Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Sets Up Shop in Beijing

BEIJING, China, July 31. THE Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) distributed a statement that it has officially opened shop in Beijing, the location of the 2008 Olympic Games. Should Jessica Hardy's appeal not be successful in the United States this week, CAS is the next step in the process.

Here is the release:
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened an office in Beijing in order to resolve all legal disputes which may arise during the Olympic Games. This special tribunal, called CAS ad hoc Division, operated successfully in previous editions of the Olympic Games since Atlanta 1996.

The CAS ad hoc Division will provide all participants in the Games with free access to justice rendered within time limits that keep pace with the competition.

The Tribunal for the Olympic Games in Beijing is presided over by Dr. Robert Briner (Switzerland) and composed of the following twelve arbitrators chosen for their expertise in arbitration and sports law: The Hon. Michael J. Beloff QC (England); Mrs Margarita Echeverria Bermúdez (Costa Rica); Mr Luigi Fumagalli (Italy); Mr Thomas Lee (Malaysia); Mr Chi Liu (China); Prof. Richard McLaren (Canada); Mr Stephan Netzle (Switzerland); Mr Sharad Rao (Kenya); Mr. David Rivkin (United States); Mr Alan John Sullivan (Australia); Mr Jingzhou Tao (China); The Hon. Mr Justice Deon van Zyl (South Africa).

The President and the twelve arbitrators have been selected by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), an independent body, under the aegis of which the CAS operates. The CAS office in Beijing is headed by its Secretary General, Mr Matthieu Reeb.

All members of the CAS ad hoc Division who are present in Beijing during the Games are either lawyers, judges or professors specialized in sports law and arbitration. They are independent of the parties who appear before the CAS and apply a procedure (set out in the Arbitration Rules for the Olympic Games) that complies with fundamental principles of procedural fairness and due process.

Under the CAS rules applicable in Beijing, if during the Olympic Games a person or sports entity wishes to submit a dispute to the ad hoc Division under the terms of Rule 59 of the Olympic Charter, he/she/it must file a request with the CAS Court Office in Beijing. The President of the ad hoc Division sets up a Panel of three arbitrators and appoints a hearing on short notice at which all parties, witnesses and possible interested third parties are given the opportunity to express their legal arguments and to produce evidence.

As a rule, the CAS renders its decisions within 24 hours. This is made possible by specially designed logistics and organizational structures. The CAS is operational in Beijing until 24 August 2008.