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Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda (1981)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

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3Preamble

4WHEREAS the People of Antigua and Barbuda-

5 a.proclaim that they are a sovereign nation founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity and worth of the human person, the entitlement of all persons to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, the position of the family in a society of free men and women and free institutions;

6 b.respect the principles of social justice and, therefore, believe that the operation of their economic system should result in the material resources of their community being so distributed as to serve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity;

7 c.assert their conviction that their happiness and prosperity can best be pursued in a democratic society in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the national life;

8 d.recognize that the law symbolises the public conscience, that every citizen owes to it an undivided allegiance not to be limited by any private views of justice or expediency and that the State is subject to the law;

9 e.desire to establish a framework of supreme law within which to guarantee their inalienable human rights and freedoms, among them, the rights to liberty, property, security and legal redress of grievances, as well as freedom of speech, of the press and of assembly, subject only to the public interest:

10NOW, THEREFORE, the following provisions shall have effect as the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda:-

11CHAPTER I. THE STATE AND THE CONSTITUTION

121. The State and its territory

131. Antigua and Barbuda shall be a unitary sovereign democratic State.

142. The territory of Antigua and Barbuda shall comprise the islands of Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda and all other areas that were comprised in Antigua on 31st October 1981 together with such other areas as may be declared by Act of Parliament to form part of the territory of Antigua and Barbuda.

152. Constitution is supreme law

16This Constitution is the supreme law of Antigua and Barbuda and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, if any other laws is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

17CHAPTER II. PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL

183. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual

19Whereas every person in Antigua and Barbuda is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, regardless of race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

20 a.life, liberty, security of the person, the enjoyment of property and the protection of the law;

21 b.freedom of conscience, of expression (including freedom of the press) and of peaceful assembly and association; and

22 c.protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without fair compensation,

23the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.

244. Protection of right to life

251. No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a crime of treason or murder of which he has been convicted.

262. A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section if he dies as the result of the use, to such extent and such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably justifiable-

27 a.for the defence of any person from violence or for the defence of property;

28 b.in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;

29 c.for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny; or

30 d.in order lawfully to prevent the commission by that person of a criminal offence,

31or if he dies as the result of a lawful act of war.

325. Protection of right to personal liberty

331. No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save as may be authorised by law in any of the following cases, that is to say-

34 a.in consequence of his unfitness to plead to a criminal charge;

35 b.in execution of the sentence or order of a court, whether established for Antigua and Barbuda or some other country, in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been convicted;

36 c.in execution of an order of the High Court or of the Court of Appeal or such other court as may be prescribed by Parliament on the grounds of his contempt of any such court or of another court or tribunal;

37 d.in execution of the order of a court made in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation imposed on him by law;

38 e.for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court;

39 f.upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or of being about to commit a criminal offence under any law;

40 g.under the order of a court or with the consent of his parent or guardian, for his education or welfare during any period ending not later than the date when he attains the age of eighteen years;

41 h.for the purpose of preventing the spread of an infectious or contagious disease;

42 i.in the case of a person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, of unsound mind, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or a vagrant, for the purpose of his care or treatment or the protection of the community;

43 j.for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry of that person into Antigua and Barbuda, or for the purpose of effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal of that person from Antigua and Barbuda or for the purpose of restricting that person while he is being conveyed through Antigua and Barbuda in the course of his extradition or removal as a convicted prisoner from one country to another; or

44 k.to such extent as may be necessary in the execution of a lawful order requiring that person to remain within a specified area within Antigua and Barbuda or prohibiting him from being within such an area or to such extent as may be reasonably justifiable for the taking of proceedings against that person relating to the making of any such order or relating to such an order after it has been made, or to such extent as may be reasonably justifiable for restraining that person during any visit that he is permitted to make to any part of Antigua and Barbuda in which, in consequence of any such order, his presence would otherwise be unlawful.

452. Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed orally and in writing as soon as reasonably practicable, in language that he understands, of the reason for his arrest or detention.

463. Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right, at any stage and at his own expense, to retain and instruct without delay a legal practitioner of his own choice, and to hold private communications with him, and in the case of a minor he shall also be afforded a reasonable opportunity for communication with his parent or guardian.

