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12 April 2019

NIDS struck down in landmark ruling

The Constitutional Court has struck down the National Identification and Registration (NIDS) Act after agreeing with the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) that certain aspects of the controversial legislation breached the rights of Jamaicans to privacy as is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The landmark ruling was handed down a short while ago via live streaming by the Full Court comprising Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, Justice Lisa Palmer Hamilton and Justice David Batts.

The Chief Justice said the panel was unanimous in its decision in declaring the NIDS Act as unconstitutional and null and void.

Justice Sykes argued that having struck down certain aspects relating to privacy issues such as the collection of biometric data, the remaining portion of the legislation could not stand.

This has dealt a major blow to the Andrew Holness-led administration that had argued that the NIDS will, among other things, improve the country’s national security while making it easier for persons to conduct business.

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