Skip to main content

To what extent is the law of the Olympics constitutionalised? A global constitutionalist reading of the International Olympic Committee

Abstract

This study aims to examine the legal order of the Olympics by providing a comprehensive but self-limited literature on global constitutionalism. It provides a thorough understanding of the varied perspectives of global constitutionalism, by presenting a rich seam of a combination of the different global constitutionalist stances that are grouped by similarities concerning their line of thought. By focusing on the representative of various camps of global constitutionalism, the study applies these perspectives to the system of the Olympic Movement prescribed by the Olympic Charter. The study, initially, has the purpose of presenting the perspectives of prominent global constitutionalist scholars in relation to the main discussion points of global constitutionalism. After establishing the meaning and requisites of a global constitutionalist order, its ultimate aim is to provide the constitutionalist reading of the law of the Olympics concerning its legal framework and actors and determine the extent of constitutionalisation of the Olympic Movement.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Availability of data and material

Not applicable.

Code availability

Not applicable.

Notes

  1. See Duval (2018) for application of Gunther Teubner's societal constitutionalism theory on the law of the Olympics.

  2. The Olympic Charter, The International Olympic Committee, Rule 1. https://stillmed.olympics.com/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/General/EN-Olympic-Charter.pdf?_ga=2.17847353.1293105462.1630917830-547098828.1630820900. Accessed 5 September 2021. [hereinafter The Olympic Charter].

  3. For a comprehensive perspective on the predominant visions of global constitutionalism, see O’Donoghue (2014); Schwöbel (2010).

  4. Peters (2006), p. 581; Peters and Armingeon (2009), p. 387. The definition of the term constitution by Emer de Vattel of 1758 was as follows: “The fundamental law which determines the manner in which the public authority is to be exercised is what forms the constitution of the State”. Also see Peters (2009), p. 402.

  5. Peters (2006), p. 581.

  6. Peters (2006), p. 582.

  7. Peters and Armingeon (2009), p. 387.

  8. Peters (2006), p. 599.

  9. Ibid, p. 582.

  10. Ibid, p. 600.

  11. Ibid, p. 601.

  12. Ibid, p. 583. Peters exemplifies these principles as rule of law, checks and balances, human rights protection and democracy.

  13. de Wet (2006a).

  14. Ibid, p. 53; de Wet (2006b), p. 612.

  15. de Wet (2006b), p. 612.

  16. de Wet (2006a), p. 51.

  17. Kumm (2013), p. 611.

  18. Ibid, p. 609.

  19. Kumm (2004), p. 909.

  20. Ibid, p. 920.

  21. Ibid, p. 921–922.

  22. Ibid, p. 926.

  23. Ibid, p. 917,927.

  24. Fassbender (2009), p. 59.

  25. Ibid, p. 61.

  26. Fassbender (2016), p. 490.

  27. Ibid, p. 510.

  28. Fassbender (2008), p. 275.

  29. Walker (2002), p. 340.

  30. Walker (2012), pp. 300–303.

  31. Ibid, p. 296.

  32. Ibid, p. 296.

  33. Teubner (2012a), p. 3.

  34. Ibid, p. 1; Teubner (2012b), p. 328.

  35. Teubner (2012a), p. 74.

  36. Ibid.

  37. Ibid.

  38. Ibid, p. 75.

  39. Ibid.

  40. Milewicz (2009), p. 423.

  41. Peters (2006), p. 404.

  42. Peters (2006), p. 601; Peters (2005), p. 64.

  43. Peters (2006), p. 602.

  44. Ibid.

  45. Ibid, pp. 594–595.

  46. Schwöbel (2010), p. 618.

  47. Slaughter (2004), p. 5.

  48. Ibid, p. 14.

  49. Ibid, p. 13.

  50. Ibid, pp. 132,145.

  51. Walker (2002).

  52. Ibid, p. 319.

  53. Ibid, pp. 338–339.

  54. Ibid, pp. 339–340.

  55. Ibid, p. 340.

  56. Ibid.

  57. Teubner (2012a), p. 8.

  58. Ibid, p. 13.

  59. Teubner (2012b), p. 329.

  60. Ibid, p. 331.

  61. Ibid.

  62. Ibid, p. 333.

  63. Ibid, p. 334.

  64. Habermas (2015), p. 398.

  65. Habermas 2008a, p. 449.

  66. Ibid.

  67. Habermas (2008b), pp. 312–352, 322–323.

  68. Fassbender (2009), p. 4.

  69. Ibid, p. 75.

  70. Ibid, p. 76; U.N. Charter https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text. Accessed on 5 September 2021.

  71. Fassbender (2008), p. 283.

  72. Ibid, p. 284.

  73. Fassbender (2009), p. 170.

  74. Klabbers et al. (2009), p. 37.

  75. Habermas (2008a), pp. 444–445.

  76. Habermas (2015), p. 64; Habermas (2008a), p. 65; Habermas (2006), pp. 134, 137; Habermas (2008b), p. 67.

  77. Habermas (2008a), pp. 448-449.

  78. Habermas (2006), p. 141.

  79. Habermas (2015), p. 398.

  80. Habermas (2006), p. 141.

  81. Ibid.

  82. Habermas (2008a), pp. 448.

  83. Ibid.

  84. Ibid.

  85. Habermas (2006), p. 176.

  86. Kumm (2013), p. 907.

  87. Kumm (2016), p. 703.

  88. Ibid, p. 704.

  89. Ibid.

  90. Kumm (2013), p. 613; Kumm (2004), p. 917.

  91. Klabbers et al. (2009), p. 338.

  92. Peters (2006), p. 586; Peters (2005), p. 49.

  93. Peters (2006), p. 586; Peters (2005), p. 49.

  94. Peters (2006), pp. 586–587.

  95. Ibid, p. 593.

  96. Klabbers et al. (2009), p. 341.

  97. de Wet (2006a), p. 71.

  98. Ibid, p. 73.

  99. Ibid, p. 71.

  100. Ibid, pp. 73–74.

  101. Bodansky (2009), p. 582.

  102. Bodansky (2008), p. 600.

  103. Ibid, p. 601.

  104. Ibid, p. 620.

  105. Bodansky (2009), p. 583; Bodansky (2008), p. 613.

  106. Bodansky (2008), p. 614.

  107. Ibid, p. 623.

  108. Petersmann (1996), p. 436.

  109. Ibid.

  110. Ibid, p. 437.

  111. Ibid, p. 439.

  112. Petersmann (2000), p. 24.

  113. The International Olympic Committee, Olympic Movement, https://olympics.com/ioc/olympic-movement. Accessed 5 September 2021.

  114. Chappelet and Kübler-Mabbott (2008), p. 20.

  115. Ibid.

  116. The Olympic Charter, Rule 1.

  117. The Olympic Charter, Rule 1.

  118. The Olympic Charter, Rule 1.

  119. Peters (2006), p. 601; Peters (2005), p. 64; Slaughter (2004), pp. 5,13,14,132,145.

  120. de Wet (2006b), p. 612.

  121. Duval (2018), p. 246; Postlethwaite (2014), p. 264; Faut (2014), p. 253; Chappelet and Kübler-Mabbott (2008), p. 109.

  122. Walker (2012), p. 301.

  123. Peters (2006), p. 601.

  124. Peters (2017), p. 673.

  125. Slaughter (2004), p. 132.

  126. Teubner (2012b), p. 332; Teubner (2012a), p. 9.

  127. For the wide understanding of the concept “polity”, see Teubner (2012b), p. 333.

  128. Fassbender (2009), p. 170.

  129. Habermas (2006), p. 176.

  130. Ibid.

  131. The Olympic Charter, Rule 1.

  132. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16.

  133. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16.1.1.1.

  134. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16.1.1.2.

  135. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16 1.1.3.

  136. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16.1.2.

  137. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16.1.4.

  138. The Olympic Charter, Rule 16.1.5.

  139. The Olympic Charter, Rule 18.

  140. The Olympic Charter, Rule 18.3.

  141. The Olympic Charter, Rule 19.3.

  142. The Olympic Charter, Rule 21.

  143. Id.

  144. The Olympic Charter, Rule 59.

  145. The Olympic Charter, Rule 61.

  146. The Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles of Olympism 1.

  147. Peters (2005), p. 49; Peters (2006), p. 586.

  148. de Wet (2006a), p. 71.

  149. Petersmann (1996), p. 440.

  150. Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration, International Olympic Committee, 133th Session, 9 October 2018. https://olympics.com/athlete365?attachment_id=2495. Accessed on 5 September 2021.

  151. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217 (III) A, U.N. Doc. A/RES/217(III) (10 December 1948). https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights. Accessed on 5 September 2021.

  152. For evaluation of the extent of realisation of values within the Olympic system, see Schwab (2018), pp. 170-207; Postlethwaite (2014); Lindholm (2017); Faut (2014); Grell (2018).

