The Sports Law is the another field of my expertise next to the Labor Law. Nowadays the Sports Law has become an emphasized branch of business and industry. Thus this phenomenon needs to be followed by the hungarian law and legal system through their provisions. The Sports Law is a relatively young area of the law, although today the sport is regulated by the third Sports Act (Act I. of 2004 on the Sport), this field of the law still has not yet become completely independent. The Sports Law is the kind of mixed field of law, because its duality is shown, that next to the Hungarian Constitution some other laws, government regulations, decrees, EU decrees and directions regulates it. For example without the need for completeness: Civil Code, Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, General Public Administration Procedures Code, the Code of Administrative Litigation, the Act of the Rules of Taxation, the Act of the Tax Administration and Regulation of Tax Administration, the Act of the Personal Income Tax, the Act of the Corporate Tax and Dividend Tax, Government Decree on Anti-Doping Activity, etc.
The Sports Law can be divided into two areas: sport public law and sport private law. The part of the sport public law regulates the public institutions of the sport (for example: Ministry of the Human Resources, State Secretary of the Sport Affairs, etc.), other institution (for example: public organizations within this public bodies: Hungarian Olympic Committee, etc.), the certain levels of the state management responsible for sport and the system of the public procurement for sport. In one word the sport public law is the sport public administration law which is also include the sport public administration procedure law. The sport private law includes the legal status of the athletes, the insurance and liability of damages of the athletes and other private legal relationships (for example: personality rights of the athletes).
In the Sports Law heading I discuss the international organizations which are working in the sport. For example without the need for completeness: International Olympic Committee, International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), International Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, their motto is ,,play true”), etc. Considering the above-mentioned facts, the Sports Law regulates a very large area, so it is very important that this area of the law has to be highly regulated.

The Sports Law is a widespread field of law, which includes the main fields of law. For instance: Civil Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law or Administrative Law.

The Sports Law not only consists of the traditional fields of law. It also includes the following fields of laws: Health Law, Insurance Law, International Law, International Private Law, Competition Law, Public Procurement Law, etc.

It can be seen well, that the Sports Law is a mixed specialized field of law which covers almost every fields of laws. The Sports Law is a relatively young field of law, which is for today a separate, individual professional field in the legal science.

I. Introduction; the short story of the sport as legal institution

The sport has been exist for long time, but its legal regulation was formed later. The Sports Law was formed precisely in the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. This time has evolved the classical rights of freedom and later the political and civil rights. The citizenry was meant the same with of the notion of the nation. The right of freedom and political rights were not just behooved to the individual, but the nation too. This rights are called first-generation fundamental rights. This rights are for instance: the right to life, the right to human dignity, right to personal liberty, the right to assembly, etc.

In 19th century, the social state was established and began to take care of its citizenry. The second-generation rights were emerged. This rights are the social rights, for instance: right to employment and right to health care, etc.

The healthful services have evolved with the institutionalization of the right to health care. The sport was such an activity.

Internationally, the sporting legislation evolved in the 20th century. On 16th December 1966 the United Nations (hereinafter: UN) General Assembly adopted International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, its Article 12 states that ,,the States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” [Princzinger, 2010.] The same aim is formulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child too (20th November 1989). The international basis of the Sports Law was created by the adoption of these two conventions. By the ratification of these two conventions, their contents were compulsory for the member States. The contents of these two conventions gradually implemented into the particular member States national sporting legislation regulation.

In Hungary before and after the Reform Age (1825-1848), the physical activity and the physical education were regulated by one-one draft act, but they were not made mandatory. During the Bethlen Consolidation (1921-1931) the Act LIII of 1921 on the Physical Education was adopted, which was marked the physical education as a State task. In the Socialism the sport was under State control. It can be seen well, there was not unified sport legislation.

For the first time in Hungary, unified sport legislation emerged after the regime change. The basis of the sport legislation was created by the Act XX of 1949 on the Republic of Hungarian Constitution (hereinafter: old Constitution). Its Sections 67 (1) and 70/D (1) gave entire existence to the Sports Law in the frame of the State.

The Constitution ,,Article 67 (1) In the Republic of Hungary all children have the right to receive the protection and care of their family, and of the State and society, which is necessary for their satisfactory physical, mental and moral development.”

The Constitution ,,Article 70/D. (1) Everyone living in the territory of the Republic of Hungary has the right to the highest possible level of physical and mental health.”

,,(2) The Republic of Hungary shall implement this right through institutions of labor safety and health care, through the organization of medical care and the opportunities for regular physical activity, as well as through the protection of the urban and natural environment.”

In Hungary on 1st January 2012 entered into force the Fundamental Law of Hungary. The Fundamental Law of Hungary, Article XX states the following:

,,Article XX (1) Everyone shall have the right to physical and mental health.”

