Many players and agents don’t fully understand the BAT process, what if offers, and what it can do. One of our goals here at the IBPA is to inform people of the power of the arbitration process and to take some of the mystery out of all of this.
First thing’s first, what is arbitration? Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that parties use in lieu of litigating in courts. Arbitrating parties refer their dispute to one or more persons (typically called arbitrators or the arbitral tribunal) to render a decision called an award. Arbitration awards are typically binding on the parties and can usually be enforced through the courts of any countries in which the losing party has property––such as bank accounts. Arbitration is uniquely useful to disputes between parties of different countries because of the inherent difficulties with conflicting laws, languages, and cultures.
Second question, what is the BAT and how did it get its start? The BAT was established by FIBA in 2006 under the name “FIBA Arbitral Tribunal (FAT)”. In accordance with the 2010 FIBA General Statutes, the tribunal was renamed into “Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT)” and is an organization officially recognized by FIBA.
The Basketball Arbitral Tribunal provides services for the resolution of disputes between players, agents, and clubs through arbitration. The main features of the BAT include:
- True Arbitration under Swiss Law (seat of each arbitration is Geneva);
- Single Arbitrator appointed by the BAT President;
- Simple procedure;
- English language only;
- Hearing and hearing of witnesses upon application only;
- Provisional and conservatory measures available;
- Arbitrator decides ex-aequo et bono, i.e., on the basis of general considerations of justice and fairness without reference to any particular national or international law;
- Decision within six weeks of end of proceedings.
Failure to honor a BAT Award may entail sanctions by FIBA such as, as the case may be, a monetary fine, the withdrawal of a FIBA Agent’s License, a ban on international transfers of players, or a ban on registration of new players as provided in the FIBA Internal Regulations. Source: http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/expe/fat/p/openNodeIDs/16807/selNodeID/16807/pres.html