New Sports Arbitration Court – ABBC

Law 74/2013, of September 6th, 2013, created the Portuguese Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and approved its inherent regulation. This is a milestone in a lawmaking procedure that began in May 2012 and has experienced several obstacles.


The main goal of the CAS is to provide sports organisations and agents with an arbitration standing. It has the specific scope of justice enforcement with regards to the relevant litigation under the sports legal framework or concerning sports practice. The CAS exerts its jurisdiction in the Portuguese territory and its headquarters will be in the country’s Olympic Comity facilities.  

The Law establishes two kinds of arbitration. The first is a voluntary arbitration, under the Voluntary Arbitration Act, where as of August 1st, 2015 parties can submit any litigation concerning (directly or indirectly) sports practice to the CAS for an arbitration decision, including employment issues.

The second is a mandatory arbitration for cases involving the acts and/ or omissions of sports federations, other sports entities and professional leagues, in the exercise of their regulatory, organising, directing and disciplinary powers, including anti-doping rules and regulations.

This new sports legal framework will therefore demand specialised knowledge by lawyers dedicated to the sector. Specific procedural rules and relevant case law are some of the fields where an added knowledge will become indispensable, similar to what already happens with the CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland.

José Manuel Meirim is Of-Counsel at ABBC. He can be contacted at