  153. The Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles of Olympism 2.

  154. Bodansky (2009), p. 571.

  155. Postlethwaite and Grix (2016), p. 302.

  156. The Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles of Olympism 7.

  157. See e.g., Türkiye Milli Olimpiyat Komitesi Tüzüğü [Turkish NOC By-Laws], art. 4. https://www.olimpiyatkomitesi.org.tr/Upload/Menu/812495_tuzuk.pdf. Accessed on 5 September 2021.

  158. See e.g. Les statuts du Comité national olympique et sportif français [French NOC Statute], art. 2. https://cnosf.franceolympique.com/cnosf/fichiers/File/CNOSF_Juridique/CNOSF_Statuts_et_Administratif/2017statuts_cnosf.pdf. Accessed on 5 September 2021; Bylaws of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, sect. 1.4. https://www.teamusa.org/-/media/About-the-USOC/Board-Docs/062920-USOPC-Bylaws-Effective-June-18-2020-FINALua.pdf?la=en&hash=016021AE3E3DC64EF1D345D3ADF9B66301C8A9DE. Accessed on 5 September 2021.

  159. Duval (2018), p. 251.

  160. See, e.g., Turkish NOC By-Laws, art. 6; French NOC Statute, art. 3; Bylaws of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, sect. 3.2.

  161. Peters (2006), p. 601; Peters (2005), p. 64.

  162. Slaughter (2004), pp. 132,145.

  163. de Wet (2006a), p. 53; de Wet (2006b), p. 612.

  164. Peters (2006), p. 586.

  165. The International Olympic Committee, Olympic Agenda, https://www.olympic.org/olympic-agenda-2020. Accessed 5 September 2021.

  166. Swedish National Olympic Committee (SNOC) and Ara Abrahamian v. Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées (FILA) & others, CAS ad hoc Division (OG Beijing) Award No. 08/007, para 19 (23 August 2008).

  167. See, e.g., Amadou Diakite v. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), CAS Award No. 2011/A/2433, para 59-61 (8 March 2012) [hereinafter Amadou Diakite v. FIFA] and Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) v. International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), CAS Award No. 2017/A/5127, para 80 (Dec. 18, 2017). Although these awards were not delivered by the ad hoc Division of the CAS, they are still relevant in the sense that the CAS is still the main judicial organ.

  168. Stone Sweet and Mathews (2008), p. 73.

  169. Peters (2006), p. 596; Peters and Armingeon (2009), p. 388; Klabbers et al. (2009), p. 35; Duval (2013), p. 839.

  170. Stone Sweet (2009), p. 74; Peters and Armingeon (2009), p. 388; Peters (2006), p. 602. For application of balancing to compensate for the fragmentation of the international order see van Aaken (2009), pp. 485, 512.

  171. The Olympic Charter, Rule 18.2.10.

  172. The Olympic Charter, Rule 18-24.

  173. Chappelet and Kübler-Mabbott, p. 178.

  174. Peters (2006), p. 582.

  175. de Wet (2006a), p. 51.

  176. Kumm (2013), p. 609.

  177. Walker (2012), p. 296.

  178. Teubner (2012a), pp. 75–88.

  179. The Olympic Charter, Rule 22.

  180. The Olympic Charter, Rule 59.

  181. The Olympic Charter, Bye-Law to Rule 59.

  182. The Olympic Charter, Rule 61.1 However, certain cases remain undetermined.

  183. The Olympic Charter, Rule 61.2.

  184. Peters (2006), pp. 403, 408.

  185. Teubner (2012a), p. 75.

  186. European Convention on Human Rights art.10, November 1950, E.T.S. No.005.

  187. See Abel Xavier & Everton FC v. Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA), CAS Award No. 2000/A/290, para 10 (2 February 2001); Bernardo Rezende & Mario da Silva Pedreira Junior v. Fédération International de Volleyball (FIVB), CAS Award No. 2015/A/4095, para 72-74 (6 October 2015) and Amadou Diakite v. FIFA.

  188. Loi fédérale sur le droit international privé [Swiss Federal Act on Private International Law] 18 December 1987, RO 1998 (Switz.).

  189. Swiss Federal Act on Private International, art.190.2(e).

  190. Faut (2014), p. 256.

  191. Fenerbahçe SK v. Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA), CAS Award No. 2013/A/3139, para 88-89 (5 December 2013) and Faut (2014), p. 256.

References

Download references

Funding

Not applicable.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Not applicable.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Begüm Gürcüoğlu.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

Not applicable.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gürcüoğlu, B. To what extent is the law of the Olympics constitutionalised? A global constitutionalist reading of the International Olympic Committee. Int Sports Law J (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40318-022-00224-3

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40318-022-00224-3

Keywords

  • International Olympic Committee
  • Global constitutionalism
  • Olympics
  • Olympic Charter