Monday, 9 April 2012

A Primer on International Basketball Arbitration

The following guest post was written by Claire Zovko of Precise Advisory Group.

As the governing body for the sport of basketball worldwide, Federation Internationale de Basketball (“FIBA”) is responsible for the integrity of basketball at the international level. FIBA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the sole competent authority in basketball. In May 2007, FIBA created its own dispute resolution mechanism designed for quick and inexpensive resolution of disputes related to the sport and its participants, i.e. clubs, players and agents. Originally, named the FIBA Arbitral Tribunal (“FAT”), FAT heard two cases in the inaugural year. To emphasize that it operates independently of FIBA, FAT was renamed Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (“BAT”). Within basketball, most disputes relate to unpaid wages and commissions. Almost five years after creation, BAT has heard more than 200 cases.

Disputes are “heard” by a single arbitrator with legal training and sports knowledge appointed by the BAT president. A unique feature of BAT is that the arbitration procedure is conducted in writing and 99% of cases are handled entirely though an online system. In-person hearings can be held upon request, though they rarely are. A BAT arbitral award is delivered within six weeks of the arbitral proceedings. The disputes before BAT are decided not on the basis of a national legal system but on the principle of ex aequo et bono, applying general considerations of justice and fairness without reference to any particular national or international law.

Read the full post here. Claire can be followed on Twitter at @clairezovko

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