The Legality of an Arbitration Agreement in Favour of CAS Under German Civil and Competition Law – The Pechstein Ruling of the German Federal Tribunal (BGH) of 7 June 2016

This paper can be downloaded here.


The German Federal Tribunal (BGH) issued its decision in the long-awaited Pechstein case on June 7, 2016 (“BGH Ruling”). The core issue at stake before the BGH was the validity of the arbitration agreement between Ms. Claudia Pechstein (the Athlete), a speed skater and five-time Olympic gold medallist, and the International Skating Union (ISU). The BGH overturned the decision of the Munich Court of Appeals (OLG München) and upheld the arbitration clause between the Athlete and ISU. The present note offers an account of the jurisdictional issues raised in the BGH Ruling under German law and discusses the legal dimensions and the repercussions of the decision for sports arbitration in Germany and at the international level.


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