News

Jamaican Parliament Passes Bill to Abolish Criminal Defamation

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - November 7, 2013

Above: Jamaica’s Parliament

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Jamaican House of Representatives has passed a new Defamation Act that will streamline the country’s laws on defamation.

The act will abolish the distinction between libel and slander and establish a cause of action called “defamation,” according to Attorney General Patrick Atkinson.

The bill also abolishes criminal libel, and sets a statute of limitations meaning lawsuits for defamation must be filed within two years, replacing an existing limit of six years.

The government said the bill also had a provision removing liability on the media if it “it innocently disseminates information from a reputable source, and also replaces the defence of justification with the defence of truth.”

Opposition Spokesperson on National Security and Justice Delroy Chuck said in a government release that the bill made it very clear that once a publication is truthful and fair or if it is qualified in certain circumstances that [the media] have freedom of expression.”

The island’s previous Defamation Act was passed in 1961, a year before independence.

“What tremendous news for press freedom in Jamaica, the Caribbean, and the world over,” said International Press Institute (IPI) Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie, in a statement. “I want to congratulate the Jamaican Parliament for staying the course and removing criminal defamation from the country’s law books.”

The IPI said the move made Jamaica the first independent Caribbean country to have “have no criminal defamation laws,” including those covering seditious libel.
“Grenada abolished criminal libel in 2012, but maintains laws criminalising seditious libel and insult of the monarch,” the IPI said.

Popular Posts the sexiest beaches including this resort at atlantis

The Sexiest Beaches in the Caribbean to Visit Right Now 

One is a beach with a nightclub-style pool right next door. Another is filled with beach bars — and even has its own au natural corner. Then there’s a beach that’s practically a nonstop party.  There are so many things that […]


The Best Caribbean Islands to Visit This Summer, From Antigua to St Croix

verandah antigua

We’ve been saying it for years, and we’ll keep saying it: in some ways, the Caribbean is even better in the summer months. The water is warm. It’s a bit less crowded, a little bit quieter. At night, the trade […]


The Winners of the 2024 Caribbean Green Awards 

caribbean green

With almost 20,000 votes, the winners of the Caribbean Green Awards 2024 Presented by E-Finity have been crowned.  From state-of-the-art marine conservation projects to hotels that are redefining sustainability, the Green movement has never been stronger in the Caribbean.  “This […]


Related Posts jamaica tourism

Spanish Hotel Groups Investing $2 Billion in New Jamaica Projects

Spanish hotel companies are investing $2 billion more in Jamaica, according to Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.  Bartlett says the government has concluded talks with three major Spanish hotel giants for projects beginning this year.  That will include new luxury […]


Caribbean Photo of the Week: Black River, Jamaica

jamaica photo caribbean black river

The latest Caribbean Photo comes from Caribbean Journal reader Lloyd Linton, who sent in this lovely shot of the Black River in Jamaica. Have you taken a great photo in the Caribbean? Send it to news@caribjournal.com with CPOTW in the subject […]


Jamaica Is Hosting Another Tourism “Resilience” Conference 

jamaica minister speaking to delegates ahead of conference

Jamaica has been working to position itself as a global center for the study and practice of tourism “resilience.” That included the creation of the first global tourism resilience center and, last year in Kingston, the first-ever Global Tourism Resilience […]


SUBSCRIBE!

Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.


No. Thank You