474. When a person is arrested, excessive bail shall not be required in those cases where bail is being granted.

485. Any person who is arrested or detained-

49 a.for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court; or

50 b.upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence under any law,

51and who is not released shall be brought before the court within forty-eight hours after his detention and, in computing time for the purposes of this subsection, Sundays and public holidays shall be excluded.

526. If any person arrested or detained as mentioned in subsection (5)(b) of this section is not tried within a reasonable time, then, without prejudice to any further proceedings which may be brought against him, he shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including in particular such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears at a later date for trial or for proceedings preliminary to trial and, subject to subsection (4) of this section, such conditions may include bail.

537. Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained by any other person shall, subject to such defences as may be provided by law, be entitled to compensation for such unlawful arrest or detention from the person who made the arrest or effected the detention, from any person or authority on whose behalf the person making the arrest or effecting the detention was acting or from them both:

54Provided that a judge, a magistrate or a justice of the peace or an officer of a court or a police officer acting in pursuance of the order of a judge, a magistrate or a justice of the peace shall not be under any personal liability to pay compensation under this subsection in consequence of any act performed by him in good faith in the discharge of the functions of his office and any liability to pay any such compensation in consequence of any such act shall be a liability of the Crown.

558. For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, a person charged with a criminal offence in respect of whom a special verdict has been returned that he was guilty of the act or omission charged but was insane when he did the act or made the omission shall be regarded as a person who has been convicted of a criminal offence and the detention of that person in consequence of such a verdict shall be regarded as detention in execution of the order of a court.

566. Protection from slavery and forced labour

571. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.

582. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.

593. For the purposes of this section, the expression "forced labour" does not include-

60 a.any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;

61 b.any labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;

62 c.any labour required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, any labour that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service;

63 d.any labour required during any period of public emergency or, in the event of any other emergency or calamity that threatens the life and well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that other emergency or calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.

647. Protection from inhuman treatment

651. No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other such treatment.

662. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question authorises the infliction of any description of punishment that was lawful in Antigua on 31st October 1981.

678. Protection from freedom of movement

681. A person shall not be deprived of his freedom of movement, that is to say, the right to move freely throughout Antigua and Barbuda, the right to reside in any part of Antigua and Barbuda, the right to enter Antigua and Barbuda, the right to leave Antigua and Barbuda and immunity from expulsion from Antigua and Barbuda.

692. Any restrictions on a person's freedom of movement that is involved in his lawful detention shall not be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section.

703. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision-

71 a.for the imposition of restrictions on the movements or residence within Antigua and Barbuda of any person or on any person's right to leave Antigua and Barbuda that are reasonably required in the interests of defence, public safety or public order;

72 b.for the imposition of restrictions on the movements or residence within Antigua and Barbuda or on the right to leave Antigua and Barbuda of persons generally or any class of persons in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, or public health or, in respect of the right to leave Antigua and Barbuda, of securing compliance with any international obligation of Antigua and Barbuda particulars of which have been laid before the House and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

73 c.for the imposition of restrictions, by order of a court, on the movement or residence within Antigua and Barbuda of any person or on any person's right to leave Antigua and Barbuda either in consequence of his having been found guilty of a criminal offence under a law or for the purpose of ensuring that he appears before a court at a later date for trial of such a criminal offence or for proceedings relating to his extradition or lawful removal from Antigua and Barbuda;

74 d.for the imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement of any person who is not a citizen;

75 e.for the imposition of restrictions on the acquisition or use by any person of land or other property in Antigua and Barbuda;

76 f.for the imposition of restrictions upon the movement or residence within Antigua and Barbuda or on the right to leave Antigua and Barbuda of any public officer that are reasonably required for the proper performance of his functions;

77 g.for the removal of a person from Antigua and Barbuda to be tried or punished in some other country for a criminal offence under the law of that other country or to undergo imprisonment in some other country in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under a law of which he has been convicted; or

78 h.for the imposition of restrictions on the right of any person to leave Antigua and Barbuda that are reasonably required in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligations imposed on that person by law and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

794. If any person whose freedom of movement has been restricted by virtue of such a provision as is referred to in subsection (3)(a) of this section so requests at any time during the period of that restriction not earlier than two months after the restriction was imposed or two months after he last made such a request, as the case may be, his case shall be reviewed by an independent and impartial tribunal consisting of a president who shall be a legal practitioner of not less than seven years standing appointed by the Chief Justice and two other members appointed by the Governor-General acting in his discretion.

