Commentary of the Macolin Convention against the Manipulation of Sport Competitions
Responsable du projet Madalina Diaconu
André Kuhn

Antonio Rigozzi
Résumé The manipulation of sport competitions (sometimes also called “match-fixing”) is not a new phenomenon; indeed, match-fixing scandals and case-law can be traced back to the 18th century ; however, the coordinated and global fight against this menace has only recently become a priority for lawmakers and sport organizations. The scale of this phenomenon – which affects all countries, all sports and all levels of practice, including kids’ leagues – has been documented since the beginning of the 2000's . Greater commercialization of sport, including through the extraordinary growth of online sport betting, and the extensive media coverage given to it have led to an increase in the economic stakes involved in achieving sports results. This in turn has encouraged an unprecedented development of corrupt practices – some of which are conducted by members of organized crime – which can evidently not be tackled by sports organizations alone. Case-law regularly emerges in many countries, including in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Malta and UK, as well as in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

In the context of this rampant increase of competition manipulation and of related crime, a ground-breaking international instrument was adopted in 2014, under the auspices of the Council of Europe: the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (hereinafter, the “Convention” – also called the “Macolin Convention”, because it was signed in the “capital” of Swiss sport, the small city of Macolin/Magglingen).

The Convention – which has a global scope – has entered into force on September 1st, 2019. It represents an unprecedented legal instrument destined to effectively fight against competition manipulation worldwide. The Convention raises many interesting legal questions, notably linked to its very diverse stakeholders (governmental authorities but also private bodies such as sport organizations and betting operators, which were directly involved in the drafting of the Convention and are directly targeted by the obligations provided therein) and to its substantive and procedural criminal law provisions, especially in the light of their conformity with human rights standards and with the fundamental principles of law. Moreover, the Convention innovates by providing a bold mechanism for exchange of information between all relevant stakeholders (both public and private entities), notably through the creation of national platforms that act as online “information hubs”.

These challenges undoubtedly raise interesting and complex legal issues that are largely unexplored.

Through the proposed Commentary of this Convention and of its Explanatory Report, the Applicants seek to analyze, in a systematic, comprehensive and critical way, the new legal parameters which apply to match-fixing in a global context. They endeavor to scrutinize all its legally relevant aspects, in the light of case-law and doctrine. The result of this research shall be a complete Commentary of the Convention, which is aimed at becoming a “must have” handbook for any lawmaker or lawyer dealing with the thorny issue of match-fixing.
Mots-clés Criminal prosecution; Sports Law; Manipulation of Sport Competitions; Match-fixing; Integrity of sport; Sport betting
Type de projet Recherche fondamentale
Domaine de recherche Droit du sport et droit pénal
Source de financement FNS
Etat En cours
Début de projet 1-6-2020
Fin du projet 31-5-2023
Budget alloué 390'906 CHF
Autre information Sont impliqués dans cette recherche:
Prof. Madalina Diaconu
Prof. Antonio Rigozzi
Prof. André Kuhn
Mme Surbhi Kuwelkar, Doctorante
Contact André Kuhn