Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Judges get help to interpret Proceeds of Crime Act

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2017 | 5:16 AM

Judges of the Court of Appeal and High Court are now better equipped to interpret and apply the Proceeds of Crime Act, after another training session held on the weekend.

The workshop was geared towards building the capacity judges and standardising the approach to the Proceeds of Crime Act.

His Honour Judge Michael Hopmeier, Circuit Judge, Kingston-on-Thames Crown Court, from the United Kingdom shared best practices from that jurisdiction, as well as the operation of similar legislations in the United Kingdom.

These sensitisation sessions have become more critical for the judiciary in light of certain weaknesses referred to by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Anti-money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Mutual Evaluation Report 2017; and to provide guidance from a practical perspective in application of rules that have been developed pursuant to the Act.

The Honourable Justice Zaila McCalla, Chief Justice of Jamaica, speaking at the event, stated that it is of “crucial importance for the judiciary, while maintaining our independence, to put in place measures within our remit, to combat the effects of money laundering and terrorist financing, so as to enable Jamaica to be compliant with the requirements of those agreements to which we are party”.

The correct interpretation and application of the Proceeds of Crime Act, is a part of the increased thrust towards taking the benefit out of crime.

The sensitisation session was facilitated by the British High Commission and the National Integrity Action (NIA) in association with the Office of the Chief Justice. Earlier this year one such session was held for parish court judges.