Provincial Court Judicial Justice appointed to International Sports Court

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B.C. Provincial Court Judicial Justice Carol Roberts is going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro!

JJ Roberts has been appointed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Ad Hoc Division for the 2016 Olympic Games. Named one of 14 arbitrators to resolve legal disputes arising during the games, JJ Roberts is exceptionally qualified for this responsibility.

In a December media release, the CAS explained the tribunal’s function and background. It has resolved disputes at every Olympics since 1996, and at other major sporting events like the Commonwealth Games, European Football Championships, the AFC Asian Cup, FIFA World Cup, and the Asian Games. It is responsible for providing Games participants with free and timely access to justice.

Arbitrators from 15 countries (some have dual citizenship and Canada is the only country to be represented twice) have been selected by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, an independent body. The Council considered both regional representation and gender equality in order to ensure that the panel reflects the makeup of participating athletes. (46% of athletes competing in Rio will be female.)

The arbitrators selected are all either lawyers, judges or professors specialized in sports law and arbitration, who are independent of the parties appearing before them. They apply procedures, set out in Olympic Games Arbitration Rules, that comply with fundamental principles of procedural fairness and due process. The arbitrators must be effective and efficient decision makers because they have limited time to perform their duties. They must render decisions within the timeframe of the competition schedule.

JJ Roberts combines a zest for international experience with an outstanding sports background and work as a mediator and judicial officer. She has studied in Strasbourg and Paris, France and Helsinki, Finland. She climbs mountains around the world, and takes kayaking trips abroad as well as at home.

Growing up in Canada’s Northwest Territories, she learned to skate on Great Slave Lake and strapped skis, snowshoes and track shoes on her feet as well. She progressed from competitive figure skating to judging that sport as a volunteer for three decades until she joined the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) as an arbitrator.

She currently acts as an arbitrator and mediator with both the SDRCC and the International Court of Arbitration for Sport. She has competed in 10k races, winter triathlons, marathons, and four Arctic Winter Games in different sports. For relaxation she does yoga, Nordic skiing, inline skating, runs, snowshoes and cycles (completing a 100k charity ride last year). And this is all in addition to her day jobs – serving part time as a B.C. Provincial Court Judicial Justice dealing with bail hearings and applications for search warrants at the Court’s Justice Centre and maintaining a mediation and arbitration practice.

For more information (and interesting decisions on issues in sports including canoeing, cricket, equestrian events, soccer, sailing, squash, skiing, tennis, and numerous other sports) see the CAS website