The procedural rules of the Code are split into 3 constituent parts: the General Provisions, the Special Provisions Applicable to the Ordinary Arbitration Procedure (the Ordinary Procedure) and the Special Provisions Applicable to the Appeal Arbitration Procedure (the Appeal Procedure).
The General Provisions are common principles throughout arbitration. They relate to the seat, language, independence and removal of arbitrators, and administrative matters such as language and time limits. The General Provisions set out the procedure for seeking provisional or conservatory measures. The applicant seeking preliminary relief must show “irreparable harm, the likelihood of success on the merits of the claim, and whether the interests of the Applicant outweigh those of the Respondents (R37 The Code). Arbitration practitioners will recognise this as the international benchmark for interim measures that is commonplace throughout commercial arbitration.
Similarly, the Ordinary Procedure resembles generally accepted practice in the international commercial arbitration procedure. One significant divergence with ordinary arbitration practice, is that where the parties have not chosen a substantive law to govern the merits of the dispute, then Swiss law will apply (R45, The Code). This compares to what is more commonplace under other institutional rules, which tend to allow the arbitral tribunal to select the most appropriate law to apply to the substance of the dispute in the absence of an express choice of law by the parties (see Art 21 ICC Rules and Article 22.3 LCIA). Parties should be aware of this at the outset when drafting contracts with a CAS dispute resolution clause.
The Appeal Procedure is somewhat less familiar to those accustomed to regular commercial arbitration. In the absence of anything to the contrary in the rules of the sports-body or federation, a Statement of Appeal must be made within 21 days. The responding party will then have 20 days to issue any statement of defence, along with any evidence. In a similar vein to commercial arbitration, the default position is that the panel will be made up of three arbitrators. However, unlike in commercial arbitration, the President of the Appeal Division may invite multiple parties to refer their cases to the same panel where they involve the same issues.
The scope of the review that the panel may undertake in the Appeal Procedure is broad. It may review all the facts and law presented at first instance again, and hold hearings to facilitate its decisions. The panel can issue a new decision to replace that made at first instance, it may annul a decision, or remit the case back to the sports-body or federation.
The law applicable to the merits in the Appeal Procedure is determined in accordance with the regulations applicable, and where silent, the choice of the parties. Where the parties have not reached an agreement as to choice then the law of the domicile of the federation or sports-body in question is domiciled, or in accordance with the law the panel deems appropriate.
Unless the parties agree otherwise, the Appeal Procedure provides that the award and a summary of the award will be made public by CAS. This has led to a body of jurisprudence developing around a number of important issues, which despite having no strict precedential value, is nevertheless highly influential on arbitrators hearing subsequent cases.