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Stop playing with Jamaicans constitutional rights - Public Defender's office to JCF

Published:Friday | July 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Office of the Public Defender says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) should stop playing with the constitutional rights of Jamaicans and end its attempt to have the Bail Act changed.

On Monday, Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams, said the police are pushing to have the law changed so that people can be arrested and given bail even before they are formally charged with an offence.

However, Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry says that proposal is contrary to the freedoms given to Jamaicans under the Constitution.

She argues that the police force should recall that the court struck down similar measures which were approved by the Parliament. 


Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry

Earlier this week, the Jamaican Bar Association said the police force needs to be careful that the changes it is pushing for to the Bail Act will not be in breach of the rights of Jamaicans.

The Bar Association President, Donovan Walker, also said more information is required from the police about why they want such powers.

The proposed amendment is now before the Legal Reform Unit of the Ministry of Justice, and according to the commissioner, it is the subject of active consideration.