Vincentian co-authors book on Sports Law in the Caribbean

By Dr Jason Haynes

The authors of Commonwealth Caribbean Sports Law – Dr Jason Haynes (left) and J Tyrone Marcus.

St Vincent’s own, attorney Dr Jason Haynes, and co-author, attorney J Tyrone Marcus, have launched the first book on Sports Law in the Caribbean, amidst high praise from legal luminaries.
At the official launch at Frenches House on Monday night a host of lawyers, and sports officials buttressed the audience.

The Chairman of the National Sports Council, Richard Branch; the President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines(SVG) Cricket Association, Dr Kishore Shallow; the President of the SVG Football Association, Marvin Fraser; and the General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee, Keith Joseph; were all in attendance, and they delivered remarks confirming how useful the text would be.

The “Commonwealth Caribbean Sports Law” is said to recognize the rapidly evolving area of Sports Law, and it seeks to embrace the relevance of this area of the law in the region.

The book dives into the areas of: doping in sport, sports contracts, intellectual property rights in sports, and sports governance, among other things. The target audience includes athletes and sports administrators, not only students and lawyers.

Dr Jason Haynes is an attorney admitted to practice in SVG and Barbados. Education wise, he graduated with first class honours from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cavehill campus, attained a Masters of Law with distinction from the University of Nottingham, and a completed his doctorate at the University of Durham with awards.
J Tyrone Marcus, is an attorney admitted to practice in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados, and is currently a lecturer in Sports Law at the UWI St Augustine. His Master’s degree in Sports law and practice is from De Montfort University.

Both have in the past contributed articles to respected journals, such as the International Sports Law journal, the Sports and Law journal, the World Sports Advocate, the Law in Sports Online Journal, the Global Sports Law and Taxation Reports, and the International Sports Law review.

The authors started putting together their work over Skype in 2017, after meeting through the encouragement of the publisher, Routledge.

“For us we consider Sports to be more than favourite pastime. We recognize its aesthetic appeal, but beyond its aesthetic appeal, we see Sports Law, and a particular Sport, as an indicia of our West Indianess,” Haynes told the audience.

Haynes explained that they felt compelled to write the book after realizing that there was such a lack of information regarding the interaction between law and sport in the Caribbean.
“We found it to be untenable that for a region which has produced tremendously talented athletes, as well, of course, as legal practitioners over the last several decades, that we continue to rely on jurisprudence,” from elsewhere, Haynes stated.

Justice Brian Cottle determined that the book was an excellent one. In his speech, he joked that he only found fault in the definition of sports wherein chess and dominoes were not included as sports.

He cited an African proverb, “Until the lions have their own stories, the tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter,” in introducing the reason why he was happy that this book had joined the “literary landscape” of the Caribbean.

“You see without our own indigenous authors, the peculiar Caribbean Perspective may well be overlooked. There will be no description of the development of our Caribbean jurisprudence, from our point of view, without the efforts of these brave few,” he noted.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves began by praising the journey of Haynes, who came from disadvantaged circumstances. He noted that when Haynes was at Community College he had to study by the light of a lamp pole.

Gonsalves said that the first thing that he noticed when he studied the book was who it was published by. “Routledge doesn’t publish you…for so,” he assured, “this book would have been sent for what is called peer reviews…scholars in the field would have been selected by Routledge, to see whether it is worthy of carrying their rank.”
“…and it is heralded, quite correctly, as the first book on sports law in the Commonwealth Caribbean, and therefore, Routledge had to get it right,” the Prime Minister and Minister of Legal Affairs commented.

From the way that the book is laid out, with a wealth of information from different sources, Gonsalves stated that it could be used as a tool for research.

The last speaker was Haynes’ godmother, attorney René Baptiste, who admitted emotionally that she felt “priceless”.

Hard copies of the books are available at the Gaymes Book Store in Paul’s Avenue for EC$110.