Court Strikes Down NIDS



The Constitution Court has struck down the National Identification System (NIDS) Act saying it is null and void.

A panel of three judges headed by Chief Justice Bryan Sykes struck down the entire NIDS Act. The Court ruled that the main provisions in the NIDS Act are in breach of the right to privacy.

The Act was declared of no effect.

The Government had set out over the last two years a scheme of arrangements to collect biometric data for every Jamaican to develop a national identification system. It had said the new ID system was necessary for security and for the optimal provision of a range of services.

The Opposition People’s National party (PNP) took the matter to court, with General Secretary Julian Robinson as claimant. He said the NIDS would violate his Constitutional Rights as a Jamaican.

The court said that in light of their findings the law was of no use.

The judgement was handed down at 9:30 Friday morning in an historic manner, streaming on the internet. This was the first time a judgement in the Jamaican courts was carried live on the internet.


Franklin McKnight



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