Sports | Research Guide International Law

Today sports have an increasing influence within society and commerce. Major sports events like the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup are watched by billions of people around the world, causing a social and economic impact globally. International sports federations (ISFs) govern and control international sport. They cannot be regulated by national courts or governments. In Sports Law a distinction has to be made between global sports law and international sports law and sports-related national law. Examples of Lex Sportiva are the FIFA Regulations governing International Matches and the IOC Code of Ethics.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of Sports Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 167. Internationalism and International Life and subject heading (keyword) Sports are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Please check out the latest books on sports law in our collection:

Lewis, A. and Taylor, J., Sport: Law and Practice, Haywards Heath, Bloomsbury Professional, 2014.

Vieweg, K. (ed.), Lex Sportiva, Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, 2015.

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Reference works


Leading articles


Periodicals, serial publications


New titles

1. The Winter's Tale of Corruption
The Winter's Tale of Corruption : The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Impending Shift to Winter, and Potential Legal Actions against FIFA / Kate Youd In: Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business = ISSN 0196-3228: vol. 35, issue 1, page 167-197. - 2014
Keywords: Qatar, Sport, Soccer, Sports event, International Sports Federations, Disciplinary rules, Corruption, Court of Arbitration for Sport,

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  • Pieth, M. (ed.), Reforming FIFA, Zürich/St. Gallen, Dike Verlag, 2014.

    Pieth, M. (ed.), Reforming FIFA, Zürich/St. Gallen, Dike Verlag, 2014.

    Die FIFA, wie andere Sportdachverbände auch, wurde der Intransparenz und Korruption beschuldigt. Sie hat sich jedoch jüngst entschieden, Reformen einzuleiten. Eine Gruppe erfahrener unabhängiger Governance-Experten und Stakeholder wurde damit beauftragt, den Reformprozess zu beaufsichtigen. Dieser Gruppe, dem Independent Governance Committee (IGC), ist es vor allem gelungen, unabhängige Kommissionsvorsitzende, Ermittler und Richter einzusetzen. Der Reformprozess ist jedoch nicht abgeschlossen. Einige ehemalige IGC-Mitglieder vermitteln in diesem Buch faszinierende Einblicke in die Arbeitsweise der FIFA, des unbekannten Giganten der Fußballwelt.

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  • Paoli, L. and A. Donati, The Sports Doping Market: Understanding Supply and Demand, and the Challenges of Their Control, New York, Springer, 2014.

    Paoli, L. and A. Donati, The Sports Doping Market: Understanding Supply and Demand, and the Challenges of Their Control, New York, Springer, 2014.

    This book examines sports doping from production and distribution, detection and punishment. Detailing the daily operations of the trade and its gray area as a semi-legal market, the authors cover important issues ranging from athletes most at risk to the role of organized crime in sports doping, and whether sports governing bodies are enabling the trade. Starting with an unprecedented case study in Italy, the intense scrutiny from one pivotal country yields a potential template for research and policy on a world scale. Doping and Sport makes solid contributions to the work of researchers in criminology and criminal justice, particularly with an interest in corruption, drug trafficking, and criminal networks; researchers in sports science and public health; and policymakers.

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  • Spaaij, R. and C. Burleson (eds.), The Olympic Movement and the Sport of Peacemaking, London, Routledge, 2013.

    Spaaij, R. and C. Burleson (eds.), The Olympic Movement and the Sport of Peacemaking, London, Routledge, 2013.

    Sport and peacemaking have evolved. It is no longer the case that the Olympic Games and war games exist in isolation from each other. Increasingly, policymakers, peacekeepers, athletes, development workers, presidents of nations and others combine forces in an “integrated” approach towards peace. This approach is located not only within the broader, historically evolved Olympic Movement but also in relation to a newly emerged social movement which promotes development and peace through sport. This book critically examines the ways in which this development is being played out at global, national and local levels, particularly in relation to the Olympic Movement and initiatives such as the biennial Olympic Truce Resolution.

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  • Anderson, J. (ed.), Leading Cases in Sports Law, The Hague, Asser, 2013.

    Anderson, J. (ed.), Leading Cases in Sports Law, The Hague, Asser, 2013.

    This collection of key cases in sports law accounts for both the historical development of the topic and critical, contemporary issues in sports law.  The collection includes case law from numerous jurisdictions across the common and civil law traditions and includes leading awards at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which individually have contributed to the robustness of modern sports law. This collection will interest practitioners, students and sports law academics  and will also appeal to those interested in the study of sport more generally. It is amust have for every sports law library, sports law practitioner or student interested in the area.

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  • Kleiner, J., Der Spielervertrag im Berufsfussball: unter Berücksichtigung prozessualer Besonderheiten in Verfahren vor staatlichen Gerichten, Schiedsgerichten und Verbandsinstanzen, Stuttgart, Boorberg, 2013.