805. On any review by a tribunal in pursuance of subsection (4) of this section of the case of any person whose freedom of movement has been restricted, the tribunal may make recommendations concerning the necessity for or expediency of the continuation of that restriction to the authority by whom it was ordered and, unless it is otherwise provided by law, that authority shall be obliged to act in accordance with any such recommendations.

819. Protection from deprivation of property

821. No property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right to or over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, except for public use and except in accordance with the provisions of a law applicable to that taking of possession or acquisition and for the payment of fair compensation within a reasonable time.

832. Every person having an interest in or right to or over property which is compulsorily taken possession of or whose interest in or right to or over any property is compulsorily acquired shall have the right of access to the High Court for-

84 a.the determination of his interest or right, the legality of the taking of possession or acquisition of the property, interest or right and the amount of any compensation to which he is entitled; and

85 b.the purpose of obtaining payment of that compensation:

86Provided that if Parliament so provides in relation to any matter referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection the right of access shall be by way of appeal (exercisable as of right at the instance of the person having the interest in or right to or over the property) from a tribunal or authority, other than the High Court, having jurisdiction under any law to determine that matter.

873. The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court or any other tribunal or authority in relation to the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by subsection (2) of this section or exercisable by the other tribunal or authority for the purposes of that subsection (including rules with respect to the time within which application or appeals to the High Court or applications to the other tribunals or authority may be brought).

884. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section-

89 a.to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the taking of possession or acquisition of any property, interest or right-

90 i.in satisfaction of any tax, rate or due;

91 ii.by way of penalty for breach of the law or forfeiture in consequence of breach of the law;

92 iii.as an incident of a lease, tenancy, mortgage, charge, bill of sale, pledge or contract;

93 iv.in the execution of judgments or orders of a court in proceedings for the determination of civil rights or obligations;

94 v.in circumstances where it is reasonably necessary so to do because the property is in a dangerous state or likely to be injurious to the health of human beings, animals or plants;

95 vi.in consequence of any law with respect to the limitation of actions;

96 vii.for so long as may be necessary for the purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or enquiry or, in the case of land, for the purposes of the carrying out thereon of work of soil conservation or the conservation of other natural resources or work relating to agricultural development or improvement (being work relating to such development or improvement that the owner or occupier of the land has been required, and has without reasonable excuse refused or failed, to carry out),

97 and except so far as the provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

98 b.to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the taking of possession or acquisition of any of the following property (including an interest in or right to or over property), that is to say-

99 i.enemy property;

100 ii.property of a deceased person, a person of unsound mind or a person who had not attained the age of eighteen years, for the purpose of its administration for the benefit of the persons entitled to the beneficial interest therein;

101 iii.the property of a person adjudged bankrupt or a body corporate in liquidation, for the purpose of its administration for the benefit of the creditors of the bankrupt or body corporate and, subject thereto, for the benefit of other persons entitled to the beneficial interest in the property; or

102 iv.property subject to a trust, for the purpose of vesting the property in persons appointed as trustees under the instrument creating the trust or by a court or by order of a court for the purposes of giving effect to the trust.

1035. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law enacted by Parliament shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the compulsory taking of possession of any property, or the compulsory acquisition of any interest in or right to or over property, where that property, interest or right is held by a body corporate established by law for public purposes in which no monies have been invested other than monies provided by Parliament or any legislature established for the former colony or Associated State of Antigua.

1046. For the purposes of this section, "use" is "public" if it is intended to result or results in a benefit or advantage to the public and, without prejudice to its generality, includes any use affecting the physical, economic, social or aesthetic well-being of the public.

10510. Protection of person or property from arbitrary search or entry

1061. Except with his own consent, no person shall be subjected to the search of his person or his property or the entry by others on his premises.

