Recent distressing events have brought to the attention of the newly formed and self appointed Cricket Web Law Reform Committee the need for a Statute of Limitations on the issuing of bans. At present an infraction can be issued for a post at any time after the post was made. An empirical survey of recent bans conducted by the CWLRC indicates that infractions are being issued up to five months after the alleged offence.
I refer readers to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Forum Rules Amendment Act 2011. Among the stated aims of the rule changes is to make the system 'more transparent and fair' (Nixon, 2). The ever present threat of infraction for long forgotten posts is clearly antithetical to both these stated aims.
Moreover, the Memorandum states, at 3, '[a]t every point a member knows how many points they have on their account, so a long or short ban does not seem like it is 'coming out of nowhere'.' Being infracted for a post made several months prior is precisely 'coming out of nowhere'. It is clear that a Statute of Limitations is necessary in order to uphold the purpose and spirit of the Act.
The Forum Rules indicate that infractions are to expire after 42 days. This seems a reasonable starting point as a maximum period after which infractions can no longer be issued for a post. It is the Committee's view that a shorter period, ideally 14 days, is appropriate, particularly when it is clear that moderators have read the supposedly offending post (i.e. by replying directly or posting shortly after it).
Private submissions have already been tendered by some of CW's senior legal minds indicating general support for the implementation of a Statute of Limitations.