Conclusions of the 12th IASL Conference: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 23-25 November 2006

Article excerpt

I. The 12th IASL Conference on Legal Aspects of Professional Sport was held from 23 to 25 November 2006 in Ljubljana. The conference was attended by most members of the Board of Directors and many members of the IASL. Over the two days of the conference proceedings (Friday 24 and Saturday 25 November) 22 speakers addressed the conference, providing an in-depth presentation of developments in the academic discipline of sports law and the wider area of law which touches upon sporting and competitive activities from both an international viewpoint and the national perspective of the legal order the speakers represented.

II. The conference proceedings opened with an address entitled 'Lex Sportiva and its application to the national framework of Sports Law' by Asst. Professor of Sports Law and Secretary General of IASL, Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos. Key points of his presentation were an explanation of the nature of Lex Sportiva as the law of international sporting and competitive activity which develops within the context of the private autonomy of sporting bodies, coupled with an exploration of the interface between, and parallel implementation of, that law and traditional legal orders: namely those of international law, European law and individual national legal orders.

Following that on the first day of the conference Janwillem Soek talked about the results of a comparative survey of the sports legislation and the meaning given to the term 'sport' in various national legal orders while Cathryn Claussen examined issues of equality in US school sports. Luc Silance explored the issue of rights and obligations of athletes from various legal orders and then Prof. James Nafziger, IASL President, set forth the differences between the US model on the one hand and the European model of professional sport on the other, while Prof. Gerard Auneau, President of the IASL Scientific Committee, explored the influence of the special features of sport and in particular professional sport- on shaping national and Community law. Prof. Andras Nemes presented a recent case brought before the Hungarian National Olympic Committee related to a claim for autonomy of the sports associations while the first day proceeded with papers covering issues such as taxation of the sale by an athlete of the right to commercially exploit his image (Jernej Podlipnik), the security of sports events and individual rights of spectators (Cathryn Clausen), compliance with contractual obligations to participate in events where there are security shortcomings (Urvasi Naidoo) and the EU policy on preventing violence in sport seen from the perspective of the British experience (Jack Anderson).

Prof. Klaus Vieweg, Vice President of IASL, opened the second day of proceedings by analysing the issue of protecting and utilising the right to commercially exploit athletes' names and images under German and US law. Jean-Christian Drolet talked about the new FIFA transfer rules in the post-Bosman era and about the developments in NHL and modern professional hockey. Prof. Brian Brooks explored the commercialisation of sport in the Republic of South Africa. The scandal in Italian football was analysed and presented in comparison to similar disciplinary provisions in other countries by Lucio Colantuoni, while Simon Gardiner talked about issues of corruption in British football, Tone Jagodic explored sponsorship agreements in modern sport, Vesna Bergant Rako_evi_talked about the commercial exploitation of sporting venue names and_pelca Me_nar examined the trademarks of international sports events.

Towards the end of the second day of proceedings and the thematic unit entitled 'Jurisdiction systems in professional sport' two recent cases from the French and Greek sporting legal orders were examined: one case which was brought before CAS concerning a dispute between a footballer and his team presented by Giangiacomo Bausone, and an extremely interesting case about the temporary expulsion of the Hellenic Football Federation from FIFA due to failure failure to comply with the provisions of the latter's statutes on the independence of national federations presented by Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos and Ioannis Mourniannakis). …