Kutafin Law Review

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Since 2021, the title of the journal has been changed for “Kutafin Law Review”, although its acronym has been retained (KuLawR).

Kutafin Law Review (KULawR) is an academic peer-reviewed law journal published by Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL). KULawR was established in March 2014 and is currently published four times a year.

We are particularly committed to publishing the academic work, in English, of Academics and Practitioners, for whom English is their non-native language.  The development of skills to work in English in the legal sphere is critical for the modern lawyer.  KuLawR is dedicated to supporting anyone who wishes to develop this.  You will find a positive and warm welcome from our Editorial Team - who will support and guide you through to publication.

We have three types of submissions which we invite you to share with us - full details of which can be found on our Submissions page.  These are full articles, case reports, and book reviews - offering authors three different types of scholarship and three different quantities of material to suit their stage of development in Legal English. 

We very much hope that this message encourages you to get in touch with us, and become one of our esteemed and honoured contributers!  We will be delighted to hear from you.

With every kind wish from all of us at KuLawR and Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL)

Current issue

Vol 10, No 2 (2023)
View or download the full issue PDF



239-255 276

The present study sets out the implementation of Lex Specialis in Sports Jurisdiction. It presents an introduction to Sports Law and the rules of Lex Sportiva and Lex Olympica. Following the introduction, this paper presents the concept of Sports Jurisdiction and the competence of the Sport Arbitral Bodies to rule on the constitutionality of the law. Furthermore, this study focuses on the necessity for the establishment of an International Sports Constitutional Charter with special rules for international sports activities and the establishment of a special International Sports Court. Finally, is investigated the application of the Lex Specialis Derogat Legi Generali Principle in Sports Law. In particular, this study points out that Special rules of sports law prevail over ordinary rules of law, according to the general principle of law Lex Specialis Derogat Legi Generali. It is highlighted that Sports Law is not a subcategory of international law, as International Sports Law, but a different kind of law, Lex Sportiva/Olympica. Lex Sportiva/ Olympica is an international “unethnical” law, which exists in parallel to the international law. It constitutes a sui generis sports law legal order, imposed heteronomously on the sporting world by various international organizations.

256-280 261

The article is devoted to the study of institutional and procedural problems related to the resolution of conflicts arising in professional and Olympic sports (elite sports). Modern sport seeks to isolate itself from state and international legal regulation, to create its own system of corporate standards, the subjects of which are sports organizations and athletes. In order to impart stability to the introduced system of corporate rules, international non-governmental organizations leading the world sports and Olympic movement also create their own jurisdictional bodies (arbitration courts, the so-called sports tribunals), the purpose of which is to resolve disputes between athletes, sports organizations on corporate rules established by international sports federations and the International Olympic Committee. The central part of this system of sports arbitration courts is the Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne (Switzerland), whose status is analyzed in detail in this paper.
One of the main problems to which the author pays attention, is the non-consensual, in fact forced nature of the spread of the jurisdiction of the sports arbitration courts on athletes, often combined with a prohibition (established in the corporate act — for example, the regulations of sports federations) to appeal to the state courts under a threat of lifelong disqualification. Thus, the structures that govern the world professional and Olympic sports require athletes to refuse to exercise their constitutional right to access to justice. But could an arbitration clause be considered valid if the athlete did not give consent to the consideration of his disputes in the arbitration court (arbitration) and to the choice of arbitration jurisdiction, which in fact was forced? Unfortunately, practice shows that in most cases, when athletes ignore this ban and apply to national courts, appealing against the decisions of the sports arbitration court in Lausanne, the latter make “political” decisions that take the interests of the leading forces in the world sports movement into account.


281-314 148

Coordinated efforts of the States and sports organizations to eliminate doping in sport all over the world have formed a unique legal model that stands out for high uniformity in its implementation and enforcement despite differences in national regulations, and this legal model continues to evolve. Erosion of the principles of amateurism, growing governmental interest in sport, concerns about the health of athletes have affected the shape of the modern anti-doping legal system. This study analyzes the key historical stages in the development of anti-doping rules and regulations, as well as the prerequisites for the formation of its modern legal principles and methods. The study details the first anti-doping rules adopted by the Jockey Club at the beginning of the 20th century and describes the legal activities of the International Olympic Committee, States and intergovernmental organizations on creating anti-doping rules and legislation before the adoption of the UNESCO Convention in 2005. Special emphasis is placed on the explanation of ideological and political influence on the development of anti-doping rules and assessing the roles of the main actors in the antidoping system.

315-343 94

In the World Anti-Doping Code and in the practice of its application in the sports world, four criteria were elaborated to guide the process of including new substances and methods on the Prohibited List, namely representing an actual or potential risk to the health of athletes, enhancing sport performance, violating the spirit of sports, masking the use of other prohibited substances or prohibited methods. However, these criteria do not fully address the question of how the selection should be carried out when a substance or method is included on the Prohibited List. The approach according to which the presence of any two out of the three following criteria — enhancing sport performance, representing a risk to the health of athletes, violating the spirit of sports — in a specific case can hardly be considered exhaustive and definite (the fourth criterion — masking the use of other prohibited substances or methods — is self-evident). The authors identify new problems that need to be taken into account in the future. These are, in particular, the need to improve the decision-making procedure for including new substances and methods on the List and to make it more transparent and the need to normatively settle the issue of using new technological devices, more specifically nanotechnologies and nanomaterials (technological doping).

