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  • Spanish Becomes Third Official Language of CAS


    (ATR) Latin America and Spain welcomed the announcement that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) accepted Spanish as an official language in its legal proceedings.

    Spanish will be added to the old signage. (FIFA)
    Spanish is now one of the three work languages of CAS, along with French and English.

    In an official statement, the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), the governing body for CAS, reported that the decision “recognizes the growing importance of this language in the world of sports arbitration".

    CAS handles more than 600 arbitrary proceedings every year, of which, approximately 10 percent concern Spanish-speaking parties.

    Previously, the parties could request that the arbitrary proceedings be handled in Spanish, but the request was the subject of agreement of all parties and arbitrators.

    Since the founding of CAS, more than 400 arbitrary proceedings have been managed in Spanish.

    The formal adoption of Spanish as the third official working language of CAS is reflected in the new version of the Sports Arbitration Code (the “Code”), which entered into force on July 1, 2020.

    According to the statement, other amendments adopted in the “code” relate to the use of electronic platforms and video conferences, the latter of which has increased significantly in recent times.

    Matthieu Reeb is now director general of CAS (ATR)
    The director general of CAS, Matthieu Reeb, stated, “In 2019, ICAS approved the possibility of holding public hearings; this year, the adoption of Spanish as the new official CAS procedures is another example of the consistent and appropriate evolution of our regulations.”

    Reeb received a title change as the ICAS determined that director general better reflects the managerial role of the chief executive of CAS than his former title of secretary general.

    CAS President and IOC member John Coates praised the role of Reeb, saying he "has been actively involved in the significant growth of CAS" and that "it was appropriate we acknowledge this with the new designation.”

    Several sports arbitration experts in Latin America agreed on the importance of Spanish being adopted for arbitration proceedings.

    "It was a sensitive necessity in the world of sport, in principle because of the globality of modern times and in the second instance, because these ad hoc bodies are usually made up of specialists from other latitudes," Venezuelan specialist Tulio Sanchez said.

    "Being that Spanish is a more spoken language in the world than French itself, this need was considerable. The syntax and meaning of the words in Spanish is not the same, and in the legal aspect that interpretation is crucial," Sanchez added.

    Spanish has about 600 million speakers in the world. It is the official language of more than 20 countries and the third most popular in international communication, production of information in mass media, and internet users.

    Homepage photo: CAS

    Written by Miguel Hernandez

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