International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Thu. 08 November 2012

Farewell lecture of Professor Denis Oswald

Florence Guillaume, dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Neuchâtel has the pleasure to invite you to the farewell lecture of Professor Denis Oswald, holder of the Chair in sports law and director of the International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES) on the theme

“The Olympic games and the law”

 Thursday December 6th, 17 :30

Aula de la Faculté de droit

Av. du 1er Mars 26

(doors open at 17 :00)

 When we watch the Olympic Games, whether it is live or on the television, we are immersed by the show and we don’t stop to think of all the work which is involved in the organization of such event nor the legal questions which it raises.

Firstly, all of the entities which are involved possess a legal structure. This determines their way of behaving, how they make their decisions and how they engage their responsibilities. Furthermore, the attribution of the organization of the Games to an Olympic National Committee (CNO) and to a City, follows a legally binding procedure. Public as well as private law intervene. Finally, the preparation of the Games requires the conclusion of a large number of contracts. For example, contracts for works construction, company, grounds, supply of services such as transport, food, accommodation, sponsoring and the protection of intellectual property rights. In addition, the obligation to lead a certain number of trials is inevitable, as we comply with numerous administrative requirements. Indeed, the athletes themselves are subject to rules of qualification and nationality. So, we can see that law has an important role in the staging of the Olympics.

Biography :

Born in 1947 in Neuchâtel, Denis Oswald completed his law studies at the Universities of Neuchâtel, Zurich and Cambridge. He obtained his license in 1970, his certificate of law in 1973 and his doctorate in law in 1977.
At the same time as his studies, Denis Oswald competed as a rower at the highest level and has an impressive prize list: bronze medallist at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968, 8th at the 1972 Munich Olympics and Montreal in 1976. He was 13 times national elite champion of which 5 times in skiff and 4th at the 1974 World Championships.
After his sporting career, Denis Oswald occupied numerous posts within national and international sports organizations.

General Secretary ( 1978-1989 ) then President (from 1989) of the International Federation of the Societies of Rowing (FISA), Assistant general secretary of the Swiss Olympic Committee ( 1985-1996 ), President of the Summer Olympic Association of the International Federations of Sports ( ASOIF) from 2000 until 2012, International Olympic Committee member (IOC) since 1991 and of the executive committee between 2000 and 2012. He was also Chairman of the Co-ordination Commission for the 2004 Athens and 2012 London Olympic Games. Denis is also a Judge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) since the creation of the institution in 1984. He has also been Director of the International Center for Sport Studies (CIES) since 2001.
Throughout his career, Denis Oswald has been interested in the legal aspects connected to the domain of sport. An independent lawyer and Professor at the University of Neuchatel, he is the author of numerous publications regarding sport law, with a particular interest in the areas of doping and sports associations, as well as the Olympic movement - a common thread which has guided his career and which is today inseparable from him.

In 2011, the De Montfort University in Leicester (GB) awarded him the title of Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his contribution to the progress of sport law.

If you would like to attend this special lecture, please complete the attached document and return to the mentioned address.


Lecon_adieu.docx19.10 Ki

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