Kenya's sports dispute tribunal gains ground

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-17 09:55:07|Editor: mmm
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NAIROBI, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The head of Kenya's Sports Dispute Tribunal said on Sunday that more sportspeople are seeking redress at the court which was established in 2013 following an Act of Parliament.

John Ohaga, who chairs the panel, told Xinhua that competition in sports is settled on the field, but there are some legal disputes that have to be settled in a different forum. "Everyone looks forward to winning which makes competition very stiff, and therefore disputes are bound to arise," Ohaga said.

The barrister, who is also a former rugby international, said one of the things he discovered after he joined the tribunal was that sportspeople brought their disputes before the tribunal despite its relatively limited jurisdiction.

"Sportspeople have relatively short career durations and [disputes] must be resolved as quickly as possible instead of having them drag in court for five to 10 years," he noted.

Ohaga noted that the tribunal supersedes the conventional court process on matters to do with sports owing to its very distinct mandate. "A court is not supposed to interfere in the decisions of the sports tribunal, because when it opens its doors to litigation, it will set a precedent and open the floodgates that will render the tribunal irrelevant," he said.

Ohaga added that appealing against its ruling denies the tribunal legitimacy.