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Public policy impact of short-term restrictions on individual's ability to exercise profession (Swiss Supreme Court)

26 March 2014

Authors: Nathalie Voser, Benjamin Moss

In an French-language decision dated 3 March 2014, the Swiss Supreme Court rejected a French football club's application to set aside an award issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on grounds that it had violated public policy and the club's right to be heard. The court found that a prior "deregistration" of one of the club's players from the list of authorised foreign players of his former club, was not a violation of the player's rights of personality and personal freedom under Swiss law. On the facts of this case, the deregistration lasted a mere five games, with the player continuing to train and receive a salary from the club. Therefore, the player did not have a right to terminate the contract with his former club and sign a competing contract with the French club.
The Supreme Court appears to suggest that a close examination of the specific facts surrounding the deregistration will usually be decisive, as arbitral tribunals and the Supreme Court must ultimately look to whether it would depreciate a player's professional worth or harm his future prospects. (Decision 4A_304/2013.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration


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