    Kleiner, J., Der Spielervertrag im Berufsfussball: unter Berücksichtigung prozessualer Besonderheiten in Verfahren vor staatlichen Gerichten, Schiedsgerichten und Verbandsinstanzen, Stuttgart, Boorberg, 2013.
    Das vorliegende Werk behandelt die Vertragsbeziehung zwischen einem Berufsfussballer und seinem Club. Dabei werden vorab die prozessualen Rahmenbedingungen der verschiedenen Rechtsprechungsbehörden (Court of Arbitration for Sport, FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber und staatliche Gerichte) untersucht. Es wird aufgezeigt, wie sich verfahrensrechtliche Unterschiede auf die materiellrechtliche Behandlung spielervertraglicher Streitigkeiten auswirken. 
    Im Rahmen der Darstellung der Vertragspflichten von Spieler und Club wird sodann die Rechtsprechung des Court of Arbitration for Sport, der FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber sowie von staatlichen Gerichten umfassend berücksichtigt. 
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  • Karamichas, J.,The Olympic Games and the Environment, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    Karamichas, J.,The Olympic Games and the Environment, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    Nowadays, sports Mega-events – with the Olympic Games leading the way – go to immense effort to showcase their environmental credentials. With that in mind, this book compares and contrasts the environmental credentials of four Olympic Host cities starting with Sydney 2000, the host of the first Green Summer Olympics, and culminating with London 2012. Setting out a comparative cross-national study that makes extensive use of perspectives offered by environmental sociology, this book showcases the scientific analytical vigour of this sociological sub-discipline. Since in most cases, the linkages between hosting the Games and the environment that are made by the general public and policy-makers are mostly in relation to the regeneration of the host city, this book engages with this type of environmental related contributions that can be made by Olympic Games hosting. Yet, inspired by the emphasis that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gives on the environmental impact and legacy of Games in terms of the Ecological Modernization (EM) perspective, the book engages with the potential imbued by Olympic Games hosting for the EM of the host nation.

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  • Pechstein prevails : Persistence pays off - CAS offside?

    42-year-old female speed skater Claudia Pechstein, Germany’s most decorated winter Olympian with five gold medals and nine in total, was banned by the International Skating Union (ISU) for two years in 2009 over irregular blood results, although she never failed a drugs test. The ISU said the results were evidence she had been doping, a claim Pechstein refuted, saying it was a condition she had inherited from her father.

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  • Suárez: FIFA Showing Teeth?

    Internationally renowned sports law experts gathered this week at the Asser Institute in The Hague to follow a week-long educational programme on international sports law. The timing is excellent as of course the World Cup in Brazil is going on and in one of the most remarkable sports moments of years to come Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on his shoulder.The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Suárez for nine official matches and from taking part in any kind of football-related activity for a period of four months. Let’s look at the FIFA decision.

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  • FIFA's World Cups

    In a few days, Thursday June 12th, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will kick-off. In terms of advertising FIFA has nothing to complain: the World Cup in Brazil will generate an estimated profit of 4 billion euro (sponsoring and TV). But in terms of image FIFA has to counter a new attack: FIFA is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. In case corruption in the Qatar bidding is discovered, can FIFA simply run another vote for the 2022 World Cup?

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  • Protection of Olympic Properties

    During the 2014 Olympic opening ceremony in Sochi, the World could witness the familiar Olympic symbols again: the torche, the flag, the rings and the mascots: three giant, stuffed-animal-like Sochi mascots, featuring a polar bear, a leopard and a hare. All three of these animals are indigenous to the country. These Olympic symbols, logos and mascots are very popular and therefore subject of plagiarism and corruption.

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  • Match Fixing: Cheating to Lose

    Just shortly after Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah Winfrey he used doping during his career as a professional cyclist, another negative event in the sports world is getting a lot of publicity today: match fixing. Maybe this is even a greater threat to the integrity of sport than doping? Last week, Europol announced that as a result of a major investigation an extensive criminal network involved in widespread football match fixing has been uncovered.

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  • Osaka Rule and Doping at Olympics

    Cheaters have caused a lot of harm to the Olympic movement over the past few decades and it is reasonable for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to wish for clean Olympic Games. In the fight against doping the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) set up a system of strict liability on doping offences

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  • Ambush Marketing: ‘Drinking Coca-Cola, wearing Adidas’

    Why is such attention being paid by the organizers of the London 2012 Games to the brand of footwear being worn by participants and to the drinks they will take? The answer lies in the fear of ambush marketing. This means that at the moment in London, the action on the roads, in the rings and on the courts is not the only competition. For every Olympics, and other major sporting events, ambush marketing, unfortunately, provides a sideshow.

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  • Olympic Games and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

     This evening the XXX Olympic Games will start in London. London has organized the Olympic Games twice: in 1908 and 1948. How will the Court of Arbitration for Sports be involved in Olympic Games in general and in the London Olympics in particular?

    “Because the IOC and each IF seek to apply and enforce a set of uniform rules consistently [...]

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  • Football players do not make war, but big money!

    With the European Championships Football about halftime now, this is a blog about football, football players, football players’ contracts and the increasing influence of money in professional football.

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  • Athletes and whereabouts

    Whereabouts are information provided by a limited number of top elite athletes about their location to the International Sport Federation or National Anti-Doping Organization that included them in their respective registered testing pool as part of these top elite athletes’anti-doping responsibilities.

    What does that mean? Anti-Doping Organizations are required to have out-of-competition testing on top [...]

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  • Juan Antonio Samaranch (1920-2010)

    Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch has died in hospital after being taken ill at the weekend. The Spaniard was widely regarded as the most powerful man in sport when he headed the IOC from 1980 to 2001.
    His successor Jacques Rogge stated: “I cannot find the words to express the distress of the Olympic family (…) Thanks to his extraordinary vision and talent, Samaranch was the architect of a strong and unified Olympic Movement.

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  • EURO 2008 and Hooliganism

    The European Football Championship, Euro 2008, will start on 7 June and finish on 29 June. This football tournament will be hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
    Thousands of fans will support their teams, celebrate victory and mourn defeat. Often these huge and massive emotions of joy and grief will result in violent clashes with supporters of rival teams and even lead to fights with the local police.
    Literature on this dark side of football can be found in the Peace Palace Library collection under the keyword hooliganism

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