Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT)

Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT)

The Basketball Arbitral Tribunal provides services for the resolution of disputes between players, agents, and clubs through arbitration. Below are the main features of the Basketball BAT:

  • True Arbitration under Swiss Law (seat of each arbitration is Geneva),
  • Sole Arbitrator appointed by the BAT President,
  • Simple procedure,
  • English language only,
  • Hearing of witnesses upon application only,
  • Provisional and conservatory measures available,
  • Arbitrator decides ex-aequo et bono. That means on the basis of general considerations of justice and fairness without reference to any particular national or international law,
  • Decision within six weeks of the end of proceedings.

Basketball Arbitral Tribunal Standard Clause

For any dispute to be admissible to the FIBA Basketball Arbitral Tribunal the following Standard Arbitration Clause must appear in a contractual agreement between the parties (either before or after the dispute has arisen):

“Any dispute arising from or related to the present contract shall be submitted to the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) in Geneva, Switzerland and shall be resolved in accordance with the BAT Arbitration Rules by a single arbitrator appointed by the BAT President. The seat of the arbitration shall be Geneva, Switzerland. The arbitration shall be governed by Chapter 12 of the Swiss Act on Private International Law, irrespective of the parties’ domicile. The language of the arbitration shall be English. The arbitrator shall decide the dispute ex aequo et bono.” (BAT Arbitration Rules, point 0.3)

Failure to honor a BAT Award may entail sanctions by FIBA. For example, a monetary fine, the withdrawal of a FIBA Agent’s License, a ban on international transfers of players, or a ban on registration of new players, as provided in the FIBA rules and internal regulations.

The FIBA Basketball Arbitral Tribunal has proven to be a very efficient way of solving disputes. Unlike a court of law, the FIBA has a very powerful tool to enforce a BAT award immediately. No need to wait for years. Most noteworthy is that the FIBA is even efficient in countries where the rule of law is known for not being very reputable nor transparent. Where a normal court case would probably lead to nothing in those countries, the FIBA can force all parties to respect BAT awards and thus contractual agreements.

The FIBA was the first Sports Federation in the world with this model. Consequently, it has now become an example for the international sports community, with many sports- and political organizations knocking on FIBA’s door for advice.

It is a recognition of the fact that our sports, and is its governing organization, is among the most innovative and pragmatic in the world. An example for others to follow.

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