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ARBITRATION WORLD Appealing Sports Disciplinary Decisions – is it an Arbitration? Martin King (London) Following the article in our last edition, which summarised the approach taken by the Supreme Court of Victoria (Australia) to the question “What is a Commercial Arbitration?” in the context of a sports governing body’s disciplinary process (the “Australian Football Case”), Bruce Baker v The British Boxing Board of Control [2015] EWHC 2469 (Ch) is a decision in a growing body of English case law confirming that— provided requisite characteristics are present—a sports governing body’s appeal process can constitute an arbitration under English law, and the resulting decision can constitute a final and binding arbitration award, subject only to the limited scope of challenge afforded by the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act”). BACKGROUND Before considering the Bruce Baker decision, it is worth a brief recap of two earlier English law cases that discussed the relevant principles. In a 1999 case involving a dispute between a Formula One racing team and one of its drivers (Walkinshaw & Ors v Diniz [2000] 2 All ER (Comm) 237), the court discussed the characteristic elements of an arbitral process (as set out in our previous article “What is a Commercial Arbitration?”. While obiter and drawn from the parties’ submissions and eminent arbitration textbooks (rather than strict legal precedent), the characteristics of an arbitration discussed by Thomas J in Walkinshaw have been considered and applied in subsequent cases, one of which was England & Wales Cricket Board Limited v Danish Kaneria [2013] EWHC 1074 (Comm). 30 K&L Gates: ARBITRATION WORLD