Justice Minister Delroy Chuck announced on Wednesday morning that the Government of Jamaica will not be appealing the Constitutional Court’s judgment which struck down the National Identification and Registration Act as unconstitutional.
Mr. Chuck, speaking at a press conference at his office in St. Andrew, said rather than appeal the judgment, the government plans to have a new bill drafted and presented for scrutiny by a joint select committee of Parliament.
The court, in its judgment, handed down on April 12 this year, ruled that large sections of the law, passed in November 2017, were unconstitutional, so much so that the entire statute was null and void.
“Having declared some of the provisions in violation of the charter, we are of the view that what was left could not stand, because it was so bound up with the other provisions, that there was no way it could survive by itself,” Chief Justice Bryan Sykes explained when he delivered the judgment.
The challenge to the Act was brought by Julian Robinson, General Secretary of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), who argued that some provisions of the law infringed some of his Constitutional rights.
The government, in its initial reaction to the judgment in April, had stated that it respected the court's decision and would spend some time reviewing it before deciding what its substantive response would be.
The National Identification and Registration Act was intended to be the main statute to enable the establishment of a National Identification System, commonly known as NIDS.