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The Bill seeking to make provision for the fulfilment of Jamaica’s commitment to the efficient and effective staging of Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 was passed yesterday (October 24), in the House of Representatives, with 20 amendments made to the 60-clause Bill.
Leader of Government Business in the House, Dr. Peter Phillips, who piloted the Bill, explained that the passage of the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Act, 2006, also referred to as the ‘Sunset Legislation’, is intended for the sole purpose of the holding of Cricket World Cup next year, and also to make provisions for an efficient and effective staging of the games; safe, orderly conduct of the games; protection of intellectual property rights; protection of broadcasting rights, as well as remedies for the infringement of such rights.
The legislation is a required stipulation for the nine countries in the Caribbean region that will host Cricket World Cup games.
Participating CARICOM countries are required, as a condition of their hosting, to enter into an agreement called the Host Venue Agreement between ICC Cricket World Cup and Cricket World Cup West Indies, a subsidiary of the West Indies Cricket Board.
Dr. Phillips pointed out that there were a number of firsts associated with the hosting of Cricket World Cup 2007, noting in particular, that it was the first time that a tournament would be hosted in nine different countries.
“It is unique to have the games hosted by so many countries and what it means in effect, and one of the obligations that has been entered into by CWC, is to have the Caribbean treated as a single space for purposes of the staging of the games,” he explained.
Measures that have been implemented so far, he noted, include a single CARICOM visa as well as an advanced passenger information system for international airline carriers to facilitate easier processing of passengers through the islands’ ports, in order to assist airline and maritime carriers in sending their passenger manifest ahead of time.
Noting that Cricket World Cup is the third largest sporting event globally, after the Olympic Games and the World Cup football, he emphasised that the provisions of the Bill were, by and large, similar to these events, and were seeking to specifically address the standards, rights and protection of sponsors, patrons, and the organisers.
As host countries are under obligation to enact the appropriate legislation that govern the hosting of the games by November 1, the Minister underscored the fact that, “the failure of a country [to implement the law] carries the possibility of impairing that country’s right to host any activity related to Cricket World Cup 2007”.
Already, Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis have enacted the ‘sunset legislation’, and the Minister indicated that the other seven countries are expected to follow suit within the next couple of days.
Outlining the various clauses of the Bill at length, Minister Phillips said in relation to concerns raised in the media about the possible infringement on the rights of property owners in close proximity to Sabina Park, where a number of games are to be hosted, “wherever private property is involved, the consent of the owner must be obtained”.
Dr. Phillips explained that such consent is a requirement in relation to the closure of a private road. “This requirement for the consent of a private owner also applies in this instance as Clause 5 clearly states that private property cannot be used as a CWC venue, unless the owner of the property consents,” he said.
In his contribution to the debate, Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding queried the restrictions contained in the Bill, and asked for clarification on the matter of zoned areas, classified as red, orange, and blue wherein public access is prohibited.
“There is no provision in law for these zones, the provision in law relates to the venue and the venue must be those areas within the control of the CWC Committee and it may include areas within the control of the Committee that are to be used for purposes ancillary to the holding a CWC venue,” Mr. Golding said.
He noted the interpretation under the legislation, inferred that, “areas not within the control of the Committee could not be declared a CWC venue and persons with titles to their premises could not be part of the declared venue, unless permission is given”.
Responding to the concerns raised by the Opposition Leader, Dr. Phillips said that in relation to the possible infringement of rights, “these are of limited duration and are purely for the purposes of providing a secure environment for the good order of the games and the protection of the public”.
“Not only is the law limited in its duration, but the capacity to structure events and to limit movements in areas is for a specified match period as is provided for in the Act, and that match period at maximum is likely to extend for three days,” he pointed out.
The three-day period would include the day before the match, the day of the match, and possibly the day after, should it be required.
“All of these provisions are going to be largely dictated by the security requirements that will be in place,” he stated.
As a proactive measure to make the necessary advance preparations, the Minister informed the House that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has designated State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn, to be the political point person for Cricket World Cup 2007.
Senator Franklyn, he explained, would serve as a government representative, “who will ensure that all the co-ordination of the various moving parts get underway. [and] to whom matters are to be referred as he would be responsible, on behalf of the government, for the co-ordination of this programme”.