Asser International Sports Law Centre: from National Project to International Centre

Sports law is a fast expanding and developing area of legal debate and inquiry. It is both an area of significant practitioner activity and of increasing academic analysis. Of course, the private rules of the national and international sports world itself form the backbone of sports law. However, sports activities are as much influenced by ‘ordinary* rules of public law. These can even be rules of public international law as the famous Bosman verdict of the European Court of Justice, leading to the reform of the transfer system in professional football, made very dear. Sports law is essentially an applied area of law, with sport the context within which the law operates, and it potentially includes the whole spectrum of traditional legal scholarship.
The so-called Asser International Sports Law Project originated from the Asser Round Table Sessions that were held in the beginning of 1996 on the Bosman case. Since then international sports law has developed into one of the main areas of research within the T.M.C. Asser Institute*s research programme. The research is of an interdisciplinary as well as comparative law character, covering all fields of law in which the Institute specialises, i.e., private international law, public inernational law including the law of international organisations, international commercial arbitration and the law of the European Union.
On 1 January 2002 the Project was converted into a Centre within the framework of the T.M.C. Asser Institute for international law. The mission of the ASSER International Sports Law Centre is to provide a centre of excellence in particular by providing high quality research, services and products to the sporting world at large (sports ministries, international - intergovernmental - organisations, sports associations and federations, the professional sports industry, etc.) on both a national and an international basis.
The Centre’s activities comprise the following categories:

  • Fundamental research
  • Applied (contract) research
  • Education
  • Consultancy
  • Publications
  • The organisation of seminars and conferences
  • Library and documentation/information services.