The legal and institutional framework of the Olympic Games, Alexandre Miguel Mestre

Lesson 4 years ago

The Olympic Charter (OC) is today indubitably a legal text which, along with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) out of which it arose, has raised many legal and institutional issues, which are interesting from a theoretical, and particularly from a practical, point of view.

In this lecture, the author will focus on some of those issues. The text analyses a relevant part of the legal and institutional issues that arise from the OM in general and the OG in particular – firstly the Olympic Charter, as the basic fundamental document of the OM, and secondly the IOC, as the main constituent of the OM.

It must be concluded that today Law and the Olympic Games are necessary and totally inseparable realities. In fact, the survival of the OG depends largely on acknowledging and understanding something that is already inevitable or irrefutable: a solid body of Olympic rules to be interpreted with clarity and applied flexibly but mandatorily. In a framework of a legal pluralism, in which various legal systems co-exist and seek to cohabit – the national and supranational state legislation, on the one hand, and the Lex Olympica, on the other – the Olympic Charter, which embraces executive, legislative and judicial powers, assumes a transcendent authority and primacy, in a process of “destatification” of the Olympic legal framework contrary to the pure logic of hierarchy of legal provisions.

cv_mestreAlexandre Miguel Mestre is a senior advocate and international sports lawyer. He is a former Portuguese Secretary of State for Sport and Youth.