,,(2) Hungary shall facilitate the enforcement of the right referred to in Paragraph (1) by ascertaining that the agricultural sector is free of all genetically modified organisms, by providing access to healthy foodstuffs and potable water, by the protection of occupational health, by health care institutions and medical care, by supporting sports and regular physical exercise, as well as by ensuring the protection of the man-made and natural environment.”

It can be seen well that the contents of the two sections are the same aside from small differences. Next to the two Constitutions, the Sports Law were regulated by two former law and nowadays this field of law is regulated by one new applicable law. The two former laws after the regime change were the Act LXIV of 1996 on the Sports Law and the Act CXLV of 2000 on the Sports Law. These laws were repealed. Today, the Sports Law is regulated by the third law which is the Act I of 2004 on the Sports Law (hereinafter: Sports Act or third Sports Act). 

So today the Sports Law is regulated by the Fundamental Law of Hungary and the third Sports Act. Next to these two laws, this field of law is regulated further more other laws and decrees.

In the last 30 years after the regime change, the three created and enacted Sports Act show well that the regulation of the Sports Law got stable basis since a unified act regulates the Sport as an equipment of the healthy life.

All in all, based on this short story of the Sport, it can be stated that for today, the Sports Law is a mixed field of law in the legal science.

Source: 2sec.com

II. The concept of the Sports Law

The Sports Law is a set of legal norms which governing sport. The Sports Law entirely regulates the physical exercise and the body-building  activity. 

According to the European Sports Charter Article II: ,,”Sport” means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels.”

The set of rules of the Sports Law is consisted of legal norms like other fields of law. The norm is general rules of conduct which is the smallest element of the law that can bear meaning. The norm has three parts: the hypothesis (condition), the disposition (facts) and the sanction (legal consequences).

III. The legislation of the Sports Law

As previously referred, the Sports Law is a mixed field of law which is regulated by many another law. Here is a short list of the most important acts and decrees.

  • Fundamental Law of Hungary
  • Act I of 2004 on the Sports Law
  • Act V of 2013 on the Civil Law
  • Act C of 2012 on the Criminal Law
  • Act I of 2012 on the Labor Law
  • Act CLIV of 1997 on the Health Care
  • Act LXV of 1996 on the Arrangement of Property for Sport
  • Government Decree 39/2004 (12 March) on the Liability for Sport Disciplinary
  • Government Decree 43/2011 (23 March) on the anti-doping activity
  • Government Decree 41/2004 (12 March) on the Olympic Life Annuity
  • Decree of Ministry for Sport and Youth (MSY) 7/2001 (4 Oct) on the Employment of Young Worker with Compulsory Education for Sport, etc.

List of the literary sources:

  1. Princzinger Péter: Sportjog I. Budapest, ELTE Eötvös Kiadó, 2010.
  2. Sárközy Tamás: Magyar Sportjog – Az új Polgári Törvénykönyv után. Budapest, HVG ORAC Lap-és könyvkiadó Kft., 2015.
  3. Nemes András: Jogi és sportjogi ismeretek. Budapest, HVG ORAC Lap-és könyvkiadó Kft., 2011.
  4. European Sports Charter Article II
pexels.com

The Act I of 2004 on the Sport (Sports Act) has been amended!

As a member of the SPORTJUS Hungarian Association of the Sport Law and as a Sports Lawyer, I am committed to inform every single athlete about the recent past amendment of the Sports Act, based on the information of the SPORTJUS. The Hungarian Assembly submitted the government’s bill No. T/3371. on 10th December 2018. which is amended the Act I of 2004 on the Sport (Sports Act).

The government’s bill has already been submitted and published since more than 4 months, but I could not present it in the recent past period because of the temporary out of service of my website and its following renovation. If someone was not  informed about the December amendment of the Sports Act, it can be viewed at down below of my article in PDF format.

The amended Sports Act contains some new interesting legal institutions. I will list some of them for instance: the new sports academic system, the registered leisure athletes. Next to the aforementioned legal institutions, new rules have also been introduced. Such a new rules are for instance: the rules of the data processing of the athletes, the State aid for TAO (Corporation Tax) and the State aid for the spectacle (sight) team sport, State aid for Sport, Olympic life annuity, the provisions of the security of the events for Sports, the organizer of the Sports events, the data for the system of the sports information, the rules related to the annuity for the trainers and the amended rules and its supplements for the anti-doping, etc.

It is very important for the sport experts, especially to the sports organizers and the professional leaders the interpretation about these new rules and provisions of the Sports Act, because they are necessary to their everyday work. In case of any further questions, they can ask for help from a sports lawyer expert.

You can find down below the government’s bill No. T/3371 in PDF format. The document is available in Hungarian.

30th April 2019. at Budapest

Best regards,

Zoltán Ferenc Samkó J.D.
Sports Lawyer