LAUSANNE: The International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), governing body of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), has adopted Spanish as an official language for CAS arbitrations. Spanish is now the third working language of the CAS, next to French and English.
The decision to adopt Spanish as an official language recognises the growing importance of the Spanish language in the sports arbitration world. CAS conducts over 600 arbitration procedures each year, of which around 10% involve Spanish-speaking parties.
Previously, parties could request that a CAS arbitration be conducted in Spanish, but such request was subject to the agreement of all parties involved and of the arbitrator(s) in charge of the procedure. Since the creation of CAS, over 400 arbitrations have already been conducted in Spanish.
The formal adoption of Spanish as the third working language of the CAS is enshrined in an updated version of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the Code), in force as of 1 July 2020.
Other amendments to the Code pertain to the use of electronic filing and video-conferencing, the use of which has increased in importance in recent times.
ICAS also decided to better reflect the managerial role of the chief executive of CAS and acknowledge the person’s supervision of the activities of the CAS Court Office by changing the title of Secretary General to Director General.
CAS Director General, Matthieu Reeb, said: “In 2019, ICAS approved the holding of public hearings; this year, the adoption of Spanish as an official language for CAS arbitrations is another example of the regular and appropriate evolution of our regulations. On a more personal note, I sincerely appreciate the trust placed in me by the ICAS members and their recognition of my activity in favour of the institution”.
ICAS and CAS President, John Coates said: “Matthieu Reeb has taken an active part in the significant growth of CAS year after year. He continues to provide a most valued service to CAS and the ICAS and it was appropriate we acknowledge this with the new designation.”