Sixteen Chinese lawyers will offer their services as volunteers at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to help athletes settle sport-related disputes during the Olympics, according to the Beijing Municipal Lawyers' Association (BMLA).
The association chose them out of more than 40 candidates mostly based on English proficiency and work experience, Liu Jun, the association's deputy secretary general, told Xinhua Thursday.
According to Liu, the association received a letter from CAS Secretary- General Matthieu Reeb on May 7, saying that CAS had set up a 12-member arbitration court for the Olympics and hoped to have Chinese lawyers as volunteers.
The CAS is an independent institution that helps settle sports disputes through arbitration or mediation.
The volunteers will help athletes who don't have private lawyers, Liu said.
"All of the volunteers are practicing lawyers in Beijing. They can fluently use English at work and have experience of handling arbitration cases," he said. Most have studied or worked abroad.
But they still need training on sport arbitration cases, he said.
Reeb briefed the volunteers on the CAS operations during his visit here on June 4, at which time he distributed CAS regulations and terms and gave information on arbitration cases in the two previous summer Olympics.
Volunteers will gather for at least one more training course in July, Liu said. "We require them to prioritize service at CAS during the Games."
Established in 1952, the Beijing Municipal Lawyers' Association is an industry organisation supervising lawyers' practices.
(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2008)