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Case details

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

Case ID: JCPC 2021/0084

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary


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


The Jamaican Bar Association ("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 General Legal Council ("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"). In 2013 the Regime was extended to cover attorneys. The JBA considers that the duties imposed by the Regime upon attorneys are unconstitutional because, inter alia, they undermine legal constitutional rights to liberty, privacy (including professional privilege) and protection from search of property.

The JBA brought a claim seeking declaratory relief, 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 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.



The Attorney General and another


The Jamaican Bar Association



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

Hearing start date

29 November 2022

Hearing finish date

30 November 2022

Watch hearing
29 November 2022 Morning session Afternoon session
30 November 2022 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

9 February 2023

Neutral citation

[2023] UKPC 6

Watch Judgment summary
9 February 2023 Judgment summary