Dominican Republic: Arbitration in Sports
On 23 June 2023, the Executive Power of the Dominican Republic promulgated Law 36-23, which modifies Law 50-87, of 4 June 1987, on the Official Chambers of Commerce, Agriculture, and Industries of the Republic.
From a labour and employment standpoint, this new Law 36-23 is essential because it guarantees the arbitrability of sports disputes.
Law 36-23 modified paragraph VII of Art. 15 of Law 50-87 and says now:
“Sports disputes. The Court may administer sports disputes, if the parties agree to submit to its jurisdiction or serve as a delegated administrative institution by national and international sports entities. Likewise, federations, associations, professional sports leagues, clubs, and athletes, professional and in training, may submit conflicts to the arbitration forum they choose. The parties may agree to resolve their differences through an arbitration clause included in the contract or through an arbitration agreement.”
In the past, it was considered that sports entered the labour law camp, and in labour and employment, it was impossible to have arbitration to resolve conflicts. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that judges make their negative opinions against arbitration in sports more flexible. In this way, sports disputes can be submitted to arbitration, separating them from the ordinary labour regime. Thus, reinstating the institutional agreement signed in 2015 between “Major League Baseball” and the Court of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution of the Chamber of Commerce and Production of Santo Domingo.
This new law 36-23 recognizes the economic and legal significance of sports relations, especially baseball and basketball, in the Dominican Republic.