This year we at sportslaw.lv had also a more scientifically based content being published in a well-recognized Lawyer’s magazine in Latvia.
On July 12, in the issue #28 of “Jurista Vārds” 2022 edition, was published an article covering the labour disputes in sports.
We discussed the effect of Latvian employment law, the Arbitration Law and the preference for arbitration of disputes in sports.
Sports Law vs National Law
Can you really arbitrate at the sports arbitration whatever you want, just because it is in sports? Doesn’t even the public policy and mandatory laws prohibit that?
Looking at the Latvian Law, we clearly see that the employment disputes are excluded from arbitration scope – prohibited.
Is there a problem then?
As an example, let’s look at football. The FIFA Statutes provide that all football associations globally must subject all disputes to CAS. Unless national law provides otherwise.
The Latvian Football Federation (“LFF”) has a similar rule – all disputes must go to CAS, unless some reasons in the Law that nobody knows.
Unfortunately, there is a Law that actually prohibits arbitrating disputes in CAS.
Would CAS, FIFA and LFF recognize that Latvian Law assigns certain categories disputes to the state court MANDATORILY? In theory – yes, but in practice very difficult to do.
We looked at certain CAS jurisprudence providing directions as to how and when it is theoretically possible to go through the national courts. Brief summary: difficult to do.
If you ask LFF or FIFA for guidance, first of all there are no specific guidelines that would be publicly available. Secondly, the actual practice of both organisations is targeted at maintaining their monopoly over all disputes. The theoretical reference to the national law is not really a clear concept. It is extremely difficult to enforce such Law.
Access to the article
The Article is available online for a service charge: