Revitalising a phantom regime: the adjudication of human rights complaints in sport

Abstract

The protection of fundamental human rights in sport has increasingly been at the forefront of public consciousness over recent years. The response from the sport sector has been a number of measures that purport to bolster its own human rights credentials, with a number of key governing bodies taking steps to implement principles of international human rights law through soft regulation and institutional initiatives. With access to remedy representing a key pillar of human rights protections, however, the extent to which these measures can be enforced via third party adjudication is key to understanding the effectiveness of these developments. This article makes two key assertions. First, that the current system for adjudicating human rights complaints in sport lacks cohesion, effectiveness and credibility; it is consequently a ‘phantom regime’. Second, it will argue that the best means of addressing the accountability gap created by this phantom regime is through a closer alliance with principles of public international law—it will then proceed to examine the case for a specialist Court of Arbitration for Sport and Human Rights. In doing so, it will seek to emphasise the value of a functional adjudicatory system to the overall effectiveness of human rights protections in sport, and consider how best this objective might be achieved.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Human Rights Watch, Qatar: Take Urgent Action to Protect Construction Workers, 27 September 2017, https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/27/qatar-take-urgent-action-protect-construction-workers (Accessed 12 December 2018). Recent commitments by the Qatari organising committee to reimburse workers for recruitment fees paid under the much-criticised kafala system represent only a partial step towards remedy, and do not, for example, make provision for punitive damages or tackle liability for the hazardous conditions that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of migrant workers; Anthony Harwood, Qatar to pay back workers’ recruitment fees in $5 m restoration, 15 March 2018, http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/qatar-pay-back-workers-recruitment-fees-5m-restora/ (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  2. 2.

    Human Rights Watch, Russia: Forced Eviction Tramples Olympic Ideals, 19 September 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/09/19/russia-forced-eviction-tramples-olympic-ideals (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  3. 3.

    Human Rights Watch, Revoke Discriminatory Athletics Gender Regulations, 26 July 2018, https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/26/revoke-discriminatory-athletics-gender-regulations (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  4. 4.

    Foster (2003), p. 1.

  5. 5.

    Turley (2016), p. 146.

  6. 6.

    At this point it should be acknowledged that the primary concern of this article is to assess the availability of adjudication in its broadest sense, and not the distinction between different types of adjudication. In particular, arbitration and judicial settlement—two forms of dispute settlement that fundamentally involve the same processes, albeit carried out by bodies that are constituted differently—shall be treated as substantively equivalent for these purposes.

  7. 7.

    See Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and Article 2(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Bill of Rights, https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/compilation1.1en.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  8. 8.

    Human Rights Council A/HRC/17/31 (2011) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), commentary to Principle 26.

  9. 9.

    See, for example, Article 2(3)(b) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, which provides for determination by ‘competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities’.

  10. 10.

    See, for example, the London 2012 Grievance and Complaints Mechanisms; MSE Platform (2017) Remedy Mechanisms for Human Rights in the Sport Context, Sporting Chance White Paper 2.4, https://www.ihrb.org/uploads/reports/MSE_Platform%2C_Remedy_Mechanisms_for_Human_Rights_in_the_Sports_Context%2C_Jan-2017.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), pp. 26–27.

  11. 11.

    To continue the London 2012 case study, see, for example, the independent procedures established by the UK’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service; Acas (2013) 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: The Acas experience, http://m.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/l/j/2012-Olympics-and-Paralympics-Games-The-Acas-experience.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  12. 12.

    Simma and Alston (1988), p. 88.

  13. 13.

    Court of Arbitration for Sport (2017) Code of Sports-related Arbitration, http://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Code_2017_FINAL__en_.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), R28.

  14. 14.

    Ibid., R27.

  15. 15.

    International Olympic Committee (2017) Olympic Charter, https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/General/EN-Olympic-Charter.pdf#_ga=2.34495267.303852115.1538215685-1160790023.1538215685 (Accessed 12 December 2018), Rule 61(2).

  16. 16.

    FIFA (2018) FIFA Statutes, https://resources.fifa.com/image/upload/the-fifa-statutes-2018.pdf?cloudid=whhncbdzio03cuhmwfxa (Accessed 12 December 2018), Article 57(1).

  17. 17.

    UEFA (2018) UEFA Statutes https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/uefaorg/General/02/54/12/62/2541262_DOWNLOAD.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), Article 60.

  18. 18.

    IAAF (2017) 2017 Constitution, https://www.iaaf.org/about-iaaf/documents/constitution (Accessed 12 December 2018), Article 20(1); Casini (2012), p. 1322.

  19. 19.

