- Arbitral Award
- Deutsches Sportschiedsgericht
- Unknown German athlete v. Deutscher Leichtathletikverband
DISPUTE BETWEEN A GERMAN ATHLETE AND THE GERMAN SPORT ASSOCIATION - UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES AS A MEANS OF INTERPRETING DOMESTIC LAW (GERMAN LAW)
CONTRA PROFERENTEM RULE - GENERAL PRINCIPLE OF INTERPRETATION - REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 4.6 UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES
Claimant, a German athlete, brought an action against Defendant, the German Sport Association, for damages resulting from the latter’s refusal to nominate Claimant participant in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. According to Claimant he was entitled to such nomination since he had met the qualification requirements established in Defendant’s rules for the nomination of the German Olympic Team (the “Rules”) by achieving twice the required sport result, though in one and the same competition. Defendant objected that, although the Rules did not specify that the sport results in question were to be achieved in different competitions, they were to be understood in that sense.
The Arbitral Tribunal decided in favour of Claimant on the ground that in case of doubts contract terms supplied by one party are to be interpreted against the supplying party. It is true that in German law this rule is expressly stated only with respect to standard terms (see § 305c, para.2 of the German BGB), while it may be questioned whether or not the Rules are veritable standard terms. However, according to the Arbitral Tribunal even if the Rules were not standard terms the contra proferentem rule should apply since this was the approach prevailing at international level as demonstrated by Article 4.6 of the UNIDROIT Principles.