2012 marked a period of real progress for Just Sport Ireland, the independent dispute resolution facility, set up by the Federation of Irish Sport to provide a specialised, fast and cost effective mechanism for the resolution of sporting disputes. More than 30 sports now have provision for JSI within their rules.
JSI provides both an arbitration and mediation service for Irish Sport. JSI can also on request provide qualified people to sit on the internal disciplinary panels of sports bodies.
The provision for alternative dispute resolution within the rules of sporting organisations is provided for in the Programme for Government. It is also a key objective in the Irish Sports Council’s current statement of strategy. Indeed by 2014 the Irish Sports Council, which supports JSI through the Federation, will require all sporting organisations to provide for alternative dispute resolution within their governing rules.
The principle advantage of making provision for JSI within the rules of a sporting organisation is that it acts as a self-defence mechanism against the threat of court litigation. Dispute resolution with JSI is designed to be fast, cost effective and is dealt with by people with knowledge of sport in an entirely confidential environment.
It costs €150 to refer a dispute to JSI for mediation and €250 for arbitration. In 2012 the average cost of arbitration with JSI was €1,382 although parties may also incur additional legal costs if they appoint solicitors. The JSI process is however designed to be easy to use so that legal representation is not required.
This should be enhanced in early 2013 with the adoption of a new JSI Rulebook to further simplify and streamline the process making JSI even easier to use. 33 National Sporting Organisations have so far made provision for JSI within their rules with organisations as diverse as Special Olympics Ireland, Mountaineering Ireland, Athletics Ireland and Deaf Sports Ireland all signed up.
If your organisation has not yet made provision for Just Sport Ireland we would ask that you contact the Federation’s Support Services Officer to find out how JSI can help your sport. Conn can be reached at 01-6251155, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website http://www.justsport.ie/