344-366 79

The paper examines the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (Rodchenkov Act) and its impact on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). WADA has a dominant status in the field of anti-doping regulation in sport and builds relationships with other actors in sport based on a hierarchy. Maintaining WADA’s status as the primary regulator and coordinator of anti-doping activities in sport appears necessary for the further effective development of anti-doping policy and maintaining parity between States in matters of anti-doping activities. However, extraterritorial application of the Rodchenkov Act challenges WADA’s position as the universal and exclusive entity responsible for coordinating the fight against doping in sport, and, therefore, this poses threats to the harmonized governance model of the anti-doping system by States. The paper examines the legal aspects of the Rodchenkov Act, its impact on the anti-doping regulatory system and the feasibility of introducing the extra-territorial principle of operation. The authors also analyze the first investigation under the Rodchenkov Act carried out in 2022 and the future prospects of its application. The authors focus on examination of permissibility of extraterritorial provisions of the Rodchenkov Act and the possible implications for the anti-doping system if the Rodchenkov Act is applied extraterritorially.


367-376 78

The international migration of athletes has become an essential feature of sports competition. These days foreign travel is often the name of the game. The purposes and duration of such migration range from participation in single events to long-term, even permanent relocation involving professional transfers. Each purpose or duration may generate a different body of law and regulations. Varying national visa, residence and other requirements for territorial entry of noncitizens are of course essential. Regional, especially European Union law may also be foundational as it was, for example, in defeating a practice within the EU of transfer payments between clubs in different member states that impeded freedom of movement. Also applicable is international law, notably that of the several institutions within the Olympic Movement insofar as it is one of the very few NGOs vested with international legal personality. Supporting that legal authority or extending beyond it are bilateral treaties of friendship and cooperation. More broadly, international human rights law applies, particularly in reinforcing the rights of athletes to be free of political discrimination against their participation in international competition.

377-403 82

The paper is devoted to the content and specificity of the legal status of sports judges (sports referees) as one of the categories of active participants — subjects of sports. The paper dwells on underestimation of the role and importance of sports referees in general and in particular for specific kinds of sports. A sports referee is the most important and integral element of sports in any of its forms and at any level. Understanding of the status and ontology of the professional activity of a sports referee allows us to understand the nature of sports, its autonomy. The paper describes the essence of the concept and the legal status of sports referees, explains possible functional and instrumental roles of sports referees in detail. The authors highlight and explain existing determinants of the complexity of the concept and legal status of a sports referee and the peculiarities of the ontology of this profession. The paper shows the most pressing problems in the field of staffing positions of sports referees with qualified personnel. The paper suggests a detailed taxonomy of professional rights of sports referees noting that there is a complex and non-linear picture of the distribution of the recognition and significance of certain rights depending on specific jurisdictions. The authors define a specific ordering (order-forming and order-retaining) of the sports product, which is the integral result of refereeing and fulfilling by sports referees of other official powers.


404-425 58

The norms of ethics in sport have practically merged with the disciplinary norms of sports federations. However, the apparent identity of ethical duties and disciplinary duties has not resolved the existing problems of law enforcement. Ethical norms enshrined in the acts of sports federations must meet certain standards of law. In this case, we are referring to the general principles of legal certainty and proportionality, as well as some other related principles. These principles are the first and main guarantees for the subject of sport in case of a breach of an ethical obligation. They are used at different stages of disciplinary liability. Legal certainty protects against unclear ethical norms and unpredictable consequences of their use by sports federations. Proportionality obliges the measure of disciplinary responsibility not to exceed the necessary negative effect of coercion. The ethical obligation to abstain from disrepute is widespread in the acts of federations. The practice of non-disrepute has been intensified by geopolitical events of 2022. The examples of the practice on non-disrepute do not allow us to state that legal certainty and proportionality really protect in any situation from improper disciplinary liability. The tendency has appeared to understand the reputation of sports and sports federations through the prism of the public positions of a particular federation. Confrontation with such positions automatically creates the risk of disciplinary liability. Similarly, the test for real harm to reputation is ignored unlike potential harm or harm existing only in subjective judgements.


437-454 64

In 2018, the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea (the Aktau Convention). Despite this, some specific issues related to the straight baseline, remain unresolved. The result is that Iran has yet to ratify the Convention subject to negotiations concerning a separate agreement in the future. Since 2018, the signatories to the Aktau Convention have not reached an agreement in the course of negotiations on a separate agreement. The main question raised in the article is why Iran ha s not ratified the Aktau Convention yet. The paper shows that the authorization of the convention under Para. 4 Art. 1, the specific shape of Iran’s coastline, and the lack of agreement in the negotiations related to the special agreement prevented Iran from ratifying the Convention. The paper finally concludes that the border delimitation considered by Iran differs from the border delimitation agreed on by the four other states, namely Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, and it is only when the straight baseline is established with respect to Iran’s will and model that Iran will complete the ratification process.

455-471 82

The article is devoted to topical issues related to ensuring peace, security and cooperation among the states of the Central Asian region. It pays great importance to international law as the most important means of implementing the foreign policy of the states of the region and as the basis for maintaining the modern world order. It considers such areas of the international legal policy of the Republic of Tajikistan at the present stage as the protection of the state independence and national security of Tajikistan at the international level; development of trusting relations, friendship and cooperation with all countries of the world, especially with the countries of Central Asia on the basis of mutual interests; protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens of Tajikistan abroad; combating terrorism, extremism and crime in general; cooperation in solving global environmental, water and climate problems; cooperation in the field of labor migration, taking into account the protection of the rights of Tajik migrants in foreign countries; cooperation in order to preserve the identity, national identity and self-knowledge of the Tajik people. The detailed consideration of main directions makes a unique contribution to the understanding of the international legal policy of the Republic of Tajikistan at the present stage.

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