Abstracts submitted to Congresses

Oct 25 2002 | 3:18 PM

The Institution of the Olympic Truce*

Ancient Greek law seems to follow about the same course of development with the Hellenic «city-state» and its roots may be found very early in history.

The term «Diki» (justice) according to a certain point of view «initially signifies Justice and historically it comes after Themis (courts). There are many who believe that the word «Diki», as well as the words «Dikaio» (law), «Dikaiosini» (justice), «Dikaioma» (right), «Dikastis» (judge), derive from the ancient verb «Deiknymi» (point at).
«Justice is a safe support for cities»

Justice, presupposes «Aidos» (modesty) and «Nemesis», that is to say elements that clearly manifest the perception about justice of the whole people and its life style, while in the sense of the word «Nemesis» we may find the sperms of positive law as it will appear later and that is «nomos», the law. The institution of the Olympic Games is a very ancient Greek institution that initially had a customary character. For the Greeks, the Games were part of their religious festivities that were held by the Greek cities, which, in the framework of their specific civilization, created occasions for the establishment of the collaboration among the citizens, for their recreation and social education. The Olympian festivity in particular, has evolved to a religious and political bond that congregated at Olympia the young people of Greece in such a way that they «would always be ready and willing to sacrifice themselves for the ideals of fatherland and freedom».

In the framework of the conduct of the Games and the application of the ritual rules as well as laws in general, they applied the institution of the game officials. Many of these institutions are still in force as the committee of umpires and the committee that was responsible for the application of the laws of the games. The members of the latter, were the authorized, the responsible, and the ones that regulated the conduct of the games applying the laws that were in force. Almost the same role was played by the Umpires that were obliged to apply the law during the game and the preparation of the athletes in the area of the Olympian Games. During the conduct of the games, international relations were formed, that were visible mostly in Olympia, by the Olympic Truce. The institution of the truce was an act of peace, a cease of hostilities, in the horizon of an important and generally accepted event, as the sports games and mainly the Olympic Games, in the framework of a sacred festivity, as a tradition held at the sacred places. As a habit, a custom of the interstate law, the truce manifests itself as a form of law with international character, as for its existence as a typical and substantial law there should be a contract-agreement, from which will arise the interstate law of those times. The truce as an institution was created by unwritten laws and customs, on the basis of which was created the law of the treaty among independent cities (states) and a common and generally accepted interstate act of justice is thus created.

The Olympic truce is a fundamental rule of justice, which summarizes the interstate concept and relation of justice of city-states and their members, who at this great celebration of the Olympic Games express the ultimate purpose of life, the wish for a final peace among all the members of the ancient society. These interhellenic relationships have forged the unity of the Greek cities against common enemies, as the Olympic truce gave them the chance, by means of the truce between the enemies, to meet at the same place, forming thus the panhellenic political conscience. At the Olympic Games of today, it is not manifested through any recognized political institution any similar international institution. Nevertheless, a similar spirit is being expressed by the «Olympic Chart» as far as Peace and Friendship are concerned.

*This paper was announced in the 10th International Symposium of Philosophy, which organizing by the International Center of Philosophy and the Olympian Philosophy Center, Olympia July 29 - Aug. 3, 2000.

Sports Legal Order in National and International Sporting Life**


  • Legal aspects of physical and sporting activity
  • Sports legal order
  • The theory of sports organization and legal order
  • Lex Sportiva and Lex Mercatoria
  • Current international sports legal order
  • International sports rules vs. rules of national law
  • Cases of conflict
  • Legal order in national sporting life
  • Conclusion

**This paper was announced in 8th IASL Congress in Montevideo, Nov. 28-30, 2001.

Negative Phaenomena in Sports Activities
and International Sports Law***

The science of law has been quite concerned with the problem of sports organization as a cause generating the sports legal order. A question arises as to whether sports organization is a subject of law capable of generating rules of law for sports activities. Moreover, a further question arises as to how the sports legal order was established, created and formulated. The autonomy which it has as a Lex Sportiva; how it came to be recognized and how it imposed itself on sporting life in the international community on matters of international sports and in particular the modern Olympic Games; the negative phenomenon arising in the context of such a Lex Sportiva internationally; and how they can be dealt with effectively as problems of sports law, are just some of the questions posed as part of this paper with the aim of pointing out pathways for further exploration and academic analysis.
The conclusion reached is that at international level a sui generis sports legal order is emerging, non-national in character, which is followed by national federations and in this way is imposed directly or indirectly within our country.

***This paper was announced in the Special Session of the International Olympic Academy, Olympia July 12-16, 2002.

The Modern Athlete
Agreement – Equity – Equality Before The Law – Common Interest****

Sports today as a special, strictly defined social form of life requires methods and procedures for physical exercise via specially organized bodies which raise many questions as to whether they benefit the health of athletes, whether the benefit gained from the glory of victory is ample restitution or whether exhaust conditions are created for the body, mind and environment of the athlete for the rest of his/her life.

The process of ‘shaping’ an athlete’s body and his/her ability a) to control and influence this procedure at his/her free will, b) to determine the terms under which exercise, training and change in his/her biological constants take place and c) to achieve self-determination in the world of sporting life, are a few of the questions raised in this paper.

These abilities are examined in the light of the provisions of law on agreement, equity (epieikeia– aequitas), equality before the law and common interest.

Diagnostic sources of law both direct and indirect as well as formative and creative sources of law as discussed in the modern academic literature on the issue and as derived from sports experience in sports activity lead us to the conclusion that the image of the modern athlete which emerges both at an amateur and professional level is governed by characteristics which are similar to a person putting him/herself under pledge, the process of lending against the person as security (nexum se dare). This requires us to think again whether an equivalent to Solon’s cancellation of debts (Seisachtheia -throwing-off-of-burdens) is needed for modern sports.

****This paper was announced in the 12th International Symposium of Philosophy, which organizing by the International Center of Philosophy - Olympian Philosophy Center and the Hellenic Center of Research on Sports law, Olympia Aug. 3-7, 2002.

Dr. Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos
Assistant Professor at the University of Athens
Advocate - Attorney at Law
Secretary General of the International Association of Sports Law

back to category