1072. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision-

108 a.that is reasonably required in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, public revenue, town and country planning or the development and utilization of property in such a manner as to promote the public benefit;

109 b.that authorises an office or agent of the Government, a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes to enter on the premises of any person in order to inspect those premises or anything thereon for the purpose of any tax, rate or due in order to carry out work connected with any property that is lawfully on those premises and that belongs to the Government, or to that authority or body corporate, as the case may be;

110 c.that is reasonably required for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime;

111 d.that is reasonably required for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons; or

112 e.that authorises, for the purpose of enforcing the judgment or order of a court in any proceedings, the search of any person or property by order of a court or entry upon any premises by such order,

113and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, anything done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

11411. Protection of freedom of conscience

1151. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

1162. Except with his own consent (or, if he is under the age, of eighteen years, the consent of his parent or guardian) no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.

1173. No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.

1184. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision that is reasonably required-

119 a.in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

120 b.for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practise any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion,

121and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

1225. Reference in this section to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

12312. Protection of freedom of expression including freedom of the press

1241. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression.

1252. For the purposes of this section the said freedom includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive information and ideas without interference, freedom to disseminate information and ideas without interference (whether the dissemination be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence or other means of communication.

1263. For the purposes of this section expression may be oral or written or by codes, signals, signs or symbols and includes recordings, broadcasts (whether on radio or television), printed publications, photographs (whether still or moving), drawings, carvings and sculptures or any other means of artistic expression.

1274. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision-

128 a.that is reasonably required-

129 i.in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

130 ii.for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons, or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings and proceedings before statutory tribunals, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of Parliament and the courts, or regulating telephony, posts, broadcasting or other means of communication, public entertainments, public shows; or

131 b.that imposes restrictions upon public officers that are reasonably required for the proper performance of their functions,

132and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

13313. Protection of freedom of assembly and association

1341. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of peaceful assembly and association, that is to say, his right peacefully to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the promotion and protection of his interests.

1352. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision-

136 a.that is reasonably required-

137 i.in the interests of defence, public order, public morality or public health; or

138 ii.for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons; or

139 b.that imposes restrictions upon public officers that are reasonably required for the proper performance of their functions,

140and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

14114. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, sex etc

1421. Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

1432. Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7) and (8) of this section, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.

1443. In this section, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, colour, creed, or sex whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages that are not accorded to persons of another such description.

1454. Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as the law makes provision-

146 a.for the appropriation of public revenues or other public funds;

147 b.with respect to persons who are not citizens; or

148 c.whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

1495. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to qualifications (not being qualifications specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, colour, creed or sex) for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.

1506. Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything that is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5) of this section.

1517. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorised by paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (3) of section 8, subsection (2) of section 10, subsection (4) of section 11, subsection (4) of section 12 or subsection (2) of section 13, as the case may be.

1528. Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law.

15315. Provision to secure protection of the law

1541. If any person is charged with a criminal offence then, unless the charge is withdrawn, he shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.

1552. Every person who is charged with a criminal offence-

156 a.shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty;

157 b.shall be informed orally and in writing as soon as reasonably practicable, in language that he understands, of the nature of the offence with which he is charged;

158 c.shall be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;

159 d.shall be permitted to defend himself before the court in person or by a legal practitioner of his own choice;

160 e.shall be afforded facilities to examine in person or by his legal representative the witnesses called by the prosecution before the court and to obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court on the same conditions as those applying to witnesses called by the prosecution; and

161 f.shall be permitted to have without payment the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the charge,

162and except with his own consent the trial shall not take place in his absence-

163 i.except where, under the provisions of any law entitling him thereto, he is given adequate notice of the charge, the date, time and place of the trial or continuance thereof and afforded a reasonable opportunity of appearing before the court:

164 Provided that where the foregoing conditions have been complied with, and the court is satisfied that owing to circumstances beyond his control he cannot appear, the trial shall not take place or continue in his absence; or

165 ii.unless he so conducts himself as to render the continuance of the proceedings in his presence impracticable and the court has ordered him to be removed and the trial to proceed in his absence.

1663. When a person is tried for any criminal offence the accused person or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall, if he so requires and subject to payment of such reasonable fees as may be prescribed by law, be given within a reasonable time after judgment a copy of any record of the proceedings made by or on behalf of the court.

1674. No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence that is more severe in degree or description than the maximum penalty that might have been imposed for that offence at the time when it was committed.

1685. No person who shows that he has been tried by a competent court for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for any criminal offence of which he could have been convicted at the trial for the offence, save upon the order of a superior court in the course of appeal or review proceedings relating to the conviction or acquittal.

