Landmark Privy Council Ruling 

The Privy Council on Thursday (February 9) handed down its judgment on the appeal centered around attorneys-at-law having to report suspicious activities in relation to their clients to the relevant authority.

The Council noted this was not a breach of constitutional rights, despite the Court of Appeal previously ruling that certain aspects of the statutory regime in Jamaica for combating money laundering interfere with the privacy and liberty rights guaranteed by the Jamaican constitution. That is the reason for the United Kingdom Privy Council’s ruling in relation to the section of the proceeds of crime act which places a duty on attorneys to report suspicious activities regarding their clients to the relevant authority.

Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke says the decision represents the firm commitment and resolve of the Government of Jamaica to bring its anti-money laundering regime into compliance with international standards. Additionally, the decision is a game changer in Jamaica’s efforts to ensure that the financial system is not abused to launder the proceeds of criminal activity.

Having regard to the ruling of the Privy Council, Jamaica will now move with expediency to ensure that attorneys-at-law fulfill their obligations under the act as part of the designated non-financial businesses and professions framework. More details in the report below:

Reporter: Nasika Alliman

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