Skip to main content

Case details

The General Legal Council and another (Appellants) v The Jamaican Bar Association (Respondent) (Jamaica)

Case ID: JCPC 2021/0053

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary

Issue

Whether the Jamaican statutory regime to combat money laundering insofar as it applies to attorneys–at–law is constitutional.

Facts

The JBA is a company incorporated in Jamaica whose members are attorneys–at–law and whose objectives are (among other things) to promote the interests of attorneys in Jamaica. The GLC is the statutory body in Jamaica responsible for regulating the legal profession. The Jamaican statutory regime to combat money laundering is comprised of primary legislation, secondary legislation, and non-statutory guidance (together, the “Regime”). The JBA considers that the duties imposed by the Regime upon attorneys are unconstitutional because, inter alia, they undermine legal professional privilege and the independence of the Bar.

The JBA brought a claim seeking declaratory relief to that effect, injunctive relief, and other constitutional redress against the Attorney General and the GLC. On 4 May 2017, the Supreme Court (sitting as the Full Court) dismissed the JBA’s claim and declared that the Regime was constitutional. The JBA appealed. On 30 July 2020, the Court of Appeal allowed the JBA’s appeal in part. The Court of Appeal considered that certain of the provisions which form the Regime contravened the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Amendment) Act 2011 whereas other provisions were valid and lawful. With leave of the Court of Appeal, the GLC and the Attorney General now appeal to the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

The General Legal Council and another

Respondent(s)

The Jamaican Bar Association

Appeal

Justices

Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lord Burrows, Lord Richards

Hearing start date

29 November 2022

Hearing finish date

30 November 2022