Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Ségolène Couturier, “CAS procedures and their efficiency”, CAS Bull. (2019) 2 : 7-17
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) procedures are known to be very effective. Effectiveness is one of the key features of arbitration and one of the main reasons for using this type of dispute resolution. Sports arbitration holds a special place in the arbitration field since, in order to ensure the proper conduct of competitions, disputes must be settled within a particularly short timeframe. The other imperative constraining sports arbitration is the guarantee of cost-accessible justice for all athletes. These fundamental objectives and the specificities of the professional world of sport have led the CAS to adopt a set of procedural rules which drastically modify the classical arbitration procedures as applied. These rules affect issues as diverse as the consent to arbitration, the margin of freedom of the parties in determining and conducting the proceedings, as well as confidentiality, amongst others. As a consequence, the CAS has been from time to time accused before the Swiss Federal Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) of ensuring speed and economy at the expense of certain fundamental procedural rights, and thus undermining the quality of the proceedings. Both courts have often ruled in favour of the CAS, considering that its procedures, of high quality, complied with the due process requirements. Despite this support, the CAS has constantly heeded criticisms and amended its Code of Procedure accordingly. It did so once again recently in the aftermath of the Mutu and Pechstein v. Switzerland case before the ECtHR, although the Court has once again largely agreed with the quality of its procedures. This ability to react quickly and anticipate criticism has enabled the CAS to build a unique path by disrupting existing legal paradigms of arbitration while ensuring compliance with fundamental procedural principles. Its procedures are not only fast and cost-effective, but they are also of a high quality and innovative. In other words, they are not only effective but they are also efficient.