A weekly digest of legal news under the following headings:-
Before the Courts
Developments in the profession
Law and Society
Beyond our shores
Law in the News: November 15 – 21 2015
Before the Courts
A woman who used her cellular phone to hit her former friend in her forehead was freed of an assault charge after she showed the court a Facebook post in which the complainant vowed to have her arrested.
Jamaican Leader of Government Business in the Senate, AJ Nicholson, criticised statements coming from within the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) that the issue of amending Jamaica’s buggery law should be put to a referendum.
Jamaican Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson announced that the House of Representatives approved an amendment of the Cyber Crimes Act to make a cyber bullying a crime in Jamaica.
The amendment to the Cybercrimes Act can be viewed here .
St Lucia has signed an agreement with the government of the United States to implement the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act(FATCA). FATCA targets non-compliance by US taxpayers using foreign accounts and it requires foreign financial institutions to report to the Internal Revenue Service information about financial accounts held by US taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.
Jamaica CCJ debate
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, AJ Nicolson argued that it was time for Jamaica to move from the Privy Council and join the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice(CCJ). He stated that he saw no good reason not to vote in favour of the bills.
Further another senator made the call that Jamaica must leave the Privy Council before the country is kicked out.
A recommendation by Opposition Senator Dr Christopher Tufton that a bipartisan committee be established and given a timeline of 12 months to hammer out differing views on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has been accepted by the Government.
Law and Society
After being charged for fraud, attorney at law Audley Earl Melhada has been struck from the roll of attorneys-at-law entitled to practise in Jamaica. After hearing evidence in a complaint brought by a client, the committee found that Melhado was guilty of professional misconduct.
Jamaican attorney Laverne George was arrested by the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch and charged with fraudulent conversion.
Jamaican attorney at law, Peter Champagnie highlighted the need for a review of the operations of the Coroner’s Court after he represented three policemen who faced murder charges were cleared of the charges after 14 years since the case was before the court.
Attorney at Law Donna Parchment Brown was sworn in as the new political ombudsman in Jamaica. She will function as a mediator and facilitator to ensure the proper conduct of the political parties in accordance with the established codes.
In Jamaica, a man who posted a video on his Facebook account which appeared to show him engaging in sexual intercourse with an unwilling female has been charged with rape and forcible abduction.
This article, written by attorney at law Shena Stubbs, discusses the current issue of replacing the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice in Jamaica from a colonial perspective.