The Laws of the Game

Football (aka soccer) has been governed by written “laws” since the first British Football Assocation rules were drafted in 1863. The development and expansion of the laws later became the job of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), established in 1882, which unified the four football associations in the United Kingdom.The sport became known as “Association Football.”

In 1904 seven european countries established FIFAFédération Internationale de Football Association. Nine years later, FIFA joined the IFAB and was given a controlling vote in the new organization. The organization became the sport’s world governing body.

FIFA, now based in Zurich, is comprised of 209 member associations. Its governing bodies include a Congress, Executive Committee, and a General Secretariat.The IFAB reviews and modifies the sport’s rules annually. The current Laws of the Game have been in force since June 1, 2014.This 140-page document details the requirements for equipment, the rules of play, and guidelines for referees.

Under FIFA’s “Statutes” the organization recognizes the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) “to resolve disputes between FIFA, Members, Confederations, Leagues, clubs, Players, Officials and licensed match agents and players’ agents.” CAS decisions related to football may be found here.





Law and the Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), headquartered in Switzerland, is the governing body of the Olympics. Its rules and bylaws are contained in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic organization also includes the Olympic Congress, National Olympic Committees, and International Sports Federations.

Under the Olympic Charter, disputes must be submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) . The CAS is located in Lausanne, Switzerland, with additional offices in Australia and the United States.  It is administered by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS). The CAS has close to 300 arbitrators from 87 countries.  Any disputes related to sport, including commercial or disciplinary matters, may be submitted to the CAS.  Recent and selected older decisions of the CAS are available on its website here.

A useful research guide on International Sports Law is available on Globalex—a website sponsored by NYU School of Law providing guides to Foreign, International, and Comparative Law.


Moving Days

On Wednesday, July 25 we will begin moving books from the third to the fourth floor of the library. This project will be completed by Friday, July 27. The fourth floor will now house our International and Foreign Law materials.

During the move, please plan to use the main or second floor of the library for quiet study.

We apologize for any inconvenience.


World Intellectual Property Day 2012

Since 2000, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has designated April 26 as “World Intellectual Property Day.”  This year’s theme is “Visionary Innovators”:

Behind every great innovation, either artistic or technological, is a human story – a tale in which new pathways open as a result of the curiosity, insight or determination of individuals.

The WIPO is an agency of the United Nations focused on “developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system.”  It administers a number of international treaties focused on copyright and related rights.  World Intellectual Property Day was established to increase public awareness and understanding of the significant role of IP in fostering “music, arts and entertainments” and “all the products and technological innovations that help to shape our world.”

Resources on the WIPO website include an overview (including links to PDFs) of United States IP-related statutes and regulations, and WIPO-administered treaty membership.  Please consult the law library’s Intellectual Property Research Guide to locate additional useful resources related to copyright, trademark, and patent law.