    Julianne Hughes-Jennett and Alison Berthet, Arbitrating business and human rights disputes: uncharted territory, 30 August 2018, http://arbitrationblog.practicallaw.com/arbitrating-business-and-human-rights-disputes-uncharted-territory/ (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  20. 20.

    See Higgins (2007).

  21. 21.

    See Treves (2010).

  22. 22.

    Heerdt (2018), p. 10.

  23. 23.

    Droubi (2016), p. 140.

  24. 24.

    Gabrielle Holly, Access to Remedy Under the UNGPs: Vedanta and the Expansion of Parent Company Liability, 31 October 2017, https://www.ejiltalk.org/if-the-pleading-represents-the-actuality-vedanta-access-to-remedy-and-the-prospect-of-a-duty-of-care-owed-by-a-parent-company-to-those-affected-by-acts-of-subsidiaries/ (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  25. 25.

    CAS Code (n. 13), R27.

  26. 26.

    Discussed in more detail in Section 2.2.2.

  27. 27.

    CAS 2014/A/3759, Dutee Chand v. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) & The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Interim Arbitral Award of 24 July 2015, para. 115; see Nguyen (2018), pp. 72–73.

  28. 28.

    Official reporter of Decisions of the German Federal Court of Justice in Civil Matters (BGHZ), Claudia Pechstein v International Skating Union, 6 June 2016 (English translation), http://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Pechstein___ISU_translation_ENG_final.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  29. 29.

    Ruling of the Commercial Court of the Canton of Zurich, HG160261-O, 3 January 2017; Tomáš Grell, FIFA’s Responsibility for Human Rights Abuses in Qatar—Part II: The Zurich Court’s Ruling, 6 March 2017, http://www.asser.nl/SportsLaw/Blog/post/fifa-s-responsibility-for-human-rights-abuses-in-qatar-part-ii-the-zurich-court-s-ruling-by-tomas-grell (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  30. 30.

    Sections 190(2)(a–d) and 191, Swiss Private International Law Act.

  31. 31.

    See, for example, the different conclusions adopted by the English courts on tortious liability and the implications for access to remedy under the UNGPs; Kate Collister and Ian Jones, English courts’ jurisdiction still depends heavily on the relevant facts, 13 March 2018, http://risk.freshfields.com/post/102esdf/english-courts-jurisdiction-still-depends-heavily-on-the-relevant-facts (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  32. 32.

    John G. Ruggie (2016) ‘For the Game. For the World’. FIFA and Human Rights, https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/programs/cri/research/reports/report68 (Accessed 12 December 2018), p. 26.

  33. 33.

    See, for example, Hentschel and Stark v. Germany, no. 47274/15, 9 November 2017, where alleged violations of Article 3 of the ECHR centred on police treatment of two football supporters; and Ostendorf v Germany, no. 15598/08, 7 March 2013, alleging violation of Article 5 of the ECHR resulting from a football supporter’s pre-emptive detention to prevent participation in an organised riot.

  34. 34.

    Fédération Nationale des Syndicats Sportifs (FNASS) and Others v. France, nos. 48151/11 and 77769/13, 18 January 2018.

  35. 35.

    Affaire Mutu et Pechstein C. Suisse (Requêtes nos 40575/10 et 67474/10) (2018).

  36. 36.

    Ireland v the United Kingdom, no. 5310/71, 18 January 1978, Series A 25, para. 154; Guzzardi v Italy, no. 7367/76, 6 November 1980, Series A No 39, para. 86.

  37. 37.

    UNGPs (n. 8), commentary to principle 26.

  38. 38.

    Ibid.

  39. 39.

    Mitten (2014), pp. 42–43.

  40. 40.

    MSE Platform (n. 10), p. 13.

  41. 41.

    Antoine Duval, The FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players: Trans National Law Making in the Shadow of Bosman, 8 April 2016, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2760263 (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  42. 42.

    UNGPs (n. 8), commentary to principle 26.

  43. 43.

    Ravjani (2009), p. 253.

  44. 44.

    Carol L Roberts, Sylvia Schenk and Jacopo Tognon; see http://www.tas-cas.org/en/arbitration/list-of-arbitrators-general-list.html (Accessed 12 December 2018). There are a number of other arbitrators on the list with unquestionable human rights expertise who notably elect not to reference this on the CAS website (see, for example, Bruno Simma, former judge of the International Court of Justice). It should also be noted that ICAS, which oversees CAS operations, includes in Wilhelmina Thomassen a former judge of the ECtHR.

  45. 45.

    MSE Platform (n. 40), p. 11.

  46. 46.

    Ruggie (n. 32), p. 26.

  47. 47.

    Serby (2017), p. 2.

  48. 48.

