- posted under: About Us
The Public Defender, an independent Commission of Parliament, was established under the Public Defender (Interim) Act 2000 (‘the Act’) which came into effect on April 16, 2000. The Commission is mandated to ensure that where any citizen suffers injustice, resulting from maladministration, appropriate redress is secured.
The Public Defender (Interim) Act repealed the Ombudsman Act, and thus created a hybrid body that not only investigates maladministration but also investigates allegations of constitutional breaches, and where necessary seek appropriate redress.
Though the Public Defender (Interim) Act is the governing statute, it is important to realise that as we are concerned with Public and Constitutional law matters, we make use of other Acts of Parliament which impact or influence our work. In this regard, at times we investigate complaints that engages provisions of the Access to Information Act, The Pensions Act or the Hawkers and Pedlars Act, just to name a few. Of course as Jamaica follows the common law tradition, we supplement the work we do by relying on case law, where a statute proves silent on a specific point.
The law requires the Public Defender to submit an annual report to Parliament, regarding work accomplished during each calendar year. The law also empowers the Public Defender to make submissions to Parliament on issues that, in his opinion, warrant the intervention of that body and, also to make recommendations for the amendment to any law considered necessary or desirable.
See links below to download The Public Defender (interim) Act, 2000 as well as other legislation. Access information on all Laws of Jamaica by visiting the Ministry of Justice website: http://moj.gov.jm/
|Ja (Constitution) Order in Council 1962||6.22 MB|
|The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 2011||844.21 KB|
|The Public Defender (Interim) Act, 2000||1.17 MB|