October 1, 2023


Advocacy. Mediation. Success.

SFT reconfirm the limited scope of ‘excessive formalism’ as a grounds of appeal


A dispute amongst two football golf equipment was 1st decided by the Solitary Judge of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee and was brought to the CAS in attraction, with a ask for for a sole arbitrator by the Appellant, to which the Respondent objected. The CAS Division President at some point determined to appoint a panel of a few arbitrators and invited the Appellant club to appoint its arbitrator, drawing its consideration to the simple fact that, if it did not comply inside of the deadline, its appeal would be viewed as withdrawn, pursuant to Artwork. R36 of the CAS Code. The Appellant appointed its arbitrator 1 working day right after the time limit expired, which led the Division president to terminate the method as a result of a “Termination Order”.

In its subsequent motion to set apart the Termination Buy, the Appellant Club invoked a violation of procedural community coverage. To start with, the Appellant lifted an arbitrary application of Write-up R36 of the CAS Code by the Division President. The SFT swiftly dismissed this argument to the extent that the arbitrary application of the law does not fall inside of the scope of community policy and is not open to critique the SFT also regarded as that the aforementioned provision (which bargains with the substitute of an arbitrator) is not of elementary mother nature these types of as to make sure procedural fairness, and hence its potential violation could not entail a breach of public plan.

2nd, the Appellant invoked a violation of the basic principle of excessive formalism to the extent that the Division President unsuccessful to grant a brief grace time period, by analogy to Short article R48 of the CAS Code, in buy to appoint its arbitrator. The SFT dismissed the arguments linked to the pandemic and to the point that the Appellant was only represented by its legal department and not by outside the house counsel. The SFT also dismissed the arguments that the Appellant immediately remedied this procedural irregularity and that these types of irregularity did not have an impression on the good perform of the proceedings, by reminding that procedural types are needed for the implementation of legal remedies in line with the theory of equal treatment method. It also applied by analogy – and referred to illustrations drawn by – its past jurisprudence, these types of as the failure to fork out the progress of charges in time or the sending of the statement of attractiveness by basic fax.

The SFT judgment is a superior reminder of the constrained scope of excessive formalism less than Art. 190 (2) (e) LDIP (Federal Act on Private Intercontinental Law of 18 December 1987) and the several illustrations from judgments similar to CAS awards

At the same time, the SFT drew the difference concerning the grace period granted beneath Article R48 CAS Code for the submitting of an incomplete assertion of appeal and the present scenario, to the extent that the Appellant was previously offered a deadline to appoint its arbitrator and it experienced the risk to ask for an extension.

Over-all, this judgment is a very good reminder of the limited scope of the excessive formalism beneath Artwork. 190 (2) (e) LDIP and of the many illustrations drawn by the SFT jurisprudence in CAS-linked methods. See also the extra recent SFT Judgment 4A_324/2021.

Take note: This was at first printed on SportsLegis, a specialised sports regulation observe operate by Dr Despina Mavromati. The original can be discovered in this article.

An English translation of the judgment can be viewed underneath.


Dr Despina Mavromati