Dispute Resolution, Legal Reasoning and Good Governance: learning lessons from appeals on selection in sport

Liz Ellis, Emily Ryall, Jonathon Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Research Question: How do legal norms and reasoning processes, in relation to selection appeals, underpin the concepts of good governance and professionalism in sport?
Research Methods: This is primarily a theoretical paper that outlines the reasoning techniques and methodology of law as an academic and professional discipline in interpreting, explaining and understanding arbitral decisions related to selection in sport. It draws upon four exemplar cases from the UK dispute resolution body, Sports Resolutions, to illustrate the over-arching norms and principles inherent in legal reasoning and demonstrate how they form part of the normative framework for good governance.
Results and Findings: This paper demonstrates how legal reasoning processes, exemplified by dispute resolution cases, provide indicators of good governance in sport. It suggests that a basic understanding of key legal norms and the legal reasoning process would reduce the likelihood of arbitration and appeal against decisions made by SGBs. It concludes that there should be greater dissemination of arbitration decisions by dispute resolution services and that these decisions should be used as education and professional development tools to illustrate the way in which legal norms and reasoning processes are applied. Implications: This paper demonstrates the importance of legal norms and reasoning processes
to the concept of good governance in sport. It illustrates how better knowledge and understanding of the way in which arbitral judgements are reached could facilitate improved policy creation and implementation, thereby enhancing good governance, increased professionalism and more robust decision making within SGBs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Early online date4 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2019


  • governance
  • dispute resolution
  • legal reasoning
  • arbitration
  • athlete selection


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