Are women “offside”? Achieving gender parity in sports dispute settlement

The core of our study is the analysis of gender inequality in sports arbitration, in particular the rules for appointment of CAS arbitrators. The authors’ standpoint is that while reviewing decisions taken by sports governing bodies, CAS performs regulatory functions that go beyond private law dispute settlement. However, not only recent research shows that the lack of women representation among CAS arbitrators is more concerning than in other international courts and tribunals, but also that these women were appointed less times in comparison with male arbitrators. Additionally, a significant share of the appointments was given to the same female arbitrators. The first proposal we put forward to reform the current appointment system of CAS arbitrators addresses the possibility of increasing the share of women panel presidents. Second, we propose abolishing party-appointments in sports arbitration.