The Olympic Charter is the codification of the fundamental principles of Olympism, and the rules and bye-laws adopted by the International Olympic Committee. It governs the organisation, actions and functioning of the Olympic Movement and establishes the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games. Among other things, it establishes the relations between the International Federations, National Olympic Committees and the Olympic Movement.
The Charter was first published in 1908, under the title of Annuaire du Comité International Olympique. Some of the rules contained in this first Charter had, however, been written by Pierre de Coubertin around 1898.
Although the title Olympic Charter is generally used in reference to all the editions, it is only since 1978 that it has actually appeared as the title on the publication. Certain editions of the Charter have also been divided into several separate parts rather than a single publication. This is why volumes considered as charters are found under differing titles, such as:
- Statuts / Règlements et protocole de la célébration des olympiades modernes et des Jeux olympiques quadriennaux / Adresses des membres, in 1921; and
- Règles olympiques, in 1946.