Johan Lindholm

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Works at:



Umeå universitet
SE-901 87 Umeå

Visiting Address:

Samhällsvetarhuset, Plan 5, Umeå universitet


+46 90 786 56 03


+46 90 786 65 87


johan.lindholm@umu.seEmail 1

johan.lindholm@jus.umu.seEmail 2


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My research, current and previous, mainly centers around European Uion law and and sports law. I am mainly interested in the constitutional aspects of these areas and I frequently apply comparative metods and various empirical methods in my research.

EU Law

My research in EU law has thus far primarily concerned the constitutional aspects of EU law and especially the impact of EU law on national courts and national court proceedings. Prominent in this category of research is my disseration, State Enforcement of Union Rights (2002-2007). This project consisted of a comparation between, on one hand, the demands of EU law on procedure in national courts when a national court applies substantive EU law and, on the other, the requirements that federal US law makes of similar proceedings in state courts.

I am precently running two larger research projects together with my colleague  Mattias Derlén. The overall aim of the first project, The European Court of Justice's case law and its importance as a source of law (2012-2014), is to explore how CJEU judgments are used as a source of law in subsequent cases. The second project, Case law as a source of law (2014–2016), seeks to empirically establish to how and to what extent judgments are used as a soruce of law in Swedish Law.

Sports Law

Legal aspects of sports in general and the impact of EU law on sports has interested me since 2007. This has resulted in indvidual publications concerning the relationship between EU law and sports. I have previously conducted a large research project in sports law entitled Doping, an issue for the legislator? (2009–2012) which aimed to explore who regulates doping, when, and why. The results of the project are primarily reported in the book Doping, idrottsligt fusk eller rättslig angelägenhet?.

Besides that project I have also done other research in the field, primarily regarding the application of competition law to sports. I have also written a textbook in sports law, Idrottsjuridik.

Current Research Projects

Doping, an Issue for the Legislator?

The rules governing doping which are applicable in Sweden are created by many actors and exist on many levels. Those who formulate these rules can be categorized basd on their organizational belonging, most importantly distinguishing between lawmakers and political entitites on one hand and sporting organizations on the other.The existence of numerous regulators creates a real possibilty of regulatory conflicts. Besides the complex relationship between actors in the spheres of law and sports respectively, indvidual regulators must also relate to how other regulators act with regard to doping. As in any area governed by more than one set of rules, there are four possibilites with regard to any specific situation: it can be governed by (a) system A, (b) system B, (c) system A and system B or (d) neither system. In the end, it all comes down to a conflict between rules, much like those found in other areas and which can and should be approached asking a tradtional, legal question: which rule applies when and why?

The Case Law of the ECJ as a Source of Law

As of 2010, I am part of a multidisciplinary project that through a combination of legal, statistical and network analytical methods study how the European Court of Justice uses and relates to its own case law. Ultimately, the project seeks to clarify the role and importance of ECJ case law as a source of law.

Selected Conferences and Presentations

27-29 sept 2009: "DCFR, Please Meet National Procedure", The Foundations of European Private Law, EUI, Florence, Italy
9 dec 2009: "Kompletterande och konkurrerande regler kring doping", Umeå centrum för idrottsvetenskap, Umeå universitet
28 jan 2010: Green Taxes in East Asia, University of Hong Kong
6-7 sep 2010: "The Changing European Landscape of Anti-doping", International Sport Law & Business Conference, Istanbul University
24-25 nov 2010: "Dopingkampen ur ett EU-rättsligt perspektiv", SVEBI 2010, Göteborgs universitet
9 febr 2011: "Free Movement of Goods and Rules on Use: A Step Towards a Workable Doctrine on MEQR's", European Law Discussion Group, Oxford University
4 mars 2011: "Salary Caps under European Union Law: The Case Against Financial Fair Play", 24th Sport & Recreation Law Association Conference, Savannah, Georgia

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