Australia considers banning the Australian cricket tour to Zimbabwe.
Australia considers banning cricket tour to Zimbabwe...
The following is very interesting from a legal point of view. In recent years New Zealand stopped the Zimbabwe cricket team from touring this country. However, the Australian prime minister, John Howard, wants to go one step further and stop the Australian cricket team from actually touring Zimbabwe. Does Howard have the legal right to enforce a ban on an Australian team touring overseas?
Australia may have to bear the odium of international cricket by enforcing a ban New Zealand has never been prepared to enforce on a national sporting team.
Zimbabwe has quite predictably reacted angrily to the proposed ban, accusing the Howard government of being desperate and rascist. A case of Mugabwe calling the kettle black, no rascist pun intended!
Howard believes he has the overwhelming support of Australians, but if they sat down and considered the implications of such a ban, they may not actually support it in principle.Morally Howard is right, but legally he may have a problem in the State interfering in a sporting team touring overseas. Is he actually forcing them to make a political decision?
John Howard claims it would be a great propoganda victory for Mugabe if the tour goes ahead. He also said he wouldn't try and stop the Australian team from competing in the Olympics in Beijing, China - he will give their team all the support he could give. Some people would accuse him of double standards, considering China's reputation and widespread criticism for human rights abuses.
Australia would have to oppose the Mugabe regime in other ways, such as foreign aid to counter the 'disasterous rule' and support for those Zimbaweans working to promote human rights, media freedom and democracy in their country.