queries declaring interest on empowering the younger crop of legal counsels currently dabbling with sports related industries in the country on taking the step up towards being the pioneers of sports arbitration in Malaysia. It was encouraging to witness the interest garnered on the subject matter over the two hour talk session.
The insightful session drew to a close with Paul reiterating the enormous potential of the sports arbitration scene, with global sports revenue in 2015 estimated to be topping the USD 145 billion mark. Sport’s biggest growth market (participants and sports-business) is Asia and with all the right tools, support and guidance for key stakeholders from within the country would provide the right platform for Malaysia to be a regional sports arbitration leader. The next ‘Sports Arbitration Talk’ in affiliation with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) is scheduled to take place on 22nd May 2014.