Document Type



The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has set up a poly-tiered dispute resolution mechanism to deal with alleged breaches of its institutional statutes. It calls these ‘judicial’ bodies even though they are not established by law. They consist of the Independent Hearing Panel (IHP) and the Sports Dispute Panel (SDP). The former entertains mostly governance-related disputes while the SDP enjoys jurisdiction for substantive sports disputes. The IHP also serves as an appellate forum against SDP decisions. Neither of these entities has been endowed with arbitral qualities and the BWF dispute settlement architecture is paradigmatic of expert determination. The two ‘judicial’ entities are complemented by a Referral officer who serves as sui generis prosecutor and who receives pertinent evidence from national confederations or the BWF (investigating parties). It is argued that while this represents a successful example of expert determination in a context with a relatively small caseload, the system itself would be better served by a self-contained arbitral tribunal, seated in an arbitration-friendly jurisdiction.

Included in

Law Commons