«Law is my love. Sports is my passion. Mental Health is my cause»
Law is my love. Sports is my passion. Mental Health is my cause. I dream of working for a sporting club or federation and dedicating all my energy, passion, and skills to contributing to a collective project.— Manel Atserias Luque
Lawyer focused on International Sports Law, International Human Rights Law, and Sporting Arbitration
Member of the International Bar Association Presidential Task Force on mental wellbeing in the legal profession; founder of saludmentalabogacia.com
A daily fight
At the end of 2010, I didn’t want to follow living in this world. My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was slowly destroying me. My life revolved around a perverse relationship between obsessions and compulsions. It is as if you were being tortured in silence, and no matter how much you scream, no one around you becomes aware of it.
Worst of all, this mental health problem debuted when he was six. At that time, I was unaware that this «no name» would eventually disable me. I had two options: surrender or fight to recover what had been arbitrarily taken away from me (my freedom). I decided on the latter one.
Although some people thought I couldn’t follow my studies and basketball activities because of my severe OCD, I demonstrated that they were wrong. Thanks to my family’s and friends’ support and my doctors’ professional help, I carried out two therapies (medication & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to fight against this monster. Although I am still taking drugs (much less than a few years ago) and sometimes OCD bothers me, I have recovered the passion, energy, and passion for living and learning from others.
Law is my love
I graduated in Law and obtained a Master’s in Legal Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University, having participated in the academic programme «Comparative, International, and European Law» at the University College Dublin Sutherland School of Law.
My first professional experience was related to Sports Law. Mainly, the case affected basketball coaches’ licenses involving over 8,500 basketball coaches. I had the opportunity to present a legal opinion to lawmakers from the Parliament of Catalonia explaining the dispute and write articles in the media defending coaches’ interests.
Besides, I was a legal counsel for different NGOs regarding the protection and promotion of rights of people with psychosocial disabilities (people with mental health problems) through the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
After studying two courses on Sports Law & Corporate Social Responsibility on Sports at Johan Cruyff Institute in 2021, I decided to focus on sports and find a job with purpose in this fantastic industry. I’m currently doing the International Master in Football Law at Sports Law Institute. Maybe, in the future, I will try to do my PhD on the impact of human rights on Lex Sportiva.
Basketball & Football
I played basketball in different sporting clubs for many years, and after I had the opportunity to be a coach of several basketball female training teams. For more than ten years, I was a legal counsel of a Basketball Camp, guaranteeing the fulfilment of legal requirements by staff, basketball players, and their families.
I have been a fan of women’s football for two years, and I am following with very attention the development of the Women’s Professional Football League in Spain.
Mental Health is my cause
I founded and chaired the Mental Health Institute of Legal Professions in Spain to break the stigma surrounding mental health in the legal community. For three years, I had the opportunity to lead a non-profit organisation composed of more than 30 international professionals (lawyers, psychiatrists, and psychologists) from Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Among other things, I participated in different conferences, promoted the first Study on Spanish Lawyers’ Health and Well-Being, and drafted the Healthy Business Charter (signed by the General Council of Spanish Lawyers).
I was appointed a member of the International Bar Association Presidential Task Force on Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession in 2019. This group, composed of international lawyers around the world, published the first international study on lawyers’ mental wellbeing («Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession: A Global Study«).
I founded the website saludmentalabogacia.com to show lawyers and law students all relevant studies dedicated to the mental health of the legal community and what we can do to improve our wellbeing. Likewise, I am a mental health activist and have participated in different media to raise awareness of mental health issues.