Case details

Williams (Appellant) v The Supervisory Authority (Respondent) (Antigua & Barbuda)

Case ID: JCPC 2018/0041

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Antigua and Barbuda

Case summary


The central issue in this appeal is whether the civil asset forfeiture regime contravenes fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.


On 26 May 2008, the Appellant was found guilty of an offence contrary to section 12(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Shortly thereafter, the Respondent obtained an interim freezing order in respect of certain property belonging to the Appellant (the "Property"). On 5 August 2009 the Respondent applied for civil forfeiture (confiscation) of the Property. The Appellant resisted this application on the basis that the Property was not acquired with the proceeds of criminal activity and that the civil forfeiture proceedings were unconstitutional.

On 24 December 2009 the Money Laundering (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2009 came into force, making a section 12(1) offence a money laundering offence. On 10 September 2015 the civil forfeiture order requested by the Respondent was granted. The Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, contending that the civil forfeiture order contravened his fundamental constitutional rights. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.



Ahmed Williams


The Supervisory Authority



Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

06 Feb 2020

Hearing finish date

06 Feb 2020

Watch hearing
06 Feb 2020 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

08 Jun 2020

Neutral citation

[2020] UKPC 15