Walrave and Koch 1974



The focus of today’s case is on some of the EU legislation and how it has been significant to the development of sports law. Similar to the Case discussed in Week 1 this case involved a discussion surrounding the TEFU articles and where EU law switches on and off regarding sporting cases as there is a balance between sport being specific and autonomous and having the ability to be legislated over. This touches on the principles in the Bosman case.[1] However, this case was the first to discuss where the law switches on and off.

This case concerned the pacemakers who were employed for the cyclists within the Tour De France cycling festival.[2] An argument arose to whether these pacemakers could be prevented from working for cyclists of different nationalities due to the strict nationality quotas that were utilised to uphold the representation of the national team that athletes were representing. The pacemakers argued that due to not being athletes themselves they were not subjected to following these nationality quotas. Thus, the discussion surrounding where the law ‘turned on’ Bosman had made it clear that sports were subjected to the law in certain circumstances. However, this case crystalized when law switched on in terms of law.[3] It was decided that EU law would ‘switch on’ and be applicable sports where the activity in question was an economic activity and impacted the ability for an individual to provide work and services.[4] The case went on to discuss that EU law is exempt when the rule being questioned was purely sporting, the rules defined as instances where the rule was limited to achieving either a proper objective or inherent in the proper organisation of sport. Walrave decided that if the rule was not purely economic, only impacted some economic activity and was a sporting rule, then the law was still exempt.[5] Providing a minimal approach to where the law was able to intervene.

This was successful in displaying both that law could be regulated against as secured by Bosman (See Week 1) and that sporting bodies had a legislative function as out with these times sporting federations where able to regulate on sports.

Next week the development of were EU law switches on and the current position regarding this provision will be discussed.


References

Books

Mark James, Sports Law (3rd edn, Palgrave, 2017) 19

Case Law

Walrave and Koch v Association Union Cycliste Internationale (Case 36/74) [1974] ECR 140

Journal Articles

Peter Taylor, Et Al, ‘A Review of the Social Impacts of Culture and Sport’ [2015] The Culture and Sport Evidence Programme < https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/416279/A_review_of_the_Social_Impacts_of_Culture_and_Sport.pdf > Accessed October 19 2020

Stephen Weatherhill, ‘The Helsinki Report on Sport’ (2000) 25 (3) European Law Review, 282-292

[1] Mark James, Sports Law (3rd edn, Palgrave, 2017) 19 [2] Walrave and Koch v Association Union Cycliste Internationale (Case 36/74) [1974] ECR 140 [3] Peter Taylor, Et Al, ‘A Review of the Social Impacts of Culture and Sport’ [2015] The Culture and Sport Evidence Programme < https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/416279/A_review_of_the_Social_Impacts_of_Culture_and_Sport.pdf > Accessed 31 October 2019 [5] Stephen Weatherhill, ‘The Helsinki Report on Sport’ (2000) 25 (3) European Law Review, 282-292

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