Terrorism (Prevention) Bill Tabled In House Of Representatives


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight tabled the Terrorism (Prevention) Act on Tuesday (Oct. 28) in the House of Representatives.
The Bill seeks to implement United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1373, by the prevention and suppression of the financing, preparation, facilitation and commission of acts of terrorism, as well as protect the political, social and economic security of the State.
Once enacted, it will also facilitate Jamaica’s ratification of, or accession to several of the terrorism conventions.
Outlining sections of the Act, Minister Knight said that the scope of terrorist activity was set out in Clause 3 of the Act and include:
1. Offences against the anti-terrorism conventions set out in the First Schedule as well as;2. Acts or omissions, which in whole or in part for any political, religious or ideological purpose, and are carried out with the intention to:a) Cause death or serious bodily harmb) Endanger lifec) Cause risk to the health or safety of the publicd) Cause substantial property damage; ore) Cause serious interference with or serious disruption of essential services, facilities or systems.
The Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister explained that the “acts of omissions” under the anti-terrorism conventions and the others I have just outlined are offences, whether committed in or outside Jamaica”.
The Act also criminalizes the provision or use of, and the dealing in property intending or knowing that it will be used for terrorist activity or knowing that it is the property of a terrorist organization by virtue of Clauses 4-6.
“These Clauses serve to implement Security Council Resolution 1373 and the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism by ensuring that entities that finance acts of terrorism are severely punished,” said the Minister.
Additionally, he said, “the definition of entity was deliberately drafted as wide as possible to include not just natural and legal persons but also trusts, partnerships, funds and unincorporated associations. This was done because of the recognition that various organizations, including charitable organizations, may be used to finance acts of terrorism”.
The Minister said that the Bill also through Clause 13, created a duty on persons to disclose information relating to a terrorism offence, which comes to their attention in the course of their trade, profession or employment.
Meanwhile, Clause 14 is intended to implement paragraph 1 (c) of Resolution 1373, which requires States to freeze funds and other assets of entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by persons who commit terrorist acts. This Clause relates directly to the operation of Clause 4 to 6.”Once an entity is listed by virtue of Clause 14, the offences with respect to providing or making available property (Clause 4), using or possessing property (Clause 5) and dealing in property (Clause 6) will become operative,” he said.
He further mentioned that the Clause would also facilitate the listing of persons and entities designated by the Security Council as terrorists pursuant to the Security Council list. The list, he said, was regularly updated and was sent to UN-member countries for implementation.
“Jamaica as Member of the UN is obliged to ensure that assets of persons on that list are frozen pursuant to paragraph 1 of Resolution 1373,” the Minister said.
Mr. Knight pointed out that the Bill contained other reporting requirements and provided regulatory controls by certain entities. It also contained provisions relating to monitoring orders, production orders, restraint and forfeiture.
He said amendments would have to be made to several pieces of legislation, such as the Drug Offences (Forfeiture of Proceeds) Act, the Extradition Act and the Offences Against the Person Act to facilitate the Bill.
The Minister further stated, “this Bill has far reaching implications for Jamaica in its fight against terrorism, both at home and abroad and will require intense study and concentration for the ensuing deliberations of this Honourable House.”
The introduction of this Bill is in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorists attack in the United States. The UN Security Council later unanimously adopted Resolution 1373 at its 4385th meeting in which Jamaica participated.

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