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Supreme Court grants Bar association POCA injunction

Published:Wednesday | November 5, 2014 | 11:19 AM

The Supreme Court has granted an injunction to the Jamaican Bar Association halting the implementation of measures mandating lawyers to report their clients for suspected financial crimes.



The Bar Association has registered strong objections to sections of the amended Financial Investigation Division and Proceeds of Crime acts which were approved by Parliament in July.



The Bar Association claims the new requirements will damage the rights of Jamaicans to an independent legal profession and erode the fundamental principles of justice.



The Association also says the provision which allows the authorities to examine the files of attorneys facilitates State access to information which breaches attorney-client confidentiality.



In addition, it says the new laws could lead to the unravelling of the system of justice resulting in anarchy, tyranny and a breach of democracy.



The Association has filed a constitutional challenge of the amendments, and Justice Bryan Sykes has ordered that the injunction remain in place until that matter is heard next February.



Other professionals affected by the new requirements include Public Accountants, Real Estate Dealers and Casino and Gaming Machine Operators.



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