1696. No person shall be tried for a criminal offence if he shows that he has been pardoned for that offence.

1707. No person who is tried for a criminal offence shall be compelled to give evidence at the trial.

1718. Any court or other authority prescribed by law for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation shall be established by law and shall be independent and impartial; and where proceedings for such a determination are instituted by any persons before such a court or other authority, the case shall be given a fair hearing within a reasonable time.

1729. Except with the agreement of all the parties thereto, all proceedings of every court and proceedings for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation before any other authority, including the announcement of the decision of the court or other authority, shall be held in public.

17310. Nothing in subsection (9) of this section shall prevent the court or other authority from excluding from the proceedings persons other than the parties thereto and the legal practitioners representing them to such an extent as the court or other authority-

174 a.may by law be empowered to do and may consider necessary or expedient in circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice or in interlocutory proceedings or in the interests of public morality, the welfare of persons under the age of eighteen years or the protection of the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings; or

175 b.may by law be empowered or required to do in the interests of defence, public safety, public order or public morality.

17611. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of-

177 a.subsection (2)(a) of this section, to the extent that the law in question imposes upon any person charged with a criminal offence the burden of proving particular facts;

178 b.subsection (2)(e) of this section, to the extent that the law in question imposes reasonable conditions that must be satisfied if witnesses called to testify on behalf of an accused person are to be paid their expenses out of public funds; or

179 c.subsection (5) of this section, to the extent that the law in question authorises a court to try a member of a disciplined force for a criminal offence notwithstanding any trial and conviction or acquittal of that member under the disciplinary law of that force so however, that any court so trying such a member and convicting him shall in sentencing him to any punishment take into account any punishment awarded him under that disciplinary law.

18012. In the case of any person who is held in lawful detention, the provisions of subsection (1), paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (2), and subsection (3) of this section shall not apply in relation to his trial for a criminal offence under the law regulating the discipline of persons held in such detention.

18113. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (2) of this section to the extent that it authorises the trial of a defendant by a magistrate for a summary offence to take place in the defendant's absence.

18214. In this section "criminal offence" means a criminal offence under any law.

18316. Derogations from fundamental rights and freedoms under emergency powers

184Nothing contained in or done under the authority of a law enacted by Parliament shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 5 or section 14 of this Constitution to the extent that the law authorises the taking during any period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable, for dealing with the situation that exists in Antigua and Barbuda during that period.

18517. Protection of persons detained-under emergency laws

1861. When a person is detained by virtue of any such law as is referred to in section 16 of this Constitution the following provisions shall apply, that is to say-

187 a.he shall, with reasonable promptitude and in any case not more than seven days after the commencement of his detention, be informed in a language that he understands and in detail of the grounds upon which he is detained and furnished with a written statement in English specifying those grounds in detail;

188 b.not more than fourteen days after the commencement of his detention a notification shall be published in the Official Gazette stating that he has been detained and giving particulars of the provision of law under which his detention is authorised;

189 c.not more than one month after the commencement of his detention and thereafter during the detention at intervals of not more than six months, his case shall be reviewed by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law and presided over by a suitably qualified legal practitioner of at least seven years standing appointed by the Chief Justice;

190 d.he shall be afforded reasonable facilities to consult a legal representative of his own choice who shall be permitted to make representations to the tribunal appointed for the review of the case of the detained person; and

191 e.at the hearing of his case by the tribunal appointed for the review of his case he shall be permitted to appear in person or by a legal practitioner of his own choice.

1922. On any review by a tribunal in pursuance of this section of the case of a detained person, the tribunal may make recommendations concerning the necessity or expediency of continuing his detention to the authority by which it was ordered but, unless it is otherwise provided by law, that authority shall not be obliged to act in accordance with any such recommendations.

1933. Nothing contained in subsection (1)(d) or subsection (1)(e) of this section shall be construed as entitling a person to legal representation at public expense.

19418. Enforcement of protective provisions

1951. If any person alleges that any of the provisions of sections 3 to 17 (inclusive) of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter that is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the High Court for redress.

1962. The High Court shall have original jurisdiction-

197 a.to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section; and

198 b.to determine any question arising in the case of any person that is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section,

199and may make such declaration and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 17 (inclusive) of this Constitution:

200Provided that the High Court may decline to exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.

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