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June 8 for NIDS court hearing

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Supreme Court is to hear on June 8 the claim brought by People's National Party (PNP) General Secretary Julian Robinson challenging the National Identification and Registration Act 2017 (NIDS).

The Opposition has insisted that sections of the act, passed in the Houses of Parliament last year, breached several rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

In his application, Robinson is seeking a declaration from the court that the particular sections of the act are null and void and should be struck down.


Protect rights


Yesterday, Robinson told senior editors that the Government had initially described NIDS as an identification initiative but that it was now, apparently, a national security measure.

He insisted that the Opposition supports a national ID system but maintained that it must protect the rights of the people and that a responsible Opposition had an obligation to uphold the law.

"We are not obstructionist," Robinson said in reference to claims by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

On Wednesday, JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang issued a statement saying that the Opposition was continuing its attempts to undermine NIDS.

"History won't absolve them for blocking the progress of the Jamaican people," Chang said.

"We, as a country, have been talking about this for almost 40 years. The PNP even tabled a bill in 2002 that is very similar to the one just passed.

Many of the current provisions that they now seek to undermine came out of discussions with them," said Chang, who is also the minister of national security.