Governance of International Sports Federations through the Lens of Global Administrative Law, Marquette Sports Law Review (2/2023)
International Sports Federations (IFs) that form part of the Olympic Movement are in their majority based in Switzerland. They are structured as “associations” under Swiss law and are vested with extensive autonomy. IFs undertake important tasks and responsibilities for all their members, with regulatory, organizational, and decision-making powers with an international effect. This article argues that, in view of the quasi-public authority that IFs exercise at the international level, IFs should employ at least some tools of administrative law to ensure their legitimacy – and maintain their autonomy.
After delving into the law applicable to IFs in Switzerland, the article goes through the principle on institutional governance of the IOC “Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance within the Olympic movement” (IOC Principles) along with several tools taken from global administrative law. It focuses on certain aspects of institutional governance of particular importance to IFs and concludes that a delegation of certain reporting, investigation and prosecuting tasks to an independent of the IF agency could enhance the accountability and eventually the governance of IFs. The article has been accepted for publication in the Marquette Sports Law Review (2/2023 Issue).