The Network of Magistrates / Prosecutors Responsible for Sports (MARS) set up under the authority of the Council of Europe's Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) aims to strengthen international co-operation and exchange of information in the protection of the integrity of sport.

Introduction

Threats and challenges to sport integrity are not new. They are diverse, complex and have evolved significantly in recent years due to multiple factors, some being external to the world of sports and national borders. Sport is affected by corruption organised and financial crime, too often with seldom investigation, prosecution and sanctions, thus making sport corruption a low-risk crime and high-reward activity for criminals.

The transborder dimension of the threats and challenges to sport integrity requires coordinated international co-operation of many actors and intergovernmental action. Prosecutors have an essential role in the protection of sport integrity at the level of investigations, trials and sanctioning procedures, however few prosecutors are aware of the seriousness of the threats and often lacking the necessary financial and human resources and international network to work effectively.


Objectives 

The MARS Network:

  • Promotes the exchange of information and good practices among its members, in partnership with the concerned entities and international organisations;
  • Provides an international “forum” (reference body) devoted to investigation and criminal proceedings, capable of responding to sectorial expectations and facilitating the co-operation between prosecutors and relevant stakeholders, law enforcement and judiciary, integrity agencies, National Platforms, anti-doping agencies, sport movement, sports betting representatives, etc.;
  • Mobilises Prosecutors in a maximum of countries, enabling them to know their counterparts in other jurisdictions and have direct contacts;
  • Provides practical, educational and operational tools to facilitate the work of Prosecutors;
  • Serves as a knowledge hub on the specific legal and institutional situations in the different countries regarding criminal cases related to sports integrity.

Members and observers

Representatives of the prosecution system from member States of EPAS are members of the MARS Network. Each member State has one vote.

The Network may invite observers, including representatives of the prosecution system from other member States of the Council of Europe, from other States Parties to one of the sport-related conventions (ETS No. 135, CETS No. 215 and CETS No. 218), from Observers States to the Council of Europe and of other Council of Europe bodies or external organisations, to attend its meetings and participate in its work, without the right to vote.
 

Mandate of the MARS Network

Second meeting of the MARS Network – Paris (France), 18-19 September 2023

  Programme: Open session (18 September 2023)

  Concept note

  Speakers' biographies

  News item

 

First meeting of the MARS Network – Strasbourg (France), 24-25 November 2022

  Agenda: Open session (24 November 2022) | In-camera session (25 November 2022)

  Concept note

  Speakers' biographies

  News item