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Lex Sportiva: A Playground for Transnational Law


  • Antoine Duval

    PhD Researcher
    1. University of Milan; Visiting Research Fellow, Columbia Law School
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    • I am grateful to Tanja Ehnert, Alexis Galan Avila, Daniela Jaros, Lukas Knott and Marco Rizzi for their comments and corrections. I want to thank the organisers, especially Prof. Snyder, and the participants of the WISH workshop on ‘The Future of Transnational Law’ in Shenzhen where this paper was first presented. Needless to say, all mistakes are mine. Comments are welcome at


This article tackles the emergence of transnational law under the pressure of globalisation. It argues that lex sportiva, the law of international sport, is a fruitful research object in order to address three key questions raised by transnational law: What is transnational law? Is transnational law legitimate? How do we deal with transnational legal pluralism? We will address each of these questions separately, complementing each time a general analysis with empirical examples drawn from the field of lex sportiva. In our view, there is a pressing need for empirical work and pragmatic description of legal phenomena reaching beyond the state. Hence, we suggest lex sportiva as a suitable playground for transnational lawyers.