The Pechstein case: Transnational constitutionalism in inaction at the Bundesgerichtshof

How independent is the Court of Arbitration for Sport, or the international sport governing bodies (SGB) in general? This question was at the heart of the Pechstein case before the German Federal Court (BGH). The BGH considers that the CAS is a true arbitral tribunal in the sense of German civil procedural law and that it is not structurally imbalanced in favour of the SGBs. In this blog post, I will aim at critically unpacking and deconstructing the four arguments the decision is based on, one by one.

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Der BGH und Pechstein: Transnationaler Konstitutionalismus sieht anders aus

Der Fall Pechstein hätte dem BGH die Möglichkeit eröffnet, die ungleichen Machtstrukturen im professionellen Sport einer effektiven und unabhängigen Kontrolle zu unterziehen und die weitreichende Macht der Sportverbände zu begrenzen. Diese Möglichkeit ließ der BGH ungenutzt verstreichen. Frau Pechstein hat bereits angekündigt, sich an das Bundesverfassungsgericht wenden zu wollen. Es steht zu erwarten, dass die verfassungsrechtliche Komponente ihres Falles dort deutlicher zur Geltung kommen wird.

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The Proposed TTIP Tribunal and the Court of Justice: What Limits to Investor-State Dispute Settlement under EU Constitutional Law?

In its controversial Opinion 2/13, the European Court of Justice has rejected the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights. The constitutional hurdles the CJEU has erected in this opinion are not only relevant in the area of human rights, but also require us to think hard about the EU constitutionality of the suggested TTIP Tribunal, or any other mechanism of investor-state dispute settlement under future EU international investment agreements. To reduce this uncertainty it may be advisable to request the CJEU through an advisory opinion.

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