    See, for example, Foster (2003) and de Oliveira (2017).

  49. 49.

    Ruggie (n. 32), p. 26.

  50. 50.

    Kane (2003), p. 614.

  51. 51.

    Gundel v Fédération Equestre Internationale (1993) 1 Digest of CAS Awards 561, 569-570. For more background on these steps see Kane (2003).

  52. 52.

    See the judgment of the Tribunal in CAS 2002/A/370 Lazutina v. IOC and CAS 2002/A/371 Danilova v. IOC, in which the Tribunal also noted that the IOC had lost one-third of the cases it had brought before CAS up to that point.

  53. 53.

    Černič (2014), p. 17.

  54. 54.

    Ibid., pp. 17 and 22.

  55. 55.

    Nick De Marco, The dichotomy and future of sports arbitration—Compelled consent, 20 July 2016, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/features/item/the-dichotomy-and-future-of-sports-arbitration-compelled-consent (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  56. 56.

    Mutu et Pechstein (n. 35).

  57. 57.

    Antoine Duval, The ‘Victory’ of the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the European Court of Human Rights: The End of the Beginning for the CAS, 10 October 2018, http://www.asser.nl/SportsLaw/Blog/post/the-victory-of-the-court-of-arbitration-for-sport-at-the-european-court-of-human-rights-the-end-of-the-beginning-for-the-cas (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  58. 58.

    See, for example, Articles 7 and 26 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

  59. 59.

    For a comparative analysis of fair trial systems outside of Europe, see Sulyok (2014).

  60. 60.

    Ruggie (n. 32), p. 26, as discussed in De Marco (n. 55).

  61. 61.

    CAS Code (n. 13), R45.

  62. 62.

    Article 32(1) of the ECHR.

  63. 63.

    On the applicability of Article 6 of the ECHR to CAS, see Haas (2012); on the applicability of the lex sportiva in civil disputes, see generally de Oliveira (2017).

  64. 64.

    See, for example, Chapter 2 of Haas (2013) on the philosophical foundations of human rights, and Part II of Shelton (2013) on relevant historical and legal sources.

  65. 65.

    Sir Michael Wood (2016) Customary International Law and Human Rights. AEL 2016/03 Academy of European Law Distinguished Lectures of the Academy, http://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/44445/AEL_2016_03.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y (Accessed 12 December 2018), pp. 2–3.

  66. 66.

    International Law Commission (2016) Chapter V of the Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-first Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/71/10), http://legal.un.org/docs/?path=../ilc/reports/2016/english/chp5.pdf&lang=EFSRAC (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  67. 67.

    For further discussion on the decline of the nation state see Nilüfer Karacasulu Göksel (Undated) Globalisation and the State, http://sam.gov.tr/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/1.-NiluferKaracasuluGoksel.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  68. 68.

    Droubi (2016), p. 121.

  69. 69.

    Kinley and Tadaki (2003–2004), pp. 944–947.

  70. 70.

    Ssenyonjo (2008), p. 726.

  71. 71.

    Nolan (2014), p. 12.

  72. 72.

    Amnesty International (2014) Rana Plaza disaster: The unholy alliance of business and government in Bangladesh, and around the world, https://www.amnesty.ca/blog/rana-plaza-disaster-the-unholy-alliance-of-business-and-government-in-bangladesh-and-around-the (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  73. 73.

    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2000) Business and Human Rights: A Progress Report, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/BusinessHRen.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), pp. 4–5.

  74. 74.

    Nolan (2014), pp. 8–9.

  75. 75.

    Peter Utting (2005) Rethinking Business Regulation: From Self-Regulation to Social Control, http://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/httpNetITFramePDF?ReadForm&parentunid=F02AC3DB0ED406E0C12570A10029BEC8&parentdoctype=paper&netitpath=80256B3C005BCCF9/(httpAuxPages)/F02AC3DB0ED406E0C12570A10029BEC8/$file/utting.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), p. 1.

  76. 76.

    Commonwealth Games Federation (2017) Commonwealth Games Federation Human Rights Policy Statement https://thecgf.com/sites/default/files/2018-03/CGF-Human-Rights-Policy-Statement-17-10-05.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), p. 1.

  77. 77.

    International Olympic Committee (2017) Host City Contract Principles Games Of The XXXIV Olympiad in 2024, https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/Documents/Host-City-Elections/XXXIII-Olympiad-2024/Host-City-Contract-2024-Principles.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), Section 13.2b.

  78. 78.

    UEFA (2017) UEFA EURO 2024—Bid Dossier Template https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/OfficialDocument/uefaorg/Regulations/02/46/30/63/2463063_DOWNLOAD.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), question 18, p. 5.

  79. 79.

    FIFA (2017) FIFA Regulations for the Selection of the Venue for the Final Competition of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, https://img.fifa.com/image/upload/stwvxqphxp3o96jxwqor.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018), Section 8.1(ii).

  80. 80.

    FIFA (2017) FIFA’s Human Rights Policy https://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/footballgovernance/02/89/33/12/fifashumanrightspolicy_neutral.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  81. 81.

    Institute for Human Rights and Business, 11 White Papers Published on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights, 31 January 2017, https://www.ihrb.org/news-events/news-events/sporting-chance-white-papers (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  82. 82.

    MSE Platform for Human Rights, Joint Statement: Diverse Coalition Commits to Establishing Centre for Sport and Human Rights in 2018, 30 November 2017, https://www.ihrb.org/uploads/news-uploads/Centre_for_Sport_and_Human_Rights_-_Joint_Statement_-_Eng.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  83. 83.

    World Players Association, World Players Association launches Universal Declaration of Player Rights, 14 December 2017 https://www.uniglobalunion.org/news/world-players-association-launches-universal-declaration-player-rights (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  84. 84.

    Grell (n. 29).

  85. 85.

    Heerdt (2018), p. 7.

  86. 86.

    Rob Harris, Morocco World Cup Bid Masks Homosexuality Ban, 17 April 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-16/morocco-masks-homosexuality-ban-in-world-cup-bid-submission (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  87. 87.

    FIFA (2018) Bid Evaluation Report—2026 FIFA World Cup, https://resources.fifa.com/image/upload/bid-evaluation-report-2026-fifa-world-cuptm.pdf?cloudid=ir3g14juxglqbbteevvf (Accessed 12 December 2018), p. 107.

  88. 88.

    Kinley and Tadaki (2003–2004), p. 958.

  89. 89.

    Wettstein (2015), pp. 165–166.

  90. 90.

    See, for example, the English line of administrative law jurisprudence reflected in the dicta of Lord Hoffman in R v Jockey Club ex parte Aga Khan [1993] 2 All ER 853.

  91. 91.

    Ravjani (2009), p. 254.

  92. 92.

    Liu (2007), p. 224.

  93. 93.

    Amnesty International (2018) Russian Federation 2017/18 https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/russian-federation/report-russian-federation/ (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  94. 94.

    Cathal Kelly, Russia’s World Cup and sport’s capacity for image rehabilitation, 13 July 2018, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/article-russias-world-cup-and-sports-capacity-for-image-rehabilitation/ (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  95. 95.

    Mitten (2014), p. 2.

  96. 96.

    Byrnes (2016), p. 103.

  97. 97.

    Fischer-Lescano and Teubner (2004), p. 1010–1011.

  98. 98.

    Ruggie (n. 32), p. 26.

  99. 99.

    Sebastian Besson and others, International Sports Arbitration, 16 October 2015, https://globalarbitrationreview.com/insight/the-european-middle-eastern-and-african-arbitration-review-2016/1036935/international-sports-arbitration (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  100. 100.

    Statement of the CAS on the decision made by the European Court of Human Rights in the case between Claudia Pechstein/Adrian Mutu and Switzerland, 2 October 2018, http://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Media_Release_Mutu_Pechstein_ECHR.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  101. 101.

    Turley (2016), pp. 160–165.

  102. 102.

    Ibid., p. 160.

  103. 103.

    Ibid., p. 162.

  104. 104.

    Ibid., p. 163.

  105. 105.

    Simma and Alston (1988), p. 107.

  106. 106.

    John G. Ruggie, A UN Business and Human Rights Treaty? An Issues Brief, 28 January 2014, https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/CSRI/UNBusinessandHumanRightsTreaty.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  107. 107.

    For more background on the Part XV dispute settlement regime under UNCLOS, see Rayfuse (2005).

  108. 108.

    Arbitration Rules applicable to the CAS ad hoc division for the Olympic Games, http://www.tas-cas.org/en/arbitration/ad-hoc-division.html (Accessed 12 December 2018).

  109. 109.

    Casini (2012), p. 1340.

  110. 110.

    Turley (2016), pp. 163–164.

  111. 111.

    UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (2017) Reflections on the theme of the 2017 Forum on Business and Human Rights, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Business/ForumSession6/ExplainingThemeLaunchingBlog.pdf (Accessed 12 December 2018).

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West, D. Revitalising a phantom regime: the adjudication of human rights complaints in sport. Int Sports Law J 19, 2–17 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40318-019-00147-6

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Keywords

  • Human rights
  • Access to remedy
  • Adjudication
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
  • Judicial remedy
  • International courts and tribunals
  • Public